® Winter 2019 –2020
Executive Vice President Walmart
Inside this issue Q&A with Walmart’s Greg Smith Moving from Initiatives to Impact Hopeful About 2020
Overconfidence, the Pitfall of Programming and Policy Where Are They Now...
D&I Learnings from my 24 Years at BP
Debunking Four Myths About Reskilling and Upskilling
WHERE YOU BELONG Idaho National Laboratory promotes a vibrant culture of inclusive diversity that fuels growth and drives innovation.
PUBLISHER'S COLUMN All Things Diversity & Inclusion FOUNDER/CEO/PUBLISHER
James R. Rector VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
James Gorman DESIGNER
Stephen A. Toth ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Teresa Fausey EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Elena Rector WEBMASTER
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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Profiles in Diversity Journal® is a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. For more than 23 years, we have helped to stimulate organizational change by showcasing the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and committed individuals that are making it happen. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and may or may not represent the views of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Registered in U.S. Patent Office
All organizations are comprised of people. People from all walks of life, with unique skills and backgrounds, combine their individual resources to align with a common goal to achieve planned-for results, develop innovation, and make a positive difference. Acknowledging and supporting these people provides Profiles in Diversity Journal a place at the table and an opportunity to serve. Through the years, hundreds if not thousands of people have been acknowledged and honored for their contributions in more than one hundred issues of this magazine going back to 1999. All this precious content is preserved on a unique resource platform: www.issuu.com. Diversity Journal, as it is affectionately known, provides an opportunity for corporate executives, diversity consultants, and organizational leaders to share their views on relevant topics relating to diversity, inclusion, and human equity. This work is living testimony that caring individuals, who are making a difference in their organizations, can be identified and given wholesome recognition for their commitment, hard work, and achievement. Organizations bring individuals who lead, mentor, innovate, and blaze new trails to our attention. And we honor both the organizations and the individuals in the pages of this publication. I am immensely impressed that busy people running huge companies prioritize their time to participate with Diversity Journal in honoring leaders in their organizations. Greg Smith, executive vice president at Walmart, exemplifies and provides currency to the character and leadership of individuals featured in this publication. (see Greg’s interview, beginning on page 44) Congratulations to all those award recipients who appear in this issue. We are proud and honored to toot our horn for these deserving Diversity Leaders 2020. (See page 8 for the list and their stories). And there’s more. Check out informative articles by Donald Fan of Walmart, Amanda Felkey of Lake Forest College, European D&I Engineer Michael Stuber, Gary and Janet Smith of Ivy Planning, and Tyrone Mitchell of BP. Great content! Over 2,000 women leaders have been profiled in our annual Women Worth Watching® issues. Recently launched, “Where Are They Now?” has become a regular feature that tracks the career movement of these honored leaders. In this issue, it begins on page 62. Looking forward, our spring issue will profile 40 Women Worth Watching® in STEM, as well as the recipients of our brand-new Diversity Team Award. Our team at PDJ is honored to present this issue to our appreciative audience. And we send a special thank you to the advertisers supporting our work. Warm regards,
James R. Rector Publisher & Founder Since 1999
IN THIS ISSUE
01 | 05 | 10 | 44 | 56 |
PUBLISHER’S COLUMN EDITOR’S COLUMN 2020 DIVERSITY LEADER AWARDS Q&A WITH WALMART'S GREG SMITH D&I LEARNINGS
62 | WHERE ARE THEY NOW... 88 | CORPORATE INDEX
2020 Diversity Leader Awards Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to recognize the efforts of this year’s 18 winners, and honor their commitment, creativity, and hard work in the cause of diversity and inclusion.
Q&A with Walmart's Greg Smith This diversity leader explains why he champions diversity and inclusion, and how he puts his commitment into action as an executive vice president for the nationâ€™s largest private employer.
Moving from Initiatives to Impact European D&I Engineer Michael Stuber says itâ€™s time to take a hard look at the strategies, approaches, and programs that have left us with the many of the same old D&I challenges.
Hopeful About 2020 Janet and Gary Smith of Ivy Planning Group, insist there is reason to be hopeful in the coming year if we take advantage of the freedom the gig economy offers, greater minority response to the U.S. Census, and the power of social media.
Debunking Four Myths About Reskilling and Upskilling Donald Fan shows us how to avoid some of the pitfalls that could impact career growth for women and people of color in the digital age.
Many Views, One Vision At Ulmer, diversity and inclusion are catalysts for the creative solutions we deliver to our clients. Led by our Chief Diversity Officer, Timothy J. Downing, we continue to prioritize diversity and inclusion because we know these values enrich the work environment for everyone. We are honored to be named a Diversity Leader, and are committed to continuing toward a more diverse, inclusive, and empathetic workplace.
Our business begins with you.
EDITORS'S COLUMN “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” – R. Buckminster Fuller Remaining open to possibilities is crucial to meaningful advancement in any field, and diversity is no exception. Diversity leaders and innovators must continue to ask, “What if …?” and “Why not …?” While not every new idea will be successful, conceiving and embracing new ideas is how progress, and substantive change, occurs. Fuller encourages us all to step out of our comfort zone and try the unexpected and different. That’s what the Diversity Leaders we honor in this issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal endeavor to do every day. These Diversity Leaders—both the individuals, who put their passion and energy into moving diversity forward for the benefit of all, and the organizations that support and encourage their efforts— are always looking for new ways to approach D&I. They are always trying to “build a new model” that better serves. They embrace new ideas and adopt new best practices wherever and whenever they find them. And they look for those quantum leaps that come from seeing diversity in a way that will make the “existing model obsolete.” Again this year, PDJ is proud to recognize their achievements and their aspirations. “I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuity. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.” – R. Buckminster Fuller This issue of the Journal also presents the latest thinking of a number of diversity experts—articles that contain innovative ideas that have emerged from a combination of experience and imagination. The authors tell us that, although many past and current programs, policies, and initiatives have served important purposes, they are no longer moving diversity forward. In fact, the old ways may be impeding progress. They tell us that it’s time to stop “clinging to a great many piano tops.” We at PDJ are pleased to share their thoughts and ideas with you, and we hope you find nuggets you can use to take diversity to a whole new level in your workplace. As always, thanks for reading. Teresa Fausey Associate Editor
Diversity and Inclusion Learnings from My 24 Years at BP Diversity and Inclusion Manager Tyrone Mitchell shares lessons he has learned during his long tenure with BP and explains why D&I is really all about empowering others.
Overconfidence—the Pitfall of Programming and Policy Dr. Amanda J. Felkey explains why and how overconfidence keeps us entrenched in static thinking, defending long-held but mistaken beliefs, and failing to make real progress in D&I.
Exceptional People. Exceptional Contributions. When your goal is to provide exceptional service to the nation, you need exceptional people. That’s why Sandia National Laboratories seeks out team members whose principles, perspectives, and outlook can contribute to game-changing solutions. We value the qualities that make our people unique—and know that what makes each person different makes all of us stronger. Congratulations to Sandia’s Associate Labs Director of Mission Assurance, Mark D. Sellers, on his recognition as one of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2020 Diversity Leaders.
For an exceptional career,
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national original, disability, or veteran status. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA-0003525. SAND2020-1413 HR
Where are they Now... Find out what two dozen of our past Women Worth Watching award recipients are up to these days. In this issue, we feature winners from 2013 through 2016 who are continuing to have a significant impact.
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
is proud to be named as a
2020 “Diversity Leader” by Proﬁles in Diversity Journal and congratulates all of the 2020 honorees
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Do you have
in your organization?
Long before they became CEOs, we knew that these were Women Worth Watching.
Lynn L. Elsenhans
Archer Daniels Midland
Ilene H. Lang
Mary T. Barra
Beth Mooney Patricia Woertz Michele Buck Patricia Kampling
If you know a Woman Worth Watching in your organization, please nominate her today at:
womenworthwatching.com The deadline for nominations is April 17, 2020
The 12th Annual Diversity Leader Awards
PDJ Celebrates the Vision and Courage of this Year’s Diversity Leader Award Recipients
The 16 organizations and 18 individuals honored in this issue of PDJ as Diversity Leader Award recipients epitomize the best, brightest, and most committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. They represent industries such as research, insurance, law, education, finance, solar energy, computers, retail, and social networking for professionals. And they share a
passion for fairness, opportunity, and respect—at work and in their communities. These organizations, and the individual Diversity Leaders we honor here, are changing their workplace cultures and opening doors at every level for underrepresented people—from removing bias during recruitment and hiring, to providing mentors and training that support
professional growth, to ensuring that the C-suite and boardroom are open to all. We invite you to discover these visionary Diversity Leaders. Learn about and consider their ideas; see how you might use them to make your own organization more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. You’ll be inspired by their passion, their enthusiasm, and their courage.
1) Annie Holmes
11) Gregory Olaniran
2) Abbi Cohen
12) Wendy Wong
3) Sady Fischer
13) Mark Sellers
4) Lynne Walker 5) Betty Chen
14) George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga
6) Bill Avey
15) Balaji Ganapathy
7) Meaghan Gragg
16) Timothy J. Downing
8) Rosanna Durruthy
17) Greg Smith
9) Melanie Figueroa
18) Dr. Andrew Lee
10) Emma Luevano
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Headquarters: Washington, DC Industry: Education Management CEO: Carissa Moffat Miller, PhD
At the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), equity drives our work internally, but critically, it guides our work with states. In 2018, we created the chief equity officer position to increase our capacity to advance educational equity and ensure that we keep it at the center of all we do. I am proud of the strides we have made in the past year to focus on our own diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals, so that we can better serve our members. – Carissa Moffat Miller, CEO
he Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus
on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public. Members look to the Council of Chief State School Officers to help them drive their own equity initiatives, and CCSSO is committed to incorporating equity into all its work in order to yield more equitable internal and external outcomes. Receiving PDJ’s 2019 Diversity Leaders Award allowed
CCSSO to present its equity efforts to funders and corporate sponsors, which, in turn, resulted in funding to support CCSSO’s development of the frameworks, tools, and resources identified in its Aligning Equity for Impact: 2-Yr Plan. In 2018, CCSSO’s board of directors appointed Carissa Moffat Miller, PhD, the organization’s first female executive director, and hired Annie Holmes as chief equity officer. In all, three women
have been hired onto the executive team, six of nine directors are women, and the current board president is a woman. Chief Equity Officer Holmes ensures that personnel practices are aligned with an overall commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The organization has also created a voluntary diversity, equity, and inclusion committee whose purpose is to engage staff in enhancing workplace equity and encouraging inclusive voices in providing diversity-related staff training. The chief equity officer provides updates to the board. Staff members receive updates via monthly newsletters, the intranet, staff meetings, and CCSSO’s new annual equity summit. Externally, DEI values are communicated during events and through newsletters, the company website, and Leading for Equity publications, which are rated by network members as their most important DEI resource. An annual report details strategies and initiatives implemented by CCSSO’s membership. In the coming year, CCSSO will be creating learning communities among its staff and hiring a director of equity who will help deepen the organization’s work with states.
Annie Holmes, Chief Equity Officer Her Credentials: BS, education, Temple University; M Ed, college student affairs, M Ed, higher education administration, and PhD, adult education and lifelong learning (ABD), The Pennsylvania State University Her Philosophy: Access to opportunities provides for pathways to success. Annie Holmes was hired as CCSSO’s chief equity officer in 2018. In 2019, Holmes and her team got off to a running start by creating an equity map that identifies where members are in their equity journey and lays the foundation for tracking progress toward achieving equitable outcomes for students. Internally, they applied an equity lens to multiple processes and policies, including the employee handbook, staff training, and resource development. Holmes and her team secured approximately $1 million in grant funding to support internal DEI capacity building, as well as external initiatives, and began the creation of affinity groups for members by exploring internal affinity groups identified by staff and identifying equity leads across the membership. Under her leadership, CCSSO recently hired a veteran and identified necessary changes to ensure that the organization is truly accommodating people with disabilities.
Dechert LLP Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA & New York, NY Industry: Law CEO: Henry Nassau
s a leading global law firm with 26 offices around the world, Dechert views diversity and inclusion as a core component of the firm’s constitution. With demand for diverse legal talent still exceeding supply, Dechert shares with many other law firms the significant challenge of retaining some of its best attorneys. In seeking to attract and retain the best and brightest diverse attorneys, the firm competes not only with other large, top-tier law firms, but, also with other participants in the legal industry such as in-house corporate legal departments and government entities at federal and state levels. The firm continuously tracks and analyzes diversity data to ensure parity and remedy any inequities across gender. Some key strategies include: • Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certification–measuring the extent to
which the firm has affirmatively considered women, LGBTQ individuals, minority lawyers, and those with disabilities in the candidate pool for promotions, senior level hiring, significant leadership roles, and participation in client marketing pitches • Inclusive Leadership Training–ongoing training for all partners and managers • Monthly Diversity Dashboard reporting • Partner Leadership Program–customized leadership development engagements for partners, which is focused on collaboration, communication, effectiveness, leadership challenges, and best opportunities for meaningful growth • SASS Program–continuing support for our senior female associates, counsel,
and national partners (and replicating that support for diverse male lawyers) in the path to partnership, through interactive sessions that focus on developing a business plan, conducting professional interviews, and promoting oneself internally and externally; SASS also ensures that participants enjoy individualized attention from Dechert partners, access to consultants and advisors, and networking opportunities In 2020, Dechert’s SASS professional development initiative will provide the training and development a new wave of senior female associates, counsel, and national partners will need in order to put their best selves forward in the partnership process. Also in the coming year, the firm will host a Diverse Lawyers’ Symposium that will bring together diverse Winter 2019–2020
associates from Dechert offices around the world for two days of programming, community building, and networking. Under the leadership of CEO Henry Nassau, Dechert’s approach to creating a more diverse and inclusive firm includes, in addition to programs already discussed here, the following initiatives: Woman2Woman, an inspirational speaker series, and Local Women Liaison, a network of women located in Dechert offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia who host welcome receptions for new women associates and organize business and legal community events, including networking events for International Women’s Day. LGBTQ Allies Program, in which Dechert employees volunteer to serve as allies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender colleagues. Allies receive training and a decal for display in the office as a visible show of support for LGBTQ representation in the work environment. Anyone at Dechert can identify themselves as an LGBTQ Ally, reinforcing the message that Dechert individuals—not just the firm as an institution—respect diversity. Diversity Liaison Partners, selected to oversee the diversity and inclusion efforts of their respective groups and collaborate with the Diversity and Inclusion team to exchange valuable information and insights. They are able to monitor assignments for equitable distribution of opportunities and workflow and ensure that diverse individuals are being mentored/ sponsored, advised on their development, and promoted internally and externally to the firm and clients.
Abbi Cohen, Deputy Chair of Diversity & Inclusion Her Credentials: BA magna cum laude, economics with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, Barnard College, Columbia University; JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School Her Philosophy: It is not within my personality to sit and wait for things to happen. I strive to be an agent of change and to make a positive difference for the women I work with at Dechert. A Dechert partner since 1992, Abbi Cohen was appointed deputy chair of diversity & inclusion at Dechert in 2019, after leading the firm’s Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) since its establishment in 2014. There are now local GWI chapters around the globe that hold meetings, events, training programs, and other opportunities for professional and social interaction. Cohen also helped develop and implement the firm’s Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) professional development initiative, through which up-and-coming women associates receive coaching on how best to reach partner. In the five years before SASS, 18 percent of lawyers promoted to partner were women. In the five years since its implementation, 31 percent were women. Today, Dechert has four women on its policy committee, five serving as office managing partners, and nine leading at practice/industry level. Women account for 55 percent of the 2019 partner promotion class (effective 1/1/2020) and 70 percent of all partners hired in from other firms in the past year.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Headquarters: Rochester, New York Industry: Health Insurance CEO: Christopher C. Booth, Esq.
We are deeply commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. We are stronger when we embrace the uniqueness of everyone who works at our company, provides a service to us, or is our customer. Diversity and inclusion helps us attract and retain the best talent, foster innovation, and better relate to our customers. Our diversity commitment is evident throughout the enterprise, ranging from the inclusive language we choose for our job applications to the broad promotion of our company values that we are all held accountable to from the top down. Equally, equity is important to us; women are the majority in our organization and in leadership. We are proud of this. – Christopher C. Booth, Esq., CEO
reating a diverse and inclusive culture has been a journey for Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield. In 2020, the company wants to move beyond basic awareness to set clear expectations that support action and change. One of the company’s greatest opportunities will be to continue to move and evolve the organization’s collective diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness in order to impact instructional and structural changes that will have a lasting impact on the health of our communities.
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is another great opportunity. Conversations related to power and privilege are tough but vital if Excellus is to become more equitable. Big changes require time, buy-in, relationship-building, and resources. And measuring success is always a challenge. Excellus employees are united by the company’s Lifetime Way Values & Behaviors, which include Passionately Serving our Customers, Caring About Each Other, Diversity & Inclusion,
Pride, Excellence, Innovation, Embracing Change, and Having Fun. Excellus aims to be an employer of choice by placing value on workforce diversity, creative thinking, work-life balance, and employee development, and by offering competitive compensation and benefits. The company promotes its culture, and local and national workplace recognition, on its external website, and at recruitment events, and through community organization sponsorships. Job descriptions communicate
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield employees (in orange t-shirts) supported the Mohawk Valley YWCA’s Stand Against Racism rally at Utica City Hall last April. Among those pictured with the employees are NYS Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (2nd from left) and Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri (center, right).
Excellus’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and share its overall culture. Excellus is very active in community service and civic engagement, and partners with and supports organizations that aim to improve quality of life in areas such as health, education, and social equity through sponsorships and community grants.
Juanita Rivera-Ortiz (center right) led employees in a pledge to stand against racism in the Atrium on April 23.
Sady Fischer, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Her Credentials: BA, gender studies, SUNY Empire State College; CDP (Certified Diversity Professional) Her Philosophy: Inclusion, diversity, equity and access (I.D.E.A) are important priorities because we care about our employees, our members and our communities. In 2019, Sady Fischer’s first year on the job, she assigned some key reading material to the CEO and executive team—Waking up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving; introduced I.D.E.A. Mindset, which addresses issues related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, including acknowledging bias and privilege, and becoming intentional in thought and action. She also partnered with the chief information officer to share DEI messages. Fischer enhanced the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Internship Program; conducted outreach at colleges, universities, and association groups; and rolled out unconscious bias training. She also sponsored programs focused on leadership, transferrable skills, and civic engagement. DEI training became a mandatory part of onboarding for all employees. Fischer’s goals for 2020 include creating and rolling out an inclusion survey to measure DEI progress, increasing applicant pools of underrepresented groups and diverse representation at all levels, and increasing a company-wide understanding of disability and LGBTQ+ inclusion, and racial equity. www.diversityjournal.com
First Horizon National Corporation Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee Industry: Financial Services/Banking CEO: D. Bryan Jordan
At First Horizon, we respect people for who they are. We are dedicated to creating opportunities to recognize all of our people for their unique contributions. That being said, we constantly work on developing better awareness to make sure we overcome latent problems from the past. We don’t shy away from open conversations and better dialogue about what it takes for our organization and our employees to improve. If someone is committed to acquiring the tools and skills needed to advance, they’ll be recognized for their hard work. We believe it is imperative for all voices to be heard. Our company is committed to a diverse representation in our leadership and on our board of directors. To support our employees, we have a department dedicated to advancing our diversity and inclusion efforts. It’s important to remember that we don’t all see the world or experience life in the same way. For perspective, you have to look at things holistically. Diversity and inclusion efforts are a journey, not a destination, and we have to stay dedicated to that journey to make progress. – D. Bryan Jordan, CEO
n a 2019 interview, First Horizon’s regional banking president shared that, as a result of the Women’s Initiative established in 1999, the diversity of the leadership team has evolved to include numerous women in key roles across the company. First Horizon continues to work one-on-one with leaders to evolve their diversity strategies, because it is important that the company’s
workforce look like the markets it serves, better connect with customers, and grow revenue. A diverse team means diversity of thought, which in turn, promotes creativity and innovation. The Executive Management Committee, and other executive and senior leaders, continues to leverage diversity staffing maps to build talent pipelines and plan for retirement succession. Over the
past few years, these tactics have proven to promote transparency and awareness of team diversity, as well as trends in hiring and promotion. In 2019, C-suite diversity was improved for one of the most disadvantaged categories of talent in corporate America—males of color: • YE 2018 – 20% females of color, 10% males of color, 10% white females, 60% white males
Lynne Walker, Executive Vice President & Director of Affinity Strategy Her Credentials: bachelor’s degree, economics and sociology, Duke University Her Philosophy: Diversity + Affinity = Inclusion. Through this equation, the goal is to advance and support bank-wide strategies, tactics, and goals to ensure workforce, workplace, and marketplace recognition as best in class for diversity and inclusion.
• YE 2019 – 18% females of color, 17% males of color, 9% white females, 55% white males The announced merger of equals with IBERIABANK, scheduled to be completed in 2020, will create changes in leadership, which could influence priorities and expectations with respect to diversity, inclusion, and equity strategy. While this may present several challenges as two companies and cultures come together, First Horizon’s commitment remains to build and sustain a diverse culture.
In 2019, First Horizon diversity team achieved considerable success in the areas of data analytics and hiring; and the use of enhanced diversity staffing maps demonstrated that diverse candidate slates level the playing field for underrepresented employees. For white females and people of color, hires and promotions increased from 40 percent in 2017 to 46 percent in 2019, and representation in the top three salary levels grew from 39 percent in 2017 to 41 percent in 2019. Since launching the strategic hiring initiative in 2017, 17 underrepresented employees (12 men and 4 women of color, as well as 1 white female) moved into key business segments and revenue generating roles. The focus for 2020 is to continue expanding initiatives that are yielding the greatest results. These include strategic hiring efforts in customer impact and marketplace revenue generating roles; expanding the Women and Wealth program across remaining markets post-merger; and continuing to refine and expand multicultural customer and vendor acquisition efforts.
Fish & Richardson Headquarters: N/A Industry: International Property Law CEO: Peter Devlin
A strong commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity is fundamental at Fish & Richardson. Our mission is to promote a creative, respectful, and inclusive culture that values the diversity of people, experiences, perspectives, talents, and capabilities. We are continually evaluating, revising, and further developing our efforts to ensure that our firm, our clients, and our profession are embracing the creativity and innovation that come from different backgrounds and perspectives. Diversity in the legal profession has come a long way, but there is much more work to accomplish. As a leading global law firm, we believe it is our responsibility to set a high standard. Fish has instituted a variety of programs intended to attract and retain diverse attorneys and professional staff. We support and work side by side with organizations whose mission is to level the playing field so all may grow and thrive both professionally and personally. – Peter Devlin, President and Chief Executive Officer
ne of the great challenges law firms face is that there is little change at the top. Statistics show that despite all the efforts to diversify, the composition in the upper tiers of law firms hasn’t really changed. There are still very few women and minorities in leadership roles, which means that typical decision makers haven’t had the experiences diverse attorneys have had. It’s important to note that the
industry is seeing progress at the associate level in terms of diversity, but retention and promotion of these individuals remains an industry-wide issue that needs to be fully addressed. The advancement of women attorneys is of major importance to Fish. Many of the firm’s women principals serve in high-level positions, and Fish invests in its younger women attorneys by providing skills and leadership
training. Betty Chen, the agent of change featured here, is a Fish success story. She joined the firm as a young attorney, has risen rapidly, and currently serves as a trial attorney and firmwide hiring principal. Betty also tirelessly works as a community advocate. Several of Fish’s diversity and inclusion initiatives are focused on building a leadership pipeline of women. The firm is dedicated to employing the Mansfield Rule: For
Betty Chen, Principal Her Credentials: JD, University of Texas Law School; BS, business, University of Southern California Her Philosophy: I believe actions speak louder than words, and that it’s important to ensure that diverse attorneys have a meaningful and substantive role in cases.
every leadership position, the firm considers a slate of candidates made up of at least 30 percent women and minority candidates. The EMPOWER initiative positions women for success, and its LEAD program encourages women in law and business to build communities. Each year, women principals from Fish participate in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, which provides powerful leadership training. And the firm’s involvement in the OnRamp program helps women reenter the workplace. These are just a few examples of how Fish is working toward women playing an equal role in leadership.
In 2019 Fish held a record three LEAD events in Silicon Valley, Houston, and Boston that brought together more than 100 women. One of the firm’s signature programs, LEAD (Leadership through Enrichment, Action, and Diversity), develops opportunities for the firm’s women attorneys to build communities. Fish also implemented structured interviews with unconscious bias training for all entry-level positions. Structure allows for consistency in the way the firm evaluates candidates and gives each candidate a more equitable platform. The firm’s Diversity & Inclusion strategic plan for 2020 includes six key goals: • Educating and engaging everyone at Fish on diversity and inclusion • Embedding diversity and inclusion into all career development processes and procedures • Increasing the percentage of individuals from diverse backgrounds in positions of leadership by continuing participation in the Mansfield Rule and hosting the EMPOWER Summit • Increasing the percentage of individuals from diverse backgrounds in positions of responsibility • Increasing the representation of individuals from diverse backgrounds at Fish
HP Inc. Headquarters: Palo Alto, California Industry: Technology CEO: Enrique Lores
HP’s success is driven by the power of our people, and as a global organization we need to reflect the communities in which we serve and operate. Corporations who prioritize diversity position themselves to better understand the needs, experiences, and motivations of global customers and more fully reflect their needs. To succeed, companies like HP must represent and encourage people from different countries, races, ethnicities, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ages, and all other demographics. Diversity and inclusion shapes our entire way of thinking and operating. More innovation and creativity will come from groups that clearly represent the areas of the world that we serve. This guiding principle helps drive the bottom line of our business and ultimately, we believe, benefits the communities where we live and work. – Enrique Lores, CEO
avid Packard, one of HP’s founders, was almost laughed out of a Stanford conference in 1942 for arguing that management was responsible not only to shareholders but also to employees, customers, and to the community at large. Today, HP operates on the principle that diversity of thought creates meaningful innovation and benefits the company, its products and services, and ultimately, society as a whole.
At HP, it is a long-held belief that the company should leave a sustainable impact on it employees, the planet, and local communities around the world. Protecting the environment, and supporting diversity and inclusion, is good for business and good for everyone. Since the company’s founding nearly 80 years ago, sustainability, diversity, and inclusion have been tightly woven into its DNA and have guided every business decision.
HP will always advocate and prioritize policies and programs that advance this agenda, while at the same time protecting human rights for everyone, everywhere. Driven to be the destination of choice for top talent, including women and underrepresented groups, HP has achieved a six percent increase in women in executive-level roles in recent years. In many global functions, including legal, finance, HR, and marketing, women now represent more than
Bill Avey, Vice President, Business Development His Credentials: Bachelor of Science, University of California, Davis; MBA, finance and marketing, University of Notre Dame His Philosophy: Lead with Yes
55 percent of HP’s employee base. HP has one of the most diverse boards of directors in technology, people who care deeply about accelerating HP’s business by embracing diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. This approach flows throughout this organization of 55,000 employees around the world, because everyone has a role to play in building an inclusive culture and creating a brighter future for customers and communities.
Under Bill Avey’s sponsorship, HP partnered with Idaho Business for Education in 2019 to conduct a statewide study on education and the economy—the largest such study ever conducted in the state. Avey is also an executive sponsor for the HP Boise site MultiCultural and Pride Impact Networks. Each employee network provides diverse employees a sense of belonging, cultural competency programming, ally training, and community outreach and service. Goals for 2020 include expanding the reach of HP’s diversity and inclusion efforts by increasing school and student participation in the HP HBCU Business Challenge, as well as the number of HP hiring managers and recruiters who can connect with top diverse talent. Avey will also engage leaders and employees at all levels to grow Business Impact Networks, engage diverse communities, promote STEM education and career opportunities for diverse students, and foster inclusive work environments where employees are empowered to innovate and grow their careers.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP Headquarters: New York, New York Industry: Law CEO: Theodore V.H. Mayer, Chair
Hughes Hubbard has long understood that diversity and inclusion make us stronger, more creative lawyers for our clients because we approach challenges from the variety of perspectives borne out of different life experiences. To that end, our firm has implemented several diversity and inclusion initiatives, and we are constantly looking to both add additional initiatives and improve on those that we have already put in place. Today, over 35 percent of the attorneys at Hughes Hubbard are women. We recognize that the ability to attract and retain diverse attorneys enables us to provide the best service to our clients, and to make us better both as a law firm and work environment. – Theodore V.H. Mayer, Chair
t Hughes Hubbard, diversity starts at the top. Senior partner and member of the firm’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Candace K. Beinecke, broke through the glass ceiling in 1999, becoming the first woman to chair a major New York law firm. She communicates the importance of diversity to partners at monthly departmental meetings, the annual “state of the firm” retreats, in compensation discussions,
and in her daily interactions. The importance of diversity is also communicated directly to associates when Ms. Beinecke and the firm’s chair, Ted Mayer, meet regularly with associates and summer associates, and in discussions with members of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (partners, counsel, and associates) at quarterly meetings. A strategic plan launched more than ten years ago has resulted in the placement of
diverse people in positions of influence throughout the firm. Going forward, Hughes Hubbard’s strategic plan continues to focus on ensuring diversity at all levels, including at the highest levels of management. For many years, Hughes Hubbard has implemented a formal plan to place attorneys of diverse backgrounds in positions of influence throughout the firm, including as office and practice leaders. Diverse attorneys are
Meaghan Gragg, Partner, Co-Chair of Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and CoChair of Personnel Committee Her Credentials: JD, University of Florida College of Law; BA, Dartmouth College Her Philosophy: To practice law at the highest level–and do it really well–we have to be able to come to work and feel free to be our full, individual selves, and be respected for it. When we practice in a diverse, inclusive atmosphere, we personally benefit, and our work on behalf of our clients benefits. included in all aspects of firm growth: in developing new and existing client relationships; serving in leadership roles; and participating in mentoring programs. Affinity groups are also very active and serve to bring diverse attorneys together to share their experiences, activities and successes. The firm is also involved in various pipeline initiatives to increase the diversity of the legal profession. These efforts include one-on-one mentoring by Hughes Hubbard lawyers to prepare exceptional college students from historically underrepresented populations to succeed in college and the legal profession. The firm also partners with interested clients in supporting these programs.
In 2019, Gragg and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion increased the number of diverse attorneys in leadership roles and the inclusion of diverse attorneys in developing new client relationships, expanded implicit bias training, and grew the firm’s mentoring program. Hiring college interns, law school students, and law school graduates through the firm’s pipeline initiatives, increasing internal affinity group activities, and performing outreach to external groups that support diversity in the legal profession were also among the Committee’s achievements. Goals for 2020 include continuing to increase the number of diverse attorneys in partnership and leadership roles, expanding the firm’s mentoring program to include sponsorship opportunities, and formal incorporation of goal-setting activities in the mentor/mentee relationship. Gragg will also work to increase opportunities for the firm’s diverse attorneys to connect with existing clients and to establish new client relationships, and to identify additional external opportunities for leadership training for diverse attorneys.
LinkedIn Headquarters: Sunnydale, California Industry: Internet-Based Business & Employment-Oriented Service CEO: Jeff Weiner
At LinkedIn, we believe diversity, inclusion, and belonging is about building a thriving community of diverse professionals—with different perspectives, ideas, backgrounds, demographics, styles and voices that contribute to a culture of compassion, relationships that matter, and consistent member focus. The power of diversity and inclusion has a very practical and important application to the business world, and by expanding our programming and developing tools to promote allyship across the organization, our goal is to foster a community of inclusion and belonging for all employees. We know that inclusive hiring isn’t enough and for this reason we put a heavy emphasis on retaining and growing people from all backgrounds. One way we do this is through professional development programs geared to address the career paths of women globally and black and Latino employees within the U.S. These programs combine senior leadership sponsorship, professional development and career navigation support with a community of peers to develop and support less represented segments of our employee base. – Jeff Weiner, CEO
inkedIn believes that two people with equal talent should have equal access to opportunity. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You’ve all heard that “who you know” matters, and research proves that’s true. More than 70 percent of
professionals get hired at companies where they already have a connection. And, like opportunity, networks are not distributed equally. For example, a LinkedIn member in a zip code with a median income over $100K is nearly three
times more likely to have a stronger network than a member in a lower-income zip code. LinkedIn calls this difference the network gap, and the reality is that where you grow up, where you go to school, and where you work can give you a 12 times advantage in
gaining access to opportunity. This network gap is one of the greatest challenges facing today’s workforce, but overcoming it is entirely possible. The company’s Women’s Initiative (WIN), incubated in its sales organization, has brought about a 66 percent increase in female leadership over four years, and Women in Tech (WIT) is committed to achieving gender equality in technical roles. The LinkedIn Engagement and Development program (LEAD) is aimed at attracting, engaging, and developing black and Latino talent in the U.S., with plans to extend to underrepresented ethnic groups internationally. LinkedIn is also investing in developing leaders who exhibit agility and cultural humility through awareness, exposure, and experiential learning, because the company understands that that its network of leaders exerts important influence and is a key determinant of workforce representation. And finally, the company is creating opportunities to expand the connections of its leaders to diverse professional communities within and outside the company.
Rosanna Durruthy, Vice President & Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Her Credentials: AB, Harvard University; LGBTQ Executive Leadership Program, design thinking, Stanford University Graduate School of Business Her Philosophy: Diversity and Inclusion is owned by many, not just one, and everyone involved plays a vital role in working together to create change. Rosanna leads LinkedIn’s diversity strategy, beating industry averages and growing female representation. Four years ago, less than a third of LinkedIn’s leaders were women. Now, women represent over 39 percent of leadership—a 12 percent increase in the past two years. Gender diversity has also improved across technical roles. Incubated in its sales organization, LinkedIn’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) drove a 66 percent increase in female leadership over four years, and is now expanding across all G&A functions. Committed to achieving gender equality in technical roles at LinkedIn, the company has seen a 193 percent increase of female leadership over four years through Women in Tech (WIT). LinkedIn’s goal is to diversify LinkedIn and ensure that employees from all backgrounds are present, and will be the primary focus area for the coming year. To accomplish this, the company has built a strategy around three pillars: hiring and retention; investing in leaders, managers, and allies; and building a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP Headquarters: Los Angeles, California Industry: Law CEO: Thomas Edwards
Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia hosted a special evening panel on, “Navigating the Gender Gap in IP Law,” at MSK’s DC office. The program was followed by a networking reception sponsored by MSK.
espite trends toward a more diverse workplace, barriers continue to limit progress. One such barrier is interpersonal miscommunication and conflict. In order for MSK to foster a more diverse workplace, the firm must ensure that everyone understands the customs and cultural predispositions of others. MSK brings programming to its attorneys and staff on topics such as implicit bias in decision making, the value of diversity, and communication styles. This kind of learning will ensure that
MSK was honored as a recipient for The Legal Aid Society’s 2019 Pro Bono Publico Awards
diversity and inclusion become a way of thinking, not just a strategic marketing initiative. Breaking down mistrust, stereotyping, biases, and lack of cultural understanding requires a commitment by firm leadership and diversity on the firm’s governing board. Communication is critical, and MSK is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to resources that can help increase understanding and avoid complex misinterpretations. Leadership also needs to identify the barriers to communication in order to create an environment
more conducive to open and honest expression and discussion. Creating a more open environment will enable both attorneys and staff to feel comfortable coming forward to address their concerns and allow the firm to take steps to improve. MSK is working to achieve gender parity in the C-suite and the boardroom by creating and fostering leadership positions for women, ensuring that committee leadership positions include women, and continuing to host firm-wide mentoring events, such as the Women’s Event.
MSK is firmly committed to develop and maintain a workforce that reflects the communities in which we practice. We believe it is important to attract and retain high-caliber attorneys, whose backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and approaches help us best serve a broad spectrum of clients. To that end, the firm has targeted lateral recruiting efforts through various bar and professional organizations and as well as targeted diversity recruiting efforts to find the best lateral attorneys to join our practice groups. In addition to targeted efforts, the firm utilizes various methods to search for top talent, including recruiters that specifically focus on diverse recruits. The firm strives to sustain a work environment where all attorneys and staff feel welcomed, valued and energized about the contributions they make and the opportunities they have to further develop their careers. We will continue to invite and promote women into leadership positions, improve work/life balance, and commit to including women in committee leadership positions at our firm. We will also continue to work to move the organization forward by sharing and offering programming in areas that will help advance and empower women.
– Thomas Edwards, CEO
Melanie Figueroa/Emma Luevano/Gregory Olaniran, Co-Chairs, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Their Credentials: Melanie Figueroa JD, Fordham University School of Law; Emma Luevano JD, Stanford Law School; Gregory Olaniran JD, The George Washington University School of Law Their Philosophy: “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” – Baruch Spinoza Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp added two diverse female partners in 2019, Melanie Figueroa and Emma Luevano, to serve with Gregory Olaniran as co-chairs of its D&I Committee. The firm implemented training and programming in 2019, including Case Management, Top 10 Things CA Lawyers Need to Know about the Revised Rules of Professional Conduct, Communication Techniques to Break through Gender Bias, Generating Business Opportunities and Authentic Selling, and Navigating Different Interaction Styles. Initiatives included an associate review process, maternity/parental leave policy, part-time program, partner compensation review committee, mentoring program, lateral hiring, student recruiting, associate development and retention efforts (such as a writing program and individual coaching), and hosting the firm’s first Women’s Retreat. In 2020, MSK plans to focus on and improve retention; promotion, advancement and compensation; and communications across differences. The firm will also focus on hiring diverse top talent at all levels and creating and fostering leadership positions across the firm, especially for women in leadership roles.
New York LIfe Headquarters: New York, New York Industry: Insurance CEO: Ted Mathas
New York Life could not have achieved the success we enjoy today were it not for our richly diverse corporate culture. Rather than expect employees and agents to adapt themselves to a single way of doing business, everyone is encouraged to bring their own cultural and intellectual perspectives to the table. Nor do we pursue a one-size-fits-all approach in the marketplace; our culturally sensitive outreach to customers has established New York Life as “The Company of the Community” in neighborhoods that reflect the changing face of America. Little wonder that we consider our commitment to diversity to be a fundamental strategic strength. – Ted Mathas, CEO
ew York Life’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) embodies the company’s commitment to encouraging, creating, and maintaining a diverse and truly inclusive work environment. It is every New York Life employee’s privilege and responsibility to be a diversity and inclusion champion. Established in 2006 to promote equal employment
opportunity and workforce diversity, strengthen diverse procurement practices, and engage in community outreach, ODI also works to support a culture that continuously evolves, by actively welcoming and respecting different backgrounds. The company’s diversity and inclusion policies go hand in hand with its mission to provide financial security and peace of
mind for its policy owners. In fact, mutual success depends on a true culture of inclusion that reflects the communities New York Life serves. Internally, the company refuses to ask agents and employees to conform themselves to a single way of doing business. Instead, everyone is expected to bring his or her own cultural and intellectual perspectives to
the table. By recruiting talented men and women who reflect the markets its serves, New York Life is better positioned to reach and better serve more people in the community, and continue to grow. New York Life is continuing its efforts to prepare women to take on new opportunities as they arise, including developing skills to run a P&L. Through the enhancement of existing professional development programs and leveraging external partnerships and leadership opportunities within ERGs, New York Life provides development opportunities, many of which reach beyond the soft skills to the technical skills required to succeed in leadership roles. These prepared female leaders will be in the pool when C-suite and board opportunities become available. The company’s Diversity & Inclusion team meets with department heads on a regular basis to discuss their workforces; year-to-date hiring, promotions, and attrition activity; upcoming opportunities; and progress against their D&I action plans. These efforts ensure that leaders are focused on and accountable for preparing all talent.
Wendy Wong, Managing Director Her Credentials: BA, Indiana University; MBA, Rutgers University Her Philosophy: Employees who are more engaged are happier and more productive. Employee resource groups (ERGs) and D&I programming help employees connect with people outside their normal network, which is energizing and rewarding. Over the past year, Wendy Wong has worked closely with the CEO of New York Life Investments to expand women’s network programming and organize programming tailored to employees on the investment management side of the business. The division’s goal was to complement the programming the women’s network already had in place with programming that would help foster networking and engagement within the Investments group and raise awareness regarding the kinds of career paths available in the financial services industry. In its inaugural year, the team established peer leadership circles (mentoring), hosted professional development panels to address careers in portfolio management and research, encouraged participation in external professional organizations, and hosted networking and volunteering events to build relationships and foster engagement. In 2020, New York Life Investments will continue to focus on professional development, mentoring, and relationship-building. In addition, the division plans to engage a wider range of employees, including men and members of ERGs.
Sandia National Laboratories Headquarters: Albuquerque, New Mexico Industry: Government Contractor CEO: Dr. Stephen Younger
o further demographic diversity in the C-suite, all Sandia National Laboratories senior leadership succession planning deliberately includes women and minorities for growth and mentoring. While diverse interview panels are recommended for all positions, they are required for management positions and, at a minimum, must include at least one woman and one minority. Further enhancing leadership’s ally capabilities, a new reverse-mentoring program partners senior leaders with ERG volunteers. The goal of the program is to break down barri-
ers to cultural understanding in a mentor’s day-to-day experience. In this program, the executive is the mentee and the ERG volunteer the mentor. The goal of these new hiring requirements is to accelerate the Labs’ demographic diversity by systemically mitigating unconscious bias (UCB) in the hiring process. While these improvements aim to bring people with a greater variety of perspectives to the Labs, an additional goal is to ensure employees freely express their diverse perspectives at work. To this end, the Labs will continue to engage all
employees in creating a tangibly more inclusive workplace. In FY18, 100 percent of managers completed unconscious bias training, which enabled leaders to apply UCB concepts in everyday decision making. For FY19, the organization implemented immersive ally training for these leaders. Associate Laboratory Director Mark Sellers invests significant political capital in encouraging fellow Vice President-level white male leaders to model ally behaviors. Each vice president-level executive at Sandia serves as executive champion for one of the 10 ERGs.
While Sandia has made improvements in demographic diversity, we have positioned ourselves over the past two years to rapidly accelerate the pace of this change. Unconscious bias awareness has permeated the Laboratories, thanks to required training completed by 100 percent of managers. Immersion training for the Labs’ top two levels of leadership within the past year has enhanced the majority male population’s understanding of its role as an ally, emphasizing the privileges enjoyed, the necessity for creating an environment where everyone can bring their full selves to work, and what steps we need to take as allies to realize this vision. Most promising, our hiring process is now better aligned with our diverse hiring aims. While maintaining a commitment to hiring the most qualified candidate, our requirements for diverse interview panels and interviewees will help minimize unconscious bias in this process and better ensure all candidates are considered. This insistence on including diverse perspectives in the hiring process, particularly for our leadership positions, is expected to increase diversity at the Labs. We are reaching a tipping point where these changes will create a virtuous cycle, quickening our pace toward diversity throughout the Labs, and in our leadership positions.
– Dr. Stephen Younger, CEO
Mark Sellers, Associate Laboratory Director–Mission Assurance His Credentials: BS, engineering, Harvey Mudd College; MS, electrical engineering, microelectronics & integrated circuits, University of Southern California; MBA, finance and marketing, University of Nevada Las Vegas; Six Sigma Black Belt; SAE-certified Lead Auditor His Philosophy: Listen. Be responsive. Seize every opportunity to be inclusive. Encourage everyone to bring to their whole self to work. In 2019, Associate Laboratory Director Mark Sellers helped Sandia implement the following significant changes to its hiring policy: • At least one qualified woman and one qualified minority applicant must be interviewed, assuming a qualified woman and a qualified minority are present in the applicant pool • Diverse interview panels are recommended for all positions The Labs were already progressing toward greater demographic diversity, with the percentage of R&D positions filled by women rising from 16.3 percent in FY18 to 20.3 percent in FY19, as well as 2.5 percent growth in minority and women management populations since FY17. Also, in FY19, the Labs’ top two levels of management attended multiday immersion training focused on changing the behaviors of Sandia’s majority white male population, making leaders allies, and creating an inclusive environment that promotes a sense of belonging, and where people feel respected, valued for who they are, and can experience a level of support and commitment that inspires them to do their best work.
Sunrun, Inc. Headquarters: San Francisco, California Industry: Solar Energy CEO: Lynn Jurich
he solar industry is one of the fastest areas of job growth in America today, offering career opportunities to all academic and background levels. However, the industry is currently facing urgent hiring needs and workforce development challenges. In 2020, bringing awareness to workers in allied industries with transferable skills—for instance, those in construction or roofing—will be key to keeping the solar workforce growing, while building strong pipelines of diverse talent.
At Sunrun it’s clear that gender parity remains a key component of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy. In an industry traditionally male dominated, women comprise 50 percent of Sunrun’s C-suite and 38 percent of its board of directors. The company’s many substantial achievements in diversity are not only communicated in Sunrun’s annual Impact Report, but were also highlighted in The Solar Foundation’s U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study 2019. In addition, Sunrun leadership
has recently earned considerable recognition and several awards, including these: • Comparably’s Best CEOs for Diversity Award 2019 and Best CEOs for Women Award 2019 • Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Woman Worth Watching Award 2019 • Diversity Best Practices 2019 Above and Beyond Award (won by Sunrun’s general counsel)
I cofounded Sunrun twelve years ago with a simple mission: to create a planet run by the sun. Today, my company has become the leading national home solar, battery, and energy services provider. As a leader, we set an example in Diversity and Inclusion, especially to advance women into leadership and provide equal pay for equal work.That’s why in 2018, Sunrun was the first solar company to achieve 100 percent pay parity. It was a key milestone, as I strongly believe that fair and equal pay is a fundamental right and integral to the Sunrun ethos. (…) With women making up 50 percent of its senior management team and 38 percent of its board of directors, Sunrun is a model for other tech companies. Sunrun recently hired its first director of diversity & inclusion, George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga. She is leveraging her years of experience and expertise in diversity management to develop a vision and strategies to advance the company’s progress, including focusing on hiring talent from underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, and veterans.
– Lynn Jurich, CEO
George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga, Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Her Credentials: Harvard University, ESCP Europe Business School, CELSA Sorbonne University Her Philosophy: What gets measured gets done. In 2019, Sunrun’s director of diversity & inclusion, George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga, designed and implemented the company’s first Diversity & Inclusion policy, strategies, initiatives, and scorecard. She and her team positioned the company as a Diversity Champion in the solar industry by: • designing the first diversity workshop in the industry initiated by the Solar Energy Industries Association® • securing two D&I pledges by Sunrun’s CEO: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Catalyst CEO Champions for Change • designing Sunrun’s first ERG strategy and launching three ERGs for employees of color • providing programming for female talent • launching an unconscious bias and inclusive leadership webinar series • partnering with Do It Yourself Girls to support girls interested in STEM and clean energy In 2020, the team aims to foster initiatives around three key pillars—workforce, workplace, and marketplace. Their goals are to attract, develop, advance, and retain top diverse talent; create and sustain fair and inclusive work environments; and drive profitable growth by making solar energy and batteries more accessible.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Headquarters: New York, New York Industry: IT Services & Consulting CEO: Rajesh Gopinathan
Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head, CSR, Chief Social Responsibility Officer, Tata Consultancy Services
Middle school students prepping their new app design for a goIT presentation
To support our growth, we tap into talent pools across the world. In FY 2019, we added 29,287 employees on a net basis, bringing the total headcount at the end of the year to 424,285. Our workforce represents 147 nationalities, with women making up 35.9 percent of the base. By creating a vibrant, enriching, and fulfilling workplace, we have established an industry benchmark in talent management and retention. In FY 2019, our attrition rate in IT Services was 11.3 percent—the lowest in the industry. Our people-centric investments go beyond our organization, into communities around the world, where we support initiatives to bridge the digital divide, and encourage STEM education and careers. These programs continue to scale up well, and are benefiting hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. Our purpose-driven worldview is shared by our employees, who collectively racked up more than 650,000 hours in FY 2019, volunteering for worthy social and environmental causes in their respective communities. – Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO
ata Consultancy Services celebrates its inclusive environment, which accommodates different cultures through programs like #UniquelyTogether, and works to delvelp IT solutions that help differently abled individuals integrate into the workforce
through its Center of Excellence for Accessibility. TCS is also one of the world’s largest employers of women, and a number of progressive policies support their professional growth and success. The company provides extended parental leave;
a special focus on the security of women employees; a mentoring program for junior women employees (nWin); discussion circles that help women through major life stages; a reorientation program to reconnect employees after extended leave; profiles of inspirational women leaders
(Be-Inspired); leadership development programs that address the needs and aspirations of women; a learning module to equip midlevel managers to work with diverse teams; a virtual child psychology support group (Workplace Parents Group); and parenting workshops. The greatest challenge TCS currently faces is resistance. Employees sometimes don’t believe that actual change can be made within an organization, and despite best efforts there are still employees who feel victimized, or singled out as a member of a diverse group. An exploration of intersectionality revealed that mandatory diversity training can lead to increased animosity toward different groups, due to its one-size-fits-all approach. Managing and meeting the expectations of a diverse workforce can also be a challenge. However, the company has found that aligning business goals with hiring goals— and treating both customers and employees as individuals, rather than members of groups—helps to overcome these challenges.
Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head, Chief Social Responsibility Officer, Diversity and Inclusion Executive Leader His Credentials: BTech, mechanical engineering, College of Engineering, Trivandrum; post grad, human resource management, XLRI Jamshedpur His Philosophy: Organizations today need an intersectional approach to diversity that reaches all facets of an individual’s identity, not just their representation as a member of a specific group. In 2019, Balaji Ganapathy and his team launched the Lead Program–Leadership and Diversity, designed to support diverse talent and develop pathways for the individuals to access C-suite roles within the organization. They also added other focused learning programs, including Culture Shot, which offers opportunities to learn about the 35 countries where TCS maintains its largest presence; Globe Smart, which provides cultural learning content for more than 90 countries; and TCS Without Borders, which seeks to establish inclusive interaction among global teams and teaches the key skills needed to communicate across cultures. In 2020, Ganapathy’s goal is to build Inclusion from the behavioral lens-indigenous model of change and integration. TCS has partnered with organizations like the British American Business Council to create events that explore opportunities to embrace and adopt true diversity and inclusion, and provide broader access to opportunity. The company’s most recent event focused on intersectionality, because an individual can be part of a number of different demographics, and efforts to expand diversity and inclusion must acknowledge and embrace that.
Ulmer & Berne LLP Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio Industry: Law CEO: Scott P. Kadish, Managing Partner
We believe our commitment to diversity and inclusion enhances our ability to serve our clients and makes our firm a better place to work for our attorneys and staff. Our clients rely on us to find solutions to complex issues. Celebrating our differences and cultivating a diverse workforce leads to a diversity of approaches, ideas, opinions, and thoughts. Embracing different perspectives helps us see issues from every angle and enables our attorneys to engineer creative, impactful solutions specifically tailored to the needs of each client. Diversity in the workplace also makes for a more balanced, more rewarding firm culture and professional environment. Exposure to new ideas or ways of thinking encourages growth, and a diverse workplace creates an environment where our attorneys and staff can thrive. With that in mind, we are committed to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women, minority, LGBTQ, and other diverse lawyers as they build rewarding careers. – Scott P. Kadish, Managing Partner
iversity and inclusion do not just fit into Ulmer & Berne’s structure—they are core values embedded in its culture. Under the leadership of the firm’s D&I Committee, a strategic plan has been developed to promote D&I at every level. There are many challenges to promoting diversity and inclu-
sion in the workplace, including budgetary concerns, time commitments, and external issues. Building a diverse and inclusive workplace is a process and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. By utilizing its strategic plan, Ulmer encourages engagement and support from all members regarding its D&I efforts and strives to
make the firm a diverse workplace where all attorneys and staff can truly reach their potential. As part of its recruitment and attraction strategy, the firm began using the Mansfield Rule in hiring to ensure that a minimum of one out of three candidates to be interviewed for open lateral positions at all attorney levels is diverse. In
the last year, more than 50 percent of new attorney hires were female attorneys. As part of Ulmer’s promotion and retention strategy, metrics have been set up to ensure the firm’s diverse attorneys continually receive challenging assignments, and have the opportunity to interface with clients and engage in business development activities. At the same time increased numbers of diverse candidates are being hired, Ulmer is also are building gender parity in leadership. The firm’s Women in Law and Leadership Committee (known as UB WILL) is a driving force behind efforts to recruit, retain, and advance women lawyers. Just recently, Mary Forbes Lovett, partner and chair of Ulmer’s Real Estate Practice Group, was elected to Ulmer’s Management Committee. She is now one of two women serving on this seven-person committee, which is responsible for guiding the firm’s operations and strategic direction. Female attorneys also serve as practice group leaders and on key strategic operational committees.
Timothy J. Downing, Chief Diversity Officer His Credentials: JD, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; BA, Allegheny College His Philosophy: At a time in history when the principle of equality for all is under assault on a daily basis, now more than ever, it is important to never be afraid to speak truth to power. In 2019, Ulmer & Berne partnered with consultant William T. Rolack, Sr. of Diversity Best Practices, who assisted the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee refine its strategic plan to bolster D&I efforts. Ulmer also hosted a variety of internal and external educational programs and events designed to promote and celebrate diversity. In addition, the firm sponsored and participated in a number of important external events. Ulmer also added a number of diverse attorneys to its team and began internally abiding by the Mansfield Rule to boost diversity efforts. The firm also updated its HR forms to ask employees about their gender identities and preferred gender pronouns. Ulmer’s 2020 goals include creating and adopting new D&I metrics, improving partner participation in D&I events, developing parameters for a mentoring program appropriate for attorneys with all levels of experience, creating implicit bias training for new hires and the entire firm, and creating relationships with schools and recruiters to bolster diverse hiring.
Walmart, Inc. Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas Industry: Retail CEO: Doug McMillon
We want to be inclusive. This is a place where anyone can fulfill their potential, regardless of where they got their start, or their unique characteristics. We want you to fulfill your utmost potential, because we need the very best talent in the world and great talent comes from all places. So you must be an inclusive leader. That’s an expectation! – Doug McMillon, President & CEO
truly inclusive workplace culture is one where every associate feels empowered to bring their authentic self to work every day. These engaged associates are happier, and they perform at their best. As a result, they provide better service to Walmart customers and members by creating a clean, fast, and friendly shopping experience. “When we get it right, the customers come back.” That’s inclusion. Walmart’s U.S. workforce of more than 1.5 million associates consists of 22 percent African
American associates, 14 percent Hispanic or Latino American associates, 4 percent Asian American associates, 1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 1 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native. Fifty-five percent of all associates are women, including 43 percent of managers and 31 percent of officers. The company’s $2.7 billion investment across two years in its people—in education and training, wages, and scheduling— will ensure even more associates have clear pathways to grow and
advance. Walmart wants associates to grow and seize the opportunity to take on more responsibility. A diverse leadership team, as well as a diverse board, is a priority, and the best place to find strong leaders for the Walmart management team is from within. In order to develop inclusive leadership at Walmart, more than 77,000 associates have Inclusive Leadership Expectations as part of their annual performance evaluation. Associates with Inclusive Leadership Expectations must achieve the following:
Executive Vice President, Walmart Supply Chain His Credentials: Bachelor’s degree, finance, University of Tennessee–Knoxville His Philosophy: As a white male, I know many people wouldn’t look to me to champion diversity and inclusion in business. But as a people leader, I know the importance of creating an environment where everyone feels engaged and empowered to be themselves at work—because of their unique perspectives and backgrounds, not despite them. When the workplace is diverse and everyone feels included, we have stronger teams and the business benefits. I’m proud of the strides our team has made in the last few years, but I know the work will never be done. There is always more to learn and room to grow, and that’s the mindset I try to foster. In 2019, Greg Smith and his team achieved a number of D&I successes, including the following: • Formed a D&I Leadership Council to direct and champion diversity and inclusion in the Supply Chain organization
• Participate in at least one approved Inclusive Leadership Education offering, such as Unconscious Bias training, LGBTQ Ally training, Values Based Decision Making workshop, Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention training, or a Dining in the Dark session • Actively mentor two associates, host a mentoring circle, or participate as a mentor in a program such as Lean In Mentoring Circles
• Developed a comprehensive D&I strategy and roadmap with four pillars: Hiring + Promotion, Recruiting, Education, Environment • Launched Lean In Circle as a mentoring platform across the organization • Conducted D&I training programs throughout the year • Rolled out diverse slates for director and above positions, as well as diverse interview panels • Regularly reviewed and tracked diversity metrics • Led a day-and-a-half MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) Leader Workshop to support and encourage his direct reports and Walmart executives to become inclusive leaders. In 2020, Smith’s goal is to create a workplace in which diverse perspectives, experiences, lifestyles, and backgrounds are welcomed and leveraged to drive business success.
WellStar Health System Headquarters: Marietta, Georgia Industry: Health Care CEO: Candice Saunders
Every day, WellStar strives to deliver world class health care. It is increasingly important that we understand and meet the unique health care needs and preferences of the diverse patient populations within each of our health care settings. Furthermore, as we aspire to advance our mission, all our physicians, leaders and employees are encouraged to treat one another with inclusive compassion and unconditional respect. WellStar is committed to ensure that we provide equitable care, are conscious of our biases, embrace people from various cultures, and foster an inclusive environment for all ethnicities, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities. Diversity and inclusion strategic framework requires a fundamental transformation. Our goal is to create an inclusive norm that is implemented and practiced. As the leading health system in Georgia, it is important to ensure that all our patients and team members continue to know that they are a valuable part of a diverse, healthy, robust, and inclusive organization. Wellstar Health System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Proposition
ellStar Health System’s mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of every person it serves. Whether directly serving patients and consumers, or fellow team members, service is part of everyday life. Embracing differences and similarities allows WellStar to demonstrate integrity and compassion for every person, every time. In addition, fostering a welcoming environment allows
the organization to reflect and support the diverse communities it serves. Aligned with WellStar’s diversity and inclusion strategy, the Inclusion Council Committee comprises individuals commissioned to create a supportive environment for patients, physicians, leaders, and team members. The ultimate goal is to support each patient and the communities served, and inte-
grate diversity and inclusion into the organization’s operations and delivery of the care. Cultural competence seeks to expand knowledge and modify behaviors and services to meet the culturally unique needs of patients, associates, and communities. WellStar’s cultural competence training consists of two parts. Leadership cultural competence is increased through the use of a
Dr. Andrew Lee, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
His Credentials: PhD, psychology, California School of Professional Psychology; Master’s degree, healthcare administration, University of Southern California; Master’s degree, psychology, University of San Diego His Philosophy: So much work, so little time.
mandatory Competency-Based Learning module, which was developed for and made available to all leaders. The goal of this interactive module is to develop leadership’s understanding of cultural competence through the use of real-life scenarios that illustrate the ways in which health care leaders interact with diverse people in a variety of situations. The second cultural competence approach was developed for all team members and is intended to improve cultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes in their interactions with patients they serve.
In 2019, the organization launched the WellStar Center for Health Equity, which works to advance health equity through community engagement, partnership, internal transformation, capacity building, health policy, and system advocacy. WellStar also held an Inclusive Leadership and Diversity Healthcare Summit, in order to bring leaders from across disciplines in the health care industry to tackle cutting-edge issues the industry is dealing with today. WellStar Health System also partnered with DiversityMBA to present the National Inclusive Leadership Healthcare Summit, bringing leaders together to begin a dialogue about the importance of health care reform practices, a subject that continues to stir discussion across the country. Genetic inheritance, personal behaviors, and access or lack thereof to quality health care, as well as the general external environment are common points of concern within the health care field. However, a closer look at the social determinants of health, and the influence of diversity and inclusion within the workforce, may provide the answers we seek when it comes to health care. Hot topics include community health, population health, diverse and inclusive leadership, and competency, and how each affects health care.
Profiles in Diversity Journal
Q&A with Walmart’s Greg Smith Greg Smith is executive vice president of Walmart’s vast supply chain network for both its brick-and-mortar and online businesses. In this role, Smith leads a team of more than 115,000 associates who work in 200 facilities across the country. Read on to learn why this leader champions diversity and inclusion and how he has brought that conviction to his role at country’s largest private employer.
PDJ: You’ve come to be known as a strong champion and advocate for diversity and inclusion within Walmart. Let’s start by learning a bit about you and why advancing diversity and inclusion is important to you personally. First of all, I have to acknowledge that I am answering this question as a white male and while the importance of diversity and inclusion feels deeply personal to me, it cannot compare to the personal feelings and experiences of others with more diverse backgrounds. That said, my thoughts on diversity and inclusion began as a young boy growing up in the segregated South. Segregation was a hot issue in our small town. Many of my friends were beat up on just because they looked different than me. My father grew up in a military family that exposed him to different cultures around the world. He didn’t believe in the segregation of our African American community members and knew that all people, regardless of the color of their skin, should be treated equally. I’m grateful for my father’s positive influence. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of the world just like my father did. When you leave the U.S., you quickly learn that people are just people, and our differences are something to appreciate and celebrate. It’s those differences that challenge our thinking and help us grow as individuals and as teams. All of that has come to shape my commitment to diversity and
inclusion. I know for a fact that I’m not better or smarter than anyone on my team. As a people leader, it is my job to foster an environment where everyone feels engaged and empowered to be themselves at work — because of their unique perspectives and backgrounds, not despite them. And that job is never done. It’s something I continually work on. PDJ: Tell us a little bit more about your leadership philosophy and how it has developed. When I was 22 years old, I had a profound experience thanks to my very first corporate mentor. I was put in a supervisory role responsible for 25 people, most who were at least twice my age and who had more experience than I could ever hope to achieve at that young age. My mentor, who was a full two levels above me, sat me down and told it to me straight. “Look, son, you’re never going to be able to learn the skills and knowledge that your team of 25 already has accumulated. So don’t even try. You don’t need to focus on what they know. In the capacity of a supervisor, you only have one job: unlock the power of your people.” The truth of what he told me hit me like a ton of bricks. That day, I realized something that has stayed with me throughout my career: It’s not about what I do. It’s about what my team does—and how I support those efforts—that makes all the difference. By helping my team be engaged, enabled, and empowered, we all deliver at our highest potential. My job is to
set the vision, increase capabilities, and remove the roadblocks and obstacles that stand in the way of unlocking their own true potential. The three Es (engaged, enabled, and empowered) are foundational to my leadership style and it’s something my leadership team focuses on with our team. It’s a culture we have the power to create as leaders, and that culture is where diversity and inclusion can thrive. When the workplace is diverse and everyone feels included, we have stronger teams and the business benefits. PDJ: In order to provide context for our readers, what are some of the unique diversity and inclusion opportunities that the logistics and supply chain industry faces, and how do these directly impact the organization you lead at Walmart? As Supply Chain began emerging as a critical functional capability in the 1980s and 1990s, the pipeline of talent—often coming through the manufacturing, engineering and distribution functions—was not very diverse. Over the course of my career, I’ve noticed a prevailing mindset— almost an excuse—that Supply Chain doesn’t have to be diverse because there isn’t a sufficient pipeline of diverse talent available. In 2020, that simply isn’t true. The data shows that many of the bestin-class Supply Chain universities are graduating highly diverse and highly capable talent, and it is simply incumbent upon us to ensure that we are recruiting strategically
I believe the power of different people with different perspectives gives me a better solution versus being myopically surrounded by people who think the same way as I think.
and casting a broad enough net when we recruit top talent at all levels of the organization. PDJ: Why is diversity and inclusion so important to Walmart? When it comes to diversity and inclusion, it’s important to mirror the communities in which we operate. In order for us to be the best retailer, we need to reflect our customer base. And with nearly 160 million people shopping with us each week, our customer base represents all of America. We still have work to do on that front, but it’s something we are working on as a company. A diverse workforce is also
more innovative, better at problem-solving and frankly delivers better business results. I believe the power of different people with different perspectives gives me a better solution versus being myopically surrounded by people who think the same way as I think. PDJ: How does a company the size and scale of Walmart approach diversity and inclusion strategy? At Walmart, we have a team, called our Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion, that focuses on helping our leaders and associates create an inclusive culture, where all associates are engaged to deliver on our purpose of saving
people money so they can live better. We intentionally think of diversity and inclusion in the context of our corporate culture because the Walmart culture is universal around the globe—from Bentonville to Shenzhen to San Bruno to Mexico City. The rationale is that if we integrate diversity and inclusion into the Walmart culture, we can operationalize it in such a way that it becomes an inherent part of our global DNA. The team’s work is driven by data, and each business unit, including Supply Chain, works with the team to develop an action plan unique to the area, based on insights from the data that addresses relevant focus areas across the talent life cycle.
PDJ: What are some of the initiatives and programs that you and your leadership team have implemented within Walmart’s Supply Chain organization that have made a noticeable impact on diversity and inclusion results? We’ve really tried to come at diversity and inclusion from all angles through a comprehensive strategy with four pillars (hiring/ promotion, recruiting, education, and environment). We now require diverse slates of both candidates and interviewers for all open positions at the director level and above, and we regularly review and track diversity metrics at leadership meetings. Our team’s inclusive education plan offers field and corporate office managers a variety of training opportunities and interactive
learning experiences on how to lead a diverse team, model inclusive behaviors, and fight implicit bias during decision-making. We also formed a women’s leadership council to champion the development of our female talent within the supply chain organization and launched Lean In Circles as a mentoring platform. One of the most impactful things we did as a leadership team was participate in a two-day Men Advocating for Real Change (MARC) immersive workshop. For those unfamiliar, MARC, led by Catalyst Inc., helps participants better understand the dynamics of privilege and how awareness by majority groups about the presence and effects of privilege could create a more inclusive environment. The purpose of this workshop was to focus on gender equality in the business world, how it is crucial to the success of
businesses with regard to morale and productivity in the workplace, and how each of us could better understand equity and equality for all. All of the Supply Chain senior leaders attended the training, so it was a big investment for us, but we all walked away better equipped to champion diversity and inclusion on our team. Personally, I participate in our company’s sponsorship program, which matches top talent with executive leadership as their advocate to fast track their career success. Of the 18 in my group, more than half are female or people of color. I’m so proud of the strides our team has made in the last few years, but I know the work will never be done. There is always more to learn and room to grow, and that’s the mindset I try to create. PDJ
Moving from Initiatives to Impact By Michael Stuber, the European D&I Engineer
ledges & partnerships, campaigns & charters: Publicly visible D&I initiatives have soared across countries and industries. Despite the substantial resources that are invested in these formats, evidence suggests that workplace and business realities continue to include racism, sexism, ageism, or homophobia—contrary to what the initiatives aim to convey. Hence, we should ask ourselves the following questions: • Are we prepared to reconsider whether we made the right assessments in the first place? • Are we willing to listen to critical voices as much as we “like” and “share” success stories? • Are we ready to critically reflect on our design to drive D&I-related change? Numerous public campaigns in which hundreds of blue chip corporations participate create the impression that D&I is top of mind
in the C-suite, in the HR world, and in operational business. The fact that the number of platforms and partnerships is growing suggests that the level of activity has been increasing. Such external efforts are, by definition, mainly geared towards external stakeholders, while they also reinforce internal messages of commitment. One side effect of this, however, is sometimes overlooked: Upper management, for example management boards or D&I councils, gets the impression that their organization is actually doing great and that nothing more could be done, nor anything better.
charge 20,000 to 50,000 EUR or USD per year. Engaging in several schemes therefore equals a significant investment, relative to the overall D&I budget. At the same time, more and more companies are increasingly relying on “voluntary” D&I engagement across leadership levels. This is explained by saying that D&I is everybody’s responsibility. While grassroots and voluntary engagement used to be the standard model (not necessarily appropriate everywhere) for ERGs, this approach is now spreading and applied to D&I champions (in-business or onsite), or regional or functional D&I co-leads.
Checkbook diplomacy plus grassroots engagement?
Investment versus impact
Looking at the substantial budgets companies are allocating to their participation in public programs, more questions arise: Campaigns and programs, often led by expensive “knowledge organizations,”
Looking at the long-term development of D&I, many agree that a lot has been achieved in terms of more equal opportunities for, as well as visibility and inclusion of, members of traditionally disadvantaged or marginalized groups. However, a Winter 2019–2020
widespread focus on gender and representational KPIs seems to superpose perceptions that clearly indicate that there is still a long way to go in terms of cultural KPIs that illustrate, for example, levels of belonging. Glassdoor, for example, found that some three in five U.S. workers experienced discrimination based on their age, race, gender, or LGBT identity. Regarding racism, 42 percent of American workers said they have experienced or seen this specifically. Similar picture in other geographies In the UK, one year after the national Race Disparity Audit, a
people from diverse background in the workplaces at large. Symbolic value versus changing paradigms Looking at the landmark activities of past years, many followed from the idea that impact can be created by activities of high symbolic value. This value could either be generated by stakeholders (usually from top two tiers) or by a strong focus on one issue (usually women in senior management or a former taboo topic). The belief that a few high-profile initiatives would, in combination with solid alignment of HR processes, create a change energy that would spill over into the wider organization
make progress, reap benefits, and be thoroughly successful, companies, their managers, and all employees need to change many more established assumptions, unwritten rules, and invisible norms. Otherwise, we keep reproducing them in the D&I field and new business models will eventually make the same D&I mistakes that were made in the old economy. Both are already happening: • Some D&I projects that dominate the field apply traditional mechanisms of power (e.g., protectionism, populism, or nepotism) and play too much by the established rules to be able to have a change impact on them. • Start-up firms from the past 15
The belief that a few high-profile initiatives would, in combination with solid alignment of HR processes, create a change energy that would spill over into the wider organization has apparently not been realized. survey found that BAME individuals experience vast everyday biases: 43 percent were overlooked for a promotion (vs. 18 percent for whites), 41 percent were assumed not to be British (due to ethnicity), 38 percent were wrongly suspected of shoplifting (vs. 14 percent for whites), and they were three times more likely to have been thrown out of or denied access to a restaurant, twice as likely to have experienced rudeness from a stranger or been mistaken for staff in a restaurant, shop, or bar, than whites. A lot more data from various countries relating to the topics of disability, LGBT, age, or migration provide vast evidence that there is a discrepancy between the public success stories, the focus on gender and representation, and related budget allocation on the one side, and the broader experience of
has apparently not been realized. Today, we know that this expectation was not realistic in the first place: Applying business methodologies (like setting harsh KPIs), selecting two or three key issues and delegating engagement in the name of “inclusion” has little chance of having an impact on complex corporate cultures that were formed and stabilized over decades. Without a strong change mission, no impact can be expected The digital transformation provides a strong example: It is clear that almost everything will change for almost everyone, as business becomes more and more digital. For D&I, we need to become just as clear, going forward: In order to
years, often in hi-tech fields, were expected to create a new business culture; however, many of them have achieved neither improved numbers nor cultural realities that reflect D&I any better than the old-school corporate model—a model that the new startups have looked down upon, at times. Both examples show that a more critical, self-aware, and certainly, much deeper look at D&I issues, including corporate processes and above all, corporate and leadership cultures, is required in order to be impactful going forward. A more thorough review of some relevant issues and four steps to address them, can be found in the special section “Resilient D&I” in the previous issue of this magazine (Fall 2019). PDJ 49
Hopeful About 2020
By Janet and Gary Smith, Ivy Planning Group
ome of you remember the fear associated with the dawning of the year 2000 known as Y2K. There were predictions that on January 1, 2000, moving from 1999 to 2000, a computer bug would cause all hell to break loose. Computers would be unable to function, causing all manner of dysfunction in banking systems, utilities, and infrastructure. We squirreled away canned goods, water, and cash, just in case we couldn’t access them on January 1. Well, we survived just fine 20 years ago. That’s good to know as we approach a new decade. As we gear up for 2020, there are several reasons to be concerned. Topping the list is the upcoming U.S, presidential election—a source of polarizing conversations that are sure to find their way into our workplaces, increasing exclusion and stress. But as our company gears up to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, we’re pausing to think about decades of progress. And that has given us hope. Here are a few of the reasons we’re hopeful about 2020, and why we think you should be too.
The Gig Economy A friend told me that everyone needs three things—a career, a job, and a side hustle. I thought to myself, well I’m in trouble because I’m missing two of those! The gig economy is real. The gig economy, defined as a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts and freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs, has started to change employees’ workplace behaviors in ways that can help diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Once upon a time, a worker landed a job, and stayed for 30+ years, until retirement when they then received a nice gold watch. The tacit employer-employee contract was one of longevity, security, and mutual loyalty. Both sides did their part. For example, skills training and apprenticeships were viewed as investments in employees that would yield fruitful returns. After all, where else could they go? It was a convenient yet imperfect arrangement that included among other things an expectation that employees would do
their best to “get along and go along or else.” So much has changed! Today’s typical entry-level new hire doesn’t expect to stay with the company until retirement. I’ve sat in on interviews where candidates are comfortable framing their tenure with a prospective employer as a “few years.” Most companies are hesitant to invest in comprehensive company-wide training programs. They’d rather hire someone already trained by another company. They consider it wasteful to invest in staff who they expect will leave after a few years. And today’s employees are much more comfortable “fighting the system” because they view the “get along, go along” mentality as an outdated concept. Seeing yourself as a short-timer might contribute to having more courage to speak up. The willingness of today’s workforce to speak up can be good for DEI. No longer silenced, we are able to get the diverse perspectives and diversity of thought that we seek. And although it’s challenging and not much fun to hear complaints,
it’s better to know the reality of the workplace experience, so you can fix the real problems. The gig economy has also increased the workforce’s understanding of, and appreciation for, how business actually works. Business acumen is a competency that we need—particularly from our emerging leaders. Getting a side hustle (depending on the job you have, and the gig you get) can be like enrolling in an MBA program. Suddenly, people who had little interest in how the business operates, start to notice the importance of marketing, supply chain management, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. While they may not be using these terms, their real-life efforts to find work, do work, and get paid, suddenly focuses their attention in new ways. If properly harnessed, when coupled with a change in how you feel about it, this will be good for business— improving workforce productivity and retention.
The 2020 Census Nothing captures the attention of people the way data does. Understanding the reality of demographic changes helps drive DEI actions. So we’re so excited about the 2020 Census. We’re convinced that people of color underreport—particularly Latinx and black/African American people—so the opportunity to raise awareness, and therefore raise census participation, is critical, exciting, and necessary. We know from census data that the majority of U.S. children (ages 0–11 years) are people of color. Think about how knowing that one piece of data can impact your company. How are buying patterns changing for younger consumers or the
“This can be the year that you message your DEI commitments and your calls to action. It won’t bust your budget to do it either. What are you waiting for?” people that consume for them? The more accurate the data, the better your decision making can be. Data from the 2020 Census will be used to determine representation in Congress, and how resources are allocated for infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and so on. We encourage you to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to raise awareness, canvas your neighborhoods, and do everything you can to insure that we know who America really is. It would be a great project for your DEI Councils, employee resource groups and business resource hroups. Go to 2020census.gov for information on how to be a partner.
Social Media Social media is a powerhouse. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram (yes I said Instagram) have become the best ways (second only to referrals) to identify passive candidates. Have you thought about the fact that important—really important—announcements are now made via Twitter? Yes, even the President of the United States has made important announcements, including the hiring and firing of cabinet members and policy decisions via Twitter. All of this has given the use of social media even more credibility. It has become a norm. Some of you might be thinking, “I’m tired of social media! I thought you were focusing on the good things.” We can’t ignore the bad behavior that is
fueled using social media. Yet all indicators signal that social media is not going away soon. And there’s great lemonade to be made out of these lemons. Social media quickly reaches millions of people around the globe. It’s an incredibly cheap, efficient way to reach people. And that’s the opportunity. Collaborating to build networks, disseminate messaging, and efficiently and effectively drive diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes. As Gen X and Millennials now dominate today’s workplace, it’s time to use the communication vehicles that resonate with them. This can be the year that you message your DEI commitments and your calls to action. It won’t bust your budget to do it either. What are you waiting for? 2020 means perfect vision. What’s your perfect vision for DEI in your organization? It’s going to be an amazing year. Go for it! PDJ
Janet Crenshaw Smith and Gary A. Smith Sr. are the cofounders of Ivy Planning Group, a 30-year-old consulting and training firm. Ivy won the 2018 Profiles in Diversity Journal Innovations in Diversity Award. Profiles in Diversity Journal has also named Gary and Janet Diversity Pioneers and Diversity Leaders.
Debunking Four Myths About Reskilling and Upskilling
Avoid the pitfalls that could impact the career growth of women and people of color in the digital age By Donald Fan
he future of work and the underlying global reskilling challenge were among the hottest topics discussed at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2019. The discussion addressed the emerging skills gaps arising from greater use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. With the unprecedented speed of change and uncertainty technology is causing, more and more organizations and chief learning officers are strategizing to deal with this new challenge as a business imperative and competitive advantage. In this article, I want to zoom in on and debunk some related myths, so organizations will intentionally include and engage diverse talent, while putting together a blueprint and roadmap for reskilling and upskilling efforts.
Myth No. 1: Women and people of color will compete equally in the digital transformation. Debunk: Automation-led job loss will impact women and people of color more significantly. While digital technology and automation speed up to raise productivity, cut cost, and outperform the competition, they also present a real human threat to today’s workforce in various forms like job loss, skill scarcity, and a severe talent war in a tight labor market. During this disruption, women and people of color workers are more likely to fall victim. According to a McKinsey study, job losses for African Americans in the U.S. could affect 4.5 million individuals—10 percent more than the general population—in the next
ten years, and globally, automation could force more than 100 million women to find new occupations by 2030. In his recent book, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age, Microsoft President Brad Smith writes, “When your technology changes the world, you bear a responsibility to help address the world you have helped create.” To prevent growing inequality in the digital shift, organizations should be intentional in fostering an inclusive and enabling environment, where diverse talent enjoys the fair share of reskilling, upskilling, new technology adoption, and development opportunity. In the meantime, organizations morph their expectation of employees from efficiency to ability in broadening value creation by
exploring new frontiers. Given future-proof competencies and new opportunities for everyone, organizations can maximize the full potential of an agile and diverse workforce to win the competition. Take my employer, Walmart, as an example. In the past few years, the company has committed $2.7 billion to workforce training and wages. Diverse employees are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to increase their learning agility. In just three years, more than 1.1 million frontline employees have graduated from the 200 Walmart Academies, acquiring the new knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to succeed in the competitive retail landscape of the future. Among the million graduates, 62 percent were female; 37 percent, people of color; and 36 percent, over the age of 45. Centering around its vision of “Everyone Included,” Walmart’s Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion extends the inclusive leadership curriculum with a combination of workshops, training sessions, interactive learning activities, and a video library with discussion guides to teach its managers how to foster an inclusive culture, lead a diverse team, and make value-based and bias-free decisions. These systemic endeavors aim to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the talent career cycle and ensure that everyone enjoys fair chances to fulfill their full potential in the workplace. Myth No. 2: Automation and machines will replace humans and make jobs disappear. Debunk: Automation means that jobs will be done differently, not that jobs will disappear. In the report “The Future of Jobs 2018,” the World Economic Forum
calculated that while 75 million jobs will be displaced worldwide through automation between 2018 and 2022, as many as 133 million new roles could be created. According to McKinsey’s research, currently demonstrated technologies could fully automate only about 5 percent of jobs. A range of additional labor demands of between 21 percent to 33 percent of the global workforce (555 million and 890 million jobs) by 2030, more than offset the number of jobs lost.
readiness for different roles. In a short period, the company has created 30,000 new jobs for its grocery pickup service. Today, the company offers the LinkedIn Learning platform with unlimited access to more than 14,000 online courses covering numerous subject areas, including business, technology, management, and many more. With mobile 24/7 access, employees enjoy the autonomy of taking classes wherever and whenever they want at their own pace.
Rather than being lost or gained, many jobs will be changed, as machines complement human labor in the workplace. Organizations need to provide employees with the skills to fulfill new roles, highlighting the need for reskilling at-risk workers. With various learning programs presented in the workplace, employees can choose the ones aligned with their career aspirations and learn to close gaps in their knowledge, skill, and ability. Keep in mind that, during the digital transformation, what we ultimately ought to protect is humans, not jobs. While reassessing current jobs, what if we shift the focus of employees from executing routine tasks to identifying unseen problems and seeking breakthroughs? While machines take over repetitive tasks, employees can focus on serving customers, learning, and applying new skills in problem-solving. Walmart has opened various channels to raise employee
Walmart also joins with IBM and the Consumer Technology Association’s Apprenticeship Coalition to help its employees train for new IT jobs. The program enables participants to learn by doing and facilitates employee growth from learner, with a classroom understanding of a topic, to practitioner, skilled at capability delivery, to expert, with the ability to lead. Myth No. 3: Reskilling and upskilling training eclipses the quest for formal education. Debunk: Formal education lays a solid foundation for career growth and lifelong learning, and it can’t be replaced by skill training. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Dr. George Kuh points out that “workplaces, societal institutions, and the world order are only going to get more complicated and challenging to navigate and manage, increasing the need for people with accumulated wisdom,
interpersonal and practical competence, and more than a splash of critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and altruism.” He also notes that there are “no short cuts” to enabling people to deepen learning, develop resilience, and convert information into action. Reducing education to bolster productivity is shortsighted for many reasons. He expects that many learners from traditionally underrepresented groups will likely gravitate toward these shorter and less expensive training programs at the risk of delaying, or denying themselves, a foundational baccalaureate degree. When we shift employee requirements from acquiring specific skills to laying a solid foundation
• Cost: The company covers most (if not all) of the cost of tuition upfront through initiatives like its $1 a Day College program and free college preparation, high school diploma, and foreign languages. The company also reimburses the cost of required books and fees. • Convenience: Flexible online classes, enable employees to learn whenever (and wherever) is best for them; take as many or as few classes as they want; and pick a program with a class format that works for them. Rolling start dates
learning soft skills and transformable competencies. If reskilling and upskilling concentrate only on teaching digital and tech skills, the efforts will miss out on a broad base of employees, especially women and people of color. With its analysis of changes in skill demand from 1988 to 2030, Deloitte concluded that the future of work is about humans. The skills in demand have evolved from work of the hands (manual labor), to work of the head (cognitive labor), to an emerging need for work of the heart (e.g., soft skills such as judgment, resolving conflict, and customer service). Although robots and AI change
As a part of reskilling and upskilling efforts, organizations should consider making higher education for employees both accessible and affordable.
for future growth, we help them increase learning agility and equip them with the capability to spot and solve unknown puzzles. As a part of reskilling and upskilling efforts, organizations should consider making higher education for employees both accessible and affordable. Walmart offers its employees a choice of flexible, online education programs from top schools and universities through its education benefit, Live Better U, a program characterized by four Cs—choice, cost, convenience, and coaching: • Choice: When employees go back to school with Live Better U, they can choose from a variety of program options and
enroll at the school that’s right for them.
allow employees to get started whenever they’re ready. • Coaching: Program participants receive free education coaching throughout their entire education journey. The coach helps out every step of the way. Snce its inception in 2018, Walmart’s $1 a Day College program has served about 15,000 employees; 58 percent of the participant have been women and 42 percent, people of color. Myth No. 4: Reskilling and upskilling efforts should only focus on teaching new tech skills. Debunk: Reskilling and upskilling shouldn’t exclude
the nature of work, augmenting both work of the hands and work of the head, humans will increasingly need to attend to nonroutine work of the head (e.g., generating insights) and work of the heart (e.g., collaborating with diverse teams to make complex decisions). Historically, schools, universities and workplaces have mainly focused on developing and rewarding technical skills (e.g. data analysis). Therefore, the supply of employees with people skills is being outstripped by the growing demand. This report argues that investment in the following three areas will lead to a more skilled, satisfied, and engaged workforce: 1) skills, in particular, soft skills, 2) better designed, inclusive and
With its analysis of changes in skill demand from 1988 to 2030, Deloitte concluded that the future of work is about humans.
diverse workplaces, and 3) greater flexibility. Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, authors of the book “The 100-Year Life,” believe that we’re transitioning from the three-stage life, full-time education, full-time work, full-time retirement, to the multistage life where education, career, and retirement are blended. To live that life, we need to be healthy and more important, constantly learning. The fastest learners and the fastest at applying the new knowledge will live a fulfilling 100-year life. Walmart urges it 2.3 million employees worldwide to be lifelong learners and promises the digital transformation to be “people led and tech empowered.” The company means to compete with technology, but win with people. Teaching soft skills along with digital skills is essential in the reskilling and upskilling
curriculum. Walmart Academy designs learning programs that are in line with the company’s transformation road map, global leadership competencies, employees’ career progression, and skills gaps. The learning journeys are tailored to meet both business and employee needs, and apply new technology to enable the desired outcomes. For example, the Walmart Academy adopts the digital solution, Virtual/Augmented Reality, to allow participants to enter 360-degree virtual representations of real-world scenarios, where they are asked to make choices based on what they see in the presented context. Through different ways of learning—a classroom setting, mobile training, virtual and augmented reality for an immersive experience, and reinforcement activities, the Academy fundamentally changes what, how, and where employees learn. It helps them
become lifelong learners and fulfill their professional aspirations. Raising the bar on development means raising the bar on a range of business and social outcomes. Using design thinking, growth mindset, advanced technology, and inclusive culture, organizations and HR executives can build the right solutions and learning experiences for everyone in the workplace to be well positioned to take on new challenges. These intentional efforts and practices can help us foster a competitive future workforce and turn “winner take all” into “no one left behind” in the digital era. PDJ Donald Fan serves as Senior Director in the Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.
Diversity and Inclusion Learnings from My 24 Years at BP By Tyrone Mitchell, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
started working at BP 24 years ago, after studying mechanical engineering at Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, DC. Since then, I‘ve gained a lot of experience in various roles: working as a unit engineer at the Yorktown Refinery in Virginia; an operations superintendent at the Texas City Refinery; and as operations manager for BP’s pipelines and terminals for the company’s East of the Rockies business, to name a few! After two decades, my career underwent a huge transfor-
mation: I became the diversity and inclusion manager for the Fuels North America Business. What led to this change? I’d experienced what it feels like to be the only black person in the room and found myself asking questions related to diversity and inclusivity. I was then lucky enough to be in a position where I was tasked with providing the answers. As 2020 gets underway, I’ve decided to reflect on three key learnings from the past 24 years and, more generally, what it means to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion.
Learning 1 – Encourage people to find their own voices For me, diversity and inclusion is all about empowering others. While it may seem like a small barrier, it takes courage to find your voice in a room where you are the only person who looks different. One of the reasons I wanted to get into this space was to work out how I can continue to make pathways for others, whether for minorities or women. When I look back, this is something that underpins all the advances I managed to
push forward in the diversity and inclusion space. It’s about taking a step back, listening, and encouraging others to find the confidence to speak up. This is advice I have had to follow myself, especially when working with the leadership team to discover how best to approach diversity and inclusion strategically. I had to encourage others to look at things through a diversity lens to ensure that our work was impactful. Ultimately, we have been able to help transform BP’s company culture to one of accountability. This is something I am incredibly proud of. Now, the diversity ambitions we have are clear—we want
business works. They provided me with a varied set of skills and created an understanding of the challenges faced by employees. As a diversity and inclusion manager, it is important to be able to understand the whole business and what each segment is trying to achieve. A compressive understanding leads to increasingly successful diversity and inclusion initiatives, and streamlined ways of working. I’ve learned that it is important to broaden your horizons, and I am proud that I was able to find the courage to try something new. Because you’re an engineer doesn’t mean you can’t understand people just as well as equipment!
BP participates in is called the Executive Leadership Counsel, where African American employees can meet black CEOs from around the country and learn from their experiences how to navigate the workplace. One key lesson I learned was how to set up my own “board of directors” to ensure that I am performing and that I am being coached from different perspectives. All in all, it was a very valuable experience. My takeaway would be this: Own your own development. Companies put a lot of money into training their employees, so take advantage of the opportunities!
For me, diversity and inclusion is all about empowering others. While it may seem like a small barrier, it takes courage to find your voice in a room where you are the only person who looks different. to do more in this space and are not okay with ignoring our own faults.
Learning 3 – Take advantage of training programs you have available
Learning 2 – Be proud of your career background
Throughout my career I’ve been supported whenever I’ve needed to step up and become a leader. I have been involved in several company-provided leadership courses. And when I wanted to develop specific skills, BP provided me with an executive coach to help me understand what I needed to do differently. Training should be varied—it doesn’t always have to be in a traditional lecture format. I’ve learned a lot from more informal processes. One program
I’m an analytical person and I love helping people solve problems. If I didn’t work for BP, I’d probably be a counselor. I learned a lot from my engineering background and have been able to bring my analytical and investigative skills to my HR role—a perspective that has proved invaluable. My formative years as an engineer with BP gave me a unique view of how the
Conclusion Since I joined the company 24 years ago, I have learned a lot and am proud of the strides we have made to become a more inclusive place to work. But we have to be realistic and recognize that there is more work to be done. I do not doubt that there is plenty still to learn. We are ambitious, and because of this ambition we are moving in the right direction. To anyone seeking to embark on a similar journey, I suggest you encourage others to find their voices, embrace their backgrounds, and take advantage of all the training opportunities available. PDJ
Overconfidence, the Pitfall of Programming and Policy By Amanda J Felkey, PhD
o date, companies have relied heavily on programmingâ€” speakers, workshops, and training sessionsâ€”to raise awareness about diversity and enhance inclusion in their workplaces. The Society of Human Resource Management reports that diversity department budgets, among companies in the Fortune 1000, range from $30,000 to $5.1 million, with an average of $1.5 million, annually. A report by Axios revealed that Google has spent more than $265 million since 2014 to bolster their diversity initiatives and enhance their reporting of diversity outcomes. Researchers estimate U.S. companies spend more than $8 billion annually on diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging efforts. Almost half of these departments
report that their budget is spent on training programs. In spring 2018, New York City budgeted $23 million to be spent on bias training for public school employees. While programming is well intended, and a cost-effective way to convey information to large numbers of people, it is limited in its ability to effectively enhance inclusion because of how we learn. In fact, it may even thwart our inclusion efforts, as it fosters overconfidence about our inclusion competencies and crowds out individual efforts to be more inclusive.
Forgetting What We Learn People quickly forget what they learn. In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus,
a German psychologist, developed the forgetting curve to demonstrate the exponential rate at which individuals forget information if there is no effort made to practice or retain it. The red line in figure 1 shows how Ebbinghaus predicted information is forgotten after first exposure. Without effort to retain the new information, it is nearly all forgotten within a week. He extended his study to examine how effort to retain the new information in the form of practice after first exposure can mitigate the forgetting effect. The forgetting associated with practicing the information one, two, and three days after first exposure is depicted by the green lines. Several researchers have confirmed that the forgetting function takes this exponential shape and
that we forget much of what we know relatively quickly. Recent studies demonstrate that the effects of mass communication of persuasive ideas are subject to rapid decay (Hill et.al., 2013; Murre & Dros, 2015).
The harsh reality is that, even if all parties— the programmers and attendees—are well intentioned, most people will forget most of the information conveyed.
Figure. 1 Memory
The Forgetting Curve
5 4 3 Time remembered (days)
A typical representation of the forgetting curve. (Image by Icez, from the Wikimedia Commons.)
The fact we forget so much so quickly does not bode well for the programming efforts we hope will revolutionize inclusion in the workplace. The harsh reality is that, even if all parties—the programmers and attendees—are well intentioned, most people will forget the majority of the information conveyed. No matter how dynamic the speaker or how inspirational the message, information we do not diligently work to retain will mostly be forgotten. The fact that our workdays are inundated with emails, slack messages, and social media alerts makes it difficult to find available time and effort to follow up and work toward retaining the important inclusion message. People also forget more quickly information that is contrary to their current beliefs and attitudes. In a 1940s study, a story of male-female conflict, in which the woman was portrayed as superior, was presented to high school students. The young men forgot the content more rapidly
than did the young women over a four-week period (Clark, 1940). Another study, during the same decade, gave pro- and anti-Communist paragraphs to individuals with different political views. The subjects retained information that aligned with their political leanings for longer periods of time (Levine & Murphy, 1943). This suggests that those who could benefit most from inclusion programming are those who will forget its content more swiftly. The limits of DEI programming are exacerbated by the way companies naturally scale these efforts. Companies start with small interactive workshops to create buy in and due to costs move quickly to speakers and training sessions that focus on conveying large amounts of material to as many people as possible. Even cheaper per person, the next step is a move to online training, where companies hope to engage even more individuals in learning about inclusion. As DEI programming progresses along this path its impact declines. There is a large body of research on teaching modalities and learning that boils down to what Mahatma Gandhi told us, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
Programming and Overconfidence Overconfidence is well documented and practically universal. People think they can spell better than they actually can—they claim they are 100 percent confident, while they are only correct 80 percent of the time.
People think they are above average drivers—93 percent of Americans think they are above the 50th percentile when it comes to their driving. People think they are great leaders—98 percent of high school students believe they are above average leaders. People tend to think they can finish tasks in a shorter time than it actually takes them—they overestimate how diligently they will work on tasks. People are overconfident in their investing—a survey of 300 professional fund managers found 26 percent believe they are average and 74 percent believe their performance is above average. Overconfidence is bolstered and reinforced by our tendency to blame our failures on factors outside our control, while attributing our successes to our own decisions and actions. Among the three types of overconfidence, overprecision is the most important to the evolution of inclusivity. Overprecision is the propensity to put undue confidence in one’s beliefs. This means if our brain has a bias about other people, we overestimate the probability that any given biased thought is correct and are thus less likely to acknowledge that bias. For example, consider the stereotype that blondes are unintelligent and the reality that intelligence is independent of hair color. If this is one of your unconscious biases, then it will affect your assessment of blondes and the overprecision bias will make you all too confident in your quick assessments. The independence of intelligence from hair color means half of all blondes have above
average intelligence. The stereotype that blondes lack brains would suggest that you associate a probability of less than half with any blonde person you meet being intelligent. This means that when you meet your next blonde coworker, you will unconsciously adjust your assessment of the person’s intellect downward. Because you are also susceptible to the overprecision bias, you will be confident this biased assessment is unbiased. Overconfidence leads to suboptimal outcomes for both the individual and society. Investors who are overconfident have the greatest propensity to trade because they believe they can pick the next great stock and outsmart the market. Research has
case systematically made individuals more confident in their answers. Yet their accuracy was largely unaffected. Their confidence increased from 33 to 53 percent, while their accuracy remained statistically consistent at 30 percent. Oskamp’s study demonstrates that more information may change nothing but overconfidence. If DEI training does not actually change behavior or biases, but merely makes people more confident in their behavior, then the training accomplishes nothing more than making people feel better about their exclusion. In the case of DiAngelo’s white progressives, it is possible that inclusion training and DEI programming are what led them to feel so confident in their enlightenment.
Overconfidence is bolstered and reinforced by our tendency to blame our failures on factors outside our control, while attributing our successes to our own decisions and actions.
found the underperformance of these overconfident traders is three times as large as average underperformance among all traders (Odean, 2000). In the same way, overconfidence leads you to firmly believe your blonde coworker is not terribly smart, which justifies in your mind marginalization during business interactions. With your overconfident misconception that your coworker is less intellectually capable than average, you will be less likely to seek meaningful collaboration, less likely to assign difficult tasks, and less likely to invest in that coworker’s success. All these actions, which adversely affect your coworker, are the result of society telling you blondes are not so smart and your overconfidence in that bias.
A more pungent example of how our biases and overconfidence comes from the provocative book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, by Robin DiAngelo. She asserts that white progressives do the most damage to people of color. DiAngelo defines white progressives as white people who believe they are less racist and more enlightened about race than others—they are white people who believe they “have arrived.” They are individuals who are overconfident that they are bias-free and unapologetically continue to act according to their biases. The overconfidence of white progressives makes them believe they do no harm to others through unconscious bias, while in
actuality, their biases remain, and they have simply ceased to acknowledge they are there. Unfortunately, DEI programming and unconscious bias training can exacerbate overconfidence and unintentionally thwart inclusion. Stuart Oskamp, an emeritus professor at Claremont Graduate School and an expert in attitudes and attitude change, conducted a study demonstrating increased exposure to information does not necessarily make people more accurate. However, it does increase their confidence in their accuracy. He asked subjects to read a case study in sections and after each section, to answer questions about the case and document how confident they were in their answers. Additional information about the
Training may have fostered a false sense of confidence about inclusivity. With the false confidence that their actions are now in line with their inclusive intentions, individuals will be less likely to notice and examine their exclusivity in daily practice and it will perpetuate.
Policy and More Overconfidence Confidence and success go hand in hand. According to the American Confidence Institute, we are attracted to confidence for several scientific reasons, and this attraction may be the reason confident people are so successful. When a confident person comes up for promotion, our attraction to their confidence may make their promotion more likely. The
halo effect will lead us to believe that because this person is confident, they are also smart and have other specific characteristics that will make them successful in the more demanding role. So confidence can cause success. As illustrated in figure 2, the causality may run the other way, where success breeds more confidence. Recall my earlier discussion of our tendency to attribute success to our own decisions and actions and attribute failures to circumstances. Since our leaders have had more successes, they have had more opportunities to attribute achievement to their own capabilities. As a result, their confidence has grown at an above average rate.
… increased exposure to information does not necessarily make people more accurate. However, it does increase their confidence in their accuracy.
A 2006 study by Gokul Bhandari and Richard Deaves explored whether overconfidence varies systematically among people. Focusing on whether someone believes he or she is correct, Bhandari and Deaves measured certainty, knowledge, and overconfidence among 2,000
Regardless of whether success causes confidence or vice versa, the association between the two is theoretically solid and well documented. This means overconfidence is more prevalent among our leaders, so they will be more prone to overconfidence in their judgments and decisions. Our attraction to confidence supports a social mechanism by which those that are most affected by the overconfidence bias are those in the most powerful positions in our society. This means our organizations’ leaders are the most overconfident of their inclusivity, and efforts to combat exclusion may be hindered at the policy level. Overconfident individuals will not prioritize continued change in the realm of inclusion because they are overconfident that existing changes in the area of inclusion are already the best and most correct.
Canadian investors. They found that highly educated males are most susceptible to the overconfidence bias. While there is no distinguishable difference in knowledge, the average certainty level among men is 46 percent and only 37 percent among women. The data also shows that overconfidence is significantly more likely among individuals with higher incomes. The likelihood of overconfidence among those who make more than $100 thousand a year is 81 percent, while the likelihood among those making no more than $50 thousand is 68 percent. In an analysis that accounted for all the measured demographic variables simultaneously, they isolated the potential effects of each variable on making an individual more certain and even overconfi-
dent. Bhandari and Deaves found that being male, being older, having more education, and having a higher income are all significantly associated with higher levels of certainty and a propensity to be overconfident. Intuitively, it makes sense that these characteristics affect certainty and overconfidence in a positive way, but when it comes to inclusion innovations, this finding is troubling. If our policymakers are overconfident, they are more likely to have full confidence in policies they have already endorsed, even if those policies are based on a limited worldview. Their confidence will make them less likely to reconsider and revise current policies because they hold the overconfident belief that what they have already designed or endorsed is correct. PDJ Dr. Amanda J Felkey has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Economics from Cornell University and a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from eCornell. She has authored award winning publications, is actively researching unconscious bias, has 20 years of experience in decision-making research and 15 years of experience in curriculum design. Felkey currently teaches at Lake Forest College where she is Chair of the Department of Economics, Business and Finance and Chair of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.
Where are they now...
Over the past 19 years, PDJ has recognized more than 2,000 Women Worth Watching in the pages of our magazine. For this issue, we decided to find out what some of our past Award recipients are up to now, and share the news with our readers. In the following pages, we catch up with 24 past Women Worth Watching, who have been promoted, started their own companies, taken on new roles, or moved into entirely new fields of endeavor. These are dynamic women who welcome challenges and embrace change. Read on, and discover where their professional journeys have taken them.
Dr. Rhonda Medows CEO, Ayin Health Solutions
Where are they now...
Dr. Rhonda Medows, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2013, recently became chief executive officer of Ayin Health Solutions. She is also president of population health at Providence St. Joseph Health. Previously, Medows served as an executive vice president and chief medical officer at UnitedHealth, commissioner for the Georgia Health Department of Community Health, secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Southeast Region. Medows earned her bachelorâ€™s degree at Cornell University and her medical degree at Morehouse School of Medicine. She practiced medicine at Mayo Clinic and is board certified in family medicine.
President, ABM Aviation Group
Where are they now...
A 2013 Woman Worth Watching, Alex Marren was recently named president of ABM’s Aviation Group, where she is responsible for all aspects of the company’s global aviation business, providing service to airlines and more than 75 airports across the U.S., UK, Ireland, and the Middle East. Prior to joining ABM, Marren served as senior vice president for onboard services at United Airlines, and held leadership positions with People Express, Express Jet, and Rent-A-Car Operations in North America for Hertz Corp. Alex earned her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and graduated from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management certificate program.
Where are they now... Josephine Liu
Head of U.S. IP Litigation, Sandoz Inc. Josephine Liu, a 2013 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, today serves as head of U.S. IP litigation at Sandoz Inc., where her practice focuses on patent litigation of biopharmaceutical cases for Sandoz pipeline products and manages the company’s U.S. IP Litigation team. Prior to joining Sandoz, Liu, a registered U.S. patent attorney, practiced law as counsel at Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider LLP and senior associate Goodwin Procter LLP, where she tried high-profile patent infringement cases involving pharmaceutical products in several federal district courts. Liu earned her JD at Fordham School of Law, her PhD in bio-organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Cornell University.
Chief Financial Officer, Ally Financial
Where are they now...
Jennifer LaClair, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2013, was appointed chief financial officer by Ally Financial in 2018. In this role, she is responsible for the oversight of the companyâ€™s finance, accounting, supply chain, treasury, and capital market activities. Prior to joining Ally, LaClair spent ten years at PNC Financial Services, serving most recently as head of the business bank. Earlier in her career, she was a consultant with McKinsey and Company. LaClair holds a Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelorâ€™s degree from the State University of New York, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Where are they now...
Senior Vice President, New York Life & Chief Executive Officer of New York Life Investment Management
A 2013 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, Yie-Hsin Hung now serves as Senior Vice President of New York Life and Chief Executive Officer of New York Life Investment Management LLC (NYLIM). Prior to joining New York Life in 2010, Hung served in leadership roles at Bridgewater Associates and at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where she led a number of efforts, including the firmâ€™s strategic acquisition activities and its private equity and hedge fund businesses. She began her investment banking career Morgan Stanley, focusing on real estate. Hung earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and her MBA from Harvard University.
Where are they now... LaDoris G. Harris
Chairman & CEO, Jabo Industries, LLC A 2013 Woman Worth Watching, LaDoris Harris is cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Jabo Industries, a minority-woman-owned engineering management consulting firm focused on the energy, information technology, logistics, and healthcare industries. Nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012, Harris served for five years as the director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Previously, Harris held leadership positions at General Electric Company (GE) and ABB, Inc. Earlier, she was a field services engineer and services manager with Westinghouse Electric Company. Harris holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina and an MS in technology management from Southern Polytechnic State University.
Tara D. Elliott Partner, Latham & Watkins
Where are they now...
Tara D. Elliott, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2014, joined Latham & Watkins as a partner in 2018. She has also served as a director for Christiana Health Care System for several years. Before joining Latham & Watkins, Elliott was a partner with WilmerHale and principal at Fish & Richardson. She also served as a law clerk for two federal judges and worked as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. Elliott earned her JD at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her bachelorâ€™s degree in computer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technlology.
Vice President of Inclusion & Diversity, Apple
Where are they now...
A 2014 Woman Worth Watching, Christie Smith has served as vice president of inclusion and diversity for Apple since 2017. Prior to joining Apple, Smith held several leadership positions at Deloitte, including national managing principal for Deloitte University Center for Inclusion and managing principal west region for Deloitte Consulting LLP. More recently, she served as interim head of human resources for Grail, Inc. Smith earned her PhD in clinical social work (focus, IO psychology) at New York University and her masterâ€™s degree in social work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jerseyâ€“New Brunswick.
Deputy General Counsel, Enterprise Risk, Regulatory & Audit (ERRA),Wells Fargo & Company
Where are they now...
Suzanne Alwan, a 2014 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, today serves as deputy general counsel, enterprise risk, regulatory & audit at Wells Fargo & Company. After joining Wells Fargo in 2007, Alwan initially advised and consulted the leveraged finance and loan syndications groups, and later served as managing counsel for the capital markets banking group. Alwan earned her JD at Duke University School of Law and her bachelorâ€™s degree (summa cum laude) in English language and literature at Arizona State University.
Anita Allemand, PharmD
Senior Vice President, Population Health Solutions, Optum
Where are they now...
Anita Allemand, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2014, recently joined Optum as senior vice president, population health solutions, a segment committed to managing the total cost of care, reducing risks, and improving outcomes. Prior to joining Optum, Allemand held leadership positions at CVS Health and CVS Caremark Corporation. Earlier in her career, she served a post-doctorate managed care pharmacist residency with Walgreens Health Initiatives, held pharmacist positions at two hospitals, and work in research and development at Abbot Laboratories. Allemand holds a PharmD from Midwestern University and a bachelorâ€™s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Director, Russell Tobin & Associates, LLC
Where are they now...
A 2014 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, Lori Eaton recently joined Russell Tobin, a professional recruitment and staffing advisory firm, as a director. In this role, she is responsible for the growth and development of the St. Louis office. Before joining Russell Tobin, Eaton served as president of NextGen Information Services and earlier in her career, as a technical recruiter for Comsys. Eaton earned her MBA, as well as her BBA in business administration and management, from Lindenwood University.
Head of National Accounts, Centivo
Where are they now...
A 2015 Woman Worth Watching, Gillian Printon recently joined Centivo, a health plan administrator that allows self-funded employers and clinicians to join forces and deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare to their employees, as the firmâ€™s head of national accounts. Prior to joining Centivo, Printon held multiple leadership roles, including the position of senior partner, during her 23-year tenure with Mercer. Earlier in her career, she served as manager of account services at Anthem BCBS, and manager of employee benefits at AIG. Printon earned her bachelorâ€™s degree in international studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Privacy and Data Security Consultant
Where are they now...
Heather Zachary, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2015, today is a privacy and data security consultant, advising both Fortune 100 companies and intrepid startups and sharing her considerable experience in privacy, data security, cyber, and consumer protection law. Previously, Zachary was an attorney with WilmerHale for more than 15 years, most recently in the role of partner. Early in her career, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Susan P. Graber, U.S. Court of Appeals. Zachary earned her law degree from Yale Law School and her bachelorâ€™s degree in political science and government from the University of Southern California.
Nancy Santiago Negrón Community Impact Lead, Ureeka
Where are they now...
A 2015 Woman Worth Watching, Nancy Santiago Negrón recently took on the role of community impact lead at Ureeka, an organization committed to increasing economic opportunity and reducing risk for small to medium businesses. Prior to joining Ureeka, she served in leadership roles at Hispanics in Philanthropy, Reach Higher, and Opportunity Finance Network. She also served in the Obama administration, working with the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, and on task forces focused on Puerto Rico and equal pay issues. Santiago Negrón holds a Master of Education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in communication and political science from Temple University.
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina
Where are they now...
Danielle Gray, a 2015 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, recently became senior vice president and chief legal officer at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina. During her career, Gray has served as assistant to the President during the Obama administration, a partner with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and to U.S. Court of Appeals judge Merrick B. Garland. Gray earned her law degree at Harvard Law School and her bachelor’s degree in economics and public policy at Duke University.
Business Unit Manager, Georgia Power Company
Where are they now...
Tanzania Adams, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2015, was recently promoted to the position of business unit manager by Georgia Power Company. Previously, Adams served in several roles at Georgia Power, including product manager, marketing regulatory affairs manager, and project manager. Earlier in her career, she worked in product development and marketing at Southern Company, and held marketing and engineering positions at Alabama Power Company. Adams earned her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at University of Alabama.
Emerging Business Leader–Product, Sonos, Inc.
Where are they now...
A 2015 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, Deirdre Leid now serves as an emerging business leader at Sonos, Inc., an innovative audio company focused on sound systems for the home. Before joining Sonos, Leid was a global business unit manager with HARMAN, a marketing and business operations professional at Bose Corporation, and a manufacturing supervisor with Texas Instruments. Earlier in her career, she served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard. Leid holds an MBA from the Babson F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Where are they now... Kristy Williams Fercho
Executive Vice President & President of Mortgage, Flagstar Bank A 2015 Woman Worth Watching, Kristy Williams Fercho was recently named executive vice president and president of mortgage by Flagstar Bank. As president of mortgage, Fercho is responsible for the direction and oversight of all aspects of mortgage and secondary marketing. Prior to joining Flagstar, Fercho served as senior vice president at Fannie Mae for more than a decade. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions in human resources at PepsiCo and Baxter International. Fercho received her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University’s Erivan K. Haub School of Business and her bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Southern California.
Kim Chavez Schleiff Chief Marketing Officer, GE Aviation
Where are they now...
Kim Chavez Schleiff, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2016, today is the chief marketing officer for GE Aviation. Previously, Schleiff served in several managerial and leadership roles with Textron Systems, Greenlee Textron, Inc., and Textron, Inc. Earlier in her career, she was a market research analyst with E-Z-Go Textron, Inc. and State Farm Insurance, and a marketing consultant with Arvest Bank. Schleiff earned her bachelor’s degree in English and computer application programming from the University of Notre Dame, and completed leadership programs at Duke University–The Fuqua School of Business, Northwestern University–Kellogg School of Management, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ramandeep Grewal Partner, Stikeman Elliott LLP
Where are they now...
A 2016 Woman Worth Watching, Ramandeep Grewal was recently named a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP. In addition to her practice, Grewal helps educate practice group members regarding legal, regulatory, and market developments through continuing legal education, publications, and presentations. Prior to her 16-year tenure with Stikeman Elliot, she was an associate with Goodman and Carr LLP. And early in her career, she served as a law clerk to the chief justice and justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Grewal holds a JD from the University of Detroitâ€“Mercy School of Law, an LLB from the University of Windsor, and a BAS from York University.
Zarina Lam Stanford Chief Marketing Officer, BackOffice Associates
Where are they now...
Zarina Lam Stanford, a 2016 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, recently joined BackOffice Associates as the companyâ€™s chief marketing officer. Previously, Stanford served as CMO for SAP Asia Pacific and Japan, and as global VP of marketing in software and systems business units and VP of marketing for North America, growth markets, at IBM. Stanford holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a BA in journalism from the University of North Texas. She is also a Marketing Academy CMO Fellow and a graduate of the Asian Advanced Leadership Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Where are they now... Dorothea Henderson
Vice President, Business Aviation & Digital Solutions, Collins Aerospace Dorothea Henderson, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2016, today serves as vice president of business aviation & digital solutions for Collins Aerospace. Before joining Collins Aerospace, Henderson held the positions of vice president of core technology services for Boston Scientific and vice president of technology services and operations for Rockwell Collins. She also served in leadership roles with ARINC, and ARINC, Inc. Earlier in her career, she worked as a financial analyst at Lockheed Martin. Henderson earned her bachelorâ€™s degree in finance and accounting from Penn State University.
President & CEO, Arizona Forward
Where are they now...
A 2016 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, Lori Singleton recently joined Arizona Forward, an organization that advocates for a balance between economic development and environmental quality, as president and CEO. As the new head of Arizona Forward, Singleton will advocate for improved use of waterways, promote policies to make Arizona a leader in autonomous and connected vehicle adoption, advance canal redevelopment, and collaborate to solve Arizonaâ€™s forest health issues. Before joining Arizona Forward, Singleton spent nearly 42 years at Salt River Project, most recently as the director of emerging customer programs for solar sustainability and telecom.
Cofounder & CEO, Nubix, Inc.
Where are they now...
A 2016 Woman Worth Watching, Rachel Taylor cofounded Nubix, Inc., a container platform that makes it easy to develop and deploy IoT and edge applications, and presently serves as the companyâ€™s CEO. Taylor is an operational executive with more than 20 years of enterprise infrastructure technology experience. Previously, Taylor served as an advisor to TextRecruit and JobRobin, and as COO of Rocana. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions at Cloudera, ClearSlide (acquired by Corel Corp), Meraki, Inc. (acquired by Cisco), Colera Corporation, Peakstream (acquired by Google), Riverbed, and VMware.
CORPORATE INDEX BOLD DENOTES ADVERTISER BLUE PAGE NUMBER OF AD
ABM Aviation Group............................................................................................................................................................... 65 Ally Financial............................................................................................................................................................................. 67 Apple............................................................................................................................................................................................. 71 Arizona Forward...................................................................................................................................................................... 86 Ayin Health Solutions............................................................................................................................................................. 64 BackOffice Associates........................................................................................................................................................... 84 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina.................................................................................................................... 78 BP.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 56 Centivo......................................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Collins Aerospace.................................................................................................................................................................... 85 Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)........................................................................................................... 12 Dechert LLP................................................................................................................................................................................ 14 Excellus BlueCross BlueShield............................................................................................................................................. 16 First Horizon National Corporation.................................................................................................................................... 18 Fish & Richardson.................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Flagstar Bank............................................................................................................................................................................. 81 GE Aviation................................................................................................................................................................................ 82 Georgia Power Company...................................................................................................................................................... 79 HP.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 22 Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.............................................................................................................................................. 24 Idaho National Laboratory.................................................................................................... inside front cover Ivy Planning Group................................................................................................................................................................. 50 Jabo Industries, LLC............................................................................................................................................................... 69 KPMG................................................................................................................................................... back cover Latham & Watkins................................................................................................................................................................... 70 LinkedIn....................................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP................................................................................................................ 7, 28 New York Life......................................................................................................................................... 3, 30, 68 New York Life Investment Management.......................................................................................................................... 68 Nubix, Inc.................................................................................................................................................................................... 87 Optum.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 73 Russell Tobin & Associates, LLC.......................................................................................................................................... 74 Sandia National Laboratories..................................................................................................................... 6, 32 Sandoz Inc................................................................................................................................................................................. 66 Sonos, Inc................................................................................................................................................................................... 80 Stikemand Elliott LLP............................................................................................................................................................. 83 Sunrun, Inc................................................................................................................................................................................. 34 Tata Consultancy Services.................................................................................................................................................... 36 Ulmer & Berne LLP....................................................................................................................................... 4, 38 Ureeka.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 77 Walmart, Inc....................................................................................................................................................................... 40, 52 Wells Fargo & Company........................................................................................................................................................ 72 WellStar Health System......................................................................................................................................................... 42
Profiles in Diversity Journal invites your organization to participate in our 19th Annual Women Worth WatchingÂŽ special celebration issue.
Nominate one of your most influential women executives. This special issue will showcase the 2020 Women Worth Watching from companies, organizations, and nonprofits around the world. Those nominees selected for participation will receive a detailed and professionally written feature article in the publication, complete with their color photograph and corporate logo. The write ups dedicate an entire page to each woman and bring acclaim to their companies for promoting womenâ€™s leadership within the ranks. Learn more about this special edition and review Women Worth Watching profiles at:
www.womenworthwatching.com Nomination Deadline is April 17, 2020
Inclusion. Because balance comes from the strength of many. At KPMG, we are committed to building a diverse workforce. We believe in our culture that strives for equity and values the unique experiences and qualities essential to leadership, innovation and success. We achieve this goal by providing valuable career opportunities for everyone. KPMG is proud to have been recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of its Top 10 Innovations in Diversity winners for “KPMG’s Leadership Essentials Series.” kpmg.com
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Profiles in Diversity Journal Winter 2019–2020 Issue, Diversity Leader Awards