The drinks evenings seem to take place around the middle of the month, in a smart venue in The City of London. Inspired by the soccer World Cup no doubt, the invite to the recent event carried a rather horny picture of a few footballer's legs, together with the wording:
Please join us at the Interbank drinks evening: supporting a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender space in the City. Interbank drinks is a professional networking event that offers the opportunity to meet and socialise with other LGBT people working within the financial services industry in an informal business environment.I have yet to attend one of these events, however I've been in touch with the organisers for more information. The format is basically drinks after work on a weekday evening, with anywhere from 120 to 200 people attending. It's apparently organic socialising rather than introductions, so people who go along tend to bring a friend initially to avoid having no one to talk to! The event is organised by the LGBT Interbank Forum, which is a committee that aims:
- To create an open and inclusive forum for LGBT employees from the Investment Banking community to meet and discuss issues impacting LGBT employees in their day-to-day work environment.
- To enable the sharing of best practices between the employee networks of the member banks so as to assist them to cultivate an environment that is inclusive and supportive of LGBT employees.
- To provide a forum for developing an appropriate collective response to LGBT issues that benefits each of the member banks and reflects positively on the Investment Banking industry's commitment to the LGBT community.
- To promote and encourage networking opportunities for the members of the employee networks of member banks.
How come I've only heard of this recently? There was definitely nothing like this when I started working in the investment banking business all those years ago. One of the four aims above implies that it's related to the existence of the gay networking groups that all the main banks seem to have these days just for their own staff. Earlier in my career I might well have attended an event organised by such a group. But even though I've heard of these internal networking groups at a couple of the banks that I've worked for over the last few years, I always thought that any internal event would be a bit dull so I never bothered to investigate. However Interbank drinks, with gay guys from across the whole City, is a much more exciting prospect :-).
Anyway, if there are any gay bankers who read my blog who want to know more, I'll happily try and put you in touch with the organisers. Just send me an e-mail, and I'll forward it on.
Meanwhile, I must try and attend one of these drinks evenings. Having worked in The City for so long, there's bound to be someone that I'll meet there who I didn't know was gay, and that's always an entertaining experience!
Update 14-Oct-2012: see my post about the interbank web site.