Founding Ethic’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
Monday, June 17, 2024
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June 2024
Founding Ethic’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
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LGBTQ+ voices from our team weigh in on the process of establishing an affinity group and cultivating a supportive environment for members and allies. 

by Sophie Griffith and Alex Acosta

It’s Pride Month, a celebration of the sacrifices made and achievements gained by pioneers of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. It is also a fantastic opportunity to zoom in on the many things our queer employees contribute to our team. Today, we are highlighting the team members who have worked hard in 2024 to found the Queer Affinity Group here at Ethic. We sat down with Alex Acosta (Chief Compliance Officer) and Sophie Griffith (Sustainability Research Lead) to talk about what makes an LGBTQ+-friendly workspace and how the affinity group aims to contribute to that vision.  

Q1: What does an LGBTQ+-friendly workspace look and feel like to you?

Alex: This is a tough question. I think a lot of workplaces are well intentioned but unfortunately get this wrong. The friendliest workplaces for me are those where LGBTQ+ employees aren’t “Othered,'' and where assumptions aren’t made about their gender/sexuality before getting to know them. If co-workers took the time to get to know everyone before jumping to any conclusions, LGBTQ+ employees would not be forced to feel like they have to “come out” every time they start a new job. Also, seeing other tenured LGBTQ+ employees out in the workplace and succeeding in their roles creates a safer place for newer LGBTQ+ employees to bring their entire selves to work without the fear of being judged.

Sophie: I don’t know that I have a single answer to this question. I’ve always sought places to work where I can be fully myself – as a queer person and as a self-identified weirdo – without worrying about feeling “different.” I’ve been in lots of environments like that, and none were the same. It all comes down to the people: when people are kind and experienced being around people who are different from them, everyone benefits.

Q2: What prompted the creation of the affinity group? What are you proud of having done so far?

Alex: We are a relatively young firm, and now that we have 60+ employees, we’ve started to be more intentional about ways to connect with and celebrate the diversity within Ethic. When I was younger in my career, it was rare to see an LGBTQ+ affinity group outside of large institutions. We wanted to change that here at Ethic. We held our first event last month at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art – which I was very surprised to hear is the only LGBTQ+ museum in the world. 

Sophie: To be honest, there wasn’t much motivation to get one started until very recently. There are only a handful of us who are out and it felt like it might be “work” to take it on. I was inspired by events hosted by Ethic’s other affinity groups, like Eth(n)ic and AAPI, but I think the turning point for me was realizing we’d have a dedicated budget that we could use to support the larger queer community. I’m excited that we’re able to offer a donation-matched fundraiser for the Ali Forney Center for Pride Month, for example. 

Q3: What are your hopes for the future of the group? What events are coming down the line?

Alex: My hopes are that we are able to continue to create an open space for LGBTQ+ employees to feel seen, heard, and valued. As a huge basketball fan, I am excited that we will be attending a WNBA game later this month to watch the NY Liberty take on the LA Sparks.

Sophie: I’m looking forward to finding lots of creative ways to support the LGBTQ+ community in NYC and have fun along the way, whether it’s supporting arts and education, providing opportunities for young folks, or just having a big old feast at a queer-owned restaurant.

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Important Disclosures:

Ethic Inc. is a Registered Investment Adviser located in New York, NY. Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information pertaining to Ethic Inc’s registration or to obtain a copy of Ethic Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing Ethic Inc.’s business operations, services and fees is available on the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Information website – or from Ethic Inc. upon written request at Information provided herein is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Any subsequent, direct communication by Ethic Inc. with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative of Ethic Inc. that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where a prospective client resides. Information contained herein may be carefully compiled from third-party sources that Ethic Inc. believes to be reliable, but Ethic Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy of any third-party information.

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Sophie comes to Ethic after a 10-year career in education with a focus on adult math education. Through her experiences as a teacher, she became passionate about education policy and the power of research to enact change. Sophie has an MS in Quantitative Methods for the Social Sciences from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she developed a particular interest in measurement issues in the social sciences. She also holds a BA in Writing and Psychology from Columbia University.

Alex Acosta is Ethic's chief compliance officer. She holds a BBA from Florida International University and a JD from Fordham Law School. Throughout her career, she has worked in various legal and compliance positions within the asset management industry. Alex is licensed to practice law in New York.

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