The OPEN Spotlight: Heath Glennon on Developing Empathy for Others
As Nasdaq continuously strives to advance inclusive growth and prosperity, we spotlight Out Proud Employees of Nasdaq (The OPEN), an employee resource group (ERG) that represents the LGBTQ+ employees, their families and allies. We spoke with Heath Glennon, director of Internal Audit at Nasdaq, about joining The OPEN and his goals for the network.
What is your role at Nasdaq, and please describe what an average day looks like for you?
As a member of Internal Audit, I work on audits and agreed upon procedures. My typical day consists of responding to emails, developing plans, testing plan steps, documenting results, and following up with auditees principally for understanding risks, creating recommendations and reaching comfort that risks have been mitigated. Audit findings are typically summarized in written reports and sent to stakeholders. In addition, I act as a trusted advisor to the business.
When and why did you decide to join your employee network group?
I decided to join The OPEN in December 2017, just after it was created. Initially, I joined because I wanted to take that next step to be true to who I am. I was not out to all persons at Nasdaq and believed that joining would help me take that next step.
Please tell us about a memorable experience you had at your employee network group.
Attending the First Annual Leadership Conference in 2019 was incredible. I was able to listen to a couple of very successful persons from the LGTBQ+ community, including Martine Rothblatt, the co-founder of Sirius Satellite Radio and founder and chairwoman of United Therapeutics, and Jim Fitterling, the chair and CEO of Dow Inc. I was also able to meet colleagues in person from around the globe.
As an ally of your employee network group, what is one thing you would like to tell others?
Joining the OPEN has been a great way to meet a network of supportive people and to develop friendships that would not have occurred otherwise. It has helped with developing unity and made me feel less isolated. In addition, it is a great way to give back to the LGTBQ+ community.
Why is discussing and advocating for diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace important?
Discussing and advocating diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace is important to understand how someone other than yourself feels. This is the first step in developing empathy for the persons around you. Without empathy, trust does not develop. Without trust, people are less likely to bring ideas to the table for finding better solutions to problems.
What would you like to achieve at your employee network group?
I would like to help The OPEN become less U.S.-centric, and once the COVID-19 lockdown ends, I would like to host more in-person gatherings, including volunteer and networking opportunities.
How can companies better support your employee network group?
After the COVID-19 flex day program stops, I would appreciate flex days for those on the employee network leadership teams or at least be able to use volunteer days to support the networks.
Has your employee network group collaborated with another group at Nasdaq? Can you elaborate on that experience and what you learned from it?
In the Rockville office prior to the lockdown, The OPEN partnered with WIN to host a speed networking event. It was very successful. I believe we had 20 to 30 participants, and it was a good way to connect people who wouldn’t have normally connected with each other.
Is there something you would like to highlight regarding your group?
One benefit of joining The OPEN is that it provides a signal to LGTBQ+ colleagues that you support them. This helps build an environment of trust -- a win-win for employees and Nasdaq.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.