"I am very conscious of the work that was involved within my own firm to establish and build our Ally program" - Joanne Gilmoran - The Jury Member at the RAHM Contest in Dublin 2019

Joanne Gilmoran is head of Global Custody and Agency Services within Equities & Asset Management Services, for Europe & Asia at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
She has over 23 years experience in the custody, banking and treasury industry. She joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2006 from BNP (formerly Fortis) where she worked for ten years in the custody and banking division. During her time at BNP, she held a number of roles including head of Operations and Global Process Owner for Banking & Custody.

Laura: Joanne, you participated in the RAHM Contest in Dublin 2019 as a first time jury member. How did you experience the day? What stood out the most to you?

Joanne: I thought the RAHM team put together a well thought out and structured day, the quality of your contestants was strong including a very worthy female winner and the challenges were very interactive.
My own personal takeaway is that it is so good to know that there is a strong pool of up and coming LGBT leaders out there wanting to develop their careers and wanting to be involved in their work communities to help raise awareness and engagement.

As a judge you play an important role of being a source of inspiration, a mentor and a role model to the contestants. Was there also a moment during the day where you felt like the student and less like the teacher?

While I was observing the contestants take part in their challenges I felt like I was learning from the students. The quality of their skills and different approaches to problem solving demonstrated their capabilities and confidence. I also feel that no matter what role one plays in these situations there is always an opportunity for everyone to learn.

I am very conscious of the work that was involved within my own firm to establish and build our Ally program.

During the RAHM Contest you also hosted one of the Round Tables with the title “The importance of having a strong ally approach/program”. Could you tell us a little more about why you chose to have an open discussion about this topic with the contestants?

I am very conscious of the work that was involved within my own firm to establish and build our Ally program and I never underestimate the continued positive effect this has on garnering support from our Ally colleagues in order to raise awareness and engagement for our LGBT+ community. Knowing this, I wanted to use the opportunity of hosting a round table to share the positive effects an Ally program can have within the contestant’s organisation.

What would you say are the first steps for businesses and their LGBT+ networks on how to reach and involve potential allies both within the company and externally?

Senior management support, senior management support, senior management support. I can’t emphasize this enough. The chairs of the LGBT+ networks should be able to secure time with their business leaders to have the discussion and secure support. I would recommend that the LGBT+ networks engage with their external community / peers in order to support any dialogue with senior management to support the creation and awareness of an Ally program.




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