Profiles in Diversity Journal Fourth Quarter Magazine 2021

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® 2021 Fourth Quarter

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Why Globalizing Diversity And Inclusion is The Right Business Decision Where Are They Now ...

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DIVERSE ORGANIZATIONS Worth Watching

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To Women Everywhere: We Must Advocate for Ourselves

Innovations in Diversity

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A Four-Step Strategy to Battle the Great Resignation

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Worth Watching

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LEADERS

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Next issue: 2022 Latino Leaders Worth Watching & Diversity Leader Awards


INCLUSION INSPIRES INGENUITY At AMD, our mission is growing a diverse, inclusive workforce that embraces different perspectives and experiences to foster innovation, challenge the status quo, and drive business performance.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR

2021 Black Leaders Worth Watching! AMD is proud to have these three leaders Yolanda Williams, Terrence Lewis, LaKesha Small – among this year’s award winners.

That’s why we foster a culture of diversity and respect — because the future of thought leadership depends on it.

Yolanda Williams

Terrence Lewis

LaKesha Small

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT AMD.COM


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

David Toth VECTOR FLAG ATTRIBUTION

vectorflags.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Profiles in Diversity Journal Gemini Towers #1 • 1991 Crocker Road, Suite 600 • Westlake, OH 44145 Tel: 440.892.0444 • Fax: 440.892.0737 profiles@diversityjournal.com SUBSCRIPTIONS

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REPRINTS: profiles@diversityjournal.com EDITORIAL: profiles@diversityjournal.com PHOTOS & ARTWORK: art@diversityjournal.com FOLLOW US AT:

issuu.com/diversityjournal 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

www.womenworthwatching.com

Dear Reader: As we complete this last issue for 2021 in our ongoing Leadership Series, we are reminded of how we all have encountered new and difficult challenges this year. When all is said and done, we have remained resilient. Our team has been diligent and focused, while living with a pandemic, uncertainties, and disruptions of information and connections. If you’ve followed PDJ over the years, you already know that our mission is to shine a bright light on companies and individuals who are doing innovative and creative work in our chosen field of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. Our pages introduce a myriad of people from all backgrounds who have pledged their current work life to understanding, innovation, and leadership. Our strong collaboration with organizations, over the past two decades, demonstrates a unique sustainability of commitment and support. Our current issue includes several important articles and almost 50 Black Leaders Worth Watching profiles. Each profile includes a personal essay written by the featured leader. The many points of view shared in these pages are illuminating and encouraging. Our nomination and application process attempts to capture meaningful information about each leader and provide each one with ample space to share his or her opinions and views regarding what is important. This essay feature brings each profile to life. We congratulate all the Black Leaders Worth Watching. We also thank the organizations that participated in PDJ’s Innovations Awards, as well as those organizations that provided applications for the Diverse Organizations Worth Watching—a new award for 2021. Join us now, as we forge ahead to honor organizations and individuals who by their resilience and leadership, show us the way toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world. Happy New Year to All! Jim

James R. Rector Publisher & Founder Since 1999

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IN THIS ISSUE

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PUBLISHER’S COLUMN

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EDITOR’S COLUMN

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DIVERSE ORGANIZATIONS WORTH WATCHING

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A FOUR-STEP STRATEGY TO BATTLE THE GREAT RESIGNATION

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WHY GLOBALIZING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IS THE RIGHT BUSINESS DECISION

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2021 INNOVATIONS IN DIVERSITY AWARDS

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TO WOMEN EVERYWHERE: WE MUST ADVOCATE FOR OURSELVES (PART 2)

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SUPPLIER DIVERSITY PROGRAMS CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON MILLIONS

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BLACK LEADERS WORTH WATCHING AWARDS

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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

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Diverse Organizations Worth Watching PDJ is excited to bring this award to the magazine. For the first time, we are looking for, inviting, and presenting organizations that live and breathe diversity, inclusion, and equity. These are companies, nonprofits, and educational institutions for whom DEI is fundamental to their being, and foremost among considerations in everything they do and every strategy they develop. Meet our first Diverse Organizations Worth Watching Award recipients in this issue.

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CONGRATULATIONS CHEYA DUNLAP Honeywell congratulates Cheya Dunlap, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, for being named a 2021 Black Leader Worth Watching™ in Profiles in Diversity Journal. It’s your leadership and commitment that creates an inclusive culture where diversity is respected, celebrated and valued. Inclusion and Diversity is a foundational principle at Honeywell and our commitment starts at the top.

www.womenworthwatching.com

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A Four-Step Strategy to Battle the Great Resignation According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August of last year and 4.4 million quit in September. How can employers stop this workforce hemorrhage? Donald Fan of Walmart offers four effective steps you can take to keep the great employees you have.

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Why Globalizing Diversity And Inclusion is The Right Business Decision Traci Wade discusses the importance of globalizing diversity and inclusion. Although we in the United States tend to think of problems surrounding diversity and inclusion as American issues, they are indeed concerns around the world. This global head of diversity and inclusion for Oracle, a company with customers in 175 countries, explains why globalizing diversity and inclusion is good business.

The singular power of diversity Dechert is a global law firm dedicated to seeking and nurturing diverse viewpoints and experiences to develop the highest caliber of talent, leadership and service for our clients. We’re proud of our recent achievements – and eager for the continuing growth and progress to come. n n n n n

Best International Firm for Diversity – Euromoney, Americas Women in Business Law Awards, 2021 Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality – Human Rights Campaign – 2021 (for the ninth consecutive year) Mansfield Plus 4.0 Certification – Diversity Lab, 2021 Diversity Leader Award – Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2021 100 Best Companies, Best Companies for Multicultural Women, Best Companies for Dads, and Inclusion Index – Seramount, 2021

D Ad - Profiles in Diversity - 10-21-1.indd 1

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dechert.com/diversity Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

10/25/2021 4:14:23 PM

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EDITOR'S COLUMN

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” –Philo of Alexandria There is no doubt about it. We’re living through a stressful, anxiety producing, confusing, and certainly, uncomfortable time. Our lives have been disrupted in all sorts of ways. And, for many, work hasn’t merely been made virtual, it has been interrupted by layoffs that last for an indeterminate period of time, or ended, when their place of employment finally could not “wait it out” and the owner made the difficult decision to close for good. Our civil and social discourse has become so fractious that many of us can’t—or don’t want to—find any common ground on any issue. We have come to see each other as people we may not be able to trust. We don’t believe government officials. We distrust the motives of experts. We don’t put much stock in the news. We want life to be the life we’re used to— the life we generally enjoyed—and we think that if we could figure out “who’s to blame,” we could end this disruption and find our way back to normal. But the fact is, there is no one person or group to blame. There is no easy answer. It’s just a difficult and worrisome time, and the best we can do is treat each other with respect, acknowledge the humanity of our fellow beings, act toward both friends and strangers with kindness, and maybe help when and where we can. And, we need to just keep going until we come out on the other side. And, we surely will. In the meantime, these lines from Josh Radnor seem to me to be words to live by: It's not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even—or rather, especially—when we'd prefer not to be. As always, thanks for reading.

Teresa Fausey Associate Editor

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2021 Innovations in Diversity Awards For 18 years, Profiles in Diversity Journal has recognized the innovations of organizations committed to improving and expanding diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace. We are equally proud to share this year’s ambitious and transformational innovations in diversity from some of the world’s leading companies— programs and initiatives that are taking DEI to a new level. One of our featured innovations may be your company’s next best step.

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To Women Everywhere: We Must Advocate for Ourselves In Part 2 of her series of articles about the importance of advocating for yourself, Microsoft chief digital officer, Bhavana Bartholf, offers women five important steps to take in order to effectively advocate for themselves. This article builds on and evolves from her first article, which appeared in PDJ’s previous (Q3, 2021) issue.

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Supplier Diversity Programs Can Have an Impact on Millions Although diversity and inclusion efforts are usually internal concerns for most companies, co-authors Brian Hall and Donovan Casanave of Shell tell readers why it is equally important to cultivate, support, and encourage greater supplier diversity. Efforts to increase supplier diversity can “build those businesses, so that they can have their own positive impact on their community—an impact that sometimes can extend for generations.”

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Congratulations Fritz E.R. Jeffries III and Stacey Walker The Profiles in Diversity Journal has recognized two Freddie Mac leaders for their exceptional leadership, mentorship and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Through their advocacy, perseverance, and professional achievement, they are making a difference and have earned the distinction of being a Black Leader Worth Watching. At Freddie Mac, our focus on an inclusive workplace makes us a stronger company, drives innovation, supports our mission to make home possible, and allows for leaders, like Fritz and Stacey, to shine.

Join our team at careers.freddiemac.com

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2021 Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards Profiles in Diversity Journal is extremely proud to bring readers our second class of Black Leaders Worth Watching Award recipients. They are extraordinary individuals who have blazed new trails, mentored the next generation, and advanced the cause of diversity and inclusion. Get to know them and join us in celebrating their achievements.

Celebrating Together Congratulations Thais Sullivan for being recognized as one of the Black Leaders Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our communities and the businesses that help them thrive.

© 2021 Valley National Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender. All Rights Reserved. VLY4173

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Where are they now? Catch up with another 12 past Women Worth Watching Award recipients and find out what they’ve been up to professionally. Whether they have moved up the career ladder, joined a new team, or struck out on their own, their contributions and achievements continue to impress and inspire.

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Coporate Index Check out the list of organizations that appeared and/or advertised in this issue. Their contributions are invaluable.

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP congratulates our partner Marcus A. Barber on his recognition as a 2021 Black Leader Worth Watching.

Kasowitz’s core focus is commercial litigation, complemented by our exceptionally strong bankruptcy/restructuring and real estate transactional practices. We are known for our creative, aggressive litigators and willingness to take on tough cases.

kasowitz.com

www.womenworthwatching.com

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2022 Awards Calendar

AWARD INFORMATION

2022

LATINO LEADERS Worth Watching

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$:$5'

Magazine Issue - First Quarter 2022

AWARD INFORMATION

• Magazine Issue: Q1 2022 • Featured Awards: Diversity Leaders • Nominations Open: Open Now • Nominations Close: January 14, 2022 • Winners Announced: January 2022 • Publication Date: March 2022

• Magazine Issue: Q1 2022 • Featured Awards: Latino Leaders Worth Watching • Nominations Open: Open Now • Nominations Close: January 14, 2022 • Winners Announced: January 2022 • Publication Date: March 2022

Nominate Today!

Apply Today!

2022

AWARD INFORMATION

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ASIAN LEADERS Worth Watching

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

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Magazine Issue - Second Quarter 2022

AWARD INFORMATION

• Magazine Issue: Q2 2022 • Featured Awards: Women Worth Watching in STEM • Nominations Open: Open Now • Nominations Close: February 18, 2022 • Winners Announced: February 2022 • Publication Date: June 2022

• Magazine Issue: Q2 2022 • Featured Awards: Asian Leaders Worth Watching • Nominations Open: Open Now • Nominations Close: February 18, 2022 • Winners Announced: February 2022 • Publication Date: June 2022

Nominate Today!

Nominate Today!

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Magazine Issue - Third Quarter 2022

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NATIVE AMERICAN INDIGENOUS LEADERS Worth Watching

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DIVERSITY

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in Leadership

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Women Worth Watching®

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• Magazine Issue: Q3 2022 • Featured Awards: Women Worth Watching in Leadership • Nominations Open: March 1, 2022 • Nominations Close: April 15, 2022 • Winners Announced: April 2022 • Publication Date: September 2022

• Magazine Issue: Q3 2022 • Featured Awards: Diversity Teams • Nominations Open: March 1, 2022 • Nominations Close: April 15, 2022 • Winners Announced: April 2022 • Publication Date: September 2022

• Magazine Issue: Q3 2022 • Featured Awards: Indigenous Leaders Worth Watching • Nominations Open: March 1, 2022 • Nominations Close: April 15, 2022 • Winners Announced: April 2022 • Publication Date: September 2022

Magazine Issue - Fourth Quarter 2022

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• Magazine Issue: Q4 2022 • Featured Awards: Black Leaders Worth Watching • Nominations Open: August 1, 2022 • Nominations Close: Sept 16, 2022 • Winners Announced: Sept 2022 • Publication Date: December 2022

• Magazine Issue: Q4 2022 • Featured Awards: Innovations in Diversity • Nominations Open: August 1, 2022 • Nominations Close: Sept 16, 2022 • Winners Announced: Sept 2022 • Publication Date: December 2022

• Magazine Issue: Q4 2022 • Featured Awards: Organizations Worth Watching • Nominations Open: August 1, 2022 • Nominations Close: Sept 16, 2022 • Winners Announced: Sept 2022 • Publication Date: December 2022

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DIVERSE ORGANIZATIONS WORTH WATCHING

Their Diversity Is in their DNA … The organizations featured in the following pages live their commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity every day … and in everything they do. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are preordained when it comes to recruitment and hiring, promotion and advancement—in fact, every aspect of career advancement and professional growth. Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to honor these diversity high achievers and share their stories, their strategies, and their successes with you, our readers. We invite you to peruse the following profiles and get to know these admirable organizations. We think you’ll like them as much as we do. We’re sure you will also encounter pearls of wisdom, be moved by deep insights, discover best practices, and take delight in creative ideas that your company, school, or nonprofit organization may be able to benefit from and apply in your own workplace.

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Organization Name: Sephora Headquarters Location: San Francisco, California Organization Website: www.sephora.com Industry: Retail Number of Employees: 13,510 CEO: Jean-André Rougeot Diversity Leader: George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga Diversity Leader Title: Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion

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1. Number of minority, women, or members of other underrepresented groups that are currently C-level executive at Sephora; Five a. Number of members of the above-mentioned groups that have been added in the past three years: Three

2. Number of minority, women, or members of other underrepresented groups that currently serve on the Sephora board of directors: Sephora does not have a board of directors.

3. The diversity make-up of Sephora: Sephora approaches diversity in a number of ways. In June 2020, Sephora made several renewed commitments to bring long-standing values of the brand to life. We pledged to make the Sephora experience more inclusive and equitable, for our team members, clients, and the broader beauty community. To realize these commitments, we created a holistic strategy named the Sephora D&I Heart Journey, supported by 11 internal D&I task forces and a detailed Action Plan — including marketing, merchandising, hiring, training, operations and the in-store experience — to tackle bias across all aspects of our organization. We continue to work every day to create an inclusive environment for all. In July 2021, we announced the progress we’ve made across the business, examples include: • At the end of 2021, we more than double our assortment overall, including achieving the 15% benchmark in prestige haircare. • In Marketing, Black-owned brands now comprise 15% of Sephora’s total social and digital content; To broaden inclusion for Sephora’s Latinx clients, we have doubled the number of Spanish-language YouTube videos produced each month

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• To make our retail experience more inclusive and welcoming, we created 20 new inclusivity training modules required to be taken by all Sephora retail employees, including a series which trains all Sephora employees to recognize and mitigate their unconscious biases. *Full progress report can be viewed here. We also continue to hold ourselves accountable to increase representation across all areas of the business. As of November 2021, our workforce is made up of: • 67% People of Color • 18% Black/African American • 82% Female Identifying Leadership in our US stores, distribution centers and corporate offices is comprised of: • 45% People of Color • 10% Black/African American • 75% Female Identifying

4. Sephora’s Pipeline-to-Leadership program for women and members of minority and other underrepresented groups: Sephora has developed three Emerging Talent Programs to help us build a strong pipeline of underrepresented candidates. We implemented an internship program for undergraduate students, a Rotational Management Program in our corporate offices, and a scholarship program for students pursuing a licensed career in beauty. • Internship program: In the summer of 2021, Sephora hired 43 interns from diverse backgrounds, including students from the Drexel Co-Op program. More than 50% of these early career professionals self-identify as talent of color.

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• Rotational Management Program: Most recently introduced in 2021, summer interns will be eligible to apply for a full-time position in our newly created Rotational Management Program, which will be launching in mid-2022. This program is designed to support a diverse talent pipeline and build our future inclusive leaders. Applicants who are hired will be offered a role in each of three participating functions— Marketing, Merchandising, and Inventory Management—to learn our core business processes and store operations. • Sephora Scholarship: The Sephora Scholarship Program is designed to empower BIPOC students pursuing a licensed career in beauty through professional training and education. This annual, year-long program provides participants with tuition for cosmetology and esthetician school, a paid internship at Sephora, first-hand industry experience, mentorship, and access to open roles following graduation. A total of five states are participating, and the program has welcomed 31 scholars in 29 different stores. Similarly, in our continued commitment to create an inclusive space for our employees, Sephora’s distribution centers are leading the way by creating accessible environments that welcome talent with disabilities. A structured nine-week training program, a commitment to equal pay for equal work, and equitable performance standards are some of the ways we respect the dignity of our employees with disabilities and value talent in all its forms. Our employees can expect state-of-the-art facilities that help simplify and streamline our processes to expand employment opportunities for our diverse workforce.

Additional Support Programs In May 2021, we launched the Sephora Talent Incubator Program (STIP), our first-ever structured mentoring and coaching program inclusive of underrepresented talent of color. This one-year program

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is designed to build the next generation of culturally competent and diverse leaders by readying them for next steps. In addition to mentoring and group coaching tracks, STIP offers a culturally oriented individual coaching track. The cohort consists of 50 mentees and 28 mentors, comprising women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups.

5. Pay parity for women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups at Sephora: Sephora engages in ongoing efforts to maintain competitive compensation in each market, and fairly and appropriately compensate all employees, regardless of their gender or race.

6. Sephora’s Diversity and Inclusion statement: At Sephora, our diversity and inclusion mission is simple: To never stop championing all beauty fearlessly and building inclusive environments for our employees, consumers, and communities. In 2019, Sephora announced a new tagline and manifesto, “We Belong to Something Beautiful,” to reinforce our dedication to fostering belonging among all clients and employees, and to publicly strive for a more inclusive vision for retail in the Americas. In 2020, Sephora launched our Diversity and Inclusion Heart Journey to support our vision of becoming the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Champion in the retail industry. • How it is shared with jobseekers, employees, and the public: This is shared across all internal and external platforms, including communications to clients, employees, and our communities (brand partners, vendors, and others) • How Sephora’s Diversity and Inclusion statement informs the organization’s hiring practices and interactions with employees, customers, and the community:

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Sephora is committed to the recruitment of and support for employees of color, starting with new resource tool kits for hiring managers, expanded partnerships with associations dedicated to the advancement of underrepresented talent, incorporation of diversity, inclusion, and equity goals as part of annual performance metrics for all corporate and retail team members, and 100 percent compliance with foundational unconscious bias training for all new hires. We are increasing the frequency and depth of employee training and adding new modules that offer strategies to identify bias and foster inclusive behaviors in the workplace and in the shopping experience.

7. Programs, policies, or initiatives Sephora currently

We have implemented and will be launching several additional programs aimed at career development and advancement across our communities—from aspiring makeup artists to corporate interns to executives. We launched the Sephora Talent Incubator program to develop the next generation of culturally competent, diverse leaders. This one-year program offers structured mentoring and coaching to 50 managers across our corporate, distribution center, and store teams.

8. Sephora’s Culture Statement:

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has in place to ensure fairness and inclusion in the recruitment and hiring process: • Unconscious bias training • Diverse hiring team • Inclusive job descriptions • Sourcing from nontraditional talent pools and diverse groups • Participation in virtual D&I Career fairs like the Black MBA conference, sourcing partnerships with HBCUs (Drexel co-op program and Jumpstart)

We Belong to Something Beautiful Sephora has been an industry-leading champion of diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment, guided by our longstanding company values. In 2019, Sephora announced a new tagline and manifesto, “We Belong to Something Beautiful,” to reinforce its dedication to fostering belonging among all clients and employees and to publicly strive for a more inclusive vision for retail in the Americas. Sephora continues to give back

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to our communities and advance inclusion in our industry through its social impact and equity programming, called the Sephora D&I Heart Journey.

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11. Honors/recognition for the organization’s diversity efforts awarded during the past three years:

Forbes

9. Current ERGs supported by Sephora: Sephora supports nine Employee Resource Groups, known as our SephoraIN Communities: • EllesVMH (Women’s empowerment) • Mi Gente (Latinx Community) • Green Team (Environment) • InspirAsian (AAPI Community) • Sephora Noir (Black & African American community) • Sephora Prism (LGBTQ+ community) • SephorAbility (Employees with disabilities) • Working Parents Group • Women Who Tech

• America’s Best Employers for Women 2019, 2020, and 2021 • America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2019 and 2021 • America’s Best Employers for New Grads 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021

Human Rights Campaign Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices, and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees. Sephora achieved a score of 100 and earned the designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Disability Matters 2021 Marketplace Award

10. Sephora’s Supplier Diversity program: At Sephora, supplier diversity means building a strong base of suppliers, with 51 percent of the ownership of designated diverse background. It encourages the growth of underrepresented businesses; promotes innovation through new products, services, and solutions; and drives competition among the company’s existing and potential suppliers. Sephora collaborated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, a nonprofit advocacy group, to establish best practices and start building our Supplier Diversity Portal, which we launched in July 2021. New suppliers are encouraged to register at this portal, which will increase visibility and help reach our goal of doubling our current diverse spend by the end of 2022.

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Recognizes corporations around the globe that are leading the way in mainstreaming disability in three categories: Workforce, Workplace, and/or Marketplace in an annual awards ceremony and conference.

Runway of Dreams’ Pioneer of Change Award The Runway of Dreams Foundation (RODF), a nonprofit organization working toward a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.

The Arc 2021 Catalyst Award The Arc of the United States is an organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization was founded in the 1950s by parents of people with developmental disabilities.

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Tom Daigle

Daphne King

Julie Jennings

Organization Name: GEI Consultants, Inc. Headquarters Location: Woburn, Massachusetts Organization Website: www.geiconsultants.com Industry: Consulting–A&E Number of Employees: 985 CEO: Ron Palmieri Diversity Leader(s): Co-Chair D+I Committee Daphne King; Co-Chair D+I Committee Tom Daigle Executive Sponsor: Julie Jennings Diversity Leader(s) Title(s): Co-Chairs, Diversity + Inclusion Committee

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1. Number of minority, women, or members of

4. GEI posts/publishes its organization values:

other underrepresented groups that are currently C-level executive at GEI:

Organization values are published on GEI’s external website and at various locations internally, including these:

Our 6-member executive team includes one woman and one minority individual (16% women and 16% people of color). a. Number of members of the abovementioned groups that have been added in the past three years: One minority member was added.

2. Number of minority, women, or members of other underrepresented groups that currently serve on the GEI board of directors: GEI’s Board of Directors comprises ten people, including three women and two members of a minority group; current board make-up is 30% women, and 30% people of color. a. Number of individuals from these groups added during the past three years: Two new women and one minority were added in the past three years, although a smaller number of women and minorities have served longer. According to Deloitte, in 2020, among Fortune 100 companies, boards consist of 28.2% women and 20.6% minorities on average; GEI meets or exceeds these statistics as a privately owned mid-size firm.

3. The diversity make-up of GEI: • • • • •

female–35% ethnicity–17% disability–1.56% veteran–2% LBGTQiA–.93%

a. Pay parity for women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups at GEI:

• https://www.geiconsultants.com/careers/ possibility/ • GEI Company Culture video on YouTube: • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= po0AP5IXLhE

5. Programs, policies, or initiatives GEI currently has in place to ensure fairness and inclusion in the recruitment and hiring process: • Unconscious bias training for HR team members and hiring managers • Cultural competence training for HR team members and hiring managers • Diverse hiring team • Inclusive job descriptions • Sourcing from nontraditional talent pools and diverse groups • Use of AI

6. Current ERGs supported by GEI: GEI X2–ERG supporting women in the company The organization is currently developing a framework to greatly expand ERGs, in 2022 and beyond.

7. Honors/recognition for the organization’s diversity efforts awarded during the past three years: Five Women Worth Watching®: Francine Dunn & Gill Gregory in 2018; Amber Ahles, Ileen Gladstone & Rachel Hayden in 2019

8. GEI produces a Diversity Annual Report

GEI has achieved pay parity and performs an annual review to make sure there is no disparate impact.

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A FOUR-STEP STRATEGY to Battle the Great Resignation By Donald Fan, Senior Director, Global Office of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Walmart

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he last several months have witnessed a tidal wave of resignations in the United States and worldwide. On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Labor Department announced that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September (roughly 3% of the nation’s workforce,) up from 4.3 million in August and far above the prepandemic level of 3.6 million. And it’s not over. Gallup’s research reveals 48 percent of employees are actively looking to make a change, and Personio research shows nearly

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one out of four employees will do so in the next six months. Corporate America is struggling on two fronts: record attrition numbers and a severe worker shortage. In August, more than 10.4 million positions remained unfilled across the country. Many organizations seek a quick fix—increasing pay, offering bonuses, and adding perks—to fight the war. If organizations behave as if this is their only ammunition against checking out and walking out, they unwittingly send the wrong message to their people—that their relationship with them is transactional and that the only reason for employees to

stay is a paycheck. Research uncovers the motivational effect of pay raises is short lived. Many employers don’t fully understand why employees are leaving. A recent McKinsey study indicates that employers seem to overlook the relational elements that are driving this employee exodus. The better move for organizations to pivot on is respecting, recognizing, and valuing the contributions and impact of their people. They need to develop a comprehensive strategy in the workplace, starting with understanding their people’s needs and demands—the real drivers of attri-

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tion. The finding from McKinsey’s research reveals that the top three factors employees cited as reasons for quitting were these: employees didn’t feel valued by their organizations (54%) or their managers (52%) or they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work (51%). Noticeably, employees of color were more likely than their white counterparts to say they left because they didn’t feel they belonged within their teams or organizations. It’s a worrying reminder of the underrepresented groups of employees. To help stem the tide, I recommend the 4-step strategy to the left. 1. Engagement. Explore various channels for listening, learning, and understanding employees’ top-ofmind issues and the state of their discontent, especially among women and employees of color. More important, be responsive to employee feedback and make changes to course correct. If employees don’t see any changes made after listening sessions, they believe their input, experience, and knowledge aren’t valued. Employees want to be respected as individuals, so it’s important to acknowledge various needs and wants within the workforce and appreciate diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Provide psychological safety for employees as a resource for sharing, exchanging, risk-taking, vulnerability, and emotional response, instead of an end state that prioritizes “being nice” while stifling dissent and honesty. Harvard professor Amy Edmondson defines psychological safety as a shared belief among employees that they can bring their whole self to work without fear of humiliation if they speak up with ideas, questions, concerns, or even mistakes. Google’s People Operations team finds psychological safety is the number one indicator of successful teams. And it has a direct tie with the great resignation. For those looking for a new job,

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Business leaders must set an exceptional example of inclusive behaviors. A habit-breaking approach to racial and gender bias leads to behavioral changes and an improved work climate. their sense of psychological safety rating is significantly lower (3.1/5 vs. 3.6/5) than those not looking. Communicate the realities of challenge and its impact on your people. Create space for them to step up, participate, and inform the way forward with innovative ideas. Engage them to shape the plan, so they have a sense of ownership while executing projects, removing career barriers, and resolving issues. This practice sends the crucial message that they are trusted and valued. Your outcomes are better when more ideas are included, fuller representation is present, and diverse voices are heard. With dramatic shifts in where work gets done, clear, consistent communication should be a top objective for organizations and leaders, as it helps employees stay on track and maintain priorities. According to the Workhuman survey, when workers have weekly check-ins, they are twice as likely to see a path for growth within the organization, find meaning and purpose in their work, trust their manager, and have a strong sense of belonging at work.

End Game A myriad of touchpoints to engage employees and align their experiences with the organization’s purpose and culture

Enabler Connection, respect, psychological safety, sense of belonging

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2. Leadership. According to LinkedIn, 75 percent of people quit their jobs to get away from their manager at some point in their career. Non-inclusive behaviors by a manager remain the number one reason people quit their jobs. People exit because they don’t feel fairly treated, respected, and valued. Business leaders must set an exceptional example of inclusive behaviors. A habit-breaking approach to racial and gender bias leads to behavioral changes and an improved work climate. Amid an influx of resignations, genuine displays of empathy from leaders and managers can make an enormous difference. Teach inclusive leadership (commitment, courage, curiosity, cognizance of bias, cultural intelligence, and collaboration)—a cornerstone of effective management that fosters trust-based relationships. An inclusive leader lifts overall engagement and performance, and strengthens talent retention—even in times of crisis. CEOs and C-suite executives must walk the talk. In their effort to lead by example, they can start with self-reflection to identify biases and actions that either support or undermine change. Executives who ignore the empathy gap risk losing talent to competitors amid the Great Resignation.

End Game Inclusive leadership and future-ready leaders with empathy and humanity

Enabler Inclusion, trust-building, caring, leading by example

3. Environment. Without an equitable culture, engagement won’t sustain. Today’s talent market has shifted. Employers need to treat their employees as human beings first and cultivate a fair environment to retain them. Teach allyship across levels at work: learn by observing, listening, and hearing other people’s lived experiences, leading the change, take action to correct unfairness and injustice, and remove barriers so that everyone can rise and no one is unfairly held down. This commitment helps slow attrition and even achieve growth. By building a level playing field, everyone has a fair chance to develop and grow, enjoys access to information and resources, and contributes to decision-making processes. Integrate equitable and inclusive practices through critical moments of the talent lifecycle, including hiring, onboarding, development, promotion, performance review, and total rewards. In such a work environment, people share a common purpose, enjoy connectivity and collaboration, and experience a strong sense of belonging. Given that the nature of work is changing so dramatically, it’s vital to provide equitable opportunities to get people trained and upskilled on new technology, data analytics, communicating, and cultivating new relationships. Other nonmonetary incentives include increased www.diversityjournal.com


recognition and access to mentors, executive sponsors, and the like, for additional development support.

End Game A culture with equitable policy, practice, and process emerging throughout the employee life cycle and critical career moments

Enabler Fairness, allyship, learning, development

4. Wellbeing. Organizations are responsible for improving their employees’ wellbeing. When leaders and managers cultivate the whole person at work—not just the employee—they invest in the success of every individual in the organization. According to Gallup, 28 percent of U.S. employees experience burnout on the job very often or always. Among survey respondents who had left their jobs, 45 percent cited the need to take care of family as influential in their decision. A similar proportion of people thinking of quitting cited the demands of family care. Expanding childcare, nursing services, or other home- and family-focused benefits could help keep such employees from leaving and show that you value them as whole people. The Gartner study shows that 74 percent of human resource leaders mentioned that their organizations offer more flexibility options to employees to address employee turnover. This includes the option to work remotely on certain days during a week and work remotely occasionally upon approval from the employee’s manager. Supporting “the whole person at work” means investing in the physical, mental, and financial wellbeing of every employee. Commit to www.womenworthwatching.com

incorporating physical wellbeing into all health and benefits programs, and actively communicate the offering to employees. Support employees’ emotional wellbeing by enabling new ways of working, building psychological safety, and contributing to a workplace for all. Evolve financial wellbeing with a focus on pay-for-performance and incentives that support new business areas, enabling the organization to attract and retain talent. Focusing on wellbeing should not be a one-off practice but an everyday habit. Small steps go a long way. For example, encourage leaders to take time at business meetings to share what they’re doing to prioritize wellbeing and encourage peers to discuss how they’re caring for themselves. Through Thrive Global, employees can download a free app that provides tools and tips from experts to improve sleep, understand meditation benefits, and find gratitude. The app also offers healthy eating, weightloss support, debt management, and financial wellbeing resources. Design a paid time off (PTO) plan that gives employees the flexibility to take time off when they need it most. Studies show that people who take time off have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and greater motivation. With PTO, employees have the freedom to focus on their wellbeing however they choose.

End Game Employee wellbeing using the “whole person” approach at work

Enabler Drivers of physical, mental, and financial wellbeing; flexibility (where, when, how to work); work and life integration

Focusing on wellbeing should not be a one-off practice but an everyday habit. Small steps go a long way. For example, encourage leaders to take time at business meetings to share what they’re doing to prioritize wellbeing and encourage peers to discuss how they’re caring for themselves.

The Great Resignation is a severe challenge that penetrates across industries—no organization is free from it, where employees are stressed and burned out. If your organization wants to mitigate that stress and the potential turnover it can lead to, practice engagement, promote inclusive behaviors, cultivate an equitable environment, and invest in employees’ overall wellbeing. This committed effort will not only help your organization maintain a steady course in a sea of uncertainty, but set you up for winning the talent war by sustaining a culture in which people feel at home. PDJ Donald Fan serves as Senior Director in the Global Office of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.

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Why Globalizing Diversity And Inclusion is The Right Business Decision Traci Wade, Vice President, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Oracle

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lot has changed in a relatively short time as far as how we in America appreciate the business imperative to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Rapidly shifting societal opinions have been impossible to ignore by corporations large and small, and, while we at Oracle pride ourselves as long having been on the leading edge of championing diversity and inclusion (D&I), the outcry for more action has not gone unoticed here. The calls imploring business leaders for faster progress have only motivated us to do more—to lead as an innovator, think more inclusively, and value more voices at the table. So often, however, the historic injustices and social disparities that D&I initiatives seek to redress are seen through the lens of the American experience. But Oracle is not just an American company. We are global corporation whose customers span 175 countries, and we recognize that the goals of our D&I outreach can and should be applied across all of them.

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To succeed in building a diverse and inclusive culture globally, we must be mindful of all of the dimensions of diversity that can differ from region-to-region, as well as social biases in different parts of the world. It’s by becoming more atuned to these distinct local characteristics that we can scale our goal of inclusive culture throughout our entire company, and subsequently benefit from more diverse viewpoints within it. With that in mind, we recently prepared universal D&I imperatives that will drive a strategy representative of our global footprint. First, achieving a more diverse and inclusive culture starts with understanding where we are and where we want to go. To this end, data and analytics are powerful tools to deliver insights that can spur real progress. Then we must recruit in all our regions with the intention of increasing diverse representation. That means focusing on how we attract, connect with, and hire employees who will benefit our business through thought leadership forged by different kinds of life experiences and points of view. We also want to embed this spirit of inclusion in how we develop talent by empowering employees with tools and resources to grow their careers and excel at Oracle. Building community is another important goal. To that end, we strive to be good corporate citizens in the communities in which we do business, inspiring an inclusive workplace culture by sharing our values, and offering support and respect to all we encounter. We also achieve this through our various employee communities and allyship across Oracle. Finally, as a leader in the technology sector, we want to invest in fostering diversity in our industry. That often means supporting the next generation of women and underrepresented minorities with internships, scholarships, and resources that help them be successful in this fast-paced and knowledge-intensive industry, so that they can, hopefully, become future employees of Oracle. You can’t take a cookie-cutter approach to achieving these D&I strategies and expect them to succeed broadly. To ensure we appropriately recognize the stumbling blocks and the opportunities, we listen to and learn from our leaders and employees in different regions. They know their home countries—the legacies of the various communities and minorities within them, the traditions, cultural norms, languages, and the forces that hold some people back. It’s this kind of local insight that enables Oracle to be more sensitive to regional challenges and tailor programs to most effectively achieve progress toward creating a culture that welcomes all employees into our company and helps them all thrive in fulfilling careers, where they can be authentically who they are. Global diversity and inclusion, rooted in cultural competency, is not only the right thing to do as a corporate citizen of the world—it’s also a winning business strategy. PDJ As Oracle’s Vice President and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Traci Wade leads programs that build awareness on the business impact and value of a diverse and inclusive culture at Oracle. She engages with senior leadership in creating and supporting strategies that infuse and elevate a culture of inclusion and equity. During her career at Oracle, she has played a key role in establishing the company’s first diversity and inclusion team in 2009. Since then, Traci has become a strategic thought leader and subject matter expert on diversity and inclusion. Traci has received recognition and awards for her commitment and success in leading Diversity & Inclusion corporate efforts, which include 2021 Profiles in Diversity Journal Women Worth Watching, 2017 Top Diversity and Inclusion Executives in Corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine, Bridging the Gap Award by 2015 by San Francisco African-American Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Champion of the Year in 2012 by Black Data Processing Associates, Rising Star at the Women of Color STEM Conference in 2013 and Outstanding Corporate Contributor by Black Data Processing Associates in 2013.

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The 2021 Innovations in Diversity Awards

Profiles in Diversity Journal’s

Innovations in Diversity Award Recipients for 2021 (in alphabetical order) Innovation. It’s what happens when aspiration and inspiration meet commitment and hard work, and turn powerful ideas into exciting realities. Innovations in diversity and inclusion show us possibilities that can transform workplace, cultural, and social landscapes across the globe. Innovative thinking invites us, as individuals and organizations, to embrace a new and better future. Profiles in Diversity Journal is proud to share this year’s ambitious—and sometimes revolutionary—innovations in diversity from some of the world’s most successful and respected companies, including leaders in law, real estate, cosmetics, and retail. They are truly taking diversity and inclusion to a new level. Please explore and enjoy the creative ideas featured on the following pages. One of these exciting innovations in diversity may be your organization’s best next step.

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2021

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Innovations in Diversity

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP Innovation Title: Shaping Your Future virtual recruitment series Company Website: www.akingump.com Year Introduced: 2020

Executive Summary

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he legal industry has consistently faced the challenge of identifying and hiring diverse legal talent. As a result, law firms have been evaluating their recruitment strategies and are now looking beyond their traditional approach to hiring, which has involved focusing on a select group of law schools and standards. Last year, Akin Gump’s Firmwide Resource Groups (FRG) created Shaping Your Future, a career development series for law students offered in a virtual format and open to all law students, which allowed for a greater reach. Each program focused on a different topic and was hosted by lawyers from our Asian, Black, Latinx, Women’s and Parents and Caregivers FRGs, who provided authentic advice and guidance relevant to law students. (See examples here, and here.) Traditional law-student recruiting programs are focused on a particular set of schools and often target students with a specific profile. The Shaping Your Future series allowed Akin Gump to interact with a larger group of diverse students who attended schools outside those from which we typically recruit. All law school students were invited to attend, but the firm recognized this was a unique opportunity to engage with minority

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students in particular. During the pandemic, firms were unable to rely on critical in-person, on-campus activities to establish relationships with students and provide guidance to students seeking to navigate the legal profession. Akin Gump lawyers looked beyond these barriers to develop a virtual series aimed at providing guidance and opportunities for all law students. The events were advertised in various ways, including targeted LinkedIn advertisements, and open to any student who expressed an interest. Content was developed based on questions submitted in advance by the attendees, which allowed lawyers to provide authentic insight and advice. The primary purpose was to support and inform law students, not just to recruit students for Akin Gump. Akin Gump partners (and recent Diversity Journal award honorees) Jaelyn Edwards Judelson and Estela Diaz spoke in depth about the program and its success on an episode of Law.com’s podcast series, Legal Speak (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/ podcast/hundreds-law-students-areshowing-up-for-candid-discussions/ id1286870904?i=1000509841094). The events attracted the largest and most diverse groups of law students the firm has ever hosted, reaching 450+ students from 40

schools. Attendees were from a wide variety of schools, including schools where the firm does not typically recruit, giving lawyers the opportunity to reach a group that we would not otherwise connect with in person. Students made comments regarding the authenticity and genuine insight provided by the lawyers, with one attendee saying, “[T]hank you again for leading this webinar and speaking on the challenges and rewards of being a woman in the legal field. As a 1L at Georgetown Law School, I am just beginning my journey as a woman in my legal career and was comforted by the encouragement and successes of you and your fellow female colleagues at Akin Gump.’” In addition, the firm recruited its most diverse summer associate class in 2021 with 43 percent of the class identifying as racially or ethnically diverse. The firm also received top marks in The American Lawyer’s and Law360’s 2021 Summer Associates surveys, which ask respondents to rate their firms across a variety of categories, including quality of work, guidance and training, and inclination to accept an offer. The firm plans to host a series of recruiting programs, partnering the FRGs, throughout the remainder of the year.

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2021

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Innovations in Diversity

Dechert LLP Innovation Title: Increasing Transparency around the Use of Force by U.S. Police Company Website: www.dechert.com Year Introduced: 2021

Executive Summary

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he May 2020 death of George Floyd prompted myriad questions about racial influences over the use of force by U.S. police and law enforcement. Despite the great societal uproar, however, a dearth of reliable nationwide data undermined chances for informed debate. Although theoretically matters of public record, incident reports pinpointing when, why, and against whom police officers employ force are rarely released to the public. To increase transparency and propose solutions, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the largest U.S. human rights coalition, set out to create the first national database of police “use of force” data, enlisting a 20+-strong pro bono team from global law firm Dechert to kick-start its database by using state-level “freedom of information” laws to request data from police agencies. Dechert’s involvement sits squarely within the firm’s longstanding efforts to fight police misconduct. The firm was recently appointed expert adviser on false confessions to the Cardozo School of Law’s Innocence Project, which

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works to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing. Collaboration with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project has also secured release for several wrongly convicted prisoners. Dechert and the Leadership Conference were keenly aware of the challenges involved in contacting all 19,466 law enforcement agencies in the country. Instead, they resolved to begin by targeting the 200 largest police and sheriff ’s departments by population, including those in New York City, Miami-Dade County, San Diego, and Spokane. Dechert lawyers first identified the state-level laws to be invoked; then they refined the data types that would be sought. Metrics, such as the names of officers involved in incidents, which were arguably not a matter of public record, were discarded. Data fields in the final template included the rank, years of experience, age, race, ethnicity, and gender of officers in question; the type of force used; whether injuries were sustained; and whether officers wore body cameras. The lawyers then filed requests with the 200 police agencies, seeking information on incidents from the previous four years.

Prizing information out of often-recalcitrant police departments was no easy matter. Dechert lawyers shouldered much of the burden in refuting often creative objections or countering straight refusals by police departments to divulge information, despite them being required by law to do so. Some departments stalled so long that Dechert eventually felt obliged to impose a finite timeline on each request, informing the Leadership Conference when a request had been in limbo so long it could sensibly be considered moribund. Despite the challenges, the Leadership Conference launched its Accountable Now database (www.accountablenow.com/) in February 2021, winning press coverage in Time and other media outlets. Six months on, it now contains data from 143 law enforcement agencies in 14 cities, analyzed to aid comparison, and presented in a user-friendly way that is easy to filter by city, year, type of force, race, or gender of the person that police used force against—evidence of real progress in efforts to help the public examine racial and other demographic disparities in how their cities are policed.

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2021

INTERNATIONAL

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Innovations in Diversity

The Estée Lauder Companies Innovation Title: Value Chain Conscious Inclusion Series Company Website: www.elcompanies.com/en Year Introduced: 2020

Executive Summary

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t The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), we are committed to living our values. While we are proud of the overall progress and commitment we have made to inclusion, diversity, and equity (ID&E), we recognize that we all need to work together to continue to foster a culture where every person feels respected and that their uniqueness is supported and appreciated. At the start of this calendar year, a cross-functional group of Value Chain employees gathered to consider how we could enable a deeper dialogue about ID&E. This led to the creation of the Value Chain Conscious Inclusion (VCCI) Series. VCCI is globally driven, with equal participation from all levels of the organization. Through virtual events, storytelling, and active engagement, VCCI activates hearts and minds to drive conscious inclu-

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sive leadership behaviors into daily action. The series is grounded in our company’s purpose and cultivates respect and belonging. Series 1.0 focused on building awareness of the meaning of conscious inclusion and introducing three inclusive leadership behaviors: Curiosity, Courage, and Connection (the 3C’s). The series comprised seven events held between January and March. Each event included mixed-level panels with virtual engagement exercises to build skills for driving each behavior. We also set a standard for offering each event twice to ensure global inclusivity and developed an internal online presence for sharing event recordings, obtaining feedback, and supporting continuous engagement. Series 2.0, currently in progress, takes a deeper look at our global diversity and how we all work together to drive inclusion within

our teams and in our communities. Events in this series have focused on personal stories of bravery, humility, and allyship from contributors that work at our manufacturing and distribution sites. We also had events on inclusive beauty with a focus on how Value Chain teams use the 3C’s to understand and address the beauty needs of our global consumers. In addition, we increased executive leadership messaging by initiating a video series in which leaders shared their personal inclusion stories and commitment to drive change. Series 3.0 will focus on leadership-development training and toolkits to further embed the 3C’s into our culture. To date, more than 60 executives and individual contributors have played an active role in both series, with more than 300 participates attending each event.

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2021

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Innovations in Diversity

New American Funding Innovation Title: New American Dream Company Website: www.newamericanfunding.com/ Year Introduced: 2016

Executive Summary What Makes New American Dream Unique In 2016, New American Funding formed New American Dream, which seeks to raise awareness and increase homeownership within Black communities by building consumer confidence through home-buying education programs and increasing accessibility to a variety of loan programs. The committee that heads New American Dream helps identify and remove roadblocks that can act as barriers to fulfilling the dream of homeownership. New American Funding uses manual underwriting to accommodate borrower scenarios for earning, spending, and credit that are common among minority borrowers. This tactic is different from many employed by other sizable lenders that focus on technology to speed up the underwriting process. New American Dream is led by Director of Legislative Policy & External Affairs Charles Lowery. In his role, Lowery also represents the company in aligning with national organizations to further the company’s mission of increasing minority homeownership. New American Funding believes in hiring “mirrors,” people who are familiar with cultural differences and

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equipped to help those in minority communities. As a result of this effort, approximately 46 percent of the company’s workforce is made up of minorities. The Program’s Purpose and Goal For far too long the Black community has been left behind, when it comes to buying a home. New American Funding Co-Founder and President Patty Arvielo, a firstgeneration Hispanic-American, created New American Dream to address these shortcomings. As a mortgage lender, New American Funding is committed to lending $20 billion in new mortgages to Black borrowers by 2028. Benefits and Positive Changes Through this program, New American Funding helps thousands of individuals and families in minority communities buy a home. This helps build stable neighborhoods and creates generational wealth and financial security. Indicators/Metrics This program delivers results. According to the latest Census data, 12.1 percent of the U.S. population is Black. However, only 6.7 percent of total

purchase loans in 2020 went to Black borrowers, per the 2020 HMDA data. New American Funding exceeds both numbers, as 12.4 percent of the company’s purchase loans in 2020 went to Black borrowers. Put another way, the company’s percentage of purchase lending to Black borrowers in 2020 was 85 percent more than the industry’s percentage. How New American Dream Drives Growth By working carefully and thoughtfully with Black borrowers, New American Funding is enabling the Black community to build wealth, stabilize communities, and create generational opportunities. While other lenders may overlook this important demographic, New American Funding is laser focused on helping those in the Black community buy a home. Impact New American Dream directly impacts the Black community, especially those who were previously excluded from lending opportunities in the U.S. for decades due to redlining. New American Funding’s team of more than 4,600 employees works tirelessly to provide homeownership opportunities to the Black community.

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Innovations in Diversity

Sephora Innovation Title: Sephora Racial Bias in Retail Study Company Website: www.Sephora.com Year Introduced: 2019 (commissioned); 2021 publicly released

Executive Summary What Makes this Study/ Report Unique In mid-January 2021, Sephora released a report on the results of the first-ever large-scale U.S. study on Racial Bias in Retail, commissioned in 2019. Not only did we spearhead a study that has never been done before, but also shared actions we would be implementing across the business, and general steps the retail industry at large could consider. To learn more visit: https://static1. squarespace.com/static/5cd4841 aaf4683aecca854d0/t/5ffcf05a5b7 aeb58a721e39e/1610412123813/ Sephora_RacialBias_eBook_ FInal.pdf Purpose and Goal The goal was to measure the problem of racially driven bias in the U.S. shopper experience and identify opportunities to end unfair treatment. Using our Diversity and Inclusion Heart Journey Strategy and the study’s findings, Sephora designed an action plan focused on three key areas—marketing and merchandising, the in-store experience and operations, and talent and inclusive workplaces—with the goal of mitigating the negative effects of bias. Benefits and Positive Changes The Study findings offer retailers

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timely insights into how to create strategies and implement actions in their own businesses to confront, address, and determine how best to reduce racial bias and unfair treatment. While change will require a comprehensive commitment, the study points to several clear areas where shoppers (specifically BIPOC shoppers) and retail employees believe they can be better served. Indicators/Metrics Our actions are focused on three core areas of the business, as mentioned above, to tackle bias across all aspects of the organization. We’ve provided our first set of biannual updates against these actions here: https://static1. squarespace.com/static/5cd4841 aaf4683aecca854d0/t/60fedce4a35273540e1f727f/1627315429362/ Sephora_Fact_Sheet_June_2021_ v5%5B10%5D.pdf How the Study and Report Are Driving Growth Sephora shared its action plan via a trio of exclusive stories, with key voices in the equity space and Sephora executives discussing the study and the importance of the work today. This was followed by a press release and reveal of visual assets to achieve

widespread awareness and the detailed changes that will be implemented across all U.S. stores. We shared our new knowledge, insights, and opportunities with other U.S. retailers, who may wish to enact systemic change within their own organizations to better the retail industry at large. Similarly, we partnered with leading trade and diversity organizations Open to All, RILA, and Diversity Best Practices to ensure dissemination to interested retail leaders. Impact Our study successfully brought widespread attention among retail industry leaders, consumers, and media to the very real issue of underlying racial bias and the nuances of how it manifests in retail environments. The five truths uncovered by the study highlighted tangible actions retailers need to take to ensure shoppers enjoy a sense of belonging in store. In collaboration with Open to All, we are also in the process of launching a #Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter, leveraging insights from the Sephora Racial Bias in Retail Study, which will encourage more retailers to foster inclusive experiences for BIPOC shoppers.

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2021

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Innovations in Diversity

Stoel Rives LLP Innovation Title: Move the Needle Fund Company Website: www.stoel.com Year Introduced: 2020

Executive Summary What Makes this Initiative Unique Stoel Rives is a founding firm of Move The Needle Fund, the first collaborative effort designed to test innovative initiatives—or, “bias interrupters”—that result in a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. Working in partnership with Diversity Lab, other MTN Fund founding firms, and more than 25 founding General Counsel members, Stoel Rives is implementing trailblazing bias interrupters over the course of five years. Purpose and Goal Working to address racism and institutional bias in the legal system and across the country, as well as increase diversity, equity, and inclusion at our firm and in our industry, Stoel Rives has set ambitious, measurable, and public goals relating to the firm’s retention of historically underrepresented lawyers. Specifically, the firm will improve the retention rate of its diverse attorneys to be at least equal to the retention rate of its non-diverse attorneys by 2025, with the ultimate goal of increasing diversity among the firm’s partnership. Benefits and Positive Changes The firm is implementing research-based bias interrupters to

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create a more inclusive work culture, including Engagement Interviews to boost retention and work satisfaction, Inclusive Job Postings to draw more diverse candidates to open roles, OnTrack Sponsorships to support advancement of historically underrepresented lawyers, “Focused Five” business development opportunities for diverse partners to foster connections with in-house counsel, and a DEI “AV Club” to encourage communication and knowledge sharing around DEI topics. Stoel Rives will share outcomes of bias interrupters tested to accelerate adoption of successful DEI initiatives within the larger legal community. Indicators/Metrics The firm has conducted baseline personnel data (quantitative) analyses, based on current data and historical trends, as well as firmwide Belonging & Inclusion Assessments (qualitative), to establish starting points against which the effectiveness of the bias interrupters is measured. These analyses will be conducted periodically over the MTN Fund’s five years to assess the impact of the initiatives. On an ongoing basis, the firm is gathering contemporary feedback on the bias interrupters to iterate the initiatives

for optimal effectiveness. How this Initiative Is Driving Growth Stoel Rives is testing bold new approaches in DEI programs and practices to model transformative growth and cultural change in the legal profession and beyond. As a MTN founding firm, Stoel Rives is developing best practices for other firms to emulate and adopt to make the legal profession more inclusive overall. Impact The bias interrupters Stoel Rives is piloting are designed to boost recruitment, retention, development, and advancement of women lawyers, lawyers from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic populations, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. The firm is also focused on boosting and retaining diverse talent in its leadership pipelines, such as lawyers approaching, or at, the partnership level. The DEI initiatives Stoel is testing through MTN will ultimately have a broad and significant impact on the legal industry, increasing diverse representation and systematically dismantling historical biases that have been obstacles to inclusion within the profession.

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Love is the power that gets us through. Acting on our love defines who we are and helps us overcome even the biggest challenges. From supporting marriage equality to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, we believe that love takes action. That’s why we proudly stand with the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more about our commitment, visit: newyorklife.com/diversity

Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality Human Rights Campaign.

Be good at life. © 2021 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY. All rights reserved. NEW YORK LIFE and the NEW YORK LIFE Box Logo are registered trademarks, and Love Takes Action is a trademark of New York Life. New York Life is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. Source: Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index, “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” © 2021.


[PDJ : Part 2 in a Series]

To Women Everywhere: We must advocate for ourselves By Bhavana Bartholf, Chief Digital Officer for Microsoft Commercial Solution Areas (Global)

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’m grateful to have the opportunity to share this story with you as Part 2 of my Advocating for Yourself series in Profiles in Diversity Journal. As I shared in my last story, over the past year, I have been on a journey of self-reflection— reigniting my sense of imagination and drive; continuing to build clarity on my brand, ambition, and needs; and most important, advocating for myself and being a voice for others. Earlier this fall, I shared my list of ideas on this topic, and today I’m excited to share that my list has evolved (yes, the more I live, the more I learn!). As I continue on my journey, I find myself gaining more and more clarity. Today, I’m excited to share my latest thinking with you regarding my 5 Steps for How to Advocate for Yourself: 1. Believe in yourself 2. Be proud of your journey 3. You always have a choice 4. Be brave and ask for what matters 5. Find your pack

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Believing in yourself and being proud of your journey isn’t always easy. And, Diversity and Inclusion matter—to everyone! People want to be seen, heard, and feel welcomed, no matter who and where they are. We all can learn so much from everyone—including children— as I recently experienced with my own 12-year-old son. One day, I picked him up from school, and he got in the car and broke down. The immediate inner dialogue in my head was, “What happened, who did it, and who do I need to go tackle?” But I gave him the space to just feel safe. My son is in 7th grade, younger and the smallest kid in his grade. And he had just finished two days of basketball tryouts. So, from his reaction, I knew he didn’t make the team. The reason I wanted to share this story was because he wasn’t upset that he didn’t make the team. He was upset because he said the coaches didn’t even try to “SEE” him! He said, “I was written off as

being ‘too little’ as soon as I walked in the door!” He said he realized that on Day 1; on Day 2, he played his hardest, and kids he played against complimented him, but he said he was still “INVISIBLE.” Later that night, he said, “I wish I would have been brave and spoken up and been clear to the coaches what was important to me and why I was there.” But he said he didn’t think of it at the moment. And here’s the saving grace: he knows that WHEN this happens again (and he knows it will), he will be ready to speak up, so he can change the experience for someone else. Many people experience this every day and if we all tried to be intentional about speaking up, supporting someone, and giving someone a chance, the world would be a whole lot more diverse and inclusive. The journey isn’t easy for me either! People always have asked me how I do it, but the reality is I’m a work in progress, too. So let’s get real. Have you been wondering

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lately, “How in the world did I get here?” Are you feeling like you are giving 110 percent and only to find that barely anyone notices? You are taking care of everyone, but when it comes to asking for what you want, you feel guilty, and when you do ask, you are ignored or told to be grateful or patient. Yep, we have all been there! You are in good company. YOU ARE SO WORTH IT. When I started sharing my story, and the lessons I have learned, with other women, I realized that many of us were going through this. And while I may not have all the answers, the key lessons I have learned are foundational to help us get started. I heard so many great stories and was asked to share them in forums that spanned all age groups. The next thing you know, many unexpected connections have been made and important conversations have opened up. People sometimes seem to be impressed that I’ve got my “you-knowwhat” together. I’ve had a great career at Microsoft, working with fabulous people and being part of a place that truly makes a difference in the world. It’s where I started my career, had the opportunity to travel, and really pushed myself to grow. On the personal side, it’s where I met my husband, grew my family, and made long-lasting friendships. I’m also grateful to the amazing sponsors and mentors I have had over the years. Now, when I put it like that, I know you are all thinking, “What in the world is she looking to figure out?” This is where I share. While it sounds like I have it all, the reality is somewhat different. As a very wise mentor of mine said, “It’s because you work hard to bring the energy and you make the most of any situation. The real question is, ‘Do you truly feel like you are challenged and growing the way YOU want to?’ Do you feel valued?” This is when I had to face to

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When I finally had the time to pause and really reflect, I realized I had been spinning a narrative to explain why I couldn’t or shouldn’t ask for what I needed. The few times I tried, I felt like I was being shamed for asking, and was told I needed to be grateful or patient. And that AIN’T right, ladies!

reality of what that voice inside my head was really saying. I had grand plans for myself 15 years ago, but somewhere along the line, I realized I had become a company person. I was loyal and did whatever I was asked, with a smile on my face and a commitment to get the job done. I was given plenty of opportunity to do things, but why did I feel like I didn’t get to negotiate during times of change? Why did I feel like I needed to keep my head down, lead, and deliver results? And then the rewards would follow? Like many of us during the pandemic, I was exhausted and working at home. When I finally had the time to pause and really reflect, I realized I had been spinning a narrative to explain why I couldn’t or shouldn’t ask for what I needed. The few times I tried, I felt like I was being shamed for asking, and was told I needed to be grateful or patient. And that AIN’T right, ladies! Which brings me back to the story about my son. Kids are amazing! We can learn so much from them. This was an eye-opener for me. As I stepped back to observe, I realized that, although at first my son was being hard on himself, once he realized that being kind to himself was the answer, he softened up and relaxed into a new-found confidence and an ability to extend that kindness to others. What started out as a tragedy became an unexpected gift. It’s my hope that going forward

you will seek ways to extend that same kindness to yourself. It starts with the courage to advocate for yourself. Remember, you don’t have to be anywhere where you are not valued. Believe in yourself. Be proud of your journey. Step up and speak out, and you’ll empower others to believe that they can, too. It takes each of us advocating for ourselves to help drive the change we want to see! Please join me in the next issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal, where I’ll take an even deeper dive into these steps and share stories about how they have changed my life, once I started advocating for myself. We all have so much to contribute to our families, our workplaces, and the world. I look forward to connecting here and advocating for all. PDJ

Bhavana Bartholf is the Chief Digital Officer for Microsoft Commercial Solutions Areas (Global) and a Profiles in Diversity Journal Woman Worth Watching in Leadership for 2021. This is the second article in her Advocating for Yourself series. Stay tuned for in-depth stories in upcoming issues of Profiles in Diversity Journal, where she will share with readers how she has applied lessons learned to work and life, and how they have helped her grow, change, and inspire others.

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SUPPLIER DIVERSITY PROGRAMS Can Have an Impact on Millions

By: Brian Hall & Donovan Casanave, Shell Oil Company

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s it should, there is currently significant pressure on corporate leadership to develop and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) programs. However, many of these programs tend to be focused internally, working to increase representation within a company’s own workforce. While valuable and important, this represents only a small portion of the potential opportunity. As a result, corporations should take the opportunity and leverage their influence to think and act holistically by also considering their supply chain partners. After all, very similar to climate change initiatives, governments, customers, and investors are increasingly expecting corporations to contribute to the DE&I development goals of society and to improve their support for smaller, underrepresented businesses in the communities in which they operate. By implementing these types of programs, companies can make a positive impact on the communities where their employees work and live, while also helping underrepresented businesses grow. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that about 18 percent of businesses in the country are owned by underrepresented demographics, and yet, recent estimates indicate that these groups make up approximately 40 percent of the population. This dichotomy highlights the ongoing need to continue to invest in these types of businesses. More can, and should, be done to encourage the use of historically underutilized businesses as suppliers to help ensure that the supply chain reflects the ethnic and gender make-up of the communities

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where we live and work. Not only can more support for underrepresented suppliers positively impact a corporation’s bottom line, it can also help to build those businesses, so that they can have their own positive impact on their community—an impact that sometimes can extend for generations.

Tejas Office Products: Providing New Opportunities Lupe Fraga founded Tejas Office Products in 1962, with the intention of providing Houston-based companies with high-quality office services and products. Through its 40-year collaboration with Shell, the company has grown to become the largest independent office products supplier in the area, benefitting from a bond that has continued to grow stronger every year. As a result of Shell’s concerted effort to support local underutilized businesses and establish long-term relationships, Tejas Office products has been able to develop and thrive, and create more opportunities for its employees and for future generations. For example, despite the progress universities and colleges have made over the last decade to increase diversity in their student bodies, equal access to higher education can still remain a challenge for many underrepresented communities. With the support of secure, well-paying careers with Tejas Office Products, generations of employees have been able to provide their children with the opportuwww.diversityjournal.com


nity to pursue higher education, which in turn, has opened doors to a broader array of career paths. The impact of corporate-backed supplier diversity programs can and does go beyond an individual or local small business; it reaches throughout the entire community.

UP Professional Solutions: Inspiring Future Generations Along with providing a stable base from which to support continuing education opportunities, it is equally important to provide younger generations with role models and mentors to inspire them. Often, it is easier to aspire to goals that seem to be out of reach when children are able to see someone who looks like them achieve impressive accomplishments and be celebrated for it. With this goal in mind, Michele Wink is devoting her time to working with the next generation of female leaders by teaching computer coding to young women. The second-generation owner of UP Professional Solutions, Michele has grown her company’s business across several of Shell’s business units. Thanks in part to this success, her company has risen to new heights; Michele recently merged her firm with another, enabling her to take up a new role and pursue her passion for mentoring and educating the next generation of women. It is no secret that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are still seen as fields struggling with both ethnic and gender diversity, making it crucial for successful women and underutilized demographics who are involved in related fields to help inspire the next generation to pursue STEM careers. By supporting Michele’s business growth, Shell is proud to know that it played a small part in helping her reach the point where she can now dedicate her time solely to providing hands-on mentorship to the next generation of female STEM professionals. Michele’s mentorship is not only helping diversify the future of the field, but is also providing aspiring young women with a true role model. While investing in supplier diversity programs is the moral thing for companies to do, it has also been shown to be good decision for the bottom line. Supplier diversity programs have demonstrated a significant return on investment for corporate patrons, enabling them to expand their customer base into new and different consumer segments, which in turn, helps grow their market share while uplifting and empowering minority communities. Companies that allocate 20 percent or more of their spending to diverse supplier programs see these initiatives return a 10-15 percent lift in their annual sales, while those that spent less than 20 percent reported a less than 5 percent lift. www.womenworthwatching.com

The reason behind this success is clear; members of underrepresented communities have seen an explosion of purchasing power over the last 30 years. In fact, the Selig Center projects total purchasing power for minorities at $3 trillion in 2020, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other sources. With these populations continuing to grow, supplier diversity programs enable companies to expose their products and services to a massive and growing customer base in a way that resonates with these communities—by showing they are invested in and care about the people with whom they’d like to do business. For corporations, supplier diversity programs will continue to become an even higher priority. It can no longer be pushed “down the road.” After all, supplier diversity and advocacy can have positive, far-reaching effects on local communities and society as a whole. PDJ

Brian Hall - Manager, Supplier Diversity & Advocacy, Small Business Liaison Officer, Shell Oil Company: Brian received his B.A. in Marketing and Computer Science at Sam Houston State University as well as post-graduate work at Texas A&M and Rice University. Brian started his career in energy with Diamond Shamrock (now Valero) in 1989, and recently completed his 25th year with Shell Oil Company in Houston. Throughout his career, he has delivered commercial impact across many of Shell’s business units including Retail Marketing, Shell Chemicals and Shell Pipeline. However, Brian describes his current Diversity & Inclusion work as the “role of a lifetime” as he helps to lead Shell’s supply chain transformation by focusing on developing the pipeline of small and/or diverse-owned business enterprises. His passion is helping suppliers to FIND THEIR FIT in the energy supply chain.

Donovan Casanave, Support Services Manager, Supplier Diversity, Diversity Outreach, Shell Oil Company: Donovan is the Support Service Manager for Supplier Diversity and Diversity Outreach at Shell. In this capacity, Donovan serves as the liaison between the small, minorityand woman-owned business community and the internal procurement pipeline, with a focus on Shell’s inclusion efforts. Donovan also manages the relationships between Shell, key Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and community-based non-profit organizations such as The National Urban League, Rainbow Push Coalition, Asian Chamber of Commerce, and several others. Donovan has been a member of the Shell team since 2001 having worked in Strategic Sourcing and in a global role as Manager of Diversity, Inclusion & Talent for the Americas Region of Shell’s IT division prior to his current role. Before Shell, Donovan served as a team member in the Office of the Mayor of Houston, Texas.

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Second Annual

2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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For more than two decades Profiles in Diversity Journal has showcased and honored individuals who have blazed new trails, led the way, mentored others, advanced diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community, and excelled in their chosen fields. PDJ is proud to recognize Black Leaders with our second Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards. The 42 profiles that appear in this issue recognize and celebrate the achievements of our second group of Black Leaders Worth Watching. Each award recipient has also provided us with the answers to some questions and an essay that will give you, our readers, the chance to get to know these trailblazing individuals a little better. Welcome to PDJ’s second annual Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards.

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Mosaic Group

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BL A C K LEADERS

Program Manager

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Education: Bachelor of Arts, marketing, Prairie View A&M University Company Name: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 14,000 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: You do not have to motivate people with your words; just inspire them and they will motivate themselves. Who is your personal hero: My Grandfather What book are you reading? Kingdom Disciples: Heaven’s Representatives on Earth by Tony Evans What was your first job: Youth Employment Program with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation at age 14 Favorite charity: St James MBC Austin, Texas, In-reach/Outreach Ministries; Alzheimer’s Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center Donations and Fundraising; and The Trail Foundation (Austin, Texas) Interests: Running and training, along with spending time with family and friends Family: My mother, father, brother, and sister-in-law, along with my niece and nephews

I Truly Believe We Are Stronger Together I would like to thank Profiles in Diversity Journal for selecting me as one of the 2021 Black Leaders Worth Watching. Being raised in a family where my father worked for IBM and my mother was a vice principal in the Austin Independent School District, my brother and I were always shown the value of hard work and attention to detail. Innovation and improving current products ignite my professional passion. This is the driving force behind my love of managing the product roadmap for the Global Operations Organization within AMD, as well as managing operations for various teams within Global Operations. My role enables me to see new products and innovation from start to finish.

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As an Austin native, I was and still am involved in my church, as well as many other organizations in the city. I was blessed to see that people from diverse backgrounds and all aspects of life just need an equal opportunity to show their skills. I believe we can support the next generation of black leaders by assuring that they are provided the same opportunities as other leaders within our industries. As mentors, we can help companies realize the value of recruiting a diverse group of individuals and ensuring that once they are part of our companies, we share knowledge and provide access to tools that will help them succeed. As one of the leaders of AMD’s

Black Employee Resource Group, I had a meeting with our CEO, which resulted in a new program that focuses on hiring college graduates from diverse backgrounds. Our group believes this initiative offers a pathway to success; however, we must do more. We must continue to guide and support these new hires in their professional growth. We are continuously thinking of innovative ways to mentor them, so that they reach their full creative potential and achieve success. I truly believe we are stronger together. I strive to lead by example for the next generation and show them that opportunities are available for all individuals.

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Terrence “T.J.” Lewis


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LaKesha Small

Senior Manager Operations

Education: Electronics engineering technology, Grambling State University Company Name: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 14,000 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: Invest in yourself in order to serve others. Who is your personal hero? I’m truly blessed with the best family, which has played a significant role in my success, including my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles who have paved the way for us all. What book are you reading? Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson What was your first job: Cashier at retail store; I love cash registers. Favorite charity: Lee-Small Foundation Interests: Serving in the community, traveling, and spending time with family Family: My husband, David Small

Invest in Yourself so that You May Serve Others It is such an honor to be selected as one of Profiles in Diversity Journal‘s 2021 Black Leaders Worth Watching. I am grateful for the recognition and to represent AMD. Throughout my journey in life, many people have invested in my upbringing and career successes. It all started at home with a very strong support system as I watched my family model the way. Their examples of hard work have greatly influenced my own strong work ethic. During my career, people have often asked me, “Why do you work so hard?” Of course, sometimes that I work 12- to 14-hour days, but the real demonstration of my work ethic lies in my being reliable, delivering quality

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work, and developing expertise in operations, while maintaining a positive attitude. Over the last 20 years, working in the semiconductor industry has allowed me to serve in the transformation of technology that keeps our families connected. It wasn’t hard to choose a career, as my big brother was already in school at Grambling State University and I knew he would stand by my side along the way. Now, as a black technical female leading the way, it is imperative that I support the next generation by working closely with University Relations at AMD to focus on upcoming talent. Since joining AMD last year as a senior manager of operations, my team has supported product testing in the research and development

of our leading-edge processors. In my experience, the fast-paced environment and diverse workforce promotes a culture of belonging and inclusion that is a result of the innovation as well as growth transformation. I’ve also been able to continue my personal growth and development. A direct reflection of the words that I live by (Invest in yourself so you may serve others.) spurs my support of the next generation. Currently, I serve on several nonprofit boards that support youth in the community; I have published an engineering children’s book; and have been appointed as commissioner for the City of Manor Planning and Zoning (Place 7), as a way to pay homage to those who have supported my success.

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BL A C K

2021

Senior Manager, Global Trade Compliance

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Yolanda R. Williams

Education: BS, computer engineering technology, Memphis State University; BS, information technology, DeVry University; U.S. Customs Broker License, Customs and Border Protection Company Name: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Industry: Semiconductor Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California Number of Employees: 14,000 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: Challenges are uncomfortable opportunities for growth. Lead with words and action! Who is your personal hero? My mother, Onnie Lee Williams, a woman who displayed strength, integrity, and resilience What book are you reading? Becoming a Strategic Leader: Your Role in Your Organization’s Enduring Success by Richard L. Hughes; other personal/professional development books What was your first job: Cashier at McDonalds Favorite charity: American Heart Association, my local church, and Innocence Project Interests: Fitness/Nutrition, travel, and live music Family: Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and beyond; my living family currently spans five generations.

Indirect Paths to Success: the Making of a Leader More than two decades ago, I began a journey of exploration, and quickly learned that the best plans can have alternate routes to success. My interest in technology developed with limited exposure; I grew up in rural Mississippi, the youngest child of sharecroppers. It was still considered a “dream” to attend college, yet my parents encouraged me with complete support to pursue my goals. Continuing my education required me to work full time while attending college. After graduating during a difficult economic period, I redirected my career focus from technology, briefly, to what has become a full-circle career evolution. I worked in supply chain/logistics and discovered that my analytical

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skills and attention to detail would lead me to new opportunities in global trade compliance. While working with a senior executive, I asked for insight on what would produce an immediate return on investment for my career. He recommended taking the Licensed Customs Broker Exam. I studied for the next two years and, after shortfalls, I passed the exam. The pass rate at that time was about two percent nationally. I am now employed with a leading company in semiconductors and technology that utilizes my vast experience and my technical background. A trait I found to be essential in my career has been resilience. In personal and professional endeavors, you can expect to encounter obstacles and setbacks. Internal

resilience helped me recover from diversions and disappointments I experienced in my career. Plan, execute, evaluate, and repeat has been my simplified life approach. You can be resilient if you believe strongly that initial delays are not the ultimate outcome. I would also like to express my gratitude to the mentors who have guided me throughout my career. Many of my mentors were not aware of the title I have bestowed on them. However, their positive impact on my career has proved significant and valuable. My mentors contributed to my professional growth by offering different perspectives. Perform and strive for excellence. There are many paths to career and personal success.

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LEADERS Worth Watching

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Amanda A. Butler-Jones Counsel

Education: JD cum laude, Howard University School of Law; BBA magna cum laude, University of Massachusetts Amherst Company Name: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Industry: Law Company CEO: Kim Koopersmith Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 1,770+ Words you live by: “Live long and prosper.” – Mr. Spock, Star Trek (the original series) Who is your personal hero? Beatrice A.W. Butler, the bold mathematics major from South Carolina who dared to inspire generations of fierce women with kind hearts. What book are you reading? Dune by Frank Herbert What was your first job: Intern in the office of Residence Life at Holy Cross College Favorite charity: National Urban League Interests: Spending time with my children, brunching, Disney, and anything Star Trek Family: Glen (my biggest supporter), Brandon (my gregarious comedian), Amelia (my discerning boss), Cora (my inspiration), Stanley (my archetype) , Tanzania (my humorist), and a host of loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

We Can Inspire Generations of Leaders to Come In a world still grappling with the challenges of a pandemic, social reckoning, and polarized political landscape, we have been presented with an opportunity to refocus and redirect, as we transition into the new work environment. Like many others, I have spent the last twenty months reflecting on how to emerge from these life-changing experiences as a better person and professional, and how we could emerge stronger as a community. The time is ripe for a renewed focus on inspiring a young generation of black business leaders through mentoring, support, and empathy. The remote nature of work over the last year has forced us to evaluate how we connect with one another. While there are threads of excitement about a return to the office and a strong desire to reconnect, the workplace we show up to will inevitably be different from the one we once knew. This

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transition means that organizations will have to be deliberate, thoughtful, and creative about how to cultivate opportunities that truly help influence the personal and professional growth of an individual. As a community, the transition means we will need to make a concerted effort to hold one another accountable for staying connected in the new agile work environment and building meaningful relationships that reach beyond the office we work in or the floor we work on. In addition to more intentional mentoring and expanding the circle of mentorship, developing the next generation of leaders will require elevating and promoting its members when opportunities arise. I regularly work with alternative investment managers and sophisticated investors on complex transactions that require me to navigate investor, regulatory, and other developments in the private funds industry. This platform

has afforded me the opportunity to develop expertise and become a trusted advisor to some of the world’s largest asset managers. The work is demanding, but gratifying, because I thrive in environments where I am both challenged and well supported by people who care and who have invested in me. In order to prepare young professionals to maximize their potential as black business leaders, it will be incumbent on current leaders to extend rewarding and challenging experiences that position those young professionals for success. The opportunity to mentor and be mentored ignites my professional passion and serves as a cornerstone to the success of my teams. Inspiring that same passion in others will be critical to attracting and retaining talent for the leadership pipeline. By remaining persistent in lifting up others and investing the time, focus, and resources, we can inspire generations of leaders to come.

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BL A C K

2021

Partner, International Trade

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: JD, Georgetown University Law Center; AB with honors, University of Chicago Company Name: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Kim Koopersmith Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 1,770+ Your Location (if different from above): Los Angeles, California Words you live by: “I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be.” – Michelle Obama Who is your personal hero? My parents, Bruce H. Edwards and Lavona Davidson-Edwards What book are you reading? Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job: Sales Associate at American Eagle Outfitters; I seem to have lost my folding skills over the years! Favorite charity: Smile Train Interests: Traveling with my family, baking, and 70s Soul Family: I am incredibly grateful to have the support of my husband, Adam, and our two children, Levi (6) and Naomi (4).

The Importance of Mentorship I have been incredibly fortunate to have devoted mentors throughout my life, personally and professionally. Starting at home, my parents were ready illustrations of the value of hard work, perseverance, and rising to meet new and unplanned challenges with courage and integrity. Professionally, as an attorney in private practice, I have had many mentors throughout different seasons of my life, some of which looked like me and had similar life experiences as they navigated the world, but most of which did not. I can say with certainty that despite my focus, diligence, and client service, I would not be a partner at Akin Gump without the investment in my development made by my mentors at all phases of my career. This investment looked like pushing me to take risks to capitalize on new opportunities, highlighting my strengths (and sharing where I

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still need to grow), and being the person to speak up in meetings I was too junior to attend to say, “Jaelyn can do this.” Despite the spotlight on DEI in 2020, we have not seen much change in the landscape of senior leadership in most industries. While we are seeing slow and steady progress in many key areas, retention of diverse talent and representation in leadership positions continues to be uphill. As we progress to a “new normal” in whatever form that takes, we are noticeably welcomed by an environment that has more of the hallmarks of a diverse workforce (e.g., formalized DEI leadership and established mentoring programs). However, what I hope we don’t lose focus on is the cross-cultural sense of personal ownership—to know that even one person can, and must, try to make a difference.

The framework of DEI programs is a positive step, but much work remains to be done to actually achieve our collective highest ideals. Intentional and engaged mentoring is a critical component. There are inevitable bandwidth constraints if diverse professionals in leadership positions are always the primary mentors of diverse juniors—there simply aren’t enough. It is my hope as we continue to move forward, that, in addition to diverse professionals, allies will seek out talented protégés from backgrounds different from their own, and be unabashed and intentional in doing so. My mentors were. We all have an opportunity and a responsibility to set the example for the next generation of leadership and to ensure we do our part to cultivate the ideals, skills, and talent we want to see in the room in the years to come.

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Jaelyn Edwards Judelson


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Lael Chappell

Director, Insurance Distribution

Education: EMBA–Global Asia, Columbia Business School, London Business School, and University of Hong Kong (Executive MBA program partnership); Program for Leadership Development, Harvard Business School (Full Alumni Status); BBA, risk management & BBA, finance, University of Georgia Company Name: Attune Insurance (recently acquired by Coalition Inc) Industry: Insurtech, Cyber Security Company CEO: James Hobson (Attune); Joshua Motta (Coalition Inc) Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York; San Francisco, California Number of Employees: 135; 400 Words you live by: Define your dash! Who is your personal hero? My parents What book are you reading? Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman, with Greg McKeown; Super Founders: What Data Reveals about Billion-Dollar Startups by Ali Tamaseb Favorite charity: Wall Street Alphas Charitable Foundation Interests: Traveling, sports, investing, advising/mentoring, reading, community service, and quality time with my family and friends

I Want to Be a Trailblazer for Future Leaders My professional passion stems from my understanding of my personal purpose. Ever since I can remember, my parents made sure my sister and I understood the importance of education and the sacrifices made by generations of our ancestors, so that we could have the opportunity to pursue our dreams. We committed at an early age—both to ourselves and to each other—not to take these sacrifices lightly and to make the most of our opportunities. This is something that continues to inspire me to this very day. My parents led by example, in their professional lives and personal pursuits in the community. I strived to find my own path as a leader based on two tenets instilled by my parents: Never forget where I came from. Always pay it forward. As I continued to explore my interest in business, and ultimately, in risk management, I found myself motivated by my own experiences and watching others navigate www.womenworthwatching.com

tough dynamics in the corporate world. While it was frustrating to see my peers and mentors from diverse backgrounds transition to other sectors because of the inevitable glass ceiling and lack of diversity among executives in their current organizations, I made it my personal mission to be the “change I wanted to see” and inspire future generation by being a leader who finds a way to make it, despite obstacles I have overcome and continue to face. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was fortunate enough to finish my graduate education in programs that allowed for exposure across the globe. As an individual whose life mantra is “being comfortable being uncomfortable,” I truly view this as a key milestone in my personal and professional journey. Being the “American” in the Eastern world, learning about and debating topics such as Brexit and the Trade War are experiences I could never place a price on. But it

was the empathy and outreach from the various leaders from other countries, after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, which reminded me, at the end of the day, we are all still people. Being exposed to various cultures and backgrounds continues to motivate me to embrace the world of opportunities I have to make an even bigger impact on the world. Being an advocate for social justice, equity, innovation, and opportunities for underserved communities to have the platform, capital, and resources to impact the future has become a priority for my future efforts. It truly takes a village, and I am forever grateful to all of my mentors, peers, and supporters for pushing me to be a better version of myself daily. As I continue to make strides in the next stage of my career, I find myself more motivated and focused than ever to not only “define my dash,” but also to be a trailblazer for the future leaders of our world. 2021 Fourth Quarter

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2021

Director, PRA Services & E-Discovery Counsel

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AWARD

Christine N. Wood

Education: JD, Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles; MPA with distinction, California State University, Northridge; BS, California State University, Dominguez Hills Company Name: Best Best & Krieger LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Eric Garner Company Headquarters Location: Riverside, California Number of Employees: 420 Your Location (if different from above): Los Angeles, California Words you live by: “You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” – Brené Brown Who is your personal hero? Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, an investigative journalist and purveyor of truth What book are you reading? While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams What was your first job: I worked for myself in college, but my first job after graduation was in marketing. Favorite charity: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. youth and scholarship programs Interests: Reading, movies, playing tournament poker, games, and traveling Family: My family includes my 14-year-old daughter, my life partner, my parents, and my sibling.

How a Mentor Helped Launch My Law Career Mentors are pivotal to my professional success. In fact, I might not be an attorney right now if not for one particular mentor watching out for me and helping me navigate the very unfamiliar process. Law is a second career for me. To ease the transition from my first career to a legal career, I entered the field as a paralegal to be sure I enjoyed the work and the law firm environment. In my four years as a paralegal, I developed a true passion for legal research and writing, and my project management skills were a distinct asset to my practice. During that time, a mentor recognized my passions and skill set, and encouraged me to take the next step in my legal career: earning my JD. She helped me identify the law school program that fit my

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lifestyle, which was no small feat as a 40-year-old single mother of a toddler. In June of that year, I enrolled in Southwestern Law School’s two-year program as a full-time student. At that point, I did not personally know any lawyers, other than our family lawyer and those I supported as a paralegal. I had no idea what it would take to get into law school and succeed, but my mentor recognized something in me and helped me cultivate it. (At the opposite end of the spectrum were the many lawyers with whom I worked discouraging me from going to law school because of the student loans that would accumulate.) Despite the significant financial investment, I was confident that I had a wonderful

career ahead of me because I began to see my future through my mentor’s eyes. I trusted her experience and wisdom, and believed I could accomplish great things as a lawyer if I applied myself. Today, as the leader of BB&K’s ARC: Advanced Records Center, I can say that it has truly been an amazing journey. I have had many other mentors along the way who provided guidance and advice when the path seemed uncertain. Their support is absolutely critical, as there will always be those who underestimate you and doubt your brilliance. So, in those rare moments when your confidence is shaken, a mentor’s viewpoint may be just what you need to help you get through the nonsense and see the success that lies ahead.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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BLACK

Gregory C. Scott President & CEO

Education: BA, sociology, William Paterson University; MS, community economic development, Southern New Hampshire University Company Name: Community Action Partnership of Orange County Industry: Nonprofit Company CEO: Gregory C. Scott Company Headquarters Location: Garden Grove, California Number of Employees: 130 Words you live by: “… we walk faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians, 5:7 (KVJ); Purpose OVER everything. Who is your personal hero? My Dad What book are you reading? The Perfect Day to Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide to Building Your Empire by Rick Ross What was your first job? Dishwasher at Friendly’s Ice Cream Parlor Favorite charity: CAP OC and YouthBuild USA Interests: Reading, writing, traveling, speaking, and golf Family: Three children

The Tidal Wave Isn’t Coming—it’s Here Picture a massive tidal wave coming towards you: standing on the shore, you see it approaching, knowing you need to do something. The problem? You don’t have the tools, covering, or knowledge to stop it. Since you only have a firm understanding of how to navigate calm waters, you give into the wave and drown. This is the current risk facing our country today. Outdated rules, policies, and leadership practices just will not sustain existing institutions. Leaders must proactively initiate disruptive changes within a controlled environment; the alternative traditional reactive approaches will inevitably lead to failure. I strongly believe our next wave of leaders embody a non-statusquo perspective that can change our culture and our future. Any leader capable of changing the world, or at least the people around him or her, must be visionary. Vision is the roadmap to greatness. It is the single, most relevant competency for inspiring a group of people to their destiny. It’s the sun in the sky that brightens the day to a future unrealized

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and in times of rapid change, people need to be inspired by a strong vision. Additionally, those in leadership roles must show HUMILITY and a willingness to seek diverse inputs from their inner circle, and from others outside their circle. In today’s world, people have access to information at the tap of a finger, and often have more profound insights due to the ready availability of subject matter experts’ research informing strategic decisions. Encouraging, leading, and developing a culture of humility may often serve as a substitute for a lack of expertise in a particular area and can empower and lead to success in any team-centric business. It’s always been my practice to hire subject-matter experts, and trust in them to inform my decisions as a leader. They have taught me to be okay with not knowing everything. The magic of being successful in leadership is not in knowing everything, but in understanding how to work with your team to get the answers needed. Humble and adaptable leaders are willing to change their minds when

additional information is brought to the forefront, and then masterfully communicate that newly minted approach to others. This is the art of correcting wrong or weak decisions, and pivoting when necessary. Living by these traits does not make you weak; it is an essential skill set in today’s environment. Dealing with fast-changing cultural and business impacts requires swift action and adaptability. The sheer unpredictability of businesses today means traditional, analytical leadership approaches are failing. They simply do not provide the definitive long-term strategies our teams need for success. Refined disruptive leaders are humble, adaptable visionaries. They know the tidal wave is not coming—it’s here; whether you drown or ride the wave to success is up to you. So, my advice to the next generation of Black leaders is simple: don’t just have a seat at the table but bring your own chair and voice, because as one of my great mentors always says, “You’re either at the table, or on the menu.”

2021 Fourth Quarter

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BL A C K

2021

Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: Bachelor of Business Management, University of Montevallo; Graduate Certificate, George Washington University Columbian College of Arts and Sciences; Masters of Public Administration (MPA), Harvard Kennedy School Company Name: Curaleaf Industry: Cannabis Company CEO: Joseph Bayern Company Headquarters Location: Wakefield, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 5,200 Your Location (if different from above): Lynn, Massachusetts Words you live by: Whatever door I open, I take the cause of my people with me. Who is your personal hero? African Descendants of Slavery What book are you reading? Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job? Newspaper route Favorite charity: National Public Radio Interests: Travel and cooking Family: Proud mother of 4 sons and 7 grandchildren

Be Resourceful. Get it Done Black leaders are often negatively perceived as “gatekeepers.” But, many times, that just means they are trying to create opportunities for the next person of color, while not making any mistakes that could affect their chances. It’s a large, important load to carry, and one that I’m very passionate about. My current role as vice president of corporate social responsibility at Curaleaf allows me to create opportunities for AfricanAmericans in cannabis, a goal to which I am dedicated. The racist War on Drugs incarcerated thousands of African-Americans, harming families and neighborhoods, and creating systemic barriers and stigma within cannabis and the black community. As a leading international provider of cannabis, we at Curaleaf understand our responsibility to prioritize equity and help repair the social effects of the drug war. My background as a black, queer woman from the South, working in cannabis, has presented many

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challenges for me. When you break barriers, and continue doing so, you must adopt resilience, which I’ve used as currency to help myself and others. If you are the only black person in the room, it’s your responsibility to help that end with you. When I first started, I thought it was great and an honor to be the first, but it really isn’t. We have to do better. I lead Curaleaf’s Rooted in Good program, which has developed several initiatives to help provide equitable opportunities for the next generation of cannabis professionals. During the pandemic, we developed the Executive Roundtable Mentorship Program, where mentees participate in comprehensive, personalized mentoring with a veteran cannabis professional. We have also made an overarching commitment to diversifying the industry through our 420x25 Supplier Diversity Initiative. By 2025, Curaleaf will partner with 420 diverse suppliers and ancillary brands, to help create sustainable economic opportunities

for minorities in cannabis. Personally, I have two mentees that I am positioning for success. Mentorship and sponsorship are crucial. I was able to move from an activist/ consultant role to where I am now only because people positioned me to be successful. I say this all the time, even in interviews, I have 30 minutes for anyone looking to find their place and success in the industry. I’d like to offer three tangible pieces of advice for up-and-coming black professionals to take with them. First, get comfortable with networking outside your circle. I love minority-identified professional organizations; but, you should also diversify your networking and head to places like the golf course. Second, read leadership books by individuals with diverse, global backgrounds. Finally, move beyond identity politics. Be exceptional every time, regardless of who you’re working with and how you can immediately relate to them. Be resourceful. Get it done.

www.diversityjournal.com

AWARD

Khadijah Tribble


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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BLACK

Sozi Pedro Tulante Partner

Education: JD cum laude, Harvard Law School; AB cum laude, Harvard University Company Name: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Henry N. Nassau Company Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/New York, New York Number of Employees: Approximately 2,000 Your Location (if different from above): Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Words you live by: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It reminds me that change sometimes has to be viewed in a broader lens. Who is your personal hero? My father (Manuel Sozinho) and Nelson Mandela What book are you reading? Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, a Congolese author What was your first job? My first real job was as an attendant at the Freshman Union at Harvard. I separated the utensils and helped feed them into the big dishwasher. Favorite charity: Nationalities Service Center, Philadelphia’s leading immigrant and refugee service organization Interests: Soccer, especially Arsenal Football Club Family: I am married with three kids, who are the highlight of my life.

Why I Still See Reason to Hope The murder of George Floyd, and similar tragedies, prompted Americans to notice the racial inequities in aspects of our society. As a Black attorney in private practice, I have looked at the need to grow diverse leadership in corporate law departments. According to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s August 2021 Fortune 1000 survey, less than 12 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have a person of color as a general counsel and only 4.8 percent have a Black general counsel. Despite these figures, I retain some hope for a few reasons. First, I see innovative efforts, like the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative, preparing talented Black lawyers to lead large legal departments. Recognizing that becoming a general counsel takes years of developing skills, relationships, and experience, this program is rightly building a pipeline to repudiate the excuse that there are no “qualified” candidates for these positions. www.womenworthwatching.com

Second, because diverse leadership is a business imperative, I expect that shareholders, boards, and even regulators will continue to focus on this issue. One way a company can respond to this is by showcasing diversity in its legal team, given that general counsels are key leaders in an organization and set the direction for an enterprise. I have my own experience to draw on. Before joining Dechert, I was the general counsel for Philadelphia—a role we call city solicitor. In this role, I led more than 215 attorneys and controlled an outside counsel budget in the millions. I saw the impact of my role in the diversity initiatives we put in place; in how my very presence often gave me, and my organization, tremendous credibility in advancing some of our programs (like the so-called Rooney rule that requires a diverse candidate be interviewed for each position); and in how we selected outside counsel.

To be clear, retaining a diverse general counsel is not a talisman and, in truth, there are countless other ways to promote and encourage diversity and inclusion in legal departments. I know how sophisticated companies have become in demanding that lawyers advance more diverse teams to handle their matters. I also see general counsels discussing novel approaches like diversity audits, which my Dechert colleagues and I have used to assist companies in reviewing their D&I efforts to identify issues before they become problematic. And, unlike other diversity consultants, our work is done in a privileged way to give companies the chance to focus on addressing them. Yet the goal of trying to cultivate diverse leadership must continue unabated. I have the great fortune to know some of the Black general counsels in the MCCA’s survey. Each is fierce, committed, and strategic. Let’s continue the work to find others like them. 2021 Fourth Quarter

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BL A C K

2021

Member

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Venroy July

Education: JD, Duke University School of Law; BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Company Name: Dickinson Wright PLLC Industry: Law Company CEO: Michael C. Hammers Company Headquarters Location: Troy, Michigan Number of Employees: 874 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Hard work always beats talent. Who is your personal hero? My Mother, Marcus Garvey, and Reginald F. Lewis, Jr. What book are you reading? The Business of Nation Building: Excerpts from the Selected Speeches of Douglas Orane by Douglas Orane What was your first job? Sales Associate at The Gap Favorite charity: Associated Black Charities Interests: Boxing, wrestling, hiking, and canoeing. Family: My mother, older sister, and younger brother

Will Work-from-Home Hurt Diverse Professionals? In the wake of the global pandemic, with companies and employees alike embracing a new reality, the work-from-home model, or some hybrid thereof seems here to stay over the short term; however it is yet to be seen how this new reality will affect the professional growth and advancement opportunities of diverse professionals. While in the short term many organizations have continued to thrive as adjustments were made to reduce costs and businesses continued to transact, over the longer term, the new reality could have detrimental impacts on diverse professionals, particularly younger professionals entering the workforce. It has long been true that due to various diversity efforts, the professional work day is where diversity thrives, as after work, individuals return to their segregated realities. Those work hours are prime opportunities for

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diverse professionals to interact with many of their white colleagues. The chance interactions in the hallways or at the “water fountain,” which are instrumental for the advancement of the careers of many diverse professionals, will be less frequent with the work-from-home reality. This could prove to be to the detriment of diverse professionals, who oftentimes do not otherwise have access to networks that would assist in advancing their careers. As a young attorney, I remember mentors advising me of the necessity to walk the halls and not just stay in my office, under the false belief that working hard was sufficient to advance my career. I have subsequently given this advice to younger attorneys who similarly often operate with the misguided premise of the pure meritocracy of law firms and professional spaces. Particularly, when professionals are junior and

not as familiar with the subject matter of their practice, opportunities for mentorship and occasions for learning are crucial. For diverse professionals, the necessity of having a sponsor, who will make the effort to advance your career when you are not in the rooms, is often discussed. With the new work-from-home model, it is unclear how those relationships will develop between diverse and non-diverse professionals. It is also unclear whether diverse attorneys will continue to receive training in a virtual world, which was already difficult to come by in the in-person world. While the new work-fromhome reality, or at least a hybrid model, seems here to stay, companies and professionals alike will have to adapt and put greater emphasis on ensuring that learning and sponsorship opportunities are fostered throughout their professional spaces.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

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Idris N. McKelvey

Vice President; Lead Patent Counsel

Education: JD, Howard University School of Law; BS, chemistry, Howard University Company Name: The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. Industry: Luxury Cosmetics Company CEO: Fabrizio Freda Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 48,000 Words you live by: “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.” –Ruth Bader Ginsburg Who is your personal hero? My parents What book are you reading? The Exponential Age by Azeem Azhar What was your first job? Produce Associate at Wegmans Food Markets Favorite charity: Girls Inc. Interests: Soccer, skiing, travel, and learning Family: My wife of nearly 15 years, Monique; two brilliant daughters, Nadia (10) and Zara (8)

Intellectual Curiosity Is My Most Valuable Asset Now, more than ever, I believe that intellectual curiosity is my most valuable asset. Taking time to understand my stakeholders’ needs, seeking to understand the disparate factors that create risks and opportunities for our business, and dedicating time to continuously learn and acquire new skills, have all served be well throughout my career. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of change and created unprecedented uncertainty for business leaders. There is no playbook for charting the path forward. So, leaders are forced to experiment, learn, and adjust more dynamically than ever. Leaders who’ve demonstrated curiosity throughout their careers, and a willingness to challenge convention, are best positioned to be successful in this environment. When presented with a problem, it can be tempting for leaders to fall into the trap of making decisions too quickly, to appear authoritative and decisive. And while it is important to act quickly, particularly when the problem is an urgent crisis, it is more important to fully understand the problem before acting. In his book, The Opposable www.womenworthwatching.com

Mind, Roger Martin writes about the idea of “Integrative Thinking.” According to this idea, when presented with an important decision, an Integrative Thinker challenges the notion that any decision is binary. Rather, this kind of leader delves into the problem to find a third solution that wasn’t obvious and is superior to both initial choices. As an in-house attorney, devoting time to intellectual curiosity and Integrative Thinking can seem counterintuitive. After all, today’s leaders manage fast-paced businesses and need swift advice to deliver against their objectives. So, the value of taking a curious approach while working in such a demanding environment can be met with skepticism. But elevating an organization’s overall effectiveness sometimes requires a pause to consider not just how to resolve the current burning issue, but to go further, seeking to understand root causes and formulate holistic solutions. This offers the opportunity to satisfy the urgent need, while also providing a scalable process-level solution that enhances overall business performance. In its July 2021 article, entitled “Ops 4.0—The Human Factor: A class size

of 1,” McKinsey & Company describes the need for organizations to offer personalized learning experiences for employees. They argue that this will support development of “personalized T-profiles” for modern workforces. This “T-shaped” archetype is not new, describing a T-shaped professional as one who exhibits deep subject matter expertise, while also acquiring broader skills across several domains. I believe that the demand for these kinds of leaders will be even greater as we continue to find our way forward. For lawyers, this means that deep legal expertise will be table stakes. The traditional role of trusted legal advisor must evolve to effectively support the emerging needs of modern businesses. T-shaped lawyers will also draw from project-management, technological, and interpersonal skills, as well as other domains, to deliver incremental value. T-shaped lawyers will be both trusted legal advisors and legal solution architects. And this will be fueled by legal professionals who have a deep sense of intellectual curiosity, enabling them to synthesize skills across domains to deliver integrative legal solutions for the businesses of the future. 2021 Fourth Quarter

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BL A C K

2021

Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Multifamily

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Education: JD, Yale Law School; AB magna cum laude, Harvard University; Clerkships: Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Guido Calabresi, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Company Name: Fannie Mae Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Hugh Frater Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 7,500 Words you live by: “I do it because it’s hard. Because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And because it never ends. Every day presents me with a series of problems that I spend the rest of the day thinking about how I might solve—or at least chip away at. Next day same. And the day after that.” –Anthony Bourdain Who is your personal hero? My mother, Sueli Okata What book are you reading? Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson What was your first job? China Closet, a store that sold tableware and kitchen and dining accessories Favorite charity: Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Interests: Dancing (particularly samba), traveling, cooking Family: Married; mom to three boys, including a set of twin 11-year-olds

The Importance of Digging Deep I am passionate about problem solving—about mastering a subject with a view toward understanding the big picture and how the pieces fit together into the whole. And then, harnessing that understanding to frame the underlying challenge, identify the right questions, and find practical solutions. Following college, I worked in management consulting and learned to employ a strategic lens to examine the challenges facing a business and identify ways to reconfigure or transform the business to create value. I also learned that formulating the “best strategy” was not a matter of simply identifying the “right answer”; it required identifying the “right questions” to ask and developing a deeper understanding of the cultural and organizational dynamics at play, all of which are necessary to cultivate buy-in, communicate, and effectively execute

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the strategy at an interpersonal level. This, I believe, is the key to driving transformational change. After my stint in management consulting, I attended law school and later joined O’Melveny & Myers, the global law firm. There, I honed my skills as a deal lawyer, while using my strategic counseling background in the role of chief of staff to the firm’s then-chairman for four years. Early on, I met Warren Christopher, former Secretary of State, then senior partner at O’Melveny. I had the immense privilege of sitting alongside Chris (as he was known) through many firm meetings and functions. Each of those occasions was a treat, and I’d leave with at least one nugget of wisdom. And from Chris, there were many. Chief among them was a saying often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, which Chris amplified with an additional two words at the end: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know that

you care . . . about them.” Chris’s advice resonates as clearly now as it did more than 15 years ago. His words have informed and influenced my outlook on building and maintaining relationships and problem solving. At its core, Chris made clear, doing both effectively hinges on consistently conveying a sense of genuine personal investment, which is achieved largely through observing, listening, and asking the right questions (rather than necessarily offering the answers). But that doesn’t mean that one no longer seeks to get to the right answer. Rather, in our relentless drive to tackle increasingly complex problems, the “right answer” is arrived at as part of a collaborative effort. Through give and take, we both validate and challenge each other’s assumptions and achieve greater understanding and better results and impact.

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AWARD

Maritza Okata


2021

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BLACK

Tim Reed

Office Managing Partner

Education: JD, UCLA School of Law; BS, politics, University of San Francisco Company Name: FordHarrison LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Allen J. McKenna (Managing Partner) Company Headquarters Location: Atlanta, Georgia Number of Employees: 256 Your Location (if different from above): Oakland, California Words you live by: “I’ll tell you what I know to be true. It helps me in times when I’m feeling unsure . . . . I know that we are descendants of a mighty people, who gave civilization to the world. People who survived the hulls of slave ships across vast oceans. People who innovate and create and love, despite pressures and tortures unimaginable. They are in our bloodstream. Pumping our hearts every second. They’ve prepared you. You are already prepared.” – Lorraine Toussaint as Amelia Boynton in the film Selma Who is your personal hero? My late maternal grandfather, Timothy Reed, Jr. What book are you reading? The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols What was your first job? Crew member at Arby’s Favorite charity: The David’s Harp Foundation Interests: Exercise (weightlifting, running, and cardio kickboxing), sports (the Sacramento Kings, UCLA football and basketball, and the San Francisco Giants), astronomy, history, and good red wine Family: Shondella Reed (wife); Elia Reed, 11 (daughter); Issa Reed, 8 (son)

The Kindness of Good People My parents met briefly in the Army, then went their separate ways. After being discharged, my mom ended up back in her hometown of Sacramento, California, where I was born. My earliest memories are of good times—Smurfs on Ice, Taco Bell, my grandfather’s backyard. My mom met someone, and then I had a brother. My mother and my brother’s father split when I was five. My mom, my brother, and I subsequently rode three days on a Greyhound bus from California to North Jersey, where my late maternal grandmother had family. We eventually settled in a small city called Hackensack. Life was hard in Jersey. My brother returned to Sacramento, and thankfully was spared some of the pain and uncertainty that I endured. There was the intermittent homelessness, the lights getting cut off, and the meals at a local soup kitchen. There was drug abuse and (frequently untreated) mental illness www.womenworthwatching.com

in the home. Despite all of the hardships, I am blessed to have grown up in Hackensack. It was racially, culturally, and economically diverse. Children from all types of backgrounds grew up together, went to the same schools, and played on the same teams. Importantly, there were strong Black teachers, community leaders, and families for me to look up to. While living in Hackensack, I was supported by extraordinarily kind people at various times of crisis and need. They included my godmother, Babette Hayes, who worked for an organization that supported homeless families in the community. When my mother had an accident that left her with broken bones throughout her body, I went to live with Babette. My second- and fifth-grade teacher, Lillian Whitaker, who treated me like I was her own son, never allowed me to slip through the cracks. And the parents of several friends pro-

vided me with refuge when things got tough at home. The generosity of a loving community, however, was not enough to counterbalance the struggles of my day-to-day life. By the end of middle school, I was getting into trouble and did not have the emotional capacity to care about school or my future. That’s when my Aunt Anna and late Uncle Don sent for me to come back to Sacramento for the summer. They opened up their home—despite having eight kids of their own—and asked me to stay. My aunt and uncle worked hard, and provided what they could from a material perspective. But ultimately, they gave me the gift of stability, which was invaluable. From that point, I never looked back. I overcame the challenges presented by a difficult childhood through the kindness of good people and a decision, in light of where I came from, to never take any opportunity for granted. 2021 Fourth Quarter

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2021

BL A C K

Regional Operations Director, Investment and Capital Markets

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: Bachelor of Arts, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania Company Name: Freddie Mac Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Michael DeVito Company Headquarters Location: McLean, Virginia Number of Employees: Approximately 6,800 Your Location (if different from above): Dallas, Texas Words you live by: Adelante, siempre adelante! / Forward, always forward! Who is your personal hero? My Grandfather What book are you reading? The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande What was your first job? Union Bank of Switzerland (mailroom clerk) Favorite charity: The Thurgood Marshall College Fund Interests: God, family, and basketball. In that Order. LOL! Family: 1 beautiful bride (Khyra); 2 daughters, Persia(16) and Kamdyn (8); and 2 sons, Elihu (10) and Graeme (3)

Forward! Always Forward! I have always been passionate about leadership because it comes naturally to me. I grew up in Queens, New York, in a Caribbean household with three younger siblings, and it has always been my desire/duty to teach and develop them. This has permeated through so many facets of my life—at work, church, school, and even in sports. I was blessed with first-class mentorship from birth as my grandfather always guided me to lead, yet to also learn how to effectively follow. Considering this, my capacity to learn has always been heightened. I was taught to pay it forward, give back to those who need it most, and encourage their development. Early in my career, one of my mentors taught me that it gets lonely at the top. Therefore, it is always best to lift as you climb,

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and that has always been my mantra for growth during my journey. I teach and empower so that I may continue to learn and grow. Leadership on all levels was tested during this pandemic, and that, coupled with the extrication of social injustices, has allowed many of us the opportunity to sharpen our various skill sets. The learning and growth we have experienced over the past 18+ months may have been untraditional, but they have also been gratifying and rewarding to some. We have learned a great deal about who we are, how we feel, and how we view one another. Awareness of many of these biases; whether conscious or unconscious, has enabled us to understand one another and determine what is important to us as individuals. This transparency has given us hope

and has enhanced not only the workplace but humanity. Personally, my support lies in my faith, and my immediate household is a loving product of that. Similarly, the support of my leadership team and colleagues at work has had a comparable effect on my career growth. Nurture those relationships, and attempt to practice the same disciplined principles of leadership, service, and community in all that you do, and notice the satisfaction and change in your life. I charge us all to take this momentum and apply our newfound understanding as we all continue to lead—from the front, the back, or from within. Utilize your sharpened skill sets and newly discovered awareness to effect change and achieve balance. And remember: Forward! Always forward.

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AWARD

Fritz E.R. Jeffries III


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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BLACK

Stacey M. Walker

Corporate Director, Housing & Community Outreach

Education: MS, public administration, Central Michigan University; BA, English, Spelman College Company Name: Freddie Mac Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Michael DeVito Company Headquarters Location: McLean, Virginia Number of Employees: Approximately 6,800 Your Location (if different from above): Atlanta, Georgia Words you live by: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? My Parents, Willard & Quintella Walker What book are you reading? Waste: One Woman’s Fight against America’s Dirty Secret by Catherine Coleman Flowers What was your first job? State of Michigan Department of Labor (intern) Favorite charity: The Atlanta Mission Interests: Music, reading, and travel Family: Daughter, Addison E. Walker

...I’m also educating regarding the importance of credit, how it impacts a person’s life, and how maintaining wise spending habits is critical in everyone’s life journey, Ultimately, these decisions play a critical role in successfully getting on the road to homeownership.

It Brings Me Joy to Help People When I was in college, I interned at Michigan State Housing Authority as a mortgage loan underwriter. As an underwriter, I was determining whether or not applicants were eligible for Michigan affordable housing programs. On one application, I was missing two key documents. I contacted the applicants. Instead of faxing the documents or leaving them at the front desk, the couple wanted to meet me and hand me the docu-

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ments in person. When I went to the lobby to meet them, they both shook my hand and thanked me for consideration. One look into their eyes changed my life. It made me understand the impact my decisions as an underwriter made on someone’s life. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to help people (including myself) become homeowners. Fast forward to today and my work

at Freddie Mac. I’m still striving to do just that, but I’m also educating regarding the importance of credit, how it impacts a person’s life, and how maintaining wise spending habits is critical in everyone’s life journey, Ultimately, these decisions play a critical role in successfully getting on the road to homeownership. It brings me joy to help people, and I feel this career path chose me, not the other way around!

2021 Fourth Quarter

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BL A C K

2021

Senior Director, Global Marketing

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: Master of Business Administration, Emory University, Goizueta Business School; Bachelor of Science, electrical engineering, Florida A&M University Company Name: Harman International Industry: Consumer Electronics Company CEO: Michael Mauser Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 30,000 Words you live by: Don’t talk about it, be about it. Who is your personal hero? My father What book are you reading? No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer What was your first job? Intern at the Arkansas Department of Health Favorite charity: Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Interests: Sneakers, writing, and bourbon Family: Wife (Whitney) and daughter (Sloan)

You Are the Unique Gift You Must Bring Admittedly, the best piece of advice I ever received sounded trite, cliché, and frankly, unusable the first 100 times I heard it. It was “bring your whole self to work.” I, like many other underrepresented minorities, entered the workforce wearing the entire weight of race like an Eastpak backpack, and feeling like any misstep could prevent others like me from ascending in their careers. I altered my vocabulary, my attire, and my general demeanor to best mirror those of my counterparts. At the end of every workday, I would unzip my professional shell, fold it neatly, and place it in the passenger seat of the car, while turning up the volume on whatever track was aiding my cultural recovery at the time. After more than two years of doing

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this, the excitement of “making it” had worn off. I had underestimated the energy required to make this transition five days out of the week. That shell became harder and harder to carry, let alone to put on and remove every day. It was then that I received an interpretation of that advice that would alter my professional trajectory by providing some perspective that I sorely needed. Sure, “bring your whole self to work” was just a saying by a retired P&G engineer, but I was reminded that “my whole self” was more than my language, fashion choices, and opinions about golf. My “self” was actually a collection of every experience that had shaped my view of the world. While I was always acutely aware that my life experiences were vastly

different from those of most of the people I wandered the daily cubicle maze with, I had failed to realize the value of the unique perspective those experiences had etched into my mind and how, in turn, the biggest value I could add was to infuse my work with those experiences, instead of trying to keep them from spilling over into the conference room. That advice allowed me to reclaim the energy I was using for reinvention and refocus it on helping any organization I joined understand more about the pockets of culture that helped mold me and many others like me. This is now the advice I offer to young employees looking to leave their mark on an organization. It is not only okay, it is required that you bring your whole self to any team you join.

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AWARD

Michael Craig


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Michelle Edwards

Vice President, Human Resources

Education: Howard University; Baruch College; Human Resources Certification, Cornell Company Name: Heartbeat Industry: Healthcare Marketing Company CEO: Nadine Leonard & James Talerico Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 265 Words you live by: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? Michelle Obama What book are you reading? Diversity Beyond Lip Service by La’wana Harris What was your first job? Researcher, Global Business Research Favorite charity: Sanctuary for Families Interests: Interior construction & design, and taking photos Family: Husband, Aaron; two sons, Aaron Jr. and Xavier; and dog, Hendrix

Love Is the Difference A few years ago, in a speech he was giving, Heartbeat’s founder, Bill Drummy, thanked each of his leaders for whatever superpower they brought to the agency. When he got to me, he thanked me for the love I brought into the agency. His comments stumped me because I didn’t immediately make the connection between delivering an effective talent strategy, and bringing love into the agency. I had never thought of my contributions in that way. Over the years, my team and I implemented a “people first” talent strategy (years before it was trendy!), which has shown real-world, quantifiable results in retention, equity, employee engagement, and advancement, year after year. Our tireless work includes developing and spearheading programs that enhance our culture, invest in the development and coaching of managers, and prioritize and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, creating a distinctively

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well-rounded employee experience. Initiatives include mentoring programs, robust career planning and tracking tools, and regular salary equity reviews, just to name a few! This work has garnered industry-wide acclaim, including ongoing press coverage, multiple speaking engagements, five straight “Best Place to Work” awards, a “Diversity & Inclusion Champion” award, and many personal accolades. Our founder summarized all of that with one word: Love. After careful contemplation, I figured out what he meant: It will not be the strategies you develop or the programs you implement that people will remember. They will remember how you made them feel throughout their journey with your organization. And that memory will have a lasting impact on them, both personally and professionally. That was just one of the many lessons Bill Drummy taught me. Now, years later, whenever

someone asks me the trait that is essential to my success, I proudly tell them it’s love! That may sound fluffy, but the lack of diversity, the inequity, and the high turnover in our industry, can all be traced back to the lack of love and concern for people. The love and care for the people in your organization can be the difference between being a passive supporter of your employees to being someone who makes an impact on their lives. Love will be the difference between having superficial engagements with your employees to having a deeper and meaningful understanding of what they need from you to succeed. Whatever my talent strategy consists of, one thing is for sure, love will always be at the core. Loving what I do, and loving the impact I have on people’s lives and careers, is essential to not only my success but the success of everyone around me.

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BL A C K

2021

Vice President, Performance Management and Coaching

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Cam H. Walker

Education: MA, Columbia University; BA, State University of New York at Albany; Certified Executive and Leadership Development Coach, The Academies Company Name: Heartbeat Industry: Healthcare Marketing Company CEO: Nadine Leonard & James Talerico Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 265 Words you live by: If I can help someone along my way, then my living will not be in vain. Who is your personal hero? My Parents What book are you reading? Be Anxious for Nothing by Joyce Meyer; The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz What was your first job? Marketing clerk at a publishing company Favorite charity: Covenant House Interests: Volunteering at soup kitchens, community work with at-risk young women, traveling with my love, John, to off-the-beaten-path historic towns and museums. Family: John (the one God kept for me), Perry and Pansie (my parents), and Pierre, Kadi, Nellie, and Court (Siblings)

Doing Soul Work in Corporate America John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, advised each of us to ask: “What is the best use of me?” My answer: The best use of me, Cam H. Walker, is what I am doing right now. I am a certified executive and leadership development coach. AND, I am the first of my kind—a full-time in-house performance coach at an ad agency. I’ve always been, in some way or fashion, on a path to professionally guide others in finding the best use of themselves. This divine gift—to see the hidden superpowers in others, and lend light and courage when needed—has been leveraged in every chapter of my life, as far as I can remember: from the young age of ten as the class mentor in elementary school, to the age of sixteen as a group leader in my church, and now here,

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flourishing in my forties. Full transparency, when I arrived at Heartbeat, I had had a relatively successful (although jaded) career in advertising production. All I had seen and been through had brought me to terms with the fact that corporate America would simply be a place to earn a living. I would have to look elsewhere, using the work I do in my private coaching practice, church, and community, to feed my soul. I had come to the full belief that doing soul work, at work, was an impossible dream. So, I settled for a double-lane journey to retirement. But Heartbeat is a place where all can dream new dreams—or in my case, revive old ones. So, as part of an annual performance review when I was asked what I wanted my future brand to be, I took another chance to bet on myself. It was a risk I was willing to take

because I knew at Heartbeat an audacious dream could come true. For the first time in my professional career, I felt safe in a working environment. The kind of safety most BIPOC understand innately. Not just a physical safety, but more important, the safety to be brilliant, bold, and Black. Heartbeat lives for getting the best from its family members, and I am best at coaching others. Coaching is intimate work—to be in partnership with people on their journey, realizing that all the “badass-ness” they need to maximize their full potential already resides within them—and I love it! It is what ignites the passion I have for one of the most sacred ways to make a living. Work that I am most privileged to show up and excitedly to do every single day. My two-lanes are now one. My cup runneth over. I am truly blessed.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Cheya Dunlap

Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer

Education: MBA, human resources design, Claremont Graduate University; BS, political science and international relations, Tuskegee University Company Name: Honeywell Industry: Technology Company CEO: Darius Adamczyk Company Headquarters Location: Charlotte, North Carolina Number of Employees: Approximately 110,000 Words you live by: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? My great-grandmother Sarah Washington What book are you reading? Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain What was your first job? Supermarket cashier Interests: Spending time with my family, traveling, reading, board games

The Joy of Helping People Do Their Best I’m an alumna of Tuskegee University, a historically black university in Alabama. Though I majored in political science and planned to go to law school (still on my “to do” list!), I was very interested in business and international relations, so I took several courses in those subjects as well. During a career fair, while at Tuskegee, I managed to convince a recruiter to hire me as a benefits intern for the summer. An internship was a great way to earn money during the summer, while gaining new skills. I ended up falling completely in love with a profession I had known very little about—human resources (HR), which at its core is about helping people. Personally, much of the initial “help” I received came from mentors that played, and continue to play, an important role in my personal and professional development. I’ve been blessed to have people in my life, from early on, who supported my interests and passions, and

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pushed me beyond my comfort zone to realize my potential. I call them my personal board of directors. They help me with everything from work-life “integration,” to learning the technical aspects of the businesses I’m supporting, to navigating big career moves. It’s important to have people in your corner who want you to succeed and will tell you the truth, even when it’s hard to hear it. Helping people be their best, do their best, and live their best allows us to show up as our best for those who need us—our families, our communities, and our teams— which results in the entire ecosystem winning. It’s common sense to me that we deliver better and more innovative ideas and solutions when we’re able to do it in a stimulating and encouraging environment that allows people to be themselves and fully contribute. I do my best work

when I have the freedom and flexibility to be me. Optimism is a trait that has been the biggest differentiator for me over the course of my career. We all have bad days and things that don’t go according to plan—that’s ok. The key is to not wallow, to get back up, and make a way. Our Honeywell behaviors of Think Big…Then Make it Happen and Inspire Greatness really resonate with me. People like to be around positivity and leaders who face challenges with a “can do” spirit. I’m super competitive and I like to win. Delivering results that no one thought was possible in a positive, high-performing work environment is incredibly rewarding. My goal each day is to make a positive impact in everything I do, use my place at the table to speak up on matters that need a voice, and leave it all on the field knowing that I’ve found a way to make good things happen. Then smile and do it again the next day!

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2021

BL A C K

Senior Attorney, Intellectual Property Law

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Nicole A. Spence

Education: JD, New York Law School; dual BA, history and biology, Smith College Company Name: IBM Industry: Technology Company CEO: Arvind Krishna Company Headquarters Location: Armonk, New York Number of Employees: 345,900 (worldwide) Words you live by: “Your attitude . . . will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar; “To whom much is given, much will be required.” –Luke 12:48 (KJV) Who is your personal hero? My parents What book are you reading? Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel What was your first job? Lifeguard, NYC Parks & Recreation Favorite charity: Wildlife Conservation Society Interests: Traveling, baking, and home renovation projects Family: My husband, Timothy, and two children: Quentin (4 years) and Annalisa (9 months)

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone at Work and in Life Throughout my legal career (thus far), I have received various nuggets of wisdom. However, two of the most useful pieces of advice that I received are these: (1) “Build and own your brand”; and (2) “Be your own rainmaker.” Build and Own Your Brand As professionals, each of us has a reputation and a brand. Unfortunately, changing that brand can be difficult, depending on the size of your circle or your company. As such, it is very important (if not our primary responsibility) to build a reputation that truly represents us. For me, I am constantly working toward building a brand that reflects that I am down to earth, passionate, and knowledgeable about the intersection of technology and the law. In addition, this advice required me to own my brand. I had to be-

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come comfortable with celebrating (not downplaying) my successes. I could not continue with the mindset that if I keep my head down and work hard, opportunities will follow. Instead, I am intentional with the skills I am mastering, and the attitude I project when faced with adversity. I strongly encourage others to think about the brand they want, and work toward building and owning it. Be Your Own Rainmaker Beyond building and owning your brand, many times you have to be your own rainmaker or create your own opportunities. I had my first major “rainmaker” experience, when I decided to change the direction of my career and start my own law practice. This meant that I moved from a traditional and safe law-firm structure, in which I was a

litigator for more than seven years, to work directly with tech start-ups. I was responsible for gaining the skills I needed to serve my clients, as well as stepping out of my comfort zone to attract and retain clients. To better communicate and advise my clients, I learned to code in Java Script and Python, and became a front-end web developer. To grow, I learned when to ask for help. To steer my career, I determined which cases I should take and which clients I wanted to work with. Through these lessons, I was able to provide solid legal advice to clients who truly needed it and change the course of my career. This was one of the most rewarding and yet uncomfortable experiences of my legal career (thus far)! I strongly encourage others to step outside of their comfort zone and be their own rainmaker in their career and their life.

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2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Marcus A. Barber Partner

Education: JD cum laude, The University of Georgia School of Law; BS, University of South Carolina Company Name: Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Marc E. Kasowitz, Managing Partner Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 388 Your Location (if different from above): Silicon Valley (California) Words you live by: Patience is a virtue. My mother used to tell me that as a child and I still have to remind myself of that today. Who is your personal hero? My father, Nathaniel Barber, who planned for my future, gave me confidence, and protected me from my mistakes. Without his wisdom and guidance, I would be lost. What book are you reading? The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman What was your first job? Working for a moving company Favorite charity: CASA of San Mateo County Interests: Running, international travel, any beach, watching college football, spending time with family, and reading history books Family: My wife, Luarnie, whose dedication and care holds everything together, and our son, Gabriel (3 years old)

Nobody Does it Alone People often seem to have the impression that becoming a lawyer (and a partner) was always my goal, and that that goal was reached through a fairly straight line of successes. That has not been the case. Although I did not grow up wealthy in economic terms, I did grow up with a wealth of family support. And I was fortunate to grow up with enough privilege not to be motivated by fear or the pressure of being the first in my family to attend college or professional school. I found that motivation in 2002, going into my junior year of college. It came in the form of a conversation with my father that was tremendously impactful on me becoming a lawyer and a partner at a national law firm. The conversation was about my sophomore year of college, in which I had managed to make poor grades and

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lose my academic scholarship, and my failed attempt to regain the scholarship in summer school, which had fallen four one-hundredths of a GPA point short. In that conversation, my father, who has always been encouraging and supportive, opted for some tough love. He said that nobody rewards mediocrity and that it was time for me to decide whether I was going to be mediocre or exceptional—and that people would support me once I made the decision to work. The conversation resonated and I started to work. I made the Dean’s List every semester in my last two years of college. Once I started to put in the work, mentors came to help. I cannot overstate the importance of mentorship or my appreciation for all the lawyers (too many to name) who have mentored me.

Nobody does it alone and I certainly did not do it alone. My practice group leader and mentor, Jonathan Waldrop, gave me the best advice on the importance of mentorship: a lot of this is about resilience and having people who give you opportunities, offer encouragement and guidance, identify your strengths, and see your blind spots. It makes all the difference. He has done all those things for me. I also cannot speak highly enough of Marc Kasowitz and Daniel Benson for creating a firm culture that is unquestionably excellent, where anyone can succeed regardless of what they look like or where they come from. Even though I have been here almost eight years, it still feels special to me that they have been able to maintain this culture and provide excellent legal service for almost 30 years.

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BL A C K

2021

Senior Vice President of Support Services, Health Equity and Experience

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James Poullard, Jr.

Education: Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Arizona; MBA, Our Lady of the Lake University Company Name: Kindred Healthcare Industry: Healthcare Services Company CEO: Benjamin A Breier Company Headquarters Location: Louisville, Kentucky Number of Employees: 24,000 Your Location (if different from above): Nashville, Tennessee Words you live by: “Actions speak louder than words.” –Abraham Lincoln Who is your personal hero? I have many, but my mom is my favorite. What book are you reading? Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek; Just Medicine by Dayna Bowen Matthew What was your first job? Mowing lawns Favorite charity: Carter Girls, supporting disadvantaged young women in their STEM/fine arts pursuits. Interests: Fishing, cooking, and traveling Family: Kim, my wife of 25 years, and my children: James III (24): Jonathan (20); and Jackson (18)

The Cannot Is My Driving Force My parents were born and raised in southeast Texas, the son and daughter of descendants of slaves, field laborers, European immigrants, and Native Americans. My father enlisted in the Air Force in order to leave the Jim Crow South and start a family elsewhere. As a young man I remember my father’s advice, my uncles’ experiences, and my own experiences, which served as cautionary lessons regarding whom to trust, where I would be accepted, and that my aspirations would need to be minimized. I spent my coming-of-age years in Phoenix, Arizona, where my father eventually retired. During this stage of my life, I was fortunate enough to be influenced by a few special individuals, namely teachers, who recognized my reluctance to realize my full potential. A teacher once told me that I could be president of the United States, another teacher told

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me I could be anything I desired if I put my mind to it and worked hard. Along the way others set a high bar for me and I soon found myself overcoming and achieving through a simple formula of dedication, hard work, and asking for help. During this time I also saw my mother go from working as a housekeeper to becoming a registered medical assistant who was well rewarded for her hard work and loyalty by the same physicians she started and ended her career with. Through my college years, Marine Corps experience, and early career I encountered individuals who deliberately tried to dissuade me from moving forward due to their backward attitudes. I am grateful to have mentors, colleagues, and friends with similar shared experiences who offered the right advice on how to persevere, and they con-

tinue to do so today. I share this story about me betting that that most of us who approach each day with a high level of passion for whatever we do, have likely felt at some point in our lives our aspirations were constrained or were bluntly told we could not do or overcome something. Then there is that moment, through an accumulation of experiences and emotions, when we make a daily commitment to overcoming and defeating “the cannot.” For me, the word cannot is a noun, with an innate existence. The cannot takes various forms—from people, to adverse business cultures, a pessimistic team attitude, or threats to business objectives. There is a feeling that I can’t truly describe that comes with overcoming the cannot, especially when teamwork is involved. It is just simply this for me, the daily grind of working against and overcoming the cannot is my driving force.

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2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Jennifer M. Kent

AWARD

BLACK

Senior Associate

Education: JD magna cum laude, Boston College Law School; BS cum laude, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Company Name: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: N/A Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: 5,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Lift as you climb. Who is your personal hero? Bryan Stevenson What book are you reading? Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner What was your first job? Cashier at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant Favorite charity: Horton’s Kids, a Washington, DC nonprofit, providing academic, youth development, and basic needs support to help children succeed Interests: Going to see live music, traveling, and trying new restaurants

A Community of Mentors Many lawyers will tell you that it was their childhood dream to become an attorney. I am not one of those lawyers. In fact, when I entered Boston College Law School, I was still uncertain whether I wanted to actually practice law. I had applied to law school at the encouragement of my college advisor, who said a law degree would give me a wide range of career options, legal and beyond. That advisor—my first true mentor—led me to law. I gained three more mentors during law school, whose guidance allowed me to secure a “big law” job for my 1L summer, officially kicking off my legal career. And today, as a senior associate at Latham & Watkins, I am grateful to dozens of mentors who have counseled me every step of the way. As my list of mentors has expanded over the years, so has my perspective on mentorship. I used to

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think of it as a formal advisory relationship with a senior colleague, but I have since learned that it can be far more fluid and less hierarchical. I certainly look to senior attorneys for guidance—one of my strongest mentors is Manu Gayatrinath, a partner in Latham’s finance group, who has taught me invaluable lessons about being a woman of color in this profession. But I have also built relationships with several junior associates whose insights have shaped me into a better supervisor and a stronger leader. Attorneys outside Latham have counseled me on business development; mentors outside the legal profession have provided guidance on topics, such as being authentic at work and balancing competing demands. I think of these people collectively as my “personal board of directors,” each of whom has shared hard-earned lessons and helped me view my career in a more holistic way.

Mentorship has been a critical part of my success to date, and I have made it a priority to pay it forward by pouring energy and attention into younger Black lawyers and law students, whenever I can. Informal mentoring has been a large part of this, but I have also looked to formal avenues such as participating in Latham’s Black Lawyers Group global mentoring program, partnering with Thurgood Marshall Academy (a predominately Black charter school in Washington, DC that focuses on educating students about law, democracy, and civics), and being an advisor to The Black BigLaw Pipeline (a nonprofit organization established to provide support and substantive training for Black attorneys in large law firms). As I move forward in my career, I know that mentorship—and my growing network of mentors and mentees—will continue to play a major role.

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Natalie Sheils

2021

BL A C K LEADERS

Vice President, People and Culture

Worth Watching

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Education: Master’s degree, human resources management, University of Birmingham; Bachelor’s degree, psychology, University of Johannesburg Company Name: Mosaic Group Industry: Internet Company CEO: Zachary Roseman Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 494 Your Location (if different from above): England, United Kingdom Words you live by: Profitability is just a consequence; if you do your job well, the profitability will come; the only strategy guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. Who is your personal hero? My mother What book are you reading? Principles: Life & Work by Ray Dalio What was your first job? Junior Consultant in a management graduate programme Favorite charity: Cancer Research UK Interests: Weight lifting, tennis, cycling, and hiking

Stay Open to Learning and Experimenting As vice president, people and culture at Mosaic Group, I have experienced many changes in the human resources industry over the last two years, and I am humbled to be recognized as a 2021 Black Leader Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal. I am a leader who sets lofty goals, is driven by achievement opportunities, and believes that every individual can achieve their goals with will power and dedication. Some of the best advice I have received came from a quote I read by Sir Richard Branson nearly a decade ago: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes—then learn how to do it later.” This quote is especially relevant today as COVID-19 accelerated changes that were already reshaping the human resources industry and forcing the workforce to learn and adjust in real time. During the pandemic, leaders and workforces have found themselves at a historic crossroads, managing short-term pressures against medium- and long-term uncertainties. This, however, presents an opportunity to create strategy and policies that offer

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exciting changes for a brighter future. I predict the biggest changes in HR will pertain to technology and talent. With globalization and technology advancements, new work models, such as remote and hybrid working, distributed workforces, digitization, virtual collaboration, upskilling and reskilling for jobs of the future, have been central in the workplace over the last two years and will continue to be so. The pandemic has accelerated the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is why it continues to be essential for leaders to stay open to learning and experimenting with new ways of working. Digital technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, are in even more demand following emerging and ongoing economic and social disruptions. Digital technology will continue to shift the balance in the way we operate at work and will aid in the production and rollout of machines in the workplace. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report predicts that by 2025 humans and machines will spend almost an equal amount of time on tasks in the workplace. As process-driven activities are taken up increasingly by machines,

this will present demand for employees to develop new soft skills, like empathy and creativity, to adapt to a rise in knowledge-intensive sectors, such as financial services and product development. The job disruption resulting from the labor market evolution and subsequent demands will be counter-balanced by the job creation in new fields—the jobs of tomorrow. The World Economic Forum’s Future of jobs report also predicts that over the coming decade, a non-negligible share of newly created jobs will be in wholly new occupations, or existing occupations undergoing significant transformations in terms of their content and skills requirements. On the talent side, we’ve seen the emergence of what has been referred to as the “great resignation” and the rise of many people reconsidering what really matters to them in the workplace. Companies now have an opportunity to boldly design a culture of work based on what the job requires and what employees need—a strategic initiative that will be prominent in the workplace over the next five years. www.diversityjournal.com

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Mosaic Group


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Tiffany Coln-Smith Regional Human Resources Senior Manager

Education: BS, business administration, University of Southern California Company Name: Moss Adams LLP Industry: Professional Services Company CEO: Chris Schmidt Company Headquarters Location: Seattle, Washington Number of Employees: 3,686 Your Location (if different from above): San Francisco, California Words you live by: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” –Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? My mom, Debi Burnett-Coln What book are you reading? I Can Learn When I’m Moving by Nicole Biscotti; Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job? I interned at AC Transit (Oakland) throughout high school and college Favorite charity: Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund Interests: Traveling Family: Husband, Orlando; Son, Tyson (11); and Daughter, Nia (8)

Good Mentors Can Help You Find and Live Your Best Life Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to have excellent mentors, sponsors, and role models. I was raised by a single mother with a lot of help from her mother, and her mother. My mom was a wheelchair user and, until the passage of the ADA, was unable to work. Once changes in the workplace and in transit began to be implemented as a result of the ADA, she was able to return to the workforce and that was inspirational to me. She had to overcome many obstacles to do that, both tangible and intangible. As a high school student, I had a repeat internship in the general manager’s office at AC Transit. I worked for Sharon Banks, the first Black general manager of the transit agency. She was an excellent role model. She always tried to do right by others and was well respected by those around her. She was a confident and effective leader who

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knew how to get things done. I have also had the good fortune of having other mentors that took the time to give me feedback that helped me grow into an effective leader. That modeling and advocacy helped inform who I am. I have had people around me who invested their time in me—some that looked like me and some that didn’t. Early in my career, I was exposed to Black professional women who helped me learn what was possible. It is hard to be something you can’t see. As my career progressed, my mentors have shifted and my network has changed, but I still benefit from mentoring today. In turn, I invest my time in others. I am on the board of a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase minority representation in accounting and business. We produce programming aimed at educating high school students

about careers in those areas and exposing them to mentoring opportunities. I am also in the process of forming a mentoring and support group for kids with ADHD or learning differences. I am the mom of a child who is managing both. Through him, I have learned so much, including the importance of belonging. We usually think of belonging in the context of race, gender, and perhaps, religion or sexual orientation, because these items are common in our national discussions. All of these are important dimensions of our identities. But, I have learned from my children that our sense of belonging includes those, but really goes further, and it changes over time and from one situation to the next. I get my sense of accomplishment from helping others figure out how to live their best lives. I am grateful for the people who have spent time helping me live mine.

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BL A C K

2021

Partner

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Marquetta J. Bryan

Education: JD, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; BA, Emory University Company Name: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: N/A Company Headquarters Location: Columbia, South Carolina Number of Employees: 850+ Your Location (if different from above): Atlanta, Georgia Words you live by: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson Who is your personal hero? My mother, Eva S. Johnson, for every sacrifice she has ever made, so that I could be who I am. What book are you reading? Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke What was your first job? Cashier at a local Kmart Favorite charity: American Cancer Society Interests: Travel, photography, and creative writing Family: Children: Campbell (daughter) (18), Carrington (son) (16), Clayborne (son) (11); spouse, Creighton, and pup, Charleston

You Are the Person the World Needs In the words of the poet Rupi Kaur (Core), “I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther ….” As I reflect on my journey as a woman of color in the law, it is clear to me that the call to balance and to make room for other women in spaces is my duty. As I reflect on my life, I understand that I must answer the call to mentorship, as I have had some amazing transformational mentors who have taught me that my own vulnerability and imperfection could serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment for others.

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Some of the best advice I have received in my career is to be authentically me at all times because that is the person the world needs. As I encourage and mentor other women on this journey, I try to be myself—honest about my strengths and weaknesses at all times—and encourage them to do the same. One of the traits I consider essential to my success, however, is my ability to be a powerful advocate for myself. In my passion for making space for women, and seeking to be of greater service to my community and profession beyond the metrics of collections goals, I founded Girls SPEAK (Seizing Power Education

Advancement and Knowledge), Inc., a vehicle to help girls as young as age 10, develop oral and written advocacy skills and free their voices. As one of the few women of color in my environment, I have been called to lead and serve in the most significant ways. But for me, none of that matters if I am not using my advancements to pull another generation along with me. Also, my community service and life experiences have shown me that the fear women experience that prevents them from speaking up on their own behalf often holds them hostage in bad situations.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Kim Arrington

Branch Manager, Diversity & Community Engagement Director

Education: BS, Mercer University; Certificate of Ministry, Antioch School of Church Planting and Leadership Development Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4,500 Your Location (if different from above): Atlanta, Georgia Words you live by: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) Who is your personal hero? My Dad, Robert L. Brown, a mentor, advocate, leader, and forever friend! What book are you reading? The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson What was your first job? Pantry Pride Supermarket as a bagger/cashier Favorite charity: Genesis Shelter, supporting moms with children Interests: Mentoring women and coaching them to their best selves; hobbies: puzzles and coloring Family: Married for 16 years to Malcolm; three sons, James, Robert, and Jeremiah

Impacting Lives for Positive Change I am excited about the 2021 Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards and the talent and contribution of so many. As New American Funding’s newly appointed diversity and community engagement director, I can fully embrace my passion for empowering consumers and fortifying them with the tools and resources to become mortgage-ready homeowners. I believe (as does New American Funding) that reaching out to the Black and Hispanic communities with educational tools that allow them the opportunity to finance or retain homeownership helps build and strengthen communities. My past five years at New American Funding have been filled with rich opportunities, which have allowed me to help develop unique initiatives that reach the larger community; it has been fun and rewarding. Through the New American Dream initiative, we are driving consistent

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educational panel discussions with experts in the industry, who share insights on topics from affordable homeownership to understanding the basics of credit. These panel discussions, presented virtually, have reached industry professionals and consumers who would not otherwise be able to get into a room or pay for a ticket to gain such insight. We also launched grant programs that meet consumers where they are, changing homeownership dreams to reality. Beyond that important work, I also work closely with homebuilders across the Southeast region. It has been a journey, working to build relationships and gaining trust by connecting with prospective buyers in a way that other lenders cannot. Additionally, I focus on reaching deeper into the community by speaking directly to college students, and by modeling the positive image that

empowers women from all different walks of life. Kennesaw University and Claflin University are two partners in education that I am enjoying working with to make a difference. I have also mentored women over the last three years, while serving as president of Tau Alpha Delta Christian Sorority, Inc. This has humbled me, allowed me to be true to myself, and shown me what mentorship and coaching does for a woman. I also work with Professional Women in Building, a Women’s Council under Greater Atlanta Homebuilders. This opened the door for me to volunteer in our community and then serve as a board member and chairperson of the Membership and Scholarship Committee for the past several years. I know that I am aligned with an organization that resonates with my core values and purpose, impacting lives for a positive change.

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BL A C K

2021

Vice President, Community Lending

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: BS, organizational leadership, Point University; MBA candidate, Drexel University LeBow College of Business Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4,500 Your Location (if different from above): Bethesda, Maryland Words you live by: “We rise by lifting others.” –Robert Ingersoll. Who is your personal hero? My late father What book are you reading? The Wealth of Humans by Ryan Avent What was your first job? I worked for a Lawn Care company that had contracts with the majority of the McDonald’s and Burger King franchises in the area. Favorite charity: Boys & Girls Club Interests: Running, music, writing, travel, and food

Oftentimes, when we think of working in certain segments, we tend to only think of the risk side of the equation. But if we could view it through the lens of opportunity, we would find great value for our markets, our communities, and our respective organizations.

Tomorrow Is as Great as the Seeds We Plant Today I and many of my peers in the real estate finance industry have a running joke that none of us chose to join the mortgage industry. We generally fell into it by happenstance. After a few years of charting this path, many of us are extremely impressed with the nature of our work and how we are able to help so many deserving individuals achieve their real estate goals. As for me personally, I happened to land in a very good spot when I was young and green in the industry. I shared a coworking space with an industry veteran who spoonfed me best practices and growth

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hacks, some of which still serve me well today. My current career objectives in the industry are to continue the work I am doing in the community lending, lender’s mortgage insurance, and affordable lending space. I have worked in various segments of the industry, including business development, sales management, and high-networth clients, this current chapter of my career is very close to my heart and passions. It’s amazing to see how much of what I currently do aligns with some things I penned in my award-winning novel. I look forward to supporting diverse segments of the

market and helping families achieve the dream of homeownership. During the two years that I contributed to Forbes, one of my most memorable articles was entitled “Diamonds in the Rough.” Oftentimes, when we think of working in certain segments, we tend to only think of the risk side of the equation. But if we could view it through the lens of opportunity, we would find great value for our markets, our communities, and our respective organizations. I truly believe that there are riches in the niches, and our tomorrow is only as great as the seeds we plant today.

www.diversityjournal.com

AWARD

John Drumgoole Jr


2021

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Nisaa R. El-Hasan Senior Loan Consultant

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4,500 Your Location (if different from above): St. Louis, Missouri Words you live by: The commitment to do well and to be well is a lifetime of choices that you make daily. The space to live in is not “I’ll try,” not “I want to,” not “I really want to,” it’s “I have decided.” Who is your personal hero? My momma, Marviene Jameson What book are you reading? Rereading The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra What was your first job? My first job was working with my mom at her home cleaning business Interests: I enjoy exercising and being outside in nature. I also love to travel with my girlfriends. Family: I have a 12-year-old beautiful daughter, Nalani Mae Rose.

Over my career, I have helped so many families attain the dream of homeownership, and it is my mission to help thousands more.

Mentorship begins at home My parents have been instrumental in my success. As a little girl, they had the word “PEACE” spelled out in big brown letters above our dining room table. They had pictures of African kings and queens on the walls all over our home. My parents were entrepreneurs—real estate investors, and owners of a restaurant, a home-cleaning business, and a gas station. Growing up in this environment forever changed the trajectory of my life. I wasn’t one to ask many questions, but I watched, and I listened, and I emulated everything I saw as I entered into the world—from

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the grace and poise of my mother to the quiet confidence my father carried. He was never loud, but I witnessed the way other men respected and admired him. He was granted so much reverence from others. I started my career in the mortgage industry more than 24 years ago. I didn’t realize until then that it was much more difficult for Black people to achieve homeownership than it was for other cultures. I purchased my first home at the age of 25 and experienced so much fear because I thought I would be told no. It then became my mission to educate my community and en-

courage more people that looked like me to take this journey. Over my career, I have helped so many families attain the dream of homeownership, and it is my mission to help thousands more. I get so much joy from sharing this journey with my clients, as they navigate this process, even as they are dealing with stress, anxiety, and fear. I am honored to walk with them every step of the way because I know what is on the other side. I am lucky to be a witness to the feeling of triumph as my clients enjoy, knowing they have accomplished their birthright—to be homeowners.

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BL A C K

2021

Director, Legislative Policy & External Affairs

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Charles R. Lowery, Jr.

Education: JD, University of Michigan Law School; BA with honors, economics, Stanford University Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4,500 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge Who is your personal hero? My father, Charles R. Lowery, Sr. What book are you reading? Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive by Bradley R. Staats What was your first job? Newspaper carrier for the Cleveland Plain Dealer Favorite charity: Susan G. Komen for the Cure Interests: Exercise, sports (the Cleveland Browns), reading, and spending time with family Family: Two sons, Jelani and Amir, and two granddaughters, Grace and Lexi

Finding My Way to Help People I never expected to work in the mortgage industry, but I am excited about my current career and opportunities. After working as a newspaper carrier in high school, and as a garbage collector, steel mill worker, and junior accountant during college, I wanted to go to law school to “help people.” I wanted to improve and change our society, so I was elected a member of the Michigan Law School Student Senate and president of the Michigan Black Law Students Association. However, I eventually found out that a traditional career in law would not help me to improve the world. Following law school, I took various jobs (Legal Aid, nonprofit, the federal government, and with agencies, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Defense Department) in search of a job where I could combine what I learned while earning my economics and law degrees. Finally, in 1997, 70

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at the age of 43, I found that combination at the DC Department of Banking and Financial Institutions. As general counsel, I worked on consumer financial issues and was introduced to the world of housing, mortgages, and foreclosures. I took a risk (and a pay cut) to join the Center for Responsible Lending, where I worked on mortgage and housing issues. After jobs with the Consumer Federation of America and the National NAACP Economic Department, I had an opportunity to join the mortgage industry. Now, in my role as Senior Advisor to the New American Dream Initiative, I can use my economics degree and my law degree to help the Black community achieve homeownership. I have often wondered why it took me so long to find my niche in the work world. Recently, I did some cleaning in my attic and found some of my mom’s papers and documents; it was amazing

to see some of junior high school report cards, her high school graduation diploma from Crenshaw County Training School, and her college grades from her two years of college at The Alabama State College for Negroes (now Alabama State University). I then realized that my mom went from being a stay-athome mom to enrolling in nursing school at the age of 38 to become a practical nurse (a job that she loved). I also remembered that my dad (who didn’t graduate from college) took many courses for his job as a custodian for the Cleveland Public School System. Just like my parents, I have realized that I, too, am a lifelong learner. After many years of gaining work experience in the federal government, district government, nonprofit advocacy, and civil rights organizations, I am now able to combine those experiences successfully in my current job to help others. www.diversityjournal.com


2021

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Michael Moseby

Senior Loan Officer / Sales Manager

Education: Bachelor of Arts, sociology and theater, Occidental College Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Mortgage Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 4,500 Your Location (if different from above): Porter Ranch, California Words you live by: “You are who you hang around.” –Mom; “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” – Dad Who is your personal hero? My mom What book are you reading? 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story by Dan Harris What was your first job? Moving furniture for my dad’s company Favorite charity: UNCF Interests: Basketball, hiking, and listening to new music Family: Dad, sister, nephew, and close friends

We represent the front line of the public’s view of the private sector. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we are providing our products equitably and servicing each client with respect, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or nation of origin.

When Everybody Enjoys the Same Benefits, it Benefits Everybody I believe there is not one nexus of business and community involvement, but rather these are integrally intertwined. As business leaders, we are the guardians of equal treatment for all of the members of our communities. We represent the front line of the public’s view of the private sector. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we are providing our products equitably and servicing each client with respect, regardless of race, gender,

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sexuality, or nation of origin. In my field of home finance, we very carefully track the national homeownership rate to make sure everyone is receiving a fair chance to build generational wealth. As cochair of the New American Dream initiative, I lead a group that tracks the company’s home loans for our Black clients, as well as our company’s hiring of Black salespeople, since we are licensed in 48 States.

We partner with national and local real estate and community groups in order to partner in pursuit of the same goals. Every industry should have the same passion and put forth the same effort to ensure equality in the private sector. When all members of our communities experience the same benefits—access to wealth and health, and treatment—it benefits everyone.

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2021

BL A C K

Vice President, Office of Governmental Affairs

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: JD, Columbia Law School; BA, anthropology, Yale University Company Name: New York Life Insurance Company Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Ted Mathas Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 10,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Considering we enter this world with nothing, everything we encounter—every lesson, challenge, and opportunity—is profit. Who is your personal hero? Sherrilyn Ifill What book are you reading? Lately, most of my reading is occupied by the news! What was your first job? Children’s dance teacher Favorite charity: ASPCA Interests: Formula 1 racing, running, movies

Mentors and Sponsors Are Incredibly Important I’m incredibly fortunate to have a job I love. It challenges me on a regular basis and taps into several different parts of my skill set and personality, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for supportive and insightful mentors. Members of the U.S. Congress come from all walks of life with a variety of approaches to policy and legislating, but they share a common goal of advancing our journey to a more perfect Union. To be an effective advocate among them requires a predisposition for relationship-building, authenticity, and a dash of optimism. I’ve always been a people person. I love hearing people’s stories and find a great deal of

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pleasure in the moments when you can see beyond a person’s shiny exterior and learn what motivates them, what keeps them up at night, or where their passion lies. My mentors at New York Life took the time to learn this about me and identified this role as an opportunity. Without their insight and encouragement, I wouldn’t have realized that my personality could form the foundation for a successful career in government affairs. At each leap forward in my career, as far back as deciding where to go to college, there’s been someone nudging me to jump. And often, that jump was to a destination I hadn’t previously envisioned for

myself, but proved to be the right choice. Mentors and sponsors are incredibly important, especially among professionals from diverse backgrounds. They can see things you may not see, remind you of your potential, and help you make small adjustments that pay large dividends. Without their birds-eye view and helpful little nudges, I wouldn’t constantly be evolving and growing the way I currently am. I’m far from knowing my final destination, but the lessons I’ve learned thus far along my journey, I’m now sharing with a handful of mentees of my own. They’re already brilliant, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.

www.diversityjournal.com

AWARD

Whytne Brooks


2021

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Jason Autar

Chief Operating Officer

Education: BA, forensic psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Company Name: The Oyate Group’s Bronx Rising Initiative Industry: Nonprofit Company CEO: Tomas Ramos Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 12 Words you live by: Selfless leaders operate without an ego; we focus on the mission and how to accomplish it. Who is your personal hero? A few people: my wife, Vyasa Autar; my parents, Jadoo and Seeta Autar; and my mentor, Dr. Luis W. Osorio. What book are you reading? Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction by Arundhati Roy What was your first job? Summer Youth Internship Program at FEGS Education & Youth Services program Favorite charity: NYC Action Lab Interests: Politics, history, and collecting records Family: Myself and my wife, Vyasa Autar

Expanding Access for those Who Need it Most My career path has always been defined by service. From the onset of my first professional job, I realized that my goal was to advocate and facilitate for the voiceless. I’ve shuffled through various sectors of the nonprofit realm, from providing support to juvenile offenders and creating opportunities for the special needs population, to bridging the gap between the government and community. Overall, my life’s work has been to ensure that marginalized and underserved communities receive access to resources. For me, the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the public health issues that have affected the Bronx for the last 30 years. Access to high-quality, affordable health care has not been a priority in our borough. As the Bronx Rising Initiative (BRI) conducted initial outreach in our communities, we realized there was a disconnect between the mes-

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saging from the government and how it was being interpreted by the people. From there, we understood that we had to cut through the red tape and bring the vaccines to where people reside and to institutions they trusted. We created a mobile vaccine tour by partnering with community-based institutions that operated community centers, senior centers, and other community spaces. While my primary objective throughout the course of my career has been to expand access and capacity to those who need it most, and BRI has been a major conduit to this goal, I also recognize the importance of mentoring and bringing up the next generation of leaders. Many young people need guidance and support, especially as they transition into early adulthood. Many feel ill-equipped to venture out into the “real world,”

whether to attend college or pursue gainful employment. Within our agency, we have an established culture of senior staff members mentoring all junior staff members. Our junior staff members are relatively young (all between the ages of 18–28), and for many, it’s their first “professional job.” It’s up to me to set the tone and tap into their potential, which involves career planning and career transitions. Our expectation is not to hold on to our talent forever. Our approach has been to provide opportunities for our junior staff members to expand their skill sets and move on to the next chapter of their life. For our young people to succeed in this post-pandemic world, we leaders need to invest in them, creating opportunities and space to grow. If this doesn’t happen, we are doing a disservice to the next generation.

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BL A C K

2021

Counsel

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Valerie Jules McCarthy

Education: JD, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law; Bachelor of Arts, economics, Lehigh University Company Name: Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, P.C. Industry: Law Company CEO: Michael S. Stein, Esq. Company Headquarters Location: Hackensack, New Jersey Number of Employees: 113 Words you live by: Be kind! Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Always grow! Change is inevitable, enjoy it, don’t fight it. Who is your personal hero? My father What book are you reading? Law of Attraction by Jerry and Ester Hicks What was your first job? Cashier at Acme grocery store Favorite charity: Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital Interests: Traveling, reading, meditation, party planning, and decorating Family: I am married to my best friend, and we have been together for 12 years. My husband allows me to be who I am and is willing to accept me as I grow and evolve. I have a beautiful 4-year-old daughter, who is sweet, funny, brave, and smart as a whip. She has taught me to see myself more clearly and to be more authentic. I have two loving parents, who have been married for over 40 years, and have supported and nurtured me for my entire life. I have an older sister, who is my soul mate; we share a deep spiritual connection. I have the best in-laws any one could hope for and a group of close knit friends who are more like family than friends.

How I Learned to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable The best advice I ever received came recently, and that is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. For most of my life, my goal was to make everyone around me feel comfortable. I felt that any negative emotion or unease was perceived as a failure on my part. As a child, I was always the helpful kid that tried to alleviate my parents’ stress by cleaning up, getting good grades, and staying out of trouble. This mindset continued, and I learned to read people very well, so I could figure out what they needed and provide that for them. I thought if I could do those things for everyone else, they would be comfortable and happy, and in turn, so would I. But this approach became less and less effective, and wasn’t sustainable as a way of life. I was bending myself into a pretzel to make everyone around me happy, but I was still uncomfortable. Interestingly, becoming an attorney and litigator forced me 74

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to stop in my tracks and consider my philosophy. Undoubtedly, I chose a career where, by design, there is a winner and a loser most of the time. Particularly in a matrimonial law practice, with clients in very emotional disputes, there was no way for me to make everyone comfortable. This caused some stress and anxiety, although I did not understand why, as I was doing what I always wanted to do, and I had a great family and friends. During the pandemic I started working with a therapist. She observed that I would not allow myself to feel and process negative emotions. She was right. I felt the urge to stifle any negativity, to fix the problem whether through avoidance or interference. But this approach used up a lot of my energy and was highly ineffective— hence, the stress and anxiety. My therapist advised me to “get comfortable being uncomfort-

able.” I did not have to do anything about the feeling of discomfort. Rather, just feel it, let it be, and know that it will pass. She told me that nothing is permanent! I resisted at first, but I finally relented. My outlook changed. I gave myself permission to speak up, knowing that my words might feel uncomfortable, but that the feeling would pass. I gave myself permission to put myself out there and possibly feel rejection and discomfort, but that those feelings would also pass. As a lawyer, and on a personal level, this advice has given me greater courage; I am no longer averse to feeling uncomfortable. Taking risks and trusting yourself are such significant tools for women, for women of color, and for women in the legal profession. I am still a work in progress, but this advice has moved me out of what I thought my “comfort zone” was or had to be. It’s a new way of thinking, and an invaluable piece of advice. www.diversityjournal.com


2021

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Charles Dillahunt

Strategic Adjunct for the Chief Executive and Chief People Officers

Education: BS, philosophy (minor, business), Wabash College Company Name: PGA of America Industry: Golf Company CEO: Seth Waugh Company Headquarters Location: Frisco, Texas Number of Employees: 294 Words you live by: “That which doth not kill me, can only make me stronger” – Friedrich Nietzsche Who is your personal hero? Sandy Cross What book are you reading? Breathe: A Life in Flow by Rickson Gracie What was your first job? Corporate Partnership Intern with Indy Eleven Pro Soccer Favorite charity: West Palm Golf Park Interests: Reading philosophy, golfing, mentoring, video gaming, collecting sneakers, and working out

Creating Golf Industry Strategy through a Philosophic Lens The one trait I consider essential to my success is my ability to view business processes and decisions through a philosophic lens. When I first began studying philosophy in college, I was determined to become a lawyer, because I thought that was the only professional path where philosophy could be utilized. Needless to say, I was wrong. When I began working in golf, I often found myself asking the same kind of questions I ask when reading a philosophy piece or when I was in philosophy class. Those questions are, “What does it mean to exist equally in the golf industry? What responsibility does the PGA of America have in regard to making sure that all of the com-

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munities where we work and play are flourishing? Who should we partner with to diversify this historically homogeneous sport and why?” As a result, I aim to always think like a philosopher (deeply, critically, and effectively) to help solve problems for the leaders and members that I work alongside and serve. The most important part of the decision-making process for me is making sure my solution has a solid foundation that isn’t easily deconstructed. A house built on a shaky foundation certainly won’t remain standing, and the same goes for a business solution. This trait aids me most when deciding how to approach diversity,

equity, and inclusion issues in golf. Diversifying a global sport with age old traditions is no easy task, and it takes deep thought and teamwork to achieve it. Through initiatives and partnerships like Make Golf Your Thing, Fairways to Leadership, and PGA WORKS, we hope to one day make the game, workforce, and supply chain of golf mirror America. As I mentioned before, this is no easy task, but many hours spent in deep, philosophical thought with my teammates and peers will help the golf industry accomplish our goals. Golf is an 85-billion-dollar industry, and it’s an industry where we want the world to know that all are welcome.

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BL A C K

2021

Vice President, Global Supply Chain

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Ruben Harris

Education: MS, manufacturing & operations, Rensselaer at Hartford; BS, industrial technology, Central Connecticut State University Company Name: Raytheon Technologies Industry: Aerospace & Defense Company CEO: Greg Hayes Company Headquarters Location: Waltham, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 195,000 Your Location (if different from above): East Hartford, Connecticut Words you live by: Life is short...make it count. Who is your personal hero? My wife; our partnership in parenthood has changed my DNA. What book are you reading? The Promised Land by Barack Obama What was your first job? Landscaping for my dad’s company Favorite charity: The United Way Interests: My kids’ sports, home lawn care, barbecuing, golf, and personal finance Family: My wife (Carmen), daughter (Isabela), and son (Ruben)

The Future Is Filled with Opportunity The “I” in diversity, equity, and inclusion ignites my professional passion. In fairness, I did not always use this word, nor did I fully appreciate the distinction between inclusion and something that I would have more broadly described as “teamwork.” For context, I work for Pratt & Whitney (a Raytheon Technologies company), one of the largest A&D companies in the world. When it comes to P&W, I am most proud of three main things: 1. Our compelling mission (safely and dependably move people around the world, connect economies, and power freedom) 2. Large group of talented professionals across many functional areas 3. The way we work, known as the Leadership Operating Model (LOM); simply put, our LOM is a sustainable way for us to engage with each other at all levels Given the complexity and the

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importance of what we do, it is vital that we harness the professional skills, talents, and perspectives from each member of our team. This is where inclusion comes in. As noted in the intro, earlier in my career as a leader, I took on these challenges under the principle of teamwork. This involved connecting multifunctional teams in a collaborative way toward a common goal. It was a conventional approach and yielded a certain level of success. However, the focus on inclusion takes things to another level. It ensures that all team members are valued for the uniqueness they bring and are given the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to outcomes for our business. Therefore, my team and I engage in activities to raise awareness, advocate, coach, and share personal experiences to advance our level of inclusion. When I reflect on my entry into the company more than two decades ago, I don’t remember many of the details of those early days, but as

Maya Angelou said, “... people never forget how you made them feel.” While none of my individual experiences were particularly dramatic or overt, they collectively eroded my initial sense of belonging. Things have improved dramatically in the DE&I space since then. However, I still find, via the mentoring I do throughout the company, there is much more that we can do. Today, I seek to create and cultivate an environment where every member of my team is truly included in our mission. The experiences I have had as an early career black man in a large multinational corporation have certainly shaped my perspective—hopefully, to the benefit of those who look like me, as well as those who do not. My focus is on harnessing the power of the human spirit to drive outcomes for our customers, shareholders, and employees. Given the level of talent where I work, the future is filled with opportunity.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

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Joe L. Kidd Jr.

Vice President, Infrastructure, Support & Cyber Security

Education: Bachelor of Arts, computer science, Stockton University Company Name: Sonepar US Industry: Electrical Distribution Company CEO: Rob Taylor Company Headquarters Location: Charleston, South Carolina Number of Employees: 12,000 Your Location (if different from above): Hamilton, New Jersey Words you live by: Make a difference and contribute to helping people on a personal and professional level. Who is your personal hero? My mother and father What book are you reading? Our Kind of People by Lawrence Otis Graham What was your first job? I worked for McDonalds. Favorite charity: Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Interests: I’m committed to health & wellness; fitness is my passion. Family: Parents, two siblings, and my wife

You’ll Make a Difference by Just Being You I have an insatiable curiosity about how things work. At nine years old, I was taking things apart to see what was inside and then putting them back together. Recognizing my fascination with technology gadgets, my parents got me my first computer around sixth grade. Unbeknownst to me, my future career had begun. With a deep curiosity for understanding how the device operated, I would disassemble and reassemble that computer over and over. I quickly moved to teaching myself the operating system, various programming languages, and most important, how to connect to other systems online via a modem. During high school, I went on to host my own Bulletin Board System (BBS), which was a precursor to websites. By the end of high school, I was certain my career would be in the technology space related to IT infrastructure. Fast forward, I am now the vice president of IT infrastructure, support, and cyber security for Sonepar USA, a global, French-owned company. In the early years of the U.S. division, with just a few IT people on staff, I was given a pen and paper, and www.womenworthwatching.com

asked to architect the IT infrastructure solution for the organization, then scale an IT staff as we grew. Today, I have the pleasure of leading, mentoring, and coaching 68 IT professionals who architect, support, and secure IT-related solutions across our now $10-billion company. When it’s working well, information technology is an invisible (but invaluable) company asset. But it’s important that staff does not feel invisible. I take great pride in my very motivated and energetic team members who like to have fun and feel a great sense of pride in the service they provide to the organization. During the COVID-19 quarantine, my humble staff turned into rock stars, as the systems, solutions, and architecture, designed over many years, were put to the test by 8,000 associates who went home to work. With everyone else, I watched the traditional workplace model dramatically pivot. Over the next five years, the work world will see more tools developed to embrace the virtual workforce. Video solutions will be enhanced, and collaboration solutions will be enriched beyond the confines of our current imagination.

I love being part of this new frontier and taking on the challenge of ensuring our IT infrastructure allows for maximum productivity among our mobile associates. I’m delighted to be recognized as a Black Leader Worth Watching. I would offer that my journey was inspired by great role models before me, who propelled me to try and be the best role model I could be. For the young black leaders in corporate America, there is no definitive playbook, but there must always be a plan. Be intentional in your career and in life. Your journey should start with finding excellent role models and modeling traits and steps or moves. Be conscious that someone is always watching you, so be a good example and stay positive. And don’t deny any part of yourself. Be authentic and bring your whole self to work every day. It’s the only way to move through life—making a difference by just being you. Finally, when you get down the road a little, remember to share your stage, pass the mic, listen versus tell, and always maintain your mentors and coaches, while also being a mentor and coach. That curiosity will enhance you and serve you for life. 2021 Fourth Quarter

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Partner

LEADERS Worth Watching

TM

AWARD

Tracy Richelle High

Education: JD, Harvard Law School; BA with honors, Yale University Company Name: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Rodge Cohen, Senior Chairman; Joe Shenker, Chairman Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: Approximately 900 lawyers Words you live by: Choose joy—you determine your attitude, not others. Who is your personal hero? My parents What book are you reading? The Bible; All that she carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Alicia Miles; One-legged Mongoose: Secrets, Legacies, and Coming of Age in 1950s New York by Marc J. Straus What was your first job? Grocery bagger at Safeway Favorite charity: I am on too many boards to answer this, because there is not just one! Interests: Spending time with my family, going to stand-up comedy shows, and reading Family: Husband: Roman Johnson; Son: Christian Alexander High Johnson

The Power of Hope Our society has faced a reckoning, and I am so grateful. It is incredibly inspiring to see a renewed and collective commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a lawyer. And, I am a Black woman. I have a Black husband and a six-year-old Black son. My husband and I have been talking about race with our son since he was two years old. I do not have the words to describe the depth of anguish I feel to have to be the person who introduces the concept to my son that he will face fundamental unfairness that has nothing to do with who he is, and everything to do with the color of his skin.

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As his protector, to have to bring that ugly truth into my home, particularly given his young age, is heartbreaking. As heartbreaking as it may be, it’s my duty as a Black mother to provide him with armor, so that when he encounters these issues, his spirit isn’t defeated; he may be shocked, but he will be prepared. I can’t just give him armor though, I also have to teach him resiliency, and more important, the power of hope. This is something that most Black people have had to do for generations; my parents did it for me, and their parents did it for them. For many of our Black colleagues, clients, and friends, this is a reality that we and our loved

ones live with every day. And now it seems the rest of the world is finally starting to come to grips with this truth that we have known for such a long time. Notwithstanding that it feels long overdue, I am encouraged that, collectively, we are on the path to real progress. I firmly believe that people do not fail because they aim too high and miss the target, but because they aim too low and hit it. If we want the business world to be as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as possible, we must aim for the highest heights and not back down from doing so. We owe it to those who came before us to make certain that we see forward movement at every level of our industries.

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2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

TM

AWARD

BLACK

Alvin E. Mathews, Jr. Counsel

Education: JD, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law; AB, Miami University Company Name: Ulmer & Berne LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Managing Partner Scott P. Kadish Company Headquarters Location: Cleveland, Ohio Number of Employees: 305 Your Location (if different from above): Columbus, Ohio Words you live by: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Who is your personal hero? Thurgood Marshall What book are you reading? A Road to Character by David Brooks What was your first job? Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Favorite charity: Vineyard Community Center Interests: Reading, travel, and sports of all kinds Family: Married; father of four daughters

Keep an Eye Out for Positive Mentor Relationships I firmly believe that positive mentor relationships are fundamental to our professional destinies. That has certainly been true for me. I have been fortunate, throughout my legal career, to have strong mentors who have nurtured and guided my progress. While some mentor relationships have been planned, others have seemed to happen fortuitously. I have sought out mentors in workplace environments and in community activities. Likewise, I have had the distinct privilege of having mentors who specifically sought to mentor me. Mentors have been invaluable to my career success in a variety of ways, but three ways come to mind. First, some of my most memorable mentors have taught me principally to be a person of integrity. Over

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and over, many of my early mentors taught me that having good character and professional advancement go hand in hand. They taught me that to embark on a career that sustains itself, the two are inextricably bound. Countless times I was reminded that “your word is your bond” and to “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Those maxims have helped me as much as any law school class or professional seminar. Second, some of my most significant professional mentors have taught me the importance of developing a skill set that enables me to provide excellent service to my clients. They have emphasized the importance of being a lifelong learner. They have taught me never to stop working to improve my skills. They have taught me that there is no

substitute for working hard and thoroughly preparing for each client’s case. Third, some of my most notable mentors have inspired me to pass on the wisdom, life lessons, and professional skills they shared with me to those who follow. The best thing about mentoring is that it is a great learning experience for all who participate. When you think about it, what a travesty it would be to receive the gift of good mentoring and not share it with others. I often encourage young professionals to keep their eyes open for positive mentor relationships. You never know where and when a strong mentor relationship might blossom. That single mentor relationship can have a significant impact and change the trajectory of your career.

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BL A C K

2021

Senior Vice President/National Director of Community Lending

LEADERS Worth Watching

TM

Education: Bachelor’s degree, business, Barry University Company Name: Valley Bank Industry: Banking/Finance Company CEO: Ira Robbins, President & CEO Company Headquarters Location: Wayne, New Jersey Number of Employees: 4,000 Your Location (if different from above): West Palm Beach, Florida Words you live by: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou Who is your personal hero? My mother, Liz Johnson What book are you reading? The Gift: The Essential Guide to Money and investments for Women by Mark A. Parks, Jr. (CPA) What was your first job? Kmart in Detroit, Michigan Favorite charity: Habitat for Humanity Interests: Bowling, traveling, and helping others to understand the Bible Family: Husband, Kyle A. Sullivan; Sons, Kyle D. Sullivan and Brandon A. Sullivan

The pandemic has reinforced our commitment to building a Community Lending Department that supports the pillars of our communities by providing financial literacy training, and products that give them access to capital.

Why I Do What I Do My professional passion has been ignited by the opportunity to nurture and support minority- and women-owned businesses. The pandemic has reinforced our commitment to building a Community Lending Department that supports the pillars of our communities by providing financial literacy training, and products that

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give them access to capital. My Team and I have the opportunity to work with businesses that haven’t had a traditional banking relationship. Our job is to understand their business in a holistic way, and offer them robust financing options and products that support their business needs. When we do this, we are

empowering these business owners to achieve financial success. The Bible says: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving,” and I can truly say I have experienced the happiness by giving small businesses the help they need to be successful. This is WHY I do what I do each day.

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AWARD

Thais R. Sullivan


2021

LEADERS Worth Watching

TM

AWARD

BLACK

April N. Williams Partner

Education: JD, Howard University School of Law; BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Company Name: WilmerHale Industry: Law Company CEO: Susan Murley & Robert Novick, Co-Managing Partners Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC Number of Employees: 1,931 Words you live by: To whom much is given, much will be required. –Luke 12:48 (kjv) Who is your personal hero? My grandfather, James Mungo, who is a constant source of strength and my biggest cheerleader What book are you reading? The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson What was your first job? A busser in a restaurant at the age of 14 Favorite charity: American Cancer Society Interests: Spending time with family and friends, traveling, and photography

After All, it’s Your Dream and Your Life For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a lawyer. But instead of going straight to law school after undergrad, I decided to take some time off. I wanted to gain legal experience and needed a break from school, before embarking on what was sure to be a long journey. Many people told me that taking a break was a mistake and I probably would not go back to school. Nevertheless, I stuck to my decision. I worked as a legal assistant at two different law firms, learned about various practice areas, gained an amazing mentor, and obtained experience working in a professional legal environment. Five years later I started law school, refreshed, excited, and focused. I had experiences that solidified my desire to become a lawyer and was ready for the challenge ahead. I had become accustomed to working full time, so I approached

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law school like a job, which served me well. During my first year, I had much to learn, but there were many familiar concepts that I had learned during my pre-law school “break” that even I, at the time, had no idea I would use again. This made the work a little easier and made me confident that anything I didn’t quite understand yet would soon come. As I moved forward, I had the benefit of having relevant work experience to discuss during my interviews and a level of maturity that could have only come with time and experience. Forging my own path allowed me to gain valuable perspectives on the industry and helped build the foundation of my legal career. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and throughout my career, I have kept this in mind and continued to try to approach things in a way that is true to who I am.

This is not to suggest that it is necessary to reinvent the wheel at every turn or refuse to consider what has worked for others. There is definitely value in understanding how someone else approached a similar goal, but not at the expense of ignoring who you are and what works best for you. Being in tune with yourself and acknowledging what you need, what inspires you, what makes you happy, and having the courage to proceed accordingly helps you grow and evolve. It was important for me to let go of the pressure of feeling as though I had to approach my career in the same manner as someone else might in order to be successful. I encourage others to do the same. You can be inspired by others while still acknowledging your uniqueness. In the end it’s your dream, your journey, and your life.

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Where are they now... Over nearly two decades, Profiles in Diversity Journal has recognized more than 2,000 Women Worth Watching in the pages of our magazine. In this issue, we catch up with 12 more past Award recipients, who have since been promoted, started their own companies, taken on new roles, or moved into entirely new fields of endeavor. Like all of our Women Worth Watching Award winners, they are dynamic leaders, who welcome challenges, embrace change, and share their knowledge and wisdom with the next generation of women. Read on, and see where their professional journeys have taken them.

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Ellen Kullman

President & CEO, and Board member, Carbon, Inc.

Where are they now...

Ellen Kullman, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2004, now serves president and CEO of Carbon®, a 3D printing technology company. Kullman also serves as chair of Parity for Paradigm and sits on the boards of four major companies. Previously, she held the position of CEO at DuPont, was a member of the board at General Motors, and worked in marketing at GE and in sales for Westinghouse Electric Company. Kullman earned her MBA at Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at Tufts University.

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2004

Sheila Davidson

Where are they now...

Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, New York Life Insurance Company A 2004 Woman Worth Watching, Sheila Davidson now puts her talents and experience to work as an executive vice president and chief legal officer for New York Life Insurance Company. Since joining New York Life in 1991, Davidson has held leadership positions in the areas of legal, compliance, risk, governmental affairs, corporate communications, and human resources. Earlier in her career, she served as regional counsel for FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Waller holds a Juris Doctor from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from Fairfield University.

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2004

Keiko Harvey

Principal, KT Harvey Consulting, LLC

Where are they now...

Keiko Harvey, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2004, today runs her own consulting firm, KT Harvey Consulting. Harvey founded her consulting business after her recent retirement from Verizon, where she served as senior vice president for Video Network Services at Verizon Communications. Previously, she was president and CEO of Verizon Global Networks, Inc., where she was responsible for developing and operating the company’s long-distance network. Harvey launched her engineering career with Bell Atlantic’s New Jersey Bell Division, and has, throughout her career, held increasingly responsible roles in engineering, sales, finance, and network operations. A graduate of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey–New Brunswick, Harvey holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.

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Joyce Russell

President, Adecco Group U.S. Foundation

Where are they now...

Joyce Russell, a 2004 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, is now president of Adecco Group U.S. Foundation. The Foundation is part of Adecco Employment Services, where she has been employed for 34 years. During her tenure with Adecco, Russell has also served as president and COO of Adecco Staffing U.S., senior vice president of its Southern Division, vice president of U.S. Field Operations, and in several other leadership roles. Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts in business and marketing from Baylor University, and has completed MBA classes at INSEAD and Harvard University’s negotiation program.

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Ria Marie Carlson

Where are they now...

Vice Chancellor, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs, University of California, Irvine A 2005 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, Ria Marie Carlson currently serves as vice chancellor, strategic communications & public affairs at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining the University, Carlson served as vice president of communications, brand management, and strategy for Ingram Micro. Previously, she held the position of vice president of public and investor relations at EMAK Worldwide, as well as leadership positions Sierra Health Services and FHP Healthcare (now both part of UnitedHealth Group). Carlson holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from University of Southern California, and has earned a certificate in management from University of California, Irvine.

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2005

Where are they now... Karel Czanderna

Member, Board of Directors, BlueLinx Corporation A 2005 Woman Worth Watching, Karel Czanderna has for the past four years served as a member of the board of BlueLinx Corporation, a wholesale distributor of building and industrial products. Previously, Czanderna served as director, president, and CEO of Flexsteel Industries, Inc. and group president, building materials at Owens Corning. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions at Whirlpool Corporation and Eastman Kodak. Czanderna earned her PhD and master’s degrees in materials science and engineering, as well as completing Harvard Business School’s Executive Education course and attending the Director’s Consortium presented by the business schools of Stanford University and the University of Chicago.

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2005

Kimberly Gray

Chief Privacy Officer, Global, IQVIA

Where are they now...

Kimberly Gray, honored as a Woman Worth Watching in 2005, has for the past 13 years served as chief privacy officer at IQVIA, a world leader in using data, technology, advanced analytics, and expertise to work with customers to enable a more modern and effective health care system. Previously, Gray held the position of chief privacy office at Highmark, Inc. and at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Gray earned her Juris Doctor at Penn State’s Dickinson Law; she is also a graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

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Where are they now... President & CEO, Summit Global Strategies, Ltd. Pamela Miller Esq.

Named a Woman Worth Watching in 2005, Pamela Miller has served as president and CEO of Summit Global Strategies, Ltd. for nearly a decade. Before joining her present company, Miller held positions of leadership at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and, early in her career, she served as Deputy Commissioner of Health, Environmental Health Services for the City of New York. Miller holds a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall School of Law, a Bachelor of Science in natural science, biology, from Saint Peter’s University, a Master of Public Administration from New York University, and a Certificate in financial management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

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Cassandra Chandler President & CEO, Vigeo Alliance

Where are they now...

Cassandra Chandler, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2006, recently made the move to Vigeo Alliance, where she serves at the company’s president and CEO. Chandler is also a member of the board of Loyola University New Orleans, CEO of The Chandler Consulting Group LLC, and an adjunct professor at Pace University. Previously, she held leadership positions with Bank of America and was a special agent with the FBI. Chandler earned her Juris Doctor at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Louisiana State University. She also holds an Executive Certificate in senior management in government from Harvard Kennedy School and an Executive Scholar Certificate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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2006

Where are they now... Nancy Chisholm

Interim President, Western Colorado University Named a Woman Worth Watching in 2006, Nancy Chisholm recently was named interim president of Western Colorado University. Previously, Chisholm served as president of Tyco Retail Solutions after holding progressively responsible leadership positions at Tyco. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions at ADT. Chisholm earned her Bachelor of Arts in business administration and management from Western Colorado University. She is also a graduate of an Executive Leadership Development Program at Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business.

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2006

Where are they now... Dierdre Drake

Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer & Head of Corporate Communications, U.S. Cellular Recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2006, Dierdre Drake has since been named executive vice president, chief people officer, and head of corporate communications by U.S. Cellular. Before joining her present company, Drake served as chief human resources officer at BMO Capital Markets. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions in human resources at ARAMARK Corporation, Kraft Foods Group, and Marathon Oil Company. Drake holds an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and a BSBA in human resources from Central Michigan University.

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Helena Foulkes

Where are they now...

President, Board of Overseers, Harvard University Helena Foulkes, a 2006 Woman Worth Watching, now serves as president of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University. She also sits on the boards of several other businesses and nonprofit organizations. Previously, Foulkes served as CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company. Earlier in her career, she held several increasingly responsible leadership positions with CVS Health. Foulkes earned her MBA at Harvard Business School and her AB in economics from Harvard University.

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CORPORATE INDEX

BOLD DENOTES ADVERTISER BLUE PAGE NUMBER OF AD

Adecco Group U.S. Foundation...........................................................................................................................................................................87 Advanced Micro Systems (AMD)..................................................................................................inside front cover, 40, 41, 42 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.................................................................................................................................................27, 43, 44 Attune Insurance.......................................................................................................................................................................................................45 Best Best & Krieger LLP.........................................................................................................................................................................................46 BlueLinx Corporation...............................................................................................................................................................................................89 Carbon, Inc..................................................................................................................................................................................................................84 Community Action Partnership of Orange County......................................................................................................................................47 Curaleaf.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................48 Dechert LLP.........................................................................................................................................................................4, 28, 49 Dickinson Wright PLLC...........................................................................................................................................................................................50 Estée Lauder Companies.................................................................................................................................................................................29, 51 Fannie Mae...................................................................................................................................................................................................................52 FordHarrison LLP.......................................................................................................................................................................................................53 Freddie Mac.........................................................................................................................................................................7, 54, 55 GEI Consultants, Inc..................................................................................................................................................................................................18 HARMAN International, a Samsung company................................................................................................................................................56 Harvard University.....................................................................................................................................................................................................95 Heartbeat...............................................................................................................................................................................................................57, 58 Honeywell...................................................................................................................................................................................3, 59 IBM..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................60 IQVIA.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................90 Kasowitz Benson & Torres LLP................................................................................................................................................9, 61 KT Harvey Consulting LLC.....................................................................................................................................................................................86 Kindred Healthcare...................................................................................................................................................................................................62 Latham & Watkins LLP............................................................................................................................................................................................63 Microsoft.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................34 Mosaic Group..............................................................................................................................................................................................................64 Moss Adams LLP........................................................................................................................................................................................................65 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP..........................................................................................................................................................66 New American Funding.......................................................................................................................................................30, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71 New York Life Insurance Company..............................................................................................................33, 72, 85, back cover Oracle Corporation...................................................................................................................................................................................................24 Oyate Group................................................................................................................................................................................................................73 Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, P.C....................................................................................................................................................................74 PGA of America.........................................................................................................................................................................................................75 Raytheon Technologies...........................................................................................................................................................................................76 Sephora....................................................................................................................................................................................................................13, 31 Shell................................................................................................................................................................................................................................36 Stoel Rives LLP...........................................................................................................................................................................................................32 Sonepar USA...............................................................................................................................................................................................................77 Sullivan & Cromwell LLP..........................................................................................................................................................................................78 Summit Global Strategies, Ltd..............................................................................................................................................................................91 Ulmer & Berne LLP....................................................................................................................................................................................................79 University of California, Irvine..............................................................................................................................................................................88 U.S. Cellular..................................................................................................................................................................................................................94 Valley Bank................................................................................................................................................................................8, 80 Vigeo Alliance.............................................................................................................................................................................................................92 Walmart, Inc................................................................................................................................................................................................................20 Western Colorado University................................................................................................................................................................................93 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.....................................................................................................................................................81

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2022 LATINO LEADERS Worth Watching Awards TM

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 14, 2022

2022

LEADERS Worth Watching

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INTERNATIONAL

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Our workforce is as varied as the people we go to work for. New York Life is proud of our richly diverse culture built on a foundation of inclusion. To learn more about our commitment, visit: newyorklife.com/diversity © 2021 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY New York Life is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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