Name: Martin Pong
Role: Management Consultant
Organisation: Oliver Wyman
Sector: Professional Services
How does your identity relate to your work?
As a first-generation East Asian immigrant who identifies as gay, I’m often aware that I’m different to those around me. With the opportunities of living in London and working for a global management consultancy firm like Oliver Wyman, I recognize the privilege I have to raise awareness of ethnic minority LGBT+ lived experiences. I work very closely with BAME and LGBT+ networks at organisations to ensure that people are well represented and that their stories and voices are heard.
My intersectional identity has impacted how I navigate work situations on a day to day basis. For example, my LGBT+ identity is not as openly visible as my ethnic minority identity. This means I can choose how and when I disclose my LGBT+ identity, which can happen differently depending on the nature of the situation I am in. I don’t have similar options when tackling issues related to my ethnic minority identity, so I’ve developed different ways to cope and interact in tricky situations.
What does intersectionality mean to you?
To me, intersectionality is bringing visibility to the invisible. Activism without intersectionality overlooks my experiences as a gay East Asian man. In current conversations around diversity and inclusion, the intersectional experiences are overlooked. As communities, we need to focus on the intersections to make sure no one is forgotten. No one is equal unless we all have equality.
Do you feel comfortable being out at work?
In management consultancy, coming out is an ongoing process. LGBT+ individuals go through a difficult process of deciding whether to come out and the best way to come out when meeting new people. Throughout a consultant’s career, a consultant will be meeting new people almost every day, whether it’s working with new project teams or meeting new clients. This means constantly having to deal with the laborious thought process of coming out.
Luckily, in my three years at Oliver Wyman, the working environment and internal company culture has been inclusive and welcoming enough for me to feel comfortable coming out whenever I’ve wanted to.