As chief diversity officer and global head of talent at Goldman Sachs, Megan Hogan is helping drive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as talent efforts for one of the most well-known names in banking. As a granddaughter of Dominican immigrants and mother of a child with learning differences, Hogan’s life experiences have provided both a unique perspective and deep empathy for the people she supports at Goldman.
The leader serves as chair of the Stephen Gaynor School’s Board of Trustees, acts as a member of the advisory board for the Center on Race, Law & Justice at Fordham University School of Law, and is a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s New York advisory council. Hogan is also a member of the Human Capital Management Global Leadership Group, the Vendor Diversity steering group, and One Million Black Women steering committee.
Hogan shares how her identity is a part of her personal and professional DNA, as well as how to find a strong mentor to guide you through your career.
What do you do today?
As chief diversity officer and global head of talent at Goldman Sachs, I am responsible for driving the firm’s talent development, retention and growth strategies, strengthening the leadership pipeline, and ensuring the firm’s workforce reflects the diversity of its clients and communities. Under my leadership, Goldman Sachs has deepened the firm’s commitment to DEI as a business imperative that drives outperformance. I work as an advisor to the C-suite and senior leaders across the firm on their diverse talent priorities and meet regularly with the firm’s clients to share insights about Goldman Sachs’ own diversity practices and further advance efforts across the broader industry.
What was your biggest professional accomplishment over the past year?
In November 2022, Goldman Sachs hosted its inaugural “Advancing Allyship” conference. A first on Wall Street, the conference convened hundreds of renowned leaders in DEI at the firm’s NYC headquarters. The convening promoted three critical goals:
- Advance commitments towards allyship and creating a more inclusive workforce
- Renew a sense of accountability among clients and peers
- Equip senior leaders with key resources on allyship
Alongside these goals, the conference focused on three key thematic pillars:
- Everyone deserves an ally
- Everyone can be an ally
- Allyship is a core tenet of being a great leader and colleague
Allyship has been core to my own development and success. I have leaned on allies throughout my career, and it has been a huge contributor to my ability to not only succeed but also thrive wherever I have worked. I was incredibly proud that we were able to bring together experts, peers, clients, and colleagues to discuss how we can ensure our organizations and communities are places where each individual feels valued, seen, and appreciated.
How has your identity and your connection to your culture evolved as your career has progressed?
I hold many different identities: Afro-Latina woman, granddaughter of Dominican immigrants, and mother of a child with learning differences, to name a few. I observed firsthand the structures in place that have historically worked against underrepresented communities, and I made it my life’s mission to play a meaningful role in addressing these structural barriers and to set an example for young professionals and other leaders along the way.
As I was deciding what offer to accept for my summer internship during law school, I only considered firms that had a strong commitment to pro bono with no cap on pro bono hours. I ultimately accepted an offer from Willkie Farr because during an event, I learned that you could do an externship for four to six months with a nonprofit while maintaining role, class year, and compensation. Throughout my time at Willkie Farr, I was supported by partners and the administration to get numerous opportunities to serve the underserved, on cases ranging from asylum relief to inequity in sentencing guidelines to domestic violence. As the granddaughter of immigrants, it was important to me to help other find pathways to the US for those escaping persecution, particularly from the Hispanic/Latinx diaspora.
When it came time to explore nonlegal careers, I looked at companies who married intellectual capital with financial capital to solve some of the most challenging issues of our time. I’m approaching a decade with Goldman Sachs because we are driving change and sparking conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion every day. We are rigorous in our execution of incremental change because we know it will lead to fundamental change for our firm, our clients, and the communities we serve.
Just as my identity is a part of my personal DNA, it’s also part of my professional DNA. Much hasn’t changed over the course of my career because that sense of responsibility and advocacy has been at the center of everything I have done and for which I am proud of.
What community involvement is important for you outside of your role? How have you seen your own community change during your career?
I serve as a member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s (HSF) New York Advisory Council. As an advisory council member, I provide support in marshaling resources and relationships that assist HSF in expanding its programs and services for Hispanic/Latinx students and parents. In addition, I serve as an ambassador at major HSF events and have the pleasure of interacting with Scholars and Alumni, as well as parents and aspiring HSF Scholars.
I also serve as a member of the Advisory Board for the Center on Race, Law & Justice (CRLJ) at my alma mater, Fordham University’s School of Law. The CRLJ examines the role of law in structuring racial inequality and disadvantage in the domestic and global contexts and the board generates insights and solutions necessary to achieve real and positive change on race issues. I have been grateful to leverage the prestigious faculty of Fordham Law to present on DEI-related topics during history and heritage months at Goldman Sachs and to opine on the firm’s ally guides.
In terms of change, I have seen much more awareness surrounding the Hispanic/Latinx community because of newer organizations like The Alumni Society. When I graduated from college, there weren’t similar organizations that convened our community to gather, network and sponsor each other. The Alumni Society has filled a huge gap for leaders who are the “onlys” in their organizations that need the opportunity to see our power in numbers.
The theme of this year’s Leadership Summit is Conexión: a reminder of the cultural connection that bonds Latinos and a call to embrace the exponential power we wield when we move as one. What does conexión mean to you and how has it helped you in your life and career?
As an MD advisor to Goldman Sachs’ Hispanic/Latinx Network, I advise the Network on strategic priorities, serve as a visible sponsor, and act as a sounding board for network programming. Consistently we hear from our members that despite our limitlessly diverse our community is, we are firmly connected by culture, language, and shared experiences. This inherent conexión allows us to build familiarity quickly and drives deep relationships that impacts our personal and professional experiences. That sense of familia bonds the community and motivates us to help others succeed.
This is the first generation of Latinos who have the potential to see people that look like them in virtually every kind of role and leadership position. Many of us, and those who came before us, had to make our own way and find mentors who may not have shared our experiences. What does mentorship mean to you and how are you passing your own experiences forward?
Strong mentors are essential to succeed across every aspect of one’s life—for advice that ranges from the professional to the personal. You can’t succeed at work or at home, and certainly not both, without soliciting honest feedback about what is working and what isn’t. It has always been critical for me to have a board of mentors: the critic, the cheerleader, and the pragmatist.
I have made the best life choices by getting multiple opinions from “my board” and having faith in myself as the ultimate decision-maker. Importantly, mentorship is a two-way street. I never leave a meeting or end a call with a mentor without asking what I can do for them. What value can I add? What visibility might they need? What advice might I be able to impart?
When asked the question “How do I find a mentor?” I consistently give the following three pieces of advice.
- Demonstrate excellence. Whether it’s communication, subject matter expertise, or simply much needed enthusiasm during challenging times, be excellent.
- Truly understand the objectives of the mentoring relationship. What are you looking to learn and how will you measure success?
- Look for mentors at all levels. Mentors can be junior to you, your peers, or more senior. You put these three steps in motion, and you’ll have your own board in no time!