Most Powerful Women in Banking: No. 18, State Street's Hannah Grove
Chief Marketing Officer, State Street
If Hannah Grove had her way, she would ban PowerPoint presentations from banking. Few people enjoy giving — or listening — to them.
So Grove has made it her goal at State Street to make executives better at storytelling. It’s a project she began several years ago, when the Boston custody bank began sponsoring TED talks. As part of the sponsorship, several State Street executives learned how to tell stories on stage.
Grove took the project one step further last year, launching State Street Live, a two-day event that featured TED-style talks from State Street executives, as well as influential names in fintech, such as Dan Schulman, the president and CEO of PayPal.
In the coming year, State Street plans to offer similar events across the world, including in Munich, Sydney and New York.
“Companies talk too much about themselves,” Grove said. “I would much rather us be seen as a convener of good ideas.”
Grove is perhaps best known in banking for overseeing the unveiling of the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street.
One of her most important achievements over the past year, however, received far less public attention. A longtime advocate for LGBT rights, Grove this year led the charge on extending fertility benefits to same-sex couples at State Street.
Grove said she became aware of the issue when an employee, who was a member of State Street’s LGBT group, brought it to her attention. Under the company’s insurance policy at the time, employees were required to prove infertility in order to receive coverage for surrogacy, in vitro fertilization or other fertility services.
“If you’re a same-sex couple, that’s not going to work,” said Grove. “It’s just a ridiculous concept.”
Grove, an executive sponsor of the LGBT group, brought the matter to the attention of State Street’s human resources department. Within two months of doing so, the company revised its policy. “They could not have been more open,” Grove said, praising her HR colleagues.