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My Pride Story
Richard Hogg, Director of Information Governance, Washington, DC

Richard is our Global Information Governance Director, Knowledge Department, in Washington, DC. His team helps to keep the Firm in compliance and reduce the friction in finding, keeping and using information. He leads the communications sub-committee of White & Case's US Spectrum LGBT+ Affinity Network.

What does it mean to be part of the LGBT+ community?
It's been a journey for sure, now especially, this Pride month gives me a great sense of pride as an LGBT+ community member. Being LGBT+ has and sometimes continues to be a challenge for many. For me, it gives an immediate connection across backgrounds, views and situations to help move things forward, both personally and professionally.

Being part of the community for me is also an opportunity to embrace and reach out, reach down and pay it forward to support and help other LGBT+ individuals, wherever they are in their journey. It's a diverse community, obviously, and who doesn't need a helping hand, shoulder or ear?

What does it mean to be your whole, authentic self at work?
For me, since joining the Firm, I've felt and experienced very positive LGBT+ support and acknowledgement. It has been a proud experience so far, enabling me to feel genuine, open and authentic from the get-go. At previous roles, I was eventually open. From day one here at the Firm, I have felt open.

I'm able to focus 100 percent on delivering for the Firm and our clients without second-guessing or obscuring parts of me. Further, engaging in US Spectrum has built stronger connections with colleagues at every level and role globally. I feel the same in return across our teams, both with US Spectrum members and allies, helping us all work better and clearer together.

What does the Firm do to foster a stronger sense of belonging for all?
From recruiting, hiring and onboarding onwards, the Firm demonstrates that it takes diversity and openness very seriously. It has invested significantly in skilled, fluent leaders, practitioners and resources across the affinity groups including Spectrum, both globally and focused within the US, for US Spectrum for LGBT+ identified members and allies.

I was honored to connect and take part in the launch of US Spectrum last year, being able to volunteer, participate, experience and share the value and opportunity wider. It has helped me network across the Firm globally, making and bringing in allies from around the world, not just leveraging the US Spectrum network but being welcomed and participating in other affinity groups too.

A further honor was being invited to lead the US Spectrum communications sub-committee. Helping to launch, shape and direct our communications across the network has been a very rewarding experience. It has also accelerated further my views and wider understanding of the Firm's business and operations, which helps immediately in the "day-job."

How does your experience as an LGBT+ person positively impact your work and career? 
For me, I feel it is important to be visible and engaged as an LGBT+ person, even for those of us not naturally extroverted. Attending and actively participating in LGBT+ events, internally and externally, is always a nurturing experience as well as key to networking development. Yes, it takes some more effort and personal investment, but the returns are immeasurable.

It's a positive experience personally, as well as helping expand and extend the experience for others, making our work and career options more positive and inclusive globally.

Why is being part of Spectrum important to you?
It's a priceless opportunity and almost a duty. It would be too easy to connect and passively attend and enjoy the events and experiences, but we all need to step forward, share and help. The network is then ever stronger and more authentic in helping meet and support the needs, goals and interests of the LGBT+ community. I take great pride weekly in my involvement.

What's your advice for the next generation of LGBT+ lawyers staff?
That's easy⁠—join in, step up and pay it forward. The network and community is only as genuine and helpful as we invest and make it. Being open and engaged is also an accelerator to both your work and your career, in ways you often cannot begin to imagine today. Start somewhere.

How are you planning to celebrate Pride virtually this year?
My husband and I continue the lockdown and work-from-home, month three. We've already started to seek out and attend the virtual online events and activities that are helping support and connect the community, while so many local events and parades are rescheduled or cancelled this year. 

We'll be reaching out to recognize and share Pride month with family and friends globally, sharing the weekly experiences in photos, calls and yet more video sessions. Most importantly, we have located local businesses that deliver fine cocktails for weekend celebrations in the garden, weather permitting.