We spoke with Nathalie Gauthier, vice president in Talent Marketplace and co-chair of the Black Professionals Group. Nathalie talked about her 12-year long career at State Street and how she was deeply invested in various inclusion, diversity and equity projects. She was the first ever person to be selected as the State Street sponsored 2020 Rising Star Award winner from the Women’s Bond Club (WBC).
What brought you to the professional role you occupy today at State Street?
When I think of my career path while at State Street, I joke that I created my own rotational program as I appreciated the experiences and internal mobility opportunities throughout my journey. I started as a contract hire, but soon after joining, I had a circle of colleagues encouraging me to stay. This led to me joining the Global Procurement Services team where I supported the chief procurement officer and his direct reports. Five years later, I joined the Corporate Finance team, where I supported several colleagues, worked on regulatory reports and soon began assisting with project management for the team. Thereafter, I transitioned to Global Operations – Risk Excellence team when a strategic communications role became available and was too intriguing to pass-by.
A few years later, I learned about another opportunity within the Project Management Office (PMO) and soon after inquiring, I was offered a role at the Global Markets (GM) PMO – in Securities Finance (SF). I was able to work with the broader global team and take on more responsibilities. Growing in that opportunity and those before, I learned of another new transformative team within State Street, Talent Marketplace. This role highlighted the opportunity to be industry-leading in how we manage internal mobility, redundancy, redeployment and genuinely support my colleagues during times of transition.
Simultaneously, I had engaged with several employee networks throughout my career that I certainly attribute providing skills and leadership experience. I have been engaged with the leadership teams of Black Professionals Group, Professional Women’s Network and Toastmasters, and an active member of Bentley Alumnae Network, Working Parents, Latin American Professionals Group, Disability Awareness Alliance, Asian Professionals Alliance, Boston WINs and Seven Sisters.
That sounds exciting – so tell us more about your experience with employee resource groups.
I feel fortunate to have gained such in-depth experiences while engaging with employee networks over my 12-year career at State Street. I began with identifying which networks relate to me personally, and I joined the Black Professionals Group (BPG) and Professional Women’s Network (PWN) within my first year
here. I started with volunteering to work on a project or event occasionally, to active engagement, joining committees and eventually leading them. One example, where I led the newsletter for BPG and career committee for PWN, thinking of innovative events, tapping State Street leadership and creating content that employees, like myself, would be interested to learn more about, and consider the journey as the corporate lattice as opposed to the corporate ladder.
Now you are mostly involved in the Black Professionals Group (BPG). What was the role of the network during recent social unrests and pandemic?
I served as a lead for each of the committees within BPG, to being nominated and elected as co-chair, where I drove strategic focus for the membership. In the past two years, employee networks have been dedicated to engaging their members during tumultuous times and encouraged to embrace the new normal, and BPG has done the same. In 2021, we
launched a platform of BPG ‘Be Heard, Be Brave, Have Your Say’ sessions, which provided a forum for our members to share poignant matters that were on top of their minds and motivational keynote events and encourage engagement. We were very cognizant of present events as this is our daily life and as a Black woman, I was eager to be apart of creating safe spaces and content for our members. We engaged with State Street’s leadership, many who are allies, to fulfill the scope of the Four C methodology: Career, Commerce, Community and Culture, as those categories encircle the full scope of an employee’s professional life.
In 2022, as we plan for leadership transitions, we hope to continue leading and developing intriguing content for members to expand their horizons and feel fulfilled in their careers here at State Street.
Are you also involved in State Street 10 Actions to Address Racism & Inequality?
Yes, I am also a member of the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Council with a leadership role of workstream #10 Reflection and Civic Engagement. I would describe the 10 Actions to Addressing Racism and Inequality, as State Street’s global effort dedicated to developing cultural change by diving deeply into our processes to better impact diversity, inclusion and equity for our most underrepresented employees and evolving our culture to be reflective of all regional communities.
The #10 Reflection and Civic Engagement workstream has curated a compelling journey for employees across the globe to participate in World Anti-Racism Reflection Moments (W.A.R.M). Through our learning platform we kicked off a pathway in December 2020 that traverses each month up to June in honor of Juneteenth and Race Unity Day. Employees can engage at any given time, with monthly content highlighting days of significance many of us may not be aware of, volunteer opportunities and the option to share a reflection on our internal communications platform. They serve as an opportune moment to reflect on our global history in context, unlearn our biases, be intentional about learning anti-racism to prevent the continuation of unfair and unjust perspectives, become aware of the global presence of social justice community organizations to volunteer and reflect collectively. We will continue to consider multiple ways for employees to engage across the globe as this is not only a North America centric issue, but also a collective effort for all State Street employees and leaders across the globe.
When thinking about the challenges of 2022 and beyond, what is the key message you want to share?
A key point I would like to emphasize as we look to 2022 and beyond, will be to not slow down the momentum of all our efforts towards addressing racism and inequality. As we approach our intended goals, we have to recognize that the 10 Actions and strategic DEI goals have been put in place with such concerted efforts because we want our metrics to be better as a Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB) with a global workforce of around 40,000. Possibly, there are still employees who have not engaged with even one action. Collectively, we need to recognize that no one is exempt from engagement for an effort that is impacting who we are in the industry and in creating a welcoming environment for diverse talent.
We need to continue being intentional and thoughtful when identifying what are the next level efforts as we shift our culture to be more inclusive and equitable. Otherwise, we risk employees not feeling supported, not contributing at their full capacity due to lack of belonging, higher rates of attrition, suffering microaggressions and assuming no change will actually occur in the future. When the 10 Actions were announced globally, our CEO, Ron O’Hanley, clearly noted the 10 Actions was not an exhaustive list, but merely the beginning with immutable action steps that the collective Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Council agreed were the best steps to launch and continue our journey.