Stephen Can and Vern Perry, Co-Heads of Blackstone’s Strategic Partners, spoke last month at the 2017 CalPERS and CalSTRS Diversity Forum. The event brought together investment and corporate leaders for discussions about how to create more diverse workforces.
Stephen and Vern joined Marcie Frost, CEO of CalPERS, on stage for a “fireside chat” about the specific role mentorship can play in cultivating diversity at work. The two spoke about the importance of mentorship from a very personal perspective, having worked together for almost two decades since the founding of Strategic Partners in 2000. Vern discussed the impact of having Stephen as a mentor, and more importantly, as a sponsor. Stephen commented on the characteristics that Vern exhibited that convinced him to sponsor him, as well as why a diverse team can lead to better outcomes.
They also spoke more broadly on the benefits of mentorship, sponsorship, diverse teams and companies, highlighting the emphasis that Blackstone places on encouraging contributions from all team members – regardless of personal background, tenure or role.
See below for some additional highlights of the discussion: