Edie Hunt, Chief Diversity Officer and Advising Director at Goldman Sachs, has spent the majority of her career at the forefront of corporate diversity, initiating powerful ideas like Goldman Sachs’ Returnship, its women’s network, and its practice of awarding fellowships to diverse rising stars. “I say this with rose colored glasses,” Hunt began, “but I wait for the day when we don’t need an Office of Diversity and Inclusion – because everyone gets it.”
She predicts that day when diversity offices are no longer needed is still 15 to 20 years in the future, but says she’s pleased with the current progress of the field.
“I retired as a partner at the end of last year – I continue as an advising director, which is an arrangement many retired partners have here. I’m responsible for carrying forward the culture of the firm, and I’m still the Chief Diversity Officer.”
Hunt says she thinks the next phase of D&I is about bringing everyone into the diversity discussion.
“I think the next idea in diversity will be the concept of diversity being for everyone,” she said. “We had a watershed moment in 2010 during our Americas Diversity Week, which was that diversity is not about having events for women, Asians, LGBT employees, or any specific group. But that the events were for everyone in the firm to learn about the unique attributes of everyone else in the firm.”
She explained, “We have celebrations and events throughout the year. Whereas, five years ago at a women’s history month event, we’d have 95% women, now I’d say there’s at least 30% men. That is really where we want diversity to be heading.”
Hunt is also pleased to see an increase in the number of line managers taking the issue seriously. “I think the layer of people who really don’t live and breathe diversity initiatives is becoming thinner and thinner.”