Cindy Lane Drives LGBTQ Diversity at Morgan Stanley
Cindy Lane believes diversity at Morgan Stanley is an advantage not just for her but for the success of the Firm.
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner Morgan Stanley, and published on June 19, 2018. Go to Morgan Stanley's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
ATLANTA -- Cindy Lane believes diversity at Morgan Stanley is an advantage not just for her but for the success of the firm in general and that she helps drive diversity through active example inside the firm and outreach to causes and charities.
"I have never kept my personal life a secret," she says. "I feel that just as I lead by example in my job, I must lead others to the understanding of the LGBTQ community by example.
"My entire 18 years with the firm, management has always accepted my desire to be open about who I am and in the one or two occasions a fellow employee was not so accepting, management jumped in immediately to correct the issues."
Cindy has held several roles during her tenure at Morgan Stanley, training in new areas of wealth management at every step of her professional development. She now is a Portfolio Associate and Financial Planning Associate in Atlanta and for the last four years, also has been giving back as a diversity member of the Buckhead Complex Council. Moreover, she is a Complex Service Coach for new associates in the Atlanta area.
Cindy is Co-Chair of the Buckhead Council's Sponsorship and Community division, coordinating volunteer and outreach efforts aimed at Atlanta's diverse population. These activities help improve diversity within the firm by increasing employee and client engagement with diverse groups while also providing networking and recruitment opportunities in different communities.
The interest in these programs has grown steadily, making it important to address all audiences equally. Projects can range from food drives and serving dinner at homeless shelters to programs that assist women and military veterans in their return to work.
Developing a close relationship with a multicultural organization can be a great experience for a branch or complex and their clients, Cindy explains. She recommends focusing on quality over quantity, choosing just one organization per diversity group and fully developing the relationship.
She is especially proud of her work with the predominantly LGBTQ charity, For the Kid in All of Us, which has provided over 1,600 backpacks of school supplies to underprivileged children in the last three years.
Cindy is a vocal advocate of Morgan Stanley's diversity efforts and believes raising awareness of the firm's leadership in this area can boost recruiting.
In addition to promoting a diverse workforce, Cindy says it's critical for Financial Advisors to understand the nuances of working with clients from diverse backgrounds. She has counseled Financial Advisors on how to communicate with LGBTQ clients throughout her career and says giving a positive representation of the firm by explaining Morgan Stanley's diversity efforts is a good ice breaker that can overcome stereotypes.
"Many clients do not feel that discussing their personal lives is something a Financial Advisor needs to know. And some are just not open to that discussion," Cindy says. "There can always be that fear that in the business relationship one could be treated differently if you do not have the same diverse viewpoints. This can cause issues if vital facts are left out of the financial planning discussion."
Making clients comfortable, by demonstrating an understanding of their needs, or by inviting them to participate in diversity events that are of interest, is a good way to establish trust, Cindy adds. Morgan Stanley also has a catalog of LGBTQ marketing and advertising materials in the FA Marketing Center that she recommends.
Being a good listener is also critical, as Cindy learned firsthand from an early mentor.
"Desiree Fuehrer, currently a Complex Risk Officer for the Buckhead Complex, is one of the best managers I have ever had. When she came to our office as an operations manager, I sat directly outside her office and would listen to how she handled employees and clients."
"How she handled people helped me to learn that listening not just to the words people say but the ones they don't are the key to being successful in helping them."
Having spent her entire career in the wealth management industry, Cindy has seen incredible progress in the acceptance of individuals from diverse backgrounds. She believes the inclusive environment promoted by Morgan Stanley and its employees makes the firm a great place to learn and grow as she has.
"The best thing I can tell you is find what things at work drive you and motivate you. Then pursue them at full throttle."
Morgan Stanley offers a wide array of brokerage and advisory services to its clients, each of which may create a different type of relationship with different obligations to you. Please consult with your Financial Advisor to understand these differences.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC ("Morgan Stanley"), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
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