Joshua Wang, Managing Director, Risk,Goldman Sachs, shares with WiFA his motivation to be a male ally, his mentorship experience, advice for men to become a male ally, and much more.

Tell us about yourself
I have been at Goldman Sachs for over 16 years and been fortunate to be able to work across three continents and offices starting from New York, then London and now Hong Kong for the last nine years. Our team is responsible for assessing the creditworthiness and financial strength of clients to determine acceptable levels of credit exposure. In addition, I am the Goldman Sachs Corporate Representative for The Women’s Foundation Male Allies Initiative.

Outside of the office I enjoy spending time with my family. We enjoy reading, swimming and building Legos together.

What motivates you to be an ally in the financial services industry?
Having grown up in the US as a person of Chinese descent and spent time in different geographies, I have had a unique perspective on equality in the financial services industry. Although there has been a lot of progress over the last two decades, the industry still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality. Most recently, during covid lockdowns and work-from-home, I have seen first-hand the expectations and challenges that woman, in particular working mothers, face when balancing a demanding career and priorities at home. Thus, a lot of the motivation is based on my personal experiences and those that my wife, friends, and family have gone through. The case for supporting gender diverse workplaces is strong, I am a firm believer that diverse views are critical for making decisions and especially in risk management where evaluating a situation from all angles is fundamental to the analysis we need to conduct.

Please provide an example of how being an ally helped to unlock the power of diversity within your team or your organization?
Along with other male allies in the firm, I am working on formalizing the allyship structure in the region. We are also partnering closely with our internal Women’s Network to advance their strategic priorities. 

On my team, we recently supported one of our colleagues with flexible part-time work arrangement. We felt that this was an incredibly important form of support as women more often face life events which require them to choose between those events and their careers. We are glad that we were able to come up with an arrangement that works for her career and for the team. 

Mentors play an important role in the development of the careers of women. Have you or are you mentoring a woman in finance? Please tell us about your experience.
I currently have two women mentees and my experience has been really rewarding. One aspect I enjoy is hearing about challenges from their perspective and offering views from my experience. I find this process to be insightful and helpful for both parties; it really is a two-way street. Another aspect that I have enjoyed is being able to leverage my network to help resolve some of their challenges. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but have had the privilege of building a broad network over a long period of time that I can access for people who are better placed to help.

What advice or guidance would you provide men so they can become an ally? What can they do better to support their female colleagues professionally?
In my personal view, a lot of what can be done is pretty straightforward. Realizing that men have a role to play, proactively taking actions and being consistent are key. I would encourage men to ask, listen, and acknowledge that we all have blind spots. Once men have a better understanding of the challenges female colleagues face at work, they can be powerful allies.