LGBT Great Internship 2022: Introducing Shreyas Dutta
In August 2022, LGBT Great launched our first internship program with an overarching aim to introduce a new wave of talent to financial services. Below, Alex Hoare (AH), LGBT Great’s Global Insights and Content Manager, chats with Shreyas Dutta (SD) about joining as one of the first two interns as part of this program.
AH: Shreyas, welcome! We are really excited to have you as part of our first internship cohort. I’d love to hear more about your background and thoughts on LGBT+ and intersectionality, as I know this is a huge area of interest for you.
SD: Growing up in India, the LGBT+ circumstance was vastly different than in the West. Internalized phobia of the “other” and a lack of informational resources translated to the LGBT+ community residing in an abyss, afraid to be their authentic selves. People around me were bullied for their self-expression and were explicitly denied career opportunities due to their identity, the corollary being ostracization and poverty. Witnessing such appalling conditions led me to study Economics for my Bachelor’s, hoping to contribute to the amelioration of such widespread disparity. I later pursued a Master’s in International Relations in the UK to get a more expansive lens on intersectionality within and beyond economic discourse.
AH: Thank you for sharing that – the reality for LGBT+ folks is often defined by phobias and discrimination and the fact this has extended to directly impacting job opportunities is awful. Has that motivated you to apply to this internship?
SD: As someone who has strived to make a socioeconomic change on a systemic level, working with LGBT Great is the perfect next step. The organization allows me to support and amplify the voices of the LGBT+ community, shed light on the issues they face in the financial industry, and produce pragmatic solutions to support the community, within and outside the industry.
The idea that I can contribute to the holistic augmentation of DE&I in a sector which lacks the ability to navigate, or sometimes even acknowledge such issues, is extremely rewarding. I further incorporate my drive to affect change beyond the conventional 9-5, by writing and composing music in my spare time that focuses on promoting harmony and is sensitive to multiple influences.
AH: Music to my ears (quite literally!). I know you’re very passionate about music. Can you speak a little more about that and what music means to you?
SD: For me, music is a separate language itself that can be expressed in a myriad of beautiful forms. To understand this language holistically, I try to listen to multiple genres from around the world. It tells me stories about different cultures, traditions, and experiences. This passion has motivated me to write some of my own music, and it has been a journey of unbounded self-discovery. I hope to release it one day.
AH: I’m looking forward to hearing some of your compositions! Circling back to the internship (as I could speak about this all day), did you have any specific goals in mind when applying?
SD: Ideally, the goal of my internship would be to gain a comprehensive view of the financial industry, to understand how a typical financial firm approaches DE&I and to learn the techniques that LGBT Great employs in catalyzing more expansive and effective DE&I conversations.
AH: I love the idea of catalyzing more “expansive” DE&I conversations. Expanding access and driving conversations, particularly for underrepresented groups is something I remember us speaking about in your interview as you had co-founded a start-up that had a similar aim.
SD: Yes, you are right! Economikly is an open-access research platform designed to help underrepresented students publish research and gain knowledge with no monetary barriers. Both organizations are fundamentally focused on supporting and empowering underrepresented groups to learn and thrive across academic and professional environments. I want to affect steady and effective progress across the industry, and I am extremely excited to embark on an intellectually stimulating journey with LGBT Great.