November 11, 2019

Investing in Women at GCM Grosvenor: 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit

GCM Grosvenor is committed to advancing gender equality and female leadership in asset management. We recognize the diversity of our global workforce is a driving factor of our success and is critical to our ability to create and deliver value to our clients. To reflect this commitment, we have developed programs and partnerships that promote women’s education, training, and professional development.

In September, GCM Grosvenor hosted the 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit in Miami, Florida. Since its inception in 2015, the bi-annual Summit has provided a forum for innovation, problem-solving, and camaraderie among female leaders at the firm.

More than 70 GCM Grosvenor professionals from over four countries convened at the Summit, where they gained actionable tools to advance their leadership skills, build meaningful relationships, engage men in the conversation, and achieve overall wellness both at work and at home. The two-day program included four keynote speaker sessions, working groups, panel discussions, and wellness elements—like sunrise yoga and small group dinners. Below we share some of the key takeaways gleaned from the sessions. Click here for the full list of the 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit sessions.

Summit Kickoff: Senior Management Fireside Chat

Sandee Hurse, Chief Human Resources Officer kicked off the Summit with a fireside chat with GCM Grosvenor’s President Jon Levin. Their discussion focused on senior management’s commitment to develop and retain talented women at GCM Grosvenor.

Jon reinforced a culture that allows GCM Grosvenor employees to fulfill both professional and personal responsibilities in order to recruit the best talent and achieve career longevity.

After the interview, Sandee provided the current gender diversity statistics at the firm—stating that women represent approximately 50% of our employees and 30% of executive management.

Sandee highlighted the resources the firm is dedicating to strengthen the representation of women across GCM Grosvenor, with an emphasis on the unique initiatives in place to recruit, develop, and retain women.

Summit Session Highlights


The “Why Not” Mindset

Donna Orender, Former President of the WNBA & Former Senior Vice President of the PGA Tour, Office of the Commissioner

Donna has been recognized as one of the top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports and one of Newsweek’s 100 most influential people in sports. She served as the President of the WNBA for six years and worked with the PGA TOUR for 17 years building and guiding global businesses. As a well-known trailblazer and innovator in the sports industry, she is a highly respected business executive. Through her storytelling and experience gained from years of being a change agent in the world of sports, Donna tapped into the desires of all of the women at the Summit.   

Key Takeaways

Why not me? Why not she? Why not we? Having the courage to ask the tough questions is part of being an effective leader. Donna challenged members of the audience to ask “why not” when presented with opportunities outside their comfort zones.

Perfection is the enemy of go. Perfectionism might seem like a positive in the workplace—but it can stifle productivity. Continue striving for excellence, know you did the best you can do, and move on to the next project. As a leader, it is important to liberate your team from the constraints of perfectionism to produce more.

The perfect work-life balance is a moving target if it even exists. As a leader, trying to find the ideal work-life balance can prove stressful and may cause challenges. You feel like you are always trying to “get it right.” Donna discusses that balance could be a misnomer as recognizing what is best and most needed is constantly changing. Understanding what is right at the moment and being comfortable with that is important for well-being.


BUILDING UP THE WOMEN AROUND YOU: CREATING YOUR POWER PACK

Tonya Rapley-Flash, Chief Executive Officer, My Fab Finance

Tonya discussed how to build a solid support team around you to accomplish more professionally and personally. Through her experience-driven insights and her interaction with the audience, she demonstrated how an individual’s power is amplified when you collaborate and celebrate others.

Key Takeaways

Create your power pack. Your power pack is made up of five people: a cheerleader who encourages you to believe in yourself; a mentor to guide you; a coach to push you to reach your potential; a friend to support your dreams; and a peer to keep you focused.

Allocate time for others, and be a valuable resource. It easy to let the demands of everyday life take you away from being a valuable resource for others. Set reminders to check-in with people in your professional and personal life.


PAY IT FORWARD: KEEPING IT ALIVE

Most importantly, we aim to bring lessons-learned at the Summit back to employees’ day-to-day professional and personal lives. GCM Grosvenor’s talented female leaders (below) capped off the Summit’s programming with an implementation discussion. As prominent leaders at the firm, they champion efforts that inspire action and support our culture of diversity and inclusion.


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