Susan Reid

Susan Reid, Morgan Stanley’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, recognises that the world isn’t perfect. And when life gets tough, you have to talk about it.

That’s why Reid organised a panel discussion at Morgan Stanley on diversity and race in the wake of tense police interactions across the country. Reid knew a memo from executives wouldn’t suffice; she wanted Morgan Stanley employees to come together for a conversation. Around 1,500 employees participated, which Reid says “was one of the most powerful things we’ve done” because it opened the door for more conversations.

“To create diversity, you have to get people talking about difficult topics, and over time create more awareness and understanding of the perspectives of others,” Reid says.

Reid knows a thing or two about diversity. She emigrated from Jamaica to the U.S. with her family when she was 13 years old. The move was a major adjustment and required her to cultivate a new life for herself.

Reid, who still has family in Jamaica, moved to Brooklyn, where she found Caribbean culture and a community that was welcoming to people from all over the world, with families from all different backgrounds. “The things that were very familiar to me in Jamaica were close by,” she says. “It was a great way to transition to the U.S. Brooklyn is very diverse.”

Reid loved New York so much that she stayed for school. She attended New York University and earned degrees in economics and political science. She contemplated becoming a doctor but realised “that was not going to happen” when she took physics.

Reid discovered her passion for diversity while working in human resources at New York University after graduating. She came to Morgan Stanley after a friend referred her for a human resources position in Investment Management.

It was 2008, the height of the financial crisis. “I don’t think I had a full appreciation for what was to come, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much in those first few years,” says Reid. “I had to get up to speed quickly.”

Reid says her job is never boring. The world is changing quickly, which makes the business case for diversity incredibly strong. “It used to be that women and people of colour were a minority on college campuses, but now their numbers have increased,” Reid says. “We will continue to see a shift. If you don’t have leaders who understand the needs of and for a diverse workforce, you won’t be as successful.”

When Reid isn’t guiding the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy, she might be speaking with participants in the Morgan Stanley Return to Work program, which reintroduces experienced professionals to the workplace after an extended absence. Another day, you might find Reid mentoring an employee. She also serves on the board of the Storefront Academy, a Morgan Stanley community partner.

“I realised from the beginning I had a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in this role,” she says. “I felt like I had unfinished business because I had worked in diversity before, and I felt like I had a chance to try new things.”

The Morgan Stanley diversity panel discussion on race was one of them. Tried and true measures, such as networking groups, are also equally important because they bring people together and generate ideas. Reid, who now lives in Harlem, says that even small differences can add up to something powerful.

“Diversity is a long game—it doesn’t change overnight, and you can’t flip a switch,” Reid says. “But if you have the fortitude to keep at it, you can make a difference.”

Aleksander Eliasson

Aleksander Eliasson is our exclusively recommended HR Services expert in Sweden on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Aleksander directly using the contact details listed above.

Aleksander is a consultant working in the Accountancy and Finance specialism covering the Nordic region. He’s based in our office in Sweden.

Firm Overview:

Hays Specialist Recruitment is a leading global professional recruiting group. We are the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America.

We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2011, Hays employed 7,620 staff operating from 255 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011, we reported net fees of SEK 33 billion.

Paolo del Conte

Paolo graduated in Business Administration at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 2005. Soon after he started his career in recruitment working with both international and local recruitment agencies. Paolo has recruited across a number of industries and profiles, including the HR sector. In 2016 Paolo successfully completed an Executive Master in “HR Organization & Development” at Gema Business School in Rome and soon after joined Frazer Jones in Milan to focus on recruitment within the HR sector across Southern Europe. Paolo is Italian mother tongue and fluent in English.

Frazer Jones:

Founded in 1996, Frazer Jones is one of the world’s most distinctive Human Resources recruitment brands, with offices in London, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Munich, Frankfurt, Milan, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney and New York. We recruit across the entire HR spectrum including generalist HR, Learning, Development, Talent, OD, Recruitment, Employee/Industrial Relations, HR Systems, Change and Reward.

We deliver both a retained and result orientated/contingent service for clients depending on the seniority of the position and nature of the search. We are proud to say we can tailor what we deliver based on the needs of our clients when it comes to sensitivity, unique candidate requirements, market insight and benchmarking needs.

We work with an exceptional range of clients – from global legal and accountancy firms, investment and retail banks to FTSE & Fortune 500 companies, privately owned and owner managed companies. Core to our success are our people, who are honest and principled with a rare talent for delivering exactly what our clients and candidates want.

Bente Fosen

Simonsen Vogt Wiig is a leading commercial law firm with offices in the largest cities in Norway as well as an office in Singapore. Our 180 lawyers provide assistance within all major business sectors, and build lasting relationships with our clients by combining thorough business understanding with top legal expertise. High quality in all segments is the leading principle for our activity. We arrange for relevant and efficient communication and assistance to our clients by focusing on cooperation and full availability. We have the capacity of being specialized and at the same time versatile, and have the expertise to solve the most demanding issues and the largest assignments.

Social responsibility:

We at Simonsen Vogt Wiig believe it is important to take active responsibility for society beyond our own sphere, and wish to exceed the expectations placed upon us. The firm is dedicated to holding a high ethical standard, and we have good routines for the prevention of money laundering and conflicts of interest. Several of our lawyers are members of public committees, hold directorships in organisations or have authored scholarly books and articles. As a law firm, it is natural that we are concerned with legal protections and the rule of law, and for several years we have worked with Amnesty International Norway as a member of the Justice Club. Furthermore many of our employees offer their expertise to individuals and organisations on a pro bono basis.

Simonsen Vogt Wiig is certified as an “Eco-Lighthouse”, which means that we have met certain requirements regarding environmentally friendly operations and a good working environment. Eco-Lighthouse is Norway’s most widely used certification scheme for enterprises seeking to document their environmental efforts and demonstrate social responsibility.

Jimmy Roa

Jimmy Roa is a business executive and an entrepreneur in the field of BPO, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), IT Staffing, Remote Staffing and CAD Outsourcing. Having been involved in these industries for the past 30 years, I know what works and what doesn’t.

I am the CEO of a 24 year old company that provides IT Staffing and offshore RPO services. We are based in the Philippines which is recognized as a premier outsourcing destination.

I am looking for clients and partners who are willing to practice the “One-team Concept. I believe that clients are partners and that a true alliance is essential in achieving overall goals of cost savings and process improvement.

Firm Overview:

Sysgen RPO is a leading offshore Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider based in the Philippines. Our goal is to provide you with unparalleled recruiting support utilizing skilled and accomplished recruiting professionals.

Olufunke Williams

Olufunke Williams is currently the human resources assistant. She manages the Firm’s recruitment process, internship programmes, Employee Engagement among others. Funke is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (ACIPM) as well as an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Administration (ACIA).

Education:

  • Bsc. Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, University of Lagos.

Firm Overview:

Olaniwun Ajayi was founded as a sole practitionership – barely two years after Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain- on November 2nd 1962 by Sir Olaniwun Ajayi. 54 years later, Olaniwun Ajayi has grown from a sole practitionership to one of the largest and open partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa. The expansion of the activities of the government of the newly independent Nigeria and the attendant surge in foreign direct investments and oil exploration activities contributed in shaping the depth and scope of the Firm’s practice areas. Over the last five decades, Olaniwun Ajayi has established a sterling go-to reputation for a wide range of corporate, commercial and contentious work. The Firm particularly established a reputation in the area of commercial litigation, banking, finance and capital markets work and in advising government at both federal and state levels. Olaniwun Ajayi has leveraged on its success in these areas to become one of the most sought after full-service legal practices in Africa and by reason of its knack for excellent legal work, continued to be at the forefront of several significant legal developments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy. Our history, deep roots and familiarity with the business environment affords us a uniquely different perspective to issues and has continued to shape the way we approach and innovate around our client’s challenges.