Profiles in Diversity Journal® First Quarter Magazine 2024

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2024 First Quarter $14.95 2024 Women Worth Watching® in STEM and Asian Leadership Awards
2 024 A W ARD INTERNATIONAL
Being a Successful Black Attorney
Robert A. Robertson with Dechert LLP Storytelling is a Strategic Superpower
Mohan Sivaloganathan, CEO of Our Turn A Human-Centric Workplace: 3 Ways to Prioritize Diversity in a Digital Age
Austin Wolcott, Senior Account Executive, Infinite Global Cultural Sensitivity: The Underrated Ingredient to Successful International Business Relationships
Shweta Maniar, Global Director, Strategic Industries - Life Sciences for Google Cloud Where are they now?
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The singular power of diversity

Dechert is a leading global law firm dedicated to amplifying diverse viewpoints and experiences to develop the highest caliber of talent, leadership and service for our clients.

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– Euromoney, 2023

 Mansfield Plus Certification U.S. and UK –Diversity Lab, 2023

 100 Best Companies, Top Companies for Executive Women and Inclusion Index – Seramount, 2023

 Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality – Human Rights Campaign, 2023 (for the 11th consecutive year)

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Profiles in Diversity Journal® is a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. For more than 26 years, we have helped to stimulate organizational change by showcasing the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and committed individuals that are making it happen.

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Congratulations to the distinguished leaders in a variety of fields in this issue. In this first issue for 2024, we confirm our resilience and commitment to recognizing and rewarding leadership. Concurrently, we acknowledge the organizations and nominated leaders who are profiled in the pages that follow. This is our purpose. This is our honor.

Rising above the chaos, division, polarity, and partisanship, there is a cohort of organizations that have faithfully accompanied Profiles in Diversity Journal® through these challenging times. It is wonderful that some organizations find the time to prioritize the recognition of their people. We are honored by this important collaboration. For a list of these fine organizations, turn to the Corporate Index.

While much has been written about leadership, it’s our pleasure to introduce to you leaders selected to be profiled in this issue. We encourage you to witness these individuals who are leaders, guiding their teams and organizations to success. We are thankful that our magazine, still viable and critical after 26 years, is keen for this mission and grateful to have been chosen as a venue for these award celebrations.

We encourage you to check out our other leadership awards and consider participating with a nomination. Our website has all the details: www.diversityjournal.com and www.womenworthwatching.com.

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All Things Diversity & Inclusion
PUBLISHER'S COLUMN 1 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter
01 | PUBLISHER ’ S COLUMN 08 | SPOTLIGHT: BEING A SUCCESSFUL BLACK ATTORNEY 10 | STORYTELLING IS A STRATEGIC SUPERPOWER 14 | 2024 DIVERSITY LEADERS AWARDS 26 | A HUMAN-CENTRIC WORKPLACE: 3 WAYS TO PRIORITIZE DIVERSITY IN A DIGITAL AGE 30 | CULTURAL SENSITIVITY: THE UNDERRATED INGREDIENT TO SUCCESSFUL INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS 32 | 2024 LATINO LEADERSHIP AWARDS 56 | WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 80 | CORPORATE INDEX 30 INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2 2024 First Quarter www.diversityjournal.com

Being a Successful Black Attorney

At the beginning of his career, this pioneer had to make his own way in Big Law. Now he’s the chair of Dechert’s Black Professionals Alliance group, keen on helping young lawyers climb the ropes in a competitive field. Have a question about how to get a promotion or pay off student loans? His door is always open.

Storytelling is a Strategic Superpower

CEO Mohan Sivaloganathan says it’s time to revise the old story that we tell about work - you know the place where we spend 40 hours or more a week but aren’t supposed to talk about our personal lives or be ourselves? Companies should flip the script and make sure that employees bring their full selves to work. The rewards are huge: empathy, a sense of belonging and people who are more attached to their companies and its success.

2024 Diversity Leader Awards

PDJ presents its 16th annual Diversity Leader Awards, We celebrate the commitment and achievements of organizations, and their diversity leaders, who continue to put DEI front and center and find new ways to take DEI to the next level.

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Congratulations Carolina Thompson and Dan Ticona

2024 Latino Leadership Award Winners

Profiles in Diversity Journal has honored Carolina Thompson and Dan Ticona for educating the Latino community about finances and housing, mentoring others, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac’s inclusive culture empowers leaders like Carolina and Dan to go above and beyond to make home possible. We are Home to Inclusion.

Join our team at freddiemac.com/careers

A Human-Centric Workplace: 3 Ways to Prioritize Diversity in a Digital Age

AI can do a lot but it’s up to people to make sure that diversity is front and center in our companies if we think that it’s important.

Let’s start by listening to everyone on our team, bringing their ideas to clients and making sure that we nudge clients to reach out to different audiences. And please don’t butcher people’s names or forget about their preferred pronouns.

Cultural Sensitivity: The Underrated Ingredient to Successful International Business Relationships

Don’t think that you can take a business trip to a foreign country and ignore customs. Successful international business professionals research how to greet people, observe people’s actions and consider their business partners. And remember, a little background information about yourself can go a long way to helping you connect to people.

2024 Latino Leadership Awards

PDJ proudly presents its fourth annual Latino Leadership Award recipients. This year, the magazine honors 22 outstanding individuals, who have navigated two cultures to succeed in the workplace and in life.

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Where are they now?

Catch up with another 21 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.

Check out the list of organizations that appeared and/or advertised in this issue. Their contributions are invaluable. PAGE 56

Coporate Index

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Being a Successful Black Attorney

Iam a partner in the financial services group at Dechert and chair of the firm’s Black Professionals Alliance (BPA), Dechert’s Black affinity group. The BPA includes the firm’s Black attorneys and, as of last year, also our Black business services professionals. The BPA focuses on mentoring, nurturing and supporting Black professionals at the firm.

Early in my legal career, I was interested in financial services. I have always enjoyed finance and a legal practice counseling financial institutions that, in turn, help everyday Americans save

for the future – for important financial goals like buying a home, saving for kids to attend college, and having enough money for retirement.

“I’ve divided the curriculum into two levels of analysis: first, the students learn the law; then the students and I discuss what “should be the law,” which is much more difficult.”

As an African American lawyer, the early days in “big

law” were challenging. In 1987, I graduated from UCLA Law School and joined a top firm based in Los Angeles. Before I arrived, there were no other Black attorneys at the firm. As a first-year associate, I was assigned a well-meaning partner mentor; however, he made it clear that if I did not pass the bar on the first attempt, the firm did not plan to hire any more Black attorneys. I did pass the bar, but of course there were more challenges. As a sign of the times, the prestigious private club across the street did not allow women members until June of that year, and LA’s

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SPOTLIGHT

most celebrated country club would not let Blacks join for another four years.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my tenure at the firm where I began, and the training helped me to be successful later when I joined the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in D.C., where I was an attorney in the Division of Investment Management. I was fortunate to work with many dedicated staff professionals. This was when Arthur Levitt was chair of the SEC. I learned a lot from Chairman Levitt, such as how to build a consensus on difficult regulatory issues, and the benefits of “pre-meetings.”

Post the SEC, I have been with Dechert now for more than 20 years. As a partner in the financial services group, my practice continues to emphasize investment management, especially retail financial products. My identity as an African American lawyer informs my professional approach. I reflect on regulatory policy and how it affects average families; this gives me a broad framework as I approach regulatory issues. I also am a lecturer at the USC Gould School of Law, where my securities regulation class includes regulatory policy. I’ve divided the curriculum into two levels of analysis: first, the students learn the law; then the students and I discuss what “should be the law,” which is much more difficult.

My life experience has in-

stilled in me an obligation and joy to advise young lawyers of color – really anyone who may be new to a big law environment. This includes first generation professionals and female attorneys. My door is always open. We talk about everything from the importance of “client service” to managing the demands of senior attorneys, to paying off student loans.

My life experience furthermore informs my pro bono

“The BPA strives for enhanced professional development and advancement of Black lawyers and business services professionals. We also support the firm’s efforts in recruiting and retaining Black legal talent.”

work of assisting the Legal Resource Center South Africa (LRC), a South African public interest law firm which had its roots in representing Nelson Mandela. Attorneys at Dechert have devoted hundreds of hours to assisting the LRC. Dechert’s current work with the LRC focuses on farm worker rights and women’s rights.

Along with my day-to-day work at Dechert, chairing the Black Professionals Alliance –BPA – has provided me with another opportunity to assist other Black professionals. My

work with the affinity group will help develop talent at the firm and builds on the great work of Vince Cohen, the prior chair of the group and the firm’s current Global Managing Partner.

The BPA strives for enhanced professional development and advancement of Black lawyers and business services professionals. We also support the firm’s efforts in recruiting and retaining Black legal talent. Along with these efforts, the group promotes the Black community (“family”) within the firm through, among other activities, sponsoring cultural events and networking opportunities. The group collaborates with the other firm affinity groups to foster an inclusive culture within Dechert. Current examples of BPA activities include member meetings where we highlight accomplishments of the group, junior attorney training, mid-level/senior attorney training, summer associate programs, new associate programs and Black History Month programs in the U.S. and the UK.

At Dechert and other large law firms, my vision is an environment where we continue to celebrate diverse backgrounds. Dechert is an international law firm, and we always perform better when we appreciate and celebrate the differences of our many talented professionals. Our diversity will drive positive change. PDJ

9 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter SPOTLIGHT

Storytelling is a Strategic Superpower

Keep the personal and the business separate. It’s time to retire this antiquated script for achieving success, because today’s workforce of Gen Z and Millennial leaders are designing a better and healthier approach before our eyes. I vividly remember a moment that taught me how making the work personal is imperative to success. I was in my

first job coming out of college, working for a large corporation on a manufacturing site. My ambitions superseded everything and I had tunnel vision: I was going to rise up the corporate ladder, with validation coming from numbers, documents, and results. As a man of color and second-generation immigrant in the United States, I was always taught that burying yourself in

work ethic and ambition was the only path to success. Driven by this formula for success, I started operating like the machines on our manufacturing floor, working solely on my own, and treating my co-workers as robots. My system was shocked when I couldn’t achieve desired results, which wasn’t about strategy, mechanics, or dashboards. My team members started to distrust

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my intentions because they simply didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t care to know them either.

I was building a wall that separated me from work, which fueled my skepticism when I was invited to participate in a team building workshop called People Supporting People. In one session, the facilitator asked us to chart out our lives. The X Axis of the chart represented time, and the Y Axis of the chart represented highs and lows that happen throughout our lives. I sat back and absorbed the stories that my

college, and their pride in seeing loved ones succeed. I also felt the weight of the room as those same individuals brought us on a ride through the lows of illness, barriers to mental health, and tragedy.

The room was flooded with tears and emotion, and my eyes were wide open. It was the spark I needed to see people – and to be seen. It would generate the transformative power of empathy in my day-to-day work, and ultimately contribute to collaborative success in a business context. This shared success wouldn’t have happened if I

flawed mindsets and structures that too often have led to burnout and inequity. By illuminating individual and collective stories, and especially by opening the aperture for marginalized groups, organizations can shed light on the challenges and biases faced within their own stakeholder communities. Storytelling can be used to challenge old constructs that have suppressed the voices and experiences of people, and resultantly, their impact.

Safe spaces that embrace personal stories lead to more effective collaboration, resilient

As teams are increasingly fractured by mass layoffs and the ongoing “Great Resignation,” it is even more imperative that leaders establish storytelling as a strategic lever. Organizational health requires an expansive view that builds agency, belonging, and culture.

team members shared. One person drew a line to a “high” point and spoke glowingly about their wedding, and then sent the line downwards to the “low” point of their spouse being diagnosed with cancer. Another person talked about the “high” of discovering purpose and community by serving in the military, and the “low” of losing a friend during the 9/11 attacks. As my team members illustrated their highs, I heard about the birth of their children, becoming the first ones in their families to graduate from

hadn’t heard their stories.

As teams are increasingly fractured by mass layoffs and the ongoing “Great Resignation,” it is even more imperative that leaders establish storytelling as a strategic lever. Organizational health requires an expansive view that builds agency, belonging, and culture. We are in the midst of a transformative generational shift, marked by Gen Z and Millennials demonstrating that they are prioritizing purpose and authentic connection in the workplace. They’ve challenged historically

and desirable work cultures, and accountability with respect to equity. Consider the example of HP, which discovered that women and people of color in tech were structurally silenced and overshadowed, and responded by establishing transparent goals for career advancement and partnering with companies to invest in the Black talent pipeline. The stories and feedback of employees was also an impetus for change at Starbucks, leading to mentoring programs and a publicly available anti-bias

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Any advancement in work or educational systems requires honest storytelling to dismantle structural and cultural barriers. “ ”

curriculum. It is no surprise that both companies were ranked in the top 50 of JUST Capital’s rankings of publicly traded companies that create a more inclusive and effective economy.

At Our Turn, an organization that builds youth-led movements to reimagine the education system, storytelling is an indispensable strategy. When young people join Our Turn and share their story in spaces ranging from school board meetings to classroom presentations, it is a barrier-breaking tactic. Storytelling helps young people, who have historically been taught that burying themselves in work ethic and ambition is the only path to success, to lean into their unique identities, because their authentic experiences generate compassion and connectedness. With that foundation, they discover agency and the confidence needed to make a positive difference for themselves, their peers, and the education system. After all, if you feel suppressed and your experiences don’t matter, how could you ever seize opportunities for advancement? At Our Turn, we build structure for storytelling

by training staff members on how to shape and deliver their “story of self,” creating virtual and in-person venues for storytelling, and ensuring it is a part of any external advocacy action. In pursuit of improving education, and supporting the next generation of workforce leaders, we don’t skip ahead to policy making with an “end justifies the means” approach. We lift the stories of young people as irreplaceable inputs, thus positioning them as active catalysts for beneficial outcomes.

Any advancement in work or educational systems requires honest storytelling to dismantle structural and cultural barriers. For people in positions of power, there is a risk that efficacy can be subverted by cynicism or indoctrinated patterns, similar to how I felt early in my career. Too many institutions are fearful of what they might hear, and the gaps that might be revealed. In other cases, storytelling is viewed as a soft skill or a “nice-to-have,” versus a method that can be developed and curated. Nevertheless, confronting those barriers is a part of the beauty of a great

story, for any memorable journey requires adversity, reflection, and even conflict.

Our society has reached a critical tipping point. There are emerging calls to “be yourself” or “be authentic,” in order to promote wellbeing and individual purpose. In many workplaces, however, the prevailing school of thought centers on simply working hard at all costs. I’m grateful for that workshop I took part in many years ago, because it proved that we don’t have to engage in a zero-sum game. With storytelling, we harmonize identity with impact. I had to break away from my old wiring and embrace the beauty of the stories that surround me. It gave me the confidence to embrace and elevate my own story, which has opened doors for success that were previously unimaginable. In this chapter of our history, we can write a new story which dismantles the fictitious zero-sum game of success. Through storytelling, we will chart a path that affirms our identities, builds bridges, and creates a more empowering work environment for all. PDJ

Mohan Sivaloganathan is known as the “Batman of Social Impact.” He is the CEO of Our Turn, the nation’s leading youth-driven movement for education justice, and uses the power of music to spark changemaking worldwide.

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WOMEN WORTH WATCHING ® in Leadership Awards

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: June 1, 2024

Profiles in Diversity Journal® invites you to participate in our 23rd annual Women Worth Watching® in Leadership Awards and recognize the dynamic women who are using their talents and influence to enhance your workplace and change our world.

Nominate Today!

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A W
Women
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ARD
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Leadership INTERNATIONAL

The 16th Annual Diversity Leader Awards PDJ Celebrates the Creativity and Commitment of this Year’s Diversity Leader Award Recipients

Each year, as PDJ continues its tradition of honoring organizations and individual Diversity Leaders committed to advancing diversity, we are consistently impressed by their dedication and innovation.

The Diversity Leaders highlighted in the following pages are actively extending their reach, both locally and globally, to embrace a growing array of employees, vendors, clients, and communities. Diversity, inclusion, and equity serve as the cornerstone of their endeavors. For many, the pursuit of diversity holds personal significance, stemming from experiences of exclusion or neglect based on gender, ethnicity, or cultural background.

This year’s award recipients are diligently fostering connections with a broader spectrum of potential hires, engaging with women- and minority-owned vendors, contributing to their communities, and educating company leaders and hiring managers. Above all, they are nurturing workplaces where every employee is encouraged to bring their true selves to work each day.

We extend an invitation to acquaint yourself with these remarkable Diversity Leaders. Within their stories, you may uncover insights and strategies applicable to propelling your own organization forward.

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Allnex Headquarters: Alpharetta, GA

Industry: Chemical Manufacturing

CEO: Miguel Mantas

As a company, we deeply believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are essential for our success. We recognize that women are underrepresented in the manufacturing industry, and we are committed to helping change this. We are working with different teams and improving our working environment to attract more women to our workforce globally, manufacturing in particular. We aim to increase the proportion of women in manufacturing to 16% by 2030, and that of women in allnex’s leadership to 35% within the same time frame. Our diligent focus on developing internal female talent paired with a strong recruitment strategy demonstrates our commitment to progressing women into leadership roles.

Before 2021 allnex supported diversity and inclusion – but unofficially. Then in 2021 with the unrest occurring in the US, the company’s vice president of human resources (female), challenged the Atlanta HR team to figure out what allnex could do to help employees and make the company more attractive to potential hires and increase diverse representation in the company.

And that’s how the Diversity and Inclusion Network was formed in the US. Those on the team, which consisted of a diverse group of leaders, individual contributors and diversity and inclusion advocates began an intense study of not only internal employee demographics and how this data compared to the manufacturing industry in general, but also performed an external demographic study to understand communities surrounding allnex’s manufacturing sites and how to recruit diverse talent from these areas. The outcome from the analysis showed that allnex was short on female representation in both manufacturing and management.

Once the company had a clear vision of its demographic make-up and a plan of action in place which included diverse recruitment strategies, diversity training and internal talent development, it took this model and formed a Diversity and Inclusion Network in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa). It then performed the same internal and external demographic exercise in 2022 and duplicated this effort in APAC (Asia-Pacific).

Credentials: Bachelors from Spring Arbor University, MBA from University of Phoenix

Research shows that companies with more women on executive teams and in senior leadership roles outperform those without and are more profitable. Alllnex understands the importance and value of women in leadership roles, and our diversity goals support this mindset. Our progress is intentional and through joint efforts with the allnex global community we are moving this dial in the right direction. As we begin to really ramp up our diversity and inclusion initiatives, I’m really proud to be an integral part of this team.

Allnex is still carrying the historical legacy of being in a male-dominated industry, but it is currently putting in focused resources to recruit female talent and promote female leaders, particularly in the Business, Manufacturing and R&D groups.

It is working with different teams and improving the working environment to attract more women into allnex’s workforce globally, manufacturing in particular. The company’s goal is to increase the proportion of women in manufacturing to 16% by

2030, and women in allnex’s leadership ranks to 35% within the same time frame. Given the nature of the company’s business, the current economic environment and the fierce competition in the labor market, the company recognizes this is a challenging goal.

To overcome these obstacles, allnex has been proactively supporting various improvement initiatives in site facilities designed to provide a safe and positive work environment to all employees.

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Tina Collins, HR Manager and D&I Champion, Americas
“ ”

Dechert LLP

Headquarters: Philadelphia/New York

Industry: Law Firm

CEO: David Forti and Mark Thierfelder (Co-Chairs)

Dechert’s Partner Diversity Information Card was designed and implemented to track diversity representation on client matters. An Information Card snapshot is included in the monthly partner report to keep equitable staffing top of mind.

Dechert’s affinity groups continue to foster a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community. In addition to providing mentorship and professional development opportunities to members, the affinity groups host dynamic educational and thought-provoking events throughout the year to celebrate and recognize the diverse backgrounds and experiences throughout the firm.

Diverse associates and counsel from across the globe engaged in initiatives outlined in the Roadmap to the 2024 Diverse Associates Symposium. This roadmap offers monthly opportunities for participants to connect with each other and firm leadership, refine crucial skills through development-focused masterclasses, and gain insights from guest speakers.

The Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) held the ninth annual Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) Program, titled “Resilient and Ready,” in Barcelona, Spain. This program is designed to guide women associates as they navigate the path to partnership. It featured sessions on rejuvenation, self-advocacy, taking control of one’s career, and insights into the partnership path from recently promoted partners.

During Dechert’s annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week, themed “Together We Rise,” the firm invited colleagues to contemplate how the firm unites as a community and to celebrate the diversity that genuinely strengthens Dechert. The company organized

In the words of Dr. Maya Angelo, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Take the time to listen and always treat people with dignity and respect.

Satra Sampson-Arokium, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Credentials: Masters of Public Administration from Marist College; B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany

Satra Sampson-Arokium’s expertise is in the strategic development of best-in-class DEI initiatives and programming. She partners with leadership to shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices towards more equitable and inclusive leadership for individuals and teams at Dechert as well as at other organizations.

Prior to joining Dechert in 2017, Mrs. Sampson-Arokium served in the same capacity at global law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. She also spent over a decade at Deloitte in various roles, including senior consultant for Global Diversity.

Mrs. Sampson-Arokium is a current and former board member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP) and former president of the Eastern Fairfield County Chapter and empowerment chair of the Eastern Region of Jack & Jill of America, Inc.

a variety of events and activities reflecting a commitment to these values. These included a donation drive for non-perishable food items and books to address food insecurity and enhance literacy in local communities. The firm also arranged outings to nearby outdoor parks or paths to foster stronger community bonds. Additionally, it hosted an interactive hybrid game to facilitate connection and learning among colleagues,

and a special Meditation Monday session centered on “A Happier Life Through Better Connection.”

Dechert continued to recognize Diversity Champions, selecting three individuals in 2023 for significant contributions to the firm’s affinity groups, diversity initiatives within the teams, and their efforts to foster the inclusive, open culture valued at Dechert.

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Elford Headquarters: Columbus, OH

Industry: Construction Management

CEO: Mike Fitzpatrick

Elford, Inc’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has existed to bring people together with their diverse thoughts and backgrounds, creating a more innovative, creative, and higher level of Servant Leadership. We seek to continually learn from everyone – every voice matters. Our goal is to create an impact that lasts. Our human capital is the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and company’s achievement as well.

In addressing the traditional lack of diversity in the construction industry, particularly in leadership, Elford has been proactively enhancing diversity within its workforce and subcontractor base. Emphasizing the significance of a diverse team for project success, Elford has directed over $125 million to diverse subcontractors in the last four years.

Furthering its commitment, the company launched “The Elford Way” in 2023, an innovative program designed to mentor historically underutilized businesses. This initiative features small group learning sessions in key industry areas, led by experienced Elford employees, with the aim of fostering strong, collaborative relationships with these businesses. Additionally, internal efforts include the formation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council, evolving from the Strategic DE&I Plan. This group, along with the Women Builders of Elford ERG, plays a vital role in educating and engaging employees, ensuring the company’s adherence to DEI commitments. These initiatives reflect a focus on transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement in promoting diversity and inclusion within Elford and the wider construction industry.

Renewing interest in the construction industry, especially with individuals of color and women, is one of the greatest challenges faced in 2024 and beyond.

Credentials: MS, Human Services, BA, Psychology, SHRM-SCP, PHR

Diversity in all levels of an organization and amongst its client base provides for fair opportunities for all, innovation within the organization, and helps to create stronger communities for our nation.

This is why outreach to middle/high school students is crucial, as well as sparking that interest in younger children in elementary school. Elford reaches out to educate and inform targeted communities of the benefits, both professionally and economically, of a career in construction. Interacting with Historically Black Colleges & Universities, as well as culturally diverse organizations on mainstream college campuses increases awareness of the industry as it seeks to create inclusive construction teams. Elford regularly works with community groups and posts opportunities in construction at job

sites in diverse communities.

As it seeks to increase the organization’s productivity and innovation, Elford understands the need for gender parity in its leadership ranks. The board of directors (eight voting members and three active consultants) is made of 18% minorities and 8% female. These members were sought out not only for their expertise, but because of a conscious decision to diversify the board. High performing people of color and women are recognized and groomed for leadership positions with a targeted goal of diversifying the C-Suite as well as the board.

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Denise Gilliam, Director of Inclusion & Outreach
“ ”

Epiq Global

Headquarters: New York, NY

Industry: Global Technology- Services Leader

CEO: Dave Dobson

“ ”

We aspire to be a company where all people feel a sense of belonging and a freedom to be their authentic selves at work. We know we are at our best when team members have that sense of belonging and freedom. We also understand that despite the progress that has been made, the world we live in falls short in providing equal opportunities for all. Through our efforts, we firmly believe we can be a force for positive change as we continue to take steps to advance diversity, promote equity, and foster inclusion within Epiq. Over the years, we have made meaningful progress in our journey. We have increased the representation of underrepresented groups in our workforce, launched new initiatives to support employee development and advancement, and reinforced our commitment to social justice and equality.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental aspects of Epiq Global’s organizational identity, and its principles are consciously integrated throughout its structure and strategically anchored in the oversight within its HR department, particularly its Talent Management team. This placement ensures that DEI principles are seamlessly woven into employee engagement, professional development, and retention efforts, fostering a workplace that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as integral elements of its success.

In today’s evolving legal landscape around DEI, Epiq faces the challenge of continually demonstrating the value and purpose of its efforts. While the external focus may have shifted, its commitment to DEI remains unwavering. The DEI program is intentionally designed with a strong focus on inclusion because behaviors drive outcomes, not the other way around. The company must adapt to changing regulations and expectations. There is confidence in the Executive Leadership Team and their dedication to the shared mission.

To achieve these goals, the company must keep the DEI program as a focal point and a powerful voice for advancing inclusion and opportunity. Inclusion is at the core of everything Epiq does, creating

Credentials: Certified Diversity Professional and Certified Scrum Master

My purpose is rooted in the belief that education is the key to building an inclusive culture. In my journey as a Diversity Leader, I’ve learned that true allyship begins with empathy and the willingness to learn from those we aim to serve. I see my role as a bridge-builder within my company, fostering a culture of allyship where every individual is encouraged to learn from and stand with their colleagues. Through education and community, we can break down barriers, challenge biases, and create a workplace where everyone can thrive. Inclusion is not a solitary endeavor but a collective commitment. It’s my purpose to ensure that our organization is filled with allies who understand the power of empathy, embrace the importance of diversity, and actively work together to create a more inclusive future.

a culture where diverse perspectives are valued, and employees are rewarded on merit. In 2024, the company is emphasizing building allyship through empathy, educational content and the ERG Program.

As Epiq navigates this shifting landscape, it is committed to championing these principles and

ensuring the DEI program aligns with legal requirements while staying true to its core values of inclusion, equity, and opportunity. Together, Epiq can build a future where DEI is not just a response to external pressures but an integral part of its identity and success.

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Malia Turner, Sr. Global DEI Program Manager

Latham & Watkins

Industry: Law

CEO: Richard Trobman, Chair and Managing Partner

At Latham, we believe it is important for everyone to champion our DEI efforts, so one of our top priorities in 2024 is to achieve broad engagement among our allies across the firm. Underrepresented colleagues often experience feelings of being an imposter or needing to “cover” who they are at work, and thus expend valuable emotional and intellectual energy overcoming those burdens, which in turn prevents great lawyers from maximizing their full potential. The more our allies actively help create an inclusive workplace for all, the more we will be able to advance our DEI efforts. We emphasize the goals we set as an institution, but as important is the individual impact of each of our lawyers on those around them. We accomplish a lot together as a firm, and one of my goals this year is to re-emphasize that, while we are far greater than the sum of our parts, we can only positively impact our firm-wide initiatives through individual contributions to fostering DEI.

One of Latham and Watkins key priorities is establishing a strong tone from the top. The firm’s leadership has made DEI a top priority and regularly communicates this across the firm. Among the Executive Committee members, who are elected by the full partnership, 56% are women and/or ethnic/racial minorities, and over 70% belong to at least one of our affinity groups. Latham also advances gender parity by facilitating an array of institutional resources.The Women Lawyers Group, the largest of the firm’s affinity groups, has more than 1,700 members worldwide and drives initiatives to increase the recruitment, retention, and promotion of female lawyers at Latham. The Women Enriching Business (WEB) Committee addresses the business challenges and opportunities unique to female lawyers, as well as current and prospective female clients. Led by a 12-member steering committee, WEB comprises multiple local committees that represent nearly all of our global offices. Additionally, the company organizes two annual Women’s Leadership Academies focused on these goals – one for our senior associates and one for our partners.

Credentials:

As Global Vice Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Leadership Committee (DLC), I have spearheaded efforts to cultivate an environment in which you belong as you are. In 2023, Latham & Watkins:

• Implemented mechanisms to strengthen our culture of allyship, inclusion, and belonging, including building out additional infrastructure for our two newest affinity groups, our Disability & Neurodiversity Network and our US Military & Veterans Network.

• Recruited top legal talent representing a rich diversity of backgrounds. For example, in 2023, we welcomed one of our largest and most diverse summer associate classes — 55% female, 57% racial/ethnic minority, 15% LGBTQ+, and 44% first-generation professional — outpacing the top-100 US law schools’ five-year average for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority hires and first-generation professionals.

• Launched a pipeline program in collaboration with Yale Law School.

• Designed and delivered a new workshop specifically for our senior lawyers on leading inclusive teams and investing mentorship and sponsorship capital in a diverse group of junior lawyers.

• Partnered with over 60 clients to provide mentorship for second-year law students who have shown a demonstrated commitment to DEI.

From my perspective, a lack of transparency can create challenges, and so we strive to remove opaqueness about how decisions, both small and large, are made regarding firm business, including how advancement in the firm is determined. Continuing to shed light on our business processes plays a vital role in building an environment where all colleagues can thrive. In my own career journey, I knew I needed to do good work and develop within an organization that had a small town in a big city feel. I had the benefit of being surrounded by people who were clear about what the expectations of what that good work looked like, which made it easier to achieve. The firm is much larger now, so the question becomes how do we foster continued direct messaging and small town transparency on a bigger scale to maximize the development, retention, and prospects for progression for all of our associates.

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“ ”

MSC Industrial Supply

Headquarters: Melville, NY and Davidson, NC

Industry: Supply Chain Distribution, Metalworking

CEO: Erik Gershwind

Continuing A Journey to Allyship Awareness

MSC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitment is grounded in the company’s mission statement: to be the best industrial distributor in the world. The company believes that its culture and the business benefit greatly from the rich combination of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives that MSC’s diverse workforce provides. MSC fosters inclusivity through a robust and intentional focus on the programs that are offered.

In 2023, its journey to allyship awareness continued by providing a voluntary workshop where the majority of MSC’s leaders and over half of the associate population participated. The training defines allyship, its importance and its practice at work, explains what is allyship, why is it important, and how to practice it at work. Another active program is Unity Discussions. Functional leaders lead the way and facilitate Unity Discussions that range from a variety of topics, including racial literacy and bridging the generational gap. These discussions highlight the differences that make MSC a stronger team and the similarities that bring us together. The company also reached a milestone as it relates to gender and racial/ethnic representation at the director and above level through promotion and retention.

Investing in Future Leaders

It is anticipated that the Millennial and Gen Z generations will make up 72 percent of the world’s workforce by 2029, compared to 52 percent in 2019. Therefore, there is an intentional focus on investing in and developing future leaders through the company’s award-winning early career Launch Program that consists of mentorships, scholarships, internships, and a two-and-a-half-year rotational program. In 2023, the internship

JaCynthia Little, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Credentials: MBA, University of Phoenix, Black Executive Leadership Program, McKinsey & Co, Inclusive Leadership, University of Colorado

MSC is on a journey to inclusive excellence. The work that it strives to do in this space aligns with core values of doing the right thing and there is no finish line. The work demonstrates that we are better together, and that DEI is not “one of us,” it is “all of us.”

program doubled in size and will continue to grow in 2024.

Engaging Associates Throughout Their Career Journey

Due to the ongoing economic challenges, MSC is intentional about monitoring retention and overall engagement across the full life cycle of its associate’s career journey. In response, the company developed programs such as Inclusion Circles and higher education grant opportunities. The company has seven resource groups known as Inclusion Circles – WIN (Women’s Inclusion Network), BIG (Black Inclusion Group), VIC (Veterans Inclusion Circle), Pride Inclusion Circle, HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement), ABLE Inclusion Circle, and GEN (Generational Empowerment Network) – which provide opportunities to establish a strong network, increase representation, develop a diverse pipeline, and promote growth through learning. The Circles each have a mentorship program built specifically to align with their mission and goals and focus on four pillars: Culture, Career, Commu-

nity, and Commerce. All associates are welcome to join, and, to date, there has been more than 70 percent growth in participation. As part of its DEI roadmap, a partnership was established with an online university that offers full tuition grants making higher education opportunities accessible to all MSC associates. In March, MSC celebrated its first graduates. This is one of its expanding equity programs that supports attraction, retention, and development efforts, while increasing associate engagement and promoting a culture of continued learning.

Our Commitment to Gender Parity MSC values its business imperative to achieve gender parity within the company’s C-Suite and Boardroom through attraction, retention, and promotion. The company was pleased to be recognized by 50/50 Women on Boards, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing gender parity in the boardroom, for prioritizing this business decision. The commitment to gender parity not only benefits the company, but also our shareholders, employees, customers, and communities.

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In 2023, the team achieved significant strides in embedding equity across talent systems and processes, directly supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Key accomplishments include:

1. Enhanced Talent Reviews: The company adopted a more data-informed approach to talent evaluation, facilitating more objective and uniform assessments across the organization. It also broadened manager involvement in the review process, ensuring those with direct oversight of employees contributed to evaluations. This refined process has led to increased equity in identifying high-potential talent while continuing to mitigate bias.

2. Data Analysis at the heart of Talent Processes: Additionally, the enterprise increased its focus on data analysis and insights, examining factors like retention rates, promotion rates, succession data and so on with a focus on diverse talent as a subset. These initiatives have contributed to the ongoing development of a more inclusive and equitable workplace environment. These efforts showcase dedication to using metrics and leveraging data to advance DEI efforts within the firm’s talent management practices.

For 2024, DEI objectives are deeply integrated within the talent management goals, emphasizing both explicit and implicit commitments to diversity and equity. Key goals include:

1. Leadership Development and Attraction: The company is increasing its focus on nurturing a diverse pipeline of talent and diversifying succession pipelines. This will be achieved by focused efforts to advance the careers of internal diverse talent into senior positions

New York Life

Headquarters: New York, NY

Industry: Financial Services

CEO: Craig DeSanto

Credentials: BSc, Psychology and Management from Aston University; MSc, Work and Organizational Psychology from University of Nottingham

The principles of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace deeply guide and are core to my work ethic and leadership style. By engaging with curiosity and open-mindedness, I hope to unlock a world of inspiration and learning that ultimately leaves an impact.

outlined on their succession plans and through specialized development programming. There is also an increased focus on external diversity talent acquisition strategy with more proactive attraction and hiring and identifying external diverse talent who could take on critical roles in the future, to further diversify succession pools.

2. Coaching at Scale: The company is piloting a coaching program targeting two essential groups: Employee Resource Group (ERG) leaders and diverse employees seeking career development support. This initiative is designed to enhance leadership skills and provide personalized career pathways to ERG leaders to continue their growth as leaders, and through a coaching at scale platform that will facilitate growth at all levels within the organization.

Strategies for achieving C-suite and boardroom gender parity focus on deliberate, actionoriented succession planning and leadership development:

1. Deliberate Succession Planning: New York Life is shifting towards a more intentional approach in preparing leaders for C-suite roles, emphasizing early and targeted development of potential leaders. This includes identifying and addressing developmental gaps well in advance, ensuring a diverse pool of candidates is ready for leadership positions.

2. Leadership Development Programs: Special emphasis is placed on women and underrepresented groups, through experience-based development programs directed at equipping them with the necessary skills and experiences required for executive roles. This strategy is designed to proactively cultivate a pipeline of diverse talent capable of stepping into senior positions. These approaches represent a commitment to not only achieving gender parity at the highest levels of leadership but also ensuring that efforts contribute to a more inclusive and equitable corporate culture.

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Tina Gupta, Senior Vice President

Norton Rose Fulbright

Headquarters: Houston and New York (US); London (Global)

Industry: Law firm

CEO: Jeff Cody, US managing partner

Norton Rose Fulbright is primed for real and lasting change for the firm, its racially/ethnically diverse and women personnel, and its communities with the full support of firm leadership. The firm has committed resources to in-house programming to combat racial and gender bias and will continue to proactively create an inclusive culture and never stop improving. It also will continue its efforts to recruit, retain and promote diverse lawyers, as well as continuing to nurture the pipeline of diverse lawyers to take on senior leadership roles.

The firm’s strategy includes developing women and minority non-partner lawyers as successors for key roles with its clients and partnership through three unique sponsorship programs. Its sponsorship programs – the Racial Equity Council Sponsorship Program, the Leadership Development Sponsorship Program and the Midlevel Development Program – target different populations to help foster relationships in which partners serve as “sponsors’’ and provide experience, exposure and professional guidance to associate “protégés.”

US law firms have struggled to recruit, develop and retain lawyers from diverse backgrounds. While the road to equity will be long and arduous, Norton Rose Fulbright will continue to identify ways to improve recruiting, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers, as well as maintain a pipeline of diverse lawyers to take on senior leadership roles. The firm wants to ensure that its pipeline for leadership is inclusive of all who contribute to its success.

“ ”

Norton Rose Fulbright is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, as this focus reflects our core values. These DEI efforts are embedded in the fabric of our organization and guide the principles of our firm. We foster an environment that is diverse and continuously champion a culture that is supportive and conducive to an authentic dialogue on progress and barriers. The overarching objective of our Women in Norton Rose Fulbright Council, Racial Equity Council and Minority Equity Council is to drive positive change through new opportunities for growth, including sponsorship, mentorship and leadership programs.

Katherine Tapley, US Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Credentials: JD, summa cum laude, St. Mary’s University School of Law, 2007; BA, BJ, French and Journalism with Public Relations Concentration, The University of Texas at Austin, 1999

Advancing equity in the workplace and in our communities is critical to Norton Rose Fulbright as a firm. Now more than ever, the company is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that is free from discrimination and injustice of any kind. It will continue to develop and execute plans of action to enact meaningful change at the firm and in our communities. It is imperative that the company recruits, retains and advances diverse lawyers and business services personnel, ensuring there is an abundant pipeline of qualified and diverse talent ready and willing to take on leadership roles in a firm where they know they are respected and appreciated. Continuing to grow diversity among the firm’s leadership is an important step in institutionalizing a diverse and inclusive culture. While Norton Rose Fulbright is proud of the strides it has made toward greater gender and racial equity, it cannot rest idly on that progress. It must fortify the infrastructure that has been developed, continuing to cultivate and foster programs that ensure a culture that is not just “equal,” but aggressively fair. The company must move beyond feelings of “I’m not doing anything wrong” towards an affirmative commitment to do something right. This requires individual honesty and accountability from all levels of firm personnel and is an important part of the work in this role.

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Under the outstanding leadership of Kathy Bowman-Williams, Global DEI Director of Squire Patton Boggs, the firm has achieved the following:

• Developed the Global DEI Academy, a series of online and in-person learning modules that cover various topics related to DEI, such as unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, allyship, cultural intelligence, and more.

• Facilitated Global DEI Retreats, annual events that bring together diverse groups of colleagues from different offices and backgrounds, to share best practices, exchange ideas, and build relationships.

• Created and increased the Global Affinity Networks, such as the Women’s Affinity Network, the Black Employee Network, the LGBTQ+ Network, the Disability and Wellbeing Network, and the Social Mobility Network, which provide a platform for colleagues to connect, support, and empower each other.

• Collaborated with the Global Client and Sector Teams to provide guidance and assistance on DEI matters, such as responding to client requests, participating in client events, and developing thought leadership and insights on DEI topics.

• Partnered with the Global Recruitment and Talent Development Teams to ensure that DEI is embedded in the talent lifecycle from attracting and hiring diverse candidates to developing and retaining diverse talent to advancing and promoting diverse leaders.

Squire Patton Boggs

Headquarters: Cleveland, OH

Industry: Legal Services

CEO: Mark Ruehlmann

Credentials: MBA, Syracuse University –Martin J. Whitman School of Management; BA, Buffalo State University

Kathy Bowman-Williams has more than two decades of combined experience in compliance, diversity and inclusion, training and development and talent management. She is a remarkable DEI leader, who inspires and influences others with her passion, vision, and action.

Bowman-Williams applies a practical approach to DEI and strives to make a positive impact in every area. Because of her efforts, the law firm has a global DEI strategy, ensuring that every aspect of the business is examined with a DEI lens.

Bowman-Williams also travels around the world to make sure that every initiative is relevant both globally and locally. She studies different cultures and traditions for different countries, and most importantly, she constantly listens, learns and adapts. Throughout the year, she hosts roundtables, panel discussions, fireside chats, podcasts and much more. She is a shining star in DEI and continually uses her vast expertise to help others.

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Kathy Bowman-Williams, Global Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Upbound Group

Headquarters: Plano, TX

Industry: Retail

CEO: Mitchell Fadel

“ ”

At Upbound we view sustainability as a holistic framework that can not only help us operate more responsibly, but also uncover unseen risks and opportunities that can have a significant impact on performance and value for stakeholders.

The business was founded on the premise of providing people who are underserved by the mainstream financial system with the ability to access high-quality products under terms that work for a range of financial circumstances.

To succeed in this business, it has been essential to integrate with and find support in the communities the company serves. Over time, this has imbued the Company with an ethos of opportunity, equity, and shared responsibility.

As part of this ethos, Upbound is also taking strides to improve its sustainable business practices.

In 2021, it conducted a materiality assessment, published its inaugural sustainability report, and set 2022 sustainability objectives.

How does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion fit within your organizational structure? The company’s organizational structure supports DEI by embedding DEI principles into its core values and practices.It has a holistic approach that involves leadership commitment, HR practices, dedicated DEI roles, employee resource groups, inclusive training programs, practices to promote equity and representation, and an executive diversity council.

How many personnel are directly/indirectly involved in DEI work? Upbound has 28 people directly involved with DEI efforts. This includes executives that are part of its Executive diversity council. It has 133 indirectly involved in DEI work.

Credentials: Master’s Public Policy, Bachelor’s International Relations and Affairs, Certification on Strategic Human Resources Planning, West Virginia University

Our company’s goal is Inclusive workplaces, where every individual feels welcome, valued, and empowered to bring their whole selves to work. It drives heightened engagement, collaboration and innovation. This synergy culminates in superior results and outcomes. I also firmly believe a great customer experience starts with a great employee experience.

What have you and your team accomplished in 2023? Please be specific and list accomplishments.

• Upbound has increased race and ethnicity representation for African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians at senior executive levels and increased gender diversity at senior executive levels, Hispanic representation at the vice president and senior vice president and increased minority representation at all levels at the corporate headquarters in Plano.

In addition, it achieved the following:

• Maintained an equal level of representation for males and females (49 percent males, 49 percent females) at the corporate headquarters in Plano, Texas

• Increased employment engagement by 61 percent with

resource groups that represent Black professionals, Hispanics and women saw an average increase of 61 percent in employee engagement

• Increased in employee engagement by 236 percent

• Awarded Newsweek’s America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity recognition

• Achieved the second highest score at the Upbound group level (not just at the corporate headquarters level) in Upbound’s annual DEI engagement survey. The highest score was leadership connectivity, which also shows how the company supports a culture of inclusion and belonging

• Increased representation for minority groups on board composition.

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Tran Taylor, EVP - CHRO - CDO
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A Human-Centric Workplace: 3 Ways to Prioritize Diversity in a Digital Age

As I was recently researching a breaking news topic in the pharmaceutical world, I had a tangential thought. I identify as a gay man, and I was understanding the unwritten but clear implications that this event would have for the LGBTQ+ community – particularly those with lower income – but I began wondering if an automated system who could also be reading this would have the same reaction.

While neither I, nor even the best experts, can fully answer that question at this time, what I do know is that my personal viewpoint is both inherently and deeply tied to my identity. With technology and automation continuing to permeate daily operations in the workplace – taking over tasks ranging from client relations to media outreach – the value of a human perspective is unquantifiable.

With that in mind, there are several ways in which one can take the initiative to ensure that your workplace is built on diversity and wide-ranging lived experiences. As we all work to balance the desire to integrate the world’s leading technology with our current society, we must never forget the importance of constructing a human-first institution.

INTENTIONAL FOCUS ON DIVERSITY

Diversity of ideas and viewpoints in the workplace, and public relations as a whole, does not just “happen,” it must be prioritized. As you maintain your current business, and work to build out your operations, the following steps can be taken to ensure that your team continues to put forward bold ideas and support unique viewpoints:

1.) Support diverse viewpoints within your team, and then pursue them with your clients.

When it comes to your workplace, diversity starts with your leadership’s ethos. Wheth-

er it be ensuring each team member feels welcome to explore their own ideas, or elevating diverse colleagues to more prominent roles, a respectful strategy stems from your company’s priorities. As you approach your daily operations, you must keep the focus on encouraging all team members to incorporate their unique perspectives into their work.

Beyond the theoretical approach, this can also mean having a person with empathetic tendencies and a trained understanding of certain values and community ideals embedded in the finalization of each project and campaign. No matter how powerful the draw is to implement a digital-first approach, the value of having human input on a range of operations, from client relations to building relationships with reporters, cannot be overstated – and it’s up to you to maintain this focus.

The client relations portion of this may be a trickier step at times. When it comes to working with a client, it is important that as an expert in your area, you present them with new, boundary-pushing ideas. Whether it be placing a focus on heritage months, offering up a news peg that may have been missed by leadership, or asking to promote a new member of the company –keeping your mind open is essential. As you elevate diverse ideas from your team, they will naturally flow to your clients – which in turn will promulgate and fortify the importance of including these unique ideas in your approach to your work.

2.) Ensure that all audiences are being reached – and highlighted.

When pitching the media, always keep in mind new, or expanded, audiences that you could reach out to. For example, if your story is important to the LGBTQ+ community, what if you recommend to the

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client that you pitch a prominent LGBTQ+ publication? Or, given a range of similar reporters, what if you ensure that you include an array of backgrounds in your outreach?

In addition to this, while technology may be able to automate various aspects of preparing for media outreach – conducting tasks such as rapidly building out media lists that incorporate the most relevant and important reporters – having a real person involved with its review is crucial. A team member who understands the nuanced connections and existing relationships that automation may potentially pass over or miss will always add immense value to your efforts.

Finally, in places where your company highlights successful campaigns or work projects, another area of focus could be ensuring that various diverse viewpoints and targets are displayed. This not only provides an actionable demonstration of your commitment to diversity to your clients, but it shows your team that you value the importance of this as well.

3.) Educate and promote a focus on respecting identity and paying keen attention to it.

While all DEI and workplace educational programs teach a focus on respect, there are several ways to do this specific to the world of public relations and client-care.

For example, not only ensuring that team members list their preferred pronouns in all communications, but that they continually look to see if reporters or client contacts also list theirs. This is a necessary means of ensuring that another’s identity is respected – and it highlights the fact that while we don’t yet know the full extent of an automated system’s ability to comprehend and appreciate the

concept of identity, you can guarantee that your colleagues do.

This focus on respecting identity can also go beyond aspects such as pronouns, and could entail making sure that a name is spelled correctly as well. Respecting someone’s identity can take on a range of practices, but it’s up to each individual, and the company as a whole, to make sure that there is an internal and external appreciation for a healthy, respectful and human-centric workplace.

THE CONTINUAL PATH

In our current age of automation, these types of conversations will only increase in frequency. It is essential that we all work to support diverse team members, highlight a range of ideas, and prioritize reaching new, and wide-ranging, audiences.

Following the above steps is a great start, but placing them at the center of your workplace ethos, client relations and media outreach will not be the end point – it will be one step along a continually evolving road. The focus is on building a diverse, respectful environment, and that is a never-ending pursuit. PDJ

With a background in political communications and campaign strategy, Austin Wolcott helps professional services clients craft innovative media solutions and solidify their reputations as industry-leading voices. Utilizing strong relationships with media personalities and experience in propelling stories to the top of the news cycle, he assists clients with honing their message and staying ahead of the competition. Austin has a degree in journalism from the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College with a concentration in political science.

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Be a part of our upcoming Q2 issue!

Our upcoming Q2 issue will feature our 6th annual Women Worth Watching® in STEM award winners. We will also showcase the 2024 Asian Leadership award winners. The issue will have articles written by executives from top corporations as well as articles from top influencers in the DEI field.

You can participate in the upcoming issue by promoting your company or organization, by writing an article or reserving advertising space. Please contact Jim Rector for details at profiles@diversityjournal.com or call 440-892-0444.

29 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter

Cultural Sensitivity: The Underrated Ingredient to Successful International Business Relationships

I’ve been fortunate to have a global role that allows me to travel internationally for work.

Over the years, this has not only provided me with an opportunity to gather souvenirs but also invaluable business insights. What I’ve learned is that each country has a unique approach to conducting business. Just as there are unique aspects of serving different regions in healthcare and life sciences, business is conducted differently, too. The knowledge and insights gained from these trips have proven instrumental, providing fresh perspectives that I’ve been able to apply in my own work.

As I reflected on my recent business trip to Japan, memories of my work-related travels to France resurfaced. Both experiences served not only as opportunities to explore different cultures but also selfdiscovery expeditions, enabling me to grasp the subtle nuances in communication and observe the unique business etiquettes inherent to each culture.

The allure of international travel for me is that it forces you to rethink how organizations are run. It introduces you to different hierarchies among teams, as well as new uses of, and approaches to, technology and business

practices. These are governed by a different set of rules and regulations, along with other factors we may not be exposed to in our own countries. I experienced this firsthand when I was given a tour of a medical device company in Europe. It was clear they were operating in a different market from ours, just by how the product was manufactured, the lab environment, the guardrails, and the regulations they were working under — and how the region’s customer preferences and cultural norms shaped all of these factors.

Every international work trip, in its own unique way, has provided

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me with invaluable insights. Reflecting on these diverse experiences, I’ve distilled them into three essential lessons. These lessons accompany me on every journey, acting as guides to forging more impactful and meaningful business connections.

1. Prepare beforehand

Before I arrive in any new place, I do my research even on things we might think are obvious like: What’s the appropriate way to greet someone? How do you exchange business cards? I even consider simple habits such as, can you eat during a business meeting? (In France, I found, this is not the norm.) Not only was I evaluating these things in the context of interacting with clients, but also how I engaged with my international peers.

Japanese culture, in particular, is known to be fairly unique. So, on my latest trip, I familiarized myself with the correct manners, such as who should walk into the room first, whom I should make eye contact with, and how to best address each individual’s name or title.

Being (proactively) culturally sensitive isn’t just good business practice — it’s also key to building trust. Or to put it another way, “breaking bread” with others. So, make it a point to challenge your conventional views of social norms.

2. Be observant and humble

A lot of what I know about cultural norms I learned through observation. But the only way I could take in that information was by first acknowledging what I didn’t know as someone who wasn’t from there. That enabled me to show respect in how I interacted with others while

being open minded and flexible to whatever new habits I may come across.

When I came to Google, I was a little surprised at how casual people dressed in the office. But I found that in France, Japan, and during my time in Switzerland, there was definitely a more formal atmosphere when it came to work attire. Another thing I noticed in both France and Japan was a deference to the most senior person in the room. It wasn’t uncommon, for example, to have the CEO or biggest decision-maker sitting at the head of the table.

In Japan, I was particularly humbled by how much time the team took to host me from morning until night — unlike typical interactions in the US, my Japanese colleagues would meet me at the train and accompany me to meetings, and always invited me to dinner.

Good observation also helps us to understand the nuances behind how decisions are made. What similarities and differences to U.S. business dealings could I extract? We may think the US is a central driver of life sciences, but there are actually more life science organizations outside our country we should be learning from.

3. Consider your audience and what context is needed

When walking into a business meeting abroad, there are likely those who know exactly why you’re there and what you’ll be discussing, and those with much less background to go off of.

As I do my research before a trip, I also take into consideration what context I’ll need to provide my audience. Can I jump straight into the content, or do I need to do some level setting?

Offering up who you are and where you come from can also be valuable for building connections.

During one presentation with the CEO of a pharmaceutical company in Japan, I mentioned my time working at Roche and in hospital systems, and how the challenges I faced in those roles shaped my thought process around what I was presenting to them. Immediately, I could see their eyes light up. By opening up about my experience, I showed I understood their world — and I started every conversation after that with an introduction on my background.

Of course, domestic travel can provide many of the same benefits as international travel. California’s culture, for example, is much different in a lot of ways than New York’s. But traveling abroad, in particular, creates an appreciation for the expansive and diverse world that exists beyond your immediate environment.

Perhaps most importantly, having the opportunity to travel internationally has been eye-opening in terms of understanding different cultures, perspectives, and approaches within my field of life sciences. It has also made me realize the importance of being openminded and adaptable. By embracing what others teach me, you can build a highly collaborative, engaged work environment to realize everyone’s potential, including your own. PDJ

Shweta Maniar is the Global Director, Strategic Industries – Life Sciences for Google Cloud. She also serves on the boards of RXSight, Orthofix, and the scientific advisory board for the Allen Institute.

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Fourth Annual

The 4th Annual Latino Leadership Awards

PDJ Salutes our Fourth Class of Latino Leadership Award Winners

For 26 years, Profiles in Diversity Journal® has been recognizing remarkable individuals who have forged new paths, embraced challenges, mentored others, championed diversity and inclusion in both workplaces and communities, and excelled in their respective fields. Now, PDJ proudly presents its fourth Latino Leadership Awards.

The profiles featured in this edition pay tribute to the dedication and remarkable accomplishments of these Latino Leaders. Each awardee has generously shared insights through intriguing questions and essays, offering our readers an opportunity to better acquaint themselves with these dynamic, multilingual, and pioneering individuals.

Welcome to PDJ’s fourth annual Latino Leadership Awards.

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2 024 A W ARD INTERNATIONAL
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Education (degrees & institutions): J.D., Harvard Law School; B.A., Claremont McKenna College; A.A., Chaffey Community College.

Company Name: Akin

Industry: Law

Company CEO: Kim Koopersmith

Number of Employees: 1,700+

Your Location (if different from above): Irvine, CA

Words you live by: The most common form of stupidity is forgetting what it is you are trying to do. (Nietzsche).

Who is your personal hero? Abraham Lincoln (political); Roberto Unger (intellectual); John Wooden (sports).

What book(s) are you reading? False Claims Act & the Healthcare Industry: Counseling & Litigation by Robert Salcido

What was your first job? Busboy at Truck Stop

Favorite charity: Little League Baseball

Interests/Hobbies: Marathon running, golf, basketball, tennis, baseball.

Family: Irasema (wife). We have five children (Veronica, Roberto, Valerie, Sergio, Victor).

If I could chase my (unlikely) dream and catch it, so can you

Pursue your dreams ceaselessly, relentlessly.

It is easy to place artificial limits on what we can attain. Sometimes we do that because of the environment we find ourselves in, negative feedback we have received, the lack of access to basic resources for success, or insecurities. All of these are real. But we should not let them limit our perceptions of what is possible and what we can obtain if we set our hearts and minds to achieving our full potential because otherwise we necessarily limit our ability to reach all that is possibly within our grasp.

Both my parents are high school dropouts. My father has a ninthgrade education and worked pouring concrete. My mother made it through the eleventh grade and became a hairdresser. They were

married at seventeen and had my brother, sister and me by the time they were twenty.

No one in my extended family had attended college. After being a lackluster high school student, I began my higher educational journey as a junior college student. Then, while a freshman there, and after reflecting on who I really wanted to be, I woke up one day and decided I wanted to be a Harvard Law School graduate. This would seem especially irrational given that I was, after all, a junior college student and had no one in my family to guide me on my educational journey. But four years later, after non-stop study, I was a Harvard Law School student. After graduation, I became a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice. Then I became a partner at a large international law firm. The point is that if you work ceaselessly,

relentlessly, your dreams that once seem remote become possible.

This does not mean that there will not be setbacks, hardships, and obstacles along the way for anyone who pursues his or her dreams. I had my share. But that is what makes the journey enjoyable. In overcoming these challenges, I sought out excellent teachers, role models, and mentors and relied on my parents’ always sound advice. When you confront challenges in your journey, seek out similar individuals and they will help you continue on course.

As you rise each day, reflect on what is most important for you to accomplish on that day. Remember that each day is the first day of the rest of your life and filled with opportunities for success. Give each day a purpose and make it your masterpiece.

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Education (degrees & institutions): BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Company Name: Advanced Micro Devices

Industry: Semiconductors

Company CEO: Dr. Lisa Su

Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, CA

Number of Employees: 26,000

Your Location (if different from above): Austin, TX

Words you live by: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” –Seneca

Who is your personal hero? My father

What book(s) are you reading? Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

What was your first job? Line cook for fast food chain

Interests/Hobbies: Running, fishing, UT sports, and music

Family: My wife Siria and daughters Ava (5) and Alana (3)

Work can be challenging but his migrant background taught him how to persist

Reflecting on my career, I think of the people and experiences that shaped my journey. The road to success is often long and winding; where the experiences, relationships, and lessons you acquire define your path.

A major catalyst for my professional success was growing up in a migrant family. I learned the value of hard work, resilience, and education at a young age. Our annual summer visits to the farmlands of California or the cotton fields of West Texas were constant reminders of the sacrifices my parents made to provide us a better life. My father, who first migrated to the US as a bracero at 17, epitomized these qualities, which he instilled in his kids. An avid learner, he understood the transformative power of education – an opportunity denied to him but one which my

parents selflessly provided for us.

Those early lessons guided my academic pursuits and work in the engineering profession. Early in my career when presented with a problem that lacked clear ownership, I seized the responsibility and embraced the challenge. This approach afforded me great learning opportunities and allowed me to collaborate across organizations and disciplines. I was fortunate enough to have mentors who helped me stay grounded and taught me the importance of building a solid foundation of skills that would serve as building blocks to future success. Your career aspirations can be modeled as a pyramid, whose peak is predicated by the number of bricks laid at its foundation. Taking a lateral position to learn a new skill can have a more profound effect on your career than

a simple promotion.

As the scope of my roles expanded, so did the expectations. With the increased demands I learned to compartmentalize tasks, which helped me stay focused and manage stressful situations. Undoubtedly, there were moments of self-doubt, but drawing from my experiences allowed me to remain optimistic and persevere. When I joined AMD two years ago, I was asked to take on a complex program with many challenges. I did not hesitate to accept the role because I was confident in the foundation of skills I had forged along the way. Leading the server engineering team to launch the 4th-Gen EPYC Genoa processor at the start of my AMD career was one of my proudest professional accomplishments and a testament to the journey that brought me to AMD.

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Nico Canovas

Education (degrees & institutions): Social Communications degree - Universidad del Salvador (Argentina)

Company Name: AMD

Industry: Semiconductor - Technology

Company CEO: Dra. Lisa Su

Company Headquarters Location: Santa Clara, California and Austin, Texas

Number of Employees: 25.000

Your Location (if different from above): Buenos Aires, Argentina

Words you live by: “Change is inevitable, growth is optional”

Who is your personal hero? My parents

What book(s) are you reading? Trust by Hernan Diaz

What was your first job? Receptionist in a chocolate importer

Favorite charity: Fe y Alegria (Faith and Joy Argentina)

Interests/Hobbies: Sports (soccer, tennis), reading, traveling

Family: Married 22 years with Angie, 3 kids: Sol (20); Salvador (17) and Alfonso (14)

Lessons for a successful career: Be flexible, adaptable, prepared –and lucky

There isn’t one ideal way to build a career. Some pursue diverse experiences across different companies or industries, while others stay in one place for an extended period. Reflecting on my career, with nearly 20 years at AMD, I might be considered an example of the second case. However, the diversity of the roles I’ve undertaken – and the significant evolution the company has undergone – makes it feel like I’ve been in different places altogether. Ultimately, what matters is the effort and the drive for self-improvement, having the patience to seize opportunities and construct a career based on the experiences and lessons provided by change. But I am passionate about two concepts: the ability to adapt to change and people.

Coming from a communications background, I’ve always been interested in the relationship between work environments and performance, in bringing out the best in people toward a common

and higher goal, in being an active participant - and later in building –teams. Yet, I’ve also needed to be flexible enough to incorporate many concepts and processes that weren’t part of my initial preparation.

Flexibility, adaptability, and a focus on people to build highly efficient teams have been differentiating assets in my career. Identifying and incorporating each country’s cultural differences to create a regional vision and foster cohesion has been crucial, particularly in regional roles. My role involves teams from many different countries in Latin America and many other global teams in the USA across vastly different segments such as consumer, corporate, or distribution. This flexibility and adaptability in an industry and a world that changes so dynamically are attributes I most commonly find among fellow Latinos working in various markets. Embracing cultural differences while retaining our inherent attributes – such as a passion for what we do and the

importance of people and relationships – is key. Flexibility doesn’t mean changing completely but rather adapting one’s characteristics to the context to be more effective.

Along this journey, I’ve been fortunate to encounter individuals who have helped me tremendously with their advice but primarily with their work ethic. Nothing is more powerful than witnessing people navigate through stress, pressure, or joy and recognizing the integrity of their actions and opinions, regardless of the circumstances. This moment is why I firmly believe in mentors as guides who offer us a different perspective.

Lastly, a bit of luck is always needed. I’ve heard people say luck is where opportunity and preparation meet. That’s why it’s crucial to always prepare for more and embrace change as part of evolution and growth.

Thanks,

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Sr. Director, Latin America
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Abisaí Berthely Reyes

Education (degrees & institutions): Bachelor’s Degree, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, Universidad Veracruzana

Company Name: Comcast

Industry: Global Media and Technology

Company CEO: Brian L. Roberts (Chairman and CEO)

Company Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, PA

Number of Employees: 139,000

Your Location (if different from above): Sarasota, FL

Words you live by: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt; “Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people.” –Paul the Apostle

Who is your personal hero? One of the people I admire is Sean McDowell for consistently promoting honest and respectful conversations among diverse viewpoints.

What book(s) are you reading? Love + Work by Marcus Buckingham and How We

Love by Milan & Kay Yerkovich

What was your first job? Selling my mom’s homemade jello door to door at age 6

Favorite charity: HOPE International

Interests/Hobbies: Languages and cultures, travel, numismatics, theology, table tennis, drumming, biking, being in nature

Family: Sarah, my awesome wife since 2011

A lifelong quest to know more, do more, be more has fueled his career

There are many traits that can help us succeed. Curiosity does that while keeping things interesting.

Sometimes while I sit outside with a cup of tea, I think of the young me. In my mind I can almost see, like a movie playing in my memory, the image of a boy spending time outdoors. He develops his curiosity and creativity as he plays with the handme-down toys or his creations— many of which came from scrap materials and organic matter from his tropical tree-filled backyard in a small Mexican town. As imaginative and curious as this boy is, leaving his country, his people, and his household to discover a foreign land was an unconceived scenario. The idea that these traits that he was developing would help him contribute to creations that millions would enjoy in that foreign land was equally absent.

At some point in his childhood, this curious boy finds himself intrigued by unintelligible words

uttered by a tall, lively US missionary. It must have been there that his curiosity about languages became a passion worth pursuing. Little did he know that this would take him on an adventure to become a firstgeneration college graduate and even spend a semester at an American institution where fascinating cultures collided. Neither did he know that he would marry a woman from Leatherstocking Country and eventually find himself back in her homeland to continue using his curiosity and imagination to create like before—this time at Comcast instead of his backyard and with incredible technology instead of scrap materials.

It has been a while since I was a young boy, but I have kept my curiosity alive—and it has served me well. Curiosity has allowed me to contribute to innovations such as the development of the X1 entertainment platform in Spanish and the

bilingual voice remote by analyzing data and uncovering customer needs. Curiosity has also helped me adapt to new roles by learning about team dynamics, people, and lingo that sounded like a foreign language. Finally, curiosity has enabled me to become a more effective leader as I listen to my team to understand more clearly how I can support them and create a more enjoyable and productive work environment that connects meaningfully to their needs, interests, and passions.

Curiosity compels us to ask questions to make more informed decisions. Without curiosity, we may be more likely to simply make guesses limited by preconceived notions. Our approaches may be more likely to be biased, narrowly informed by our own experiences instead of inclusive of different perspectives. Taking the time to be curious is not a waste of time, but an investment that can pay dividends to those who embrace it.

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Sr. Manager, Strategic Initiatives

Meshach Rhoades

Education (degrees & institutions): JD, University of Colorado; BA, Regis University

Company Name: Crowell & Moring LLP

Industry: Law

Company CEO: Phil Inglima

Company Headquarters Location: Washington, DC

Number of Employees: 1,000+

Your Location (if different from above): Denver, CO

Words you live by: Be authentic, figure out what you do great and do that more, figure out what others do great and show them off and lift them up so they can do that more, too.

Who is your personal hero? My parents

What book(s) are you reading? Do You Remember? by Sydney Smith, with my kids

What was your first job? I have always volunteered in the community and taught at basketball camps for a small stipend, but my first paying job was working at a senior center. It was such an enlightening experience and I cherish that time.

Favorite charity: Latinas First Foundation

Interests/Hobbies: Coaching basketball, traveling with my family, tennis, hiking/ backpacking, adventuring

Family: My husband and two amazing kiddos, Elle (10) and Ari (6)

She fought to get into Big Law. Now she wants to pass the ball to other Latinas

Tenacity has always been essential to my success in school, in my legal practice and in life. I was a 5’1” college point guard. No one, except those closest to me, believed I could play basketball in college. I knew the only way I had a shot was to practice more efficiently and longer than anyone else. I had to perform when the game was on the line, but to get there I needed to focus, show intense drive and heart. I had to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses—and my height. I also had to pick myself up every time I was knocked down, figuratively and literally. During each setback, which I still have to this day, I refocus on what I can do better so I can change the outcome. My name means resilience and I have learned from my female Latina sponsors how to

compartmentalize the grief of your loss or failure while extracting the keys to push past it.

When I co-founded the Latinas First Foundation 11 years ago, we wanted to create an opportunity for women to see other women doing amazing things in the community and in business and create a path to education. We have now awarded over 300 scholarships to Latinas to attend college and graduate school. As I read their stories, I always think why not them? Why not me? Why not us? Our goal was to jump start those opportunities for Latinas through scholarship and by showing them examples of successful women who have achieved remarkable things as well.

As a Latina in Big Law, I have always known there are very few

women that look like me in positions of authority. Big Law has generational ties to big companies that make it difficult to break into. This is compounded by the fact that you do not see many people who look like you either as the relationship partner or the partner generating and responsible for the work, as the managing partner or on the committees that lead law firms. Hispanic women account for less than 1% nationwide of partners at Big Law —the highest position at a law firm. Tenacity and resilience are so critical because they allowed me to take charge of critical moments in my career. Those traits allow me to show up authentically in spaces that were not meant for me, so I can own my story and change the narrative for others.

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Managing Partner, Denver Office
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Education (degrees & institutions): MBA, California State University Long Beach

Company Name: Curacao

Industry: Retail

Company CEO: Ron Azarkman

Company Headquarters Location: Los Angeles, CA

Number of Employees: 1,500

Words you live by: Authenticity, determination, truth

Who is your personal hero? Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Frida Kahlo

What book(s) are you reading? Unlimited by Eugina Jordan and Not Pausing by Ariela Nerubay :-)

What was your first job? Entertainment reporter at ECO News, a Televisa Company.

Favorite charity: Boys and Girls Clubs of America - I was a trustee until Dec 2023

Interests/Hobbies: Boating, nature

Family: Is everything to me

She was the only Latina in the room – now she is holding the door open for others

In my journey as a business leader, I’ve come to realize the critical importance of supporting and empowering the next generation of Latino professionals. My experiences, particularly as a professor at USC and as the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Curacao Stores, have provided valuable insights into how leaders can effectively nurture emerging talent within the Latino community.

As a professor at USC, I have made it my mission to advocate for Latino representation in advertising and to teach multicultural marketing with a specific focus on the Latino community. Through education and mentorship, I strive to equip students from all backgrounds with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s diverse business landscape. By fostering cultural awareness and understanding, I believe we can create a more inclusive environment where Latino professionals can excel.

Moreover, my commitment to mentorship extends beyond the classroom. I actively engage in mentoring Latino students and supporting

their career growth, recognizing the transformative impact of guidance and support in navigating the complexities of the professional world. By sharing my experiences and providing mentorship opportunities, I aim to bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement for the next generation of Latino leaders.

Furthermore, I am deeply committed to social responsibility and community impact. Through initiatives like the Curacao Foundation and my involvement with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, I strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of underserved communities. By prioritizing community involvement and giving back, I believe we can create a more equitable and inclusive society while nurturing the next generation of socially conscious business leaders.

One significant challenge I faced in my career journey was being the only Latina woman in the room. This situation brought its own set of obstacles, including feeling overlooked or underestimated at times. However, I remained resilient and determined,

recognizing the importance of pushing past these barriers to drive positive change. This experience taught me the importance of perseverance and resilience in overcoming obstacles, particularly when faced with skepticism or resistance.

Navigating through this challenge reinforced my belief in the power of resilience and determination. It reminded me that despite the odds, it’s possible to carve out a path to success by staying true to oneself and persevering in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, my journey as a business leader has reinforced the importance of supporting and empowering the next generation of Latino professionals. Through education, mentorship, resilience, and a commitment to social responsibility, leaders can pave the way for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future. As we look ahead, I am committed to continuing my efforts to champion diversity and empower emerging talent within the Latino community, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and thrive.

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Nerubay Chief Marketing Office
Ariela

Education (degrees & institutions): JD, The George Washington University Law School, BA, Cornell University

Company Name: Dechert LLP

Industry: Law

Company CEO: David Forti and Mark Thierfelder

Company Headquarters Location: New York, NY

Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC

Words you live by: Challenges are opportunities for growth: I have learned that challenges are not roadblocks but stepping stones on the path to success. They push us out of our comfort zones, forcing us to confront our fears and weaknesses. They compel us to adapt, to learn, and to grow. And it is through this growth that we become stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to handle future challenges.

Who is your personal hero? My grandmother is my personal hero, a beacon of resilience, strength, and positivity. Born during WWI, she faced hardships from an early age, yet she never allowed these circumstances to define her. Her spirit was further tested when her husband, my grandfather, was imprisoned as a political prisoner for his brave fight against Francisco Franco in Spain. Despite the emotional turmoil, she stood strong, her resolve unwavering.

What book(s) are you reading? My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. What was your first job? My first legal job was as a prosecutor with the New York District Attorney’s Office.

Favorite charity: I support a number of educational institutions.

Interests/Hobbies: Travel, cooking, skiing.

Family: Chad Sarchio (husband of 25 years), Evan Sarchio (21), Raquel Sarchio (18)

Resourcefulness: The Cornerstone of My Success

The success I have found as a partner at one of the world’s top law firms is a testament to many things: consistent effort, dedication to a craft, tireless perseverance. However, if there is one trait that stands above the rest, it is resourcefulness – an ability woven into the fabric of my life since my childhood and that has proven crucial to my multilayered journey.

Growing up as the child of immigrant parents, I bore witness to the raw and resilient spirit of people who made the move from a country under the iron grip of a fascist dictator to a land of dreams and opportunities. The struggles my parents faced were manifold - negotiating a new culture and language, grappling with discrimination while striving to provide a better life for their family. Resourcefulness was not just an attribute, but a survival tool, and they turned to me for help. From an early age, I found

myself advocating for my parents, a responsibility that first kindled my interest in law. I was their voice when they needed one, their bridge to a world they were still learning to navigate. The resourcefulness cultivated during these early years set the stage for my future career, teaching me the powerful alliance of empathy, understanding, and tenacity.

Resilience and resourcefulness were both instrumental as I set forth in my path as a lawyer. Climbing the professional ladder while handling matters for Fortune 100 companies, I leaned heavily on my resourcefulness as I tackled complex legal challenges, often navigating uncharted territories and crafting innovative solutions.

Yet, my professional trajectory is only one side of the story. As a wife of 25 years and a mother to two now college-aged children, I wielded my resourcefulness once more to find a delicate balance between my work and home life. Each

role demanded my presence, commitment, and time - turning each day into a tightrope walk between different responsibilities.

In parallel, my passion for advocating not only for my clients but also my community led me to the Hispanic National Bar Association. Soon to start my term as its President, I already understand that guiding the organization, addressing the needs of the Hispanic community and younger professionals in the field will also require a reservoir of resourcefulness.

In retrospect, every phase and facet of my life has called for resourcefulness, making it so much more than just a trait—it is a legacy handed down by my parents, a tool for trailblazing my path as a lawyer, a framework for building a fulfilling home life, and a compass in serving my community. It is the trait that, above all others, has led to my success.

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Education (degrees & institutions): B.A. from Penn State University, M.S. in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University, Corporate Innovation and Sustainability Graduate Certificate from Harvard Extension School.

Company Name: Freddie Mac

Industry: Finance

Company CEO: Pending

Company Headquarters Location: McLean, VA

Number of Employees: 7,839

Words you live by: Every day you wake up you can choose to be happy or unhappy and you can choose to improve in some aspect of your life or not. Can’t say I am always successful at making the right decision but constantly remind myself I am in control.

Who is your personal hero? I grew up Catholic and always looked up to Mother Teresa for her incredible compass.

What book(s) are you reading? I use Audible. Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order by Ray Dalio.

What was your first job? I was a waitress at the Silver Diner.

Favorite charity: Charity: Water – everyone deserves clean drinking water and decent housing.

Interests/Hobbies: Meditation, working-out, real estate, cooking and traveling

Family: My husband and I just celebrated 13 years and we joke our marriage has become a teenager. We have a 9-year-old son and fur baby named Snowball.

Mentoring, advocacy and empathy are needed for a great career

I was born in Colombia, and raised in a hardworking family where dedication and respect were the cornerstone of life. My family taught us to put in the time and effort, go above and beyond, and face challenges head on. As I ventured into the professional world, I realized the importance of having a clear career plan and articulating what success meant for me. In my nearly eight years at Freddie Mac, I’ve come to understand the transformative power of effective mentoring relationships and programs. They not only help early-career employees develop leadership skills, but these relationships also boost self-confidence and equip individuals with tools to navigate the unique challenges faced by women and other underrepresented groups in the workplace.

In 2021, I had the opportunity to help stand up a new department at Freddie Mac: the Corporate Sustainability Office. Though I had no direct experience in this area, I had over 15 years of real estate experience and understood the company culture.

Leadership believed in my ability to succeed based on my institutional knowledge, experience, and ability to navigate investor and stakeholder relationships. Freddie Mac gave us the opportunity to grow, rapidly expanding the team from just two people to a staff of 14 over a period of three years. In my current role as Director of Corporate Sustainability, I aim to lead by example, providing opportunities for others to learn and grow. I firmly believe in encouraging people to embrace their potential and foster an environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of leadership.

In addition to the value of mentorship, I’ve learned two essential lessons as I overcame challenges in my professional career. First: it’s OK to ask for help. Growing up, I believed that it was a sign of weakness, and tried to take on everything myself. As our Sustainability team took on a larger scope of work, I never thought to ask for additional staff, and kept taking on more work myself. When I finally admitted my

approach was not sustainable, adding additional team members has been life changing. Second: empathy over emotions. I work with various business areas across the company and occasionally there are different perspectives on project approaches. I’ve learned the value of remaining calm, having an open mind, and bringing the focus back to what it is that we are all trying to accomplish together as a team. Emotions can get in the way of progress and collaboration, so I check in with myself to ensure I’m coming from a place of understanding.

My journey has taught me that leadership is not just about guidance and guardrails; it’s about empowerment and creating pathways for the next generation of diverse women, Latinos and leaders. As a people leader, I provide the space to grow, and an opportunity to learn from controlled failure. By fostering meaningful relationships and embracing opportunities for growth, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future in leadership.

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Director of Strategy & Initiatives
Carolina Thompson

Education (degrees & institutions): BA, Penn State University

Company Name: Freddie Mac

Industry: Financial Services

Company CEO: Michael DeVito

Company Headquarters Location: McLean, VA

Number of Employees: 8,000

Your Location (if different from above): Philadelphia, PA

Words you live by: Sharing is caring

Who is your personal hero? My father

What book(s) are you reading? Ours Was the Shining Future by David Leonhardt and What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro

What was your first job? Front desk clerk for a hotel chain during college.

Favorite charity: The Make a Wish Foundation

Interests/Hobbies: I play the piano and enjoy adventurous food and great music.

Family: My wife Julia, 5-yr old son Sam, and 18-month-old son Daniel

Seek mentors and sponsors, create networks and always listen

One of my earliest mentors in life was my father, a figure whose wisdom and advice greatly influenced my moral compass. He taught me the invaluable lesson of speaking up with confidence, especially when no one around looks like me. His words echo in my mind whenever I find myself facing daunting conversations, reminding me that speaking from my core values and experiences is important. As I progressed through the professional world, I encountered many mentors who left indelible marks on my career trajectory. While my father taught me to speak up, others taught me the importance of listening.

Joining Freddie Mac marked a pivotal moment in my career where I fully grasped the significance of mentorships. I realized that throughout my journey, I had been fortunate to have mentors pushing or pulling me and sometimes holding my hand. One mentor’s advice during a casual lunch conversation stands out as particularly impactful. He challenged me to think of individuals

in my network, regardless of their career stage, as my professional advisory board. He also urged me to differentiate between mentors, sponsors, and cheerleaders. This insight reshaped my approach to cultivating professional relationships, emphasizing the importance of intentional networking. This realization led me to actively diversify my mentorship relationships. I leaned on the wisdom and support of those I admired, I learned from those who work alongside or for me, and I carefully listened to those who offered dissenting ideas.

As I advanced in my career and assumed leadership roles, I felt a deep sense of responsibility to pay forward the guidance I had been lucky enough to receive. For me, becoming a Latino director was a career milestone that brought an opportunity to uplift others, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. I embrace this duty wholeheartedly striving to contribute to a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without my professional advisory board, and I hope in some way my journey can be an example of “si se puede” (yes you can).

Reflecting back, I’ve come to understand the dynamic nature of mentorship. It’s not just about finding mentors; it’s about nurturing relationships and evolving alongside them while recognizing when it’s time to transition to new growth stages. Diversity of perspectives and experiences enriches this journey, prompting me to be more curious and a better listener, and to actively seek out contrasting viewpoints in my network. Mentoring has been a deeply personal and transformative journey. It’s about more than just career guidance; it’s about forging meaningful connections, sharing experiences, testing my assumptions, and uplifting one another along the way. As I continue on this path, I’m committed to fostering inclusivity and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances.

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Education (degrees & institutions): A.B. Mathematics, cum laude, Harvard College; J.D. University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Company Name: Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear, LLP

Industry: Law (Intellectual Property and Technology Law)

Company CEO: Steven Nataupsky, Managing Partner

Company Headquarters Location: Irvine, CA

Number of Employees: 673

Words you live by: Be true to yourself.

Who is your personal hero? My father

What book(s) are you reading? Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo, The End of the Affair by Graham Greene and Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists by Yanofsky & Mannucci

What was your first job? Math tutor

Interests/Hobbies: Working with my son to program and develop our scrolling platformer (video game)

Family: Wife and son

His passion for learning and teaching has carried him far. It can do the same for others

I love my job. As a trial lawyer focusing on intellectual property disputes, I get to both learn and teach. Whether handling a patent case or a copyright case, I dive deep into the details. Every case differs from the last, so I’m constantly learning something new. Whether it’s quantum computing, optics, or audio signal processing, I study the underlying technology, mastering the critical points as well as any expert in the field. Once fluent in the technology, I identify the best facts to latch onto—the facts that make the best legal case for my client while also bringing out the larger themes that will resonate with a jury. And at trial, I distill the technology I’ve mastered down to the most fascinating essen-

tials, and I then get to teach those essentials to the jury.

This passion for learning and teaching has propelled me throughout my law career. I’m a first-generation attorney. Even though the legal profession was uncharted territory for my family, I never doubted my passion for learning and teaching would continue to carry me. But I believe it would have served me well even if I had chosen a different path. And that’s why I love it when my son comes home from school and excitedly gives me a lesson in whatever he learned that day. I see the same passion in him and know that it will take him a long way. When he announces he’s going to be a NASA

engineer who builds the next Webb telescope or an architect designing the world’s tallest building, I can see it happening.

I firmly believe it’s our duty to try to instill the same excitement and values in students as early as possible, to help them become the next generation of scientists, attorneys, and leaders. That’s why, when I get the chance to volunteer (and I don’t volunteer enough), I tend to spend my time working with programs that invest in youth, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. I share my enthusiasm for learning and teaching, hoping it will inspire them and show them that a fundamental thirst for knowledge will take them far.

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Company Name: L.B. Hall Enterprises, Inc. A/K/A L.B. Hall Fireproofing

Industry: Construction

Company CEO: Estefania Roa

Company Headquarters Location: Crystal Lake, IL

Number of Employees: 30

Words you live by: In every obstacle lies an opportunity, in every challenge, a chance to rise!

What book(s) are you reading? 5 levels of leadership by John Maxwell

What was your first job? My first job was a filing position at my current company. I left and never thought that I would be the CEO some day. I was hired to do filing. Then left never thinking I would be the CEO one day

Favorite charity: My favorite cause revolves around providing educational resources for single mothers.

Interests/Hobbies: Reading and journaling

Family: My husband and three kids.

It’s up to the leaders of today to help young Latino leaders of tomorrow be successful

Today’s leaders have a crucial role in nurturing the success of young Latino individuals in the realm of business. There are several impactful ways we can contribute to this cause.

First and foremost, serving as mentors to young Latinos can be immensely beneficial. By sharing our own experiences, insights, and lessons learned, we can provide valuable guidance and support to help them navigate the complexities of the business world. Whether it’s offering advice on career choices, networking opportunities, or strategies for overcoming obstacles, mentorship can play a pivotal role in empowering young Latinos to realize their full potential and achieve their professional aspirations.

In addition to mentorship, it is imperative that we foster inclusive and welcoming environments within our organizations. This involves actively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, ensuring that Latinos and individuals from diverse

backgrounds are not only hired but also provided with opportunities for growth, advancement, and leadership roles. When individuals feel valued, respected, and supported in their workplace, they are more likely to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the organization’s success.

Moreover, investing in programs and initiatives aimed at supporting the development and education of young Latino entrepreneurs and professionals is essential. By providing access to scholarships, training programs, and resources, we can help break down barriers to entry and create pathways to economic empowerment and upward mobility. These investments not only benefit the individuals directly involved but also contribute to the overall prosperity and vibrancy of our communities and economy.

Beyond the confines of our organizations, we must also advocate for policies and systemic changes that promote diversity, equity, and inclu-

sion in the business community at large. This includes supporting legislation and initiatives that address systemic barriers, combat discrimination, and create equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their background or ethnicity. By leveraging our influence and platforms, we can amplify the voices of young Latino entrepreneurs and professionals and champion their cause on a broader scale.

In conclusion, supporting the next generation of Latino business leaders requires a concerted effort from today’s leaders across all sectors of society. By serving as mentors, fostering inclusive environments, investing in educational programs, and advocating for systemic change, we can help empower young Latinos to realize their full potential and make meaningful contributions to the business world. Together, we can cultivate a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive business environment that benefits us all.

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President
Estefania Roa
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Education (degrees & institutions): JD, Harvard Law School

Company Name: Latham & Watkins

Industry: Law

Company CEO: Richard Trobman

Who is your personal hero? My grandfather. I try to approach every day as full of curiosity, energy and wonderment as my grandfather did in his 90s.

What book(s) are you reading? Non-Fiction: Ian Johnson’s Sparks – China’s Underground Historians and the Battle for the Future. Poetry: Jorie Graham’s To 2040. Fiction: Álvaro Enrigue’s Tu Sueño imperios han sido (translated into English as You Dreamed of Empires)

What was your first job? My first job out of college was as a TV journalist and translator in China’s CCTV’s Spanish and French service

Once a translator, always a translator in life and the legal world

Navigating the complexities of cross-border transactions demands a deep understanding of the diverse cultures and business practices that shape our global landscape. As with attaining fluency in any language, it requires a keen ear and far more listening than speaking: “Ardila gets it” must be the best compliment I ever received from a client. It came early in my career, seated around a crowded conference room table in Buenos Aires late at night with many lawyers whose seniority, experience, and legal acumen far surpassed my own. It signaled that I was listening and that I understood what mattered to the client in those negotiations. I was fortunate in realizing early on that cultural fluency was key to practicing law in a cross-border context: We are better lawyers and better advisors when we understand what drives our client in any given transaction; when we “get it.”

In cross-border deals, our work extends far beyond the bounds of legal or contractual language – our clients seek cultural fluency and

knowledge of the market. My familiarity with Latin America has developed over years of professional and personal engagement with the region, which extends to pro bono efforts where I collaborate with organizations to empower local communities and foster sustainable development.

Formally and informally, I have therefore adopted the role of translator, aiming to bridge languages and cultures to bring about results for both sides. that both sides have an interest in. Translating started from a moment as simple as ordering breakfast in English for my mother as a child. It then formed the basis for my early career in journalism in China during the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Now as a lawyer, my bread and butter is successfully translating the interests of multiple parties into binding contractual provisions that govern the acquisition or financing of large energy or infrastructure projects in Latin America.

The value of diverse teams as a business imperative is therefore

hard to overstate. Building teams of individuals who draw from an array of experiences can play an instrumental role in solving clients’ unique challenges. By mentoring associates and emphasizing that a diverse cultural background is a source of strength in legal practice, we foster an environment in which junior team members feel empowered to take on significant responsibilities. In our Latin America Practice, we cultivate dynamic thought through a global rotational program that introduces fresh perspectives from top international lawyers, ensuring that our team remains connected to the latest regional developments and prepared to delve into the nuances of local market practices.

Diverse teams and deep connections to the regions where we operate are invaluable in crossborder transactions. By fostering strong local relationships with clients while maintaining a global perspective, we can address complex challenges with innovative solutions and support growth in a rapidly changing legal environment.

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Rene A. Bustamante Executive

Education (degrees & institutions): BS, University of Notre Dame, major in Finance

Company Name: MacKay Shields LLC

Industry: Asset Management

Company CEO: Jeffrey Phlegar

Company Headquarters Location: New York, NY

Number of Employees: 192

Your Location (if different from above): Princeton, NJ

Words you live by: Always treat people with respect and dignity no matter the circumstances.

Who is your personal hero? My mom who made countless sacrifices and was always there to support me

What was your first job? Making pizzas at my soccer coach’s restaurant

Favorite charity: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Operation Smile

Interests/Hobbies: Traveling and spending time with my family, exercising Family: My wife, Alexia; daughters, Valeria and Paola; and son, Juan Diego

Key drivers to my success: Treat others right and be a good mentor

Moving to the U.S. from El Salvador in my early teen years was not an easy transition but it did teach me how to overcome challenging situations while learning to look for the positives even when things are not going your way. I truly believe the challenges helped instill in me the drive to succeed, persevere, and to help others where I can.

My career in the financial services industry spans over 30 years, and although it has been far from a straight line, I am truly grateful for every opportunity that presented itself along this journey as well as the professional and personal relationships I have developed over the years. As I reflect, there are two key drivers that have been a constant throughout my career. First, setting a core set of values and staying true to them has played a significant role in my

success. These values are simple and I continue to live by them. They entail treating people with the utmost respect, remaining humble in light of any success, and adhering to the highest ethical standards. Consistently living by these values has certainly helped open many doors throughout my professional career. Moreover, it has given me the opportunity to build strong and trusting working partnerships and friendships with colleagues at all levels within my current organization and across the industry. I am a big believer that one’s success is not just attributable to one’s abilities and hard work; rather, it is also the result of others who respect, trust, and support each other to positively impact the organization.

Mentorship has also played a key role throughout my career. When speaking to younger gen-

erations, I make it a point to stress the value of mentorship to them. I was very fortunate to have had two highly successful mentors who shared the same core values I did, so it was a perfect fit. These individuals provided guidance and imparted their wisdom in me, but the most important lessons I learned from them was how they conducted themselves with others. These individuals made time to actively listen to others, despite how busy their schedules were. No matter the situation, they consistently remained calm, treated others with the utmost respect, and adhered to high ethical standards. I was very fortunate to have had two wonderful mentors, and I learned many valuable lessons from them. As I continue forward in my career, my goal is to guide and mentor the next generation of leaders, just like others did for me.

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Company Name: New American Funding

Industry: Financial Services

Company CEO: Patty and Rick Arvielo

Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, CA

Number of Employees: 4,000

Words you live by: If you see it, you can be it.

Who is your personal hero? My husband, Rick

What book(s) are you reading? The book I am reading is Get Out of Your Own Way

What was your first job? Clerical position at TransUnion Credit

Favorite charity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County

Interests/Hobbies: Traveling and spending time with my friends and family

Family: My husband Rick, daughter Tara and my two sons, Trevor and Dominic

A CEO dedicated to leading, teaching and mentoring inside and out of her profession

It is crucial to lead by example, demonstrating what is possible for aspiring Latinx leaders. As a first-generation Hispanic American who has successfully built a prominent mortgage company, I hope that I can serve as a role model for the emerging wave of Latinx leaders. I want to be someone who is a trusted teacher. they can rely on and learn from. Leaders cannot isolate themselves; they must be open and willing to share their knowledge. This is why I have always believed in giving back to the next generation.

Early in my career, I learned the significance of having mentors who guided me along the way. Without their support, I would not have achieved the level of success I enjoy today. That is why I strongly advocate for the power and importance of mentorship. I want to help others find their path, just as I did when I was starting out.

This led me to establish the “Thrive and Lead” mentorship program several years ago. Through this program, I work closely with young professionals, helping them through the challenges and celebrating the triumphs that come with building a career. It is not limited to those within our company; we welcome individuals from outside the business as well. Additionally, at New American Funding, we offer the “360 Mentorship Program,” which allows for in-depth one-on-one mentorship between experienced senior mentors and mentees. These programs aim to uplift as many individuals as possible, positioning them for their own success.

Education is also very close to my heart. That’s why I was so honored to be the first Latina to have a business school carry her name when Vanguard University unveiled the Patty Arvielo School of Business and

Management last year. Approximately 63% of the school’s students are Latinx, and the school is committed to supporting underserved students. When they were looking for someone to name the school after, they looked into what I have been doing, my work in underserved communities, my desire to serve others, and that made the decision easy.

This honor is such a privilege. I see it as my duty to support these students and ensure their graduation from the business school fills them with pride. It is crucial to have representation in our country, and being the first Latina in this position is a tremendous honor. Moreover, I am driven to bring about change so that we no longer have to celebrate the achievement of being the first Latina to do anything because we’ve already done everything.

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Mayling C. Blanco Partner

Education (degrees & institutions): JD, Seton Hall University School of Law; BA, Cornell University

Company Name: Norton Rose Fulbright

Industry: Legal

Company CEO: Jeff Cody, US Managing Partner

Company Headquarters Location: New York; Houston; London

Number of Employees: 7,309

Your Location (if different from above): New York, NY

Words you live by: Take more risks, no learning or growing happens in the comfort zone.

Who is your personal hero? Sonia Sotomayor, of course! But really Sandra Day O’Conner and Ruth Bader Ginsberg all have a special place.

What book(s) are you reading? The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson; which was interrupted for a biography of Churchill by Andrew Roberts. Before that, I finished Soul City by Thomas Healy – his The Great Dissent is one of my faves!

What was your first job? Helping my mom at her office job at Bronx Institute at Lehman College. My mom had a benevolent boss who realized I was fascinated by the preservation of history of a more forgotten corner of the big city, not to mention I loved to keep busy.

Favorite charity: South Bronx Community Charter High School, fundraising for the school; AIDS charities including AIDS Walk and Housing Works.

Interests/Hobbies: Running – I’ve run three New York City Marathons and I’m training for my fourth.

Family: Amazingly brilliant and kind teenage daughter; a dedicated mom (now grandma); loving brother and sister-in-law and three exceptional nieces.

Taking risks is part of this lawyer’s life

Many people know I’m Cuban American, but they don’t realize I was born in Cuba and lived there for the first five years of my life, followed by a year in Spain. I think most Cuban Americans my age were first or second-generation citizens living in Miami, Florida, where they had more of a community in which to grow up.

Being an immigrant has shaped everything in my life. Immigrating from my home country was a pivotal moment that had a monumental impact on everything that followed. My dad decided to leave during the Mariel boatlift crisis, and he had to go on his own because my brother and I were very young at the time and it was too risky. He ended up

on a treacherous crossover from Cuba to Miami and then, because of domestic relations between the two countries, we had to live in Spain for a year before we were reunited as a family in New York City. This was the most impactful event that has ever happened in my life and has always been sort of a theme in our family, as with many immigrant families.

The experience helps me keep life in perspective. My mom had to leave everything behind and was not even able to keep her wedding ring. When I lose my favorite bracelet or material possession, my mom reminds me, and now my daughter, “Don’t worry about it. Everything will be OK.” She has definitely shaped my view of what is important in life.

This is also why I try to live by the adage of trying to take more risks without worrying so much about the outcome. When I have taken risks, it has always worked out. When I graduated from law school, for example, I really wanted to be a civil litigator and focused my career on that. Then I went to work for a boutique litigation firm, but I eventually outgrew my position there and wanted to do something a little different. I was recruited to a job that would be half civil and half white collar. Although I wasn’t initially all that attracted to white collar, I took the risk, and it ended up working out well because that’s what I have built my career around, and I have enjoyed it ever since.

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Johannes Evenblij Garza Global Sales and Marketing Transformation

Education (degrees & institutions): Harvard Business School MBA; Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo De Mexico (ITAM) Mexico, Bachelor, Business Administration

Company Name: PepsiCo Beverages North America

Industry: Food and Beverage

Company CEO: Ramon Laguarta

Company Headquarters Location: Purchase, New York

Number of Employees: 318,000

Your Location (if different from above): Los Angeles, California

Words you live by: Grit and kindness

Who is your personal hero? My mom, one of the first female heart surgeons in Mexico

What book(s) are you reading? The Digital Matrix by Venkat Venkatraman and Noise by Daniel Kahneman, both are very relevant to my new job!

What was your first job? My first job was working at my family’s photocopy business in Mexico City.

Favorite charity: TELACU, The East Los Angeles Community Union, a Community Development Corporation organization that is committed to service, empowerment, advancement, and the creation of self-sufficiency.

Interests/Hobbies: I love being active outdoors and competing in triathlons, naturally my hobbies include running, swimming, and biking.

Family: My Wife and two lovely daughters

Together we can grow through mentorship, understanding and building a community of Latino leaders

Reflecting on my tenure at PepsiCo and my career thus far, I’ve been profoundly influenced by key learning moments that have defined my trajectory and fueled my passion for mentorship. To me, leadership is all about engaging with diverse perspectives and finding new ways to innovate our ways of working. Supporting the next generation of Latino business leaders is important to me personally and professionally as I’ve seen how the success of local businesses can have a direct impact on their communities. Here are a few insights and strategies I think will help fulfill this mission: Mentorship is the Key to Your Success: Mentorship has played a crucial role in my professional development and even personally. Having a mentor whom you identify with and understands your challenges firsthand can provide invaluable guidance and support in defining your goals and navigating your career path successfully. I’m passionate about mentorship because of the mentors

that I’ve fostered throughout my career. Identify those individuals that resonate with you and expand your network by reaching out. You never know who will become your career’s biggest sponsor.

Listen Closely to Navigate Cultural Challenges: When we tried selling Doritos and Lay’s in Latin America, we faced unexpected challenges. Culturally not everyone shares the same love for tortillas or potato chips. In Argentina and Chile, where there’s a fondness for bread, we introduced “Twistos,” a bread-based snack. In Mexico, we created “Paketaxo,” a mix that caters to local tastes. Both products have been extremely successful. The lesson? Understanding what people truly want is invaluable. It’s not enough to have a vision; one must listen, adapt, and create products that serve the audience.

Form a Community Connection: In Mexico, small shops—900,000 of them—were our partners. These weren’t just points of sale; they were

integral to their neighborhoods. We began training their staff, realizing that empowering these businesses meant strengthening the entire community. This understanding led to the “Juntos Crecemos” program launching in the U.S., a $50 million commitment to support Hispanic businesses in various cities. Those corner stores are neighborhood hubs, and they matter. Their success impacts the community they are part of.

I’d encourage the next generation of Latino leaders to be adaptable, embrace change, and pivot when needed. Success isn’t about a straight path. It’s about navigating the twists and turns with resilience. As I continue my journey, I remain dedicated to mentorship and empowering the community of Latino leaders. Together, we’re creating a brighter future where the next generation can thrive, innovate, and contribute to a world that values diversity, inclusivity, and the power of community.

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Education (degrees & institutions): Loyola Law School, JD, St. Thomas More Law Honor Society; University of California, Los Angeles, BA

Company Name: Robins Kaplan LLP

Industry: Legal

Company CEO: Anthony Froio, Chair of the Executive Board

Company Headquarters Location: Minneapolis, MN

Number of Employees: 440

Your Location (if different from above): Los Angeles, CA

What book(s) are you reading? Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover

Interests/Hobbies: Golf

Family: Married with two children (9, 12)

A strong work ethic that extends from the business world to advocating for the rights of poor children and youth

In the rich and diverse world of Latino leadership where stories of perseverance and commitment illuminate the path to success, one trait stands out as the bedrock of my journey: an unyielding work ethic. This principle, both simple and profound, captures the essence of my approach: I just don’t stop working. This relentless pursuit, a steadfast refusal to be outworked, underpins every aspect of my professional life as a business trial attorney and beyond.

Throughout my career, I have navigated the intricate landscapes of business disputes with unwavering dedication, advising my clients across all stages of litigation. From complex corporate fiduciary and shareholder disputes to the nuanced arenas of real estate, commercial logistics, and more, my commitment to tireless work has been my constant companion. Leveraging extensive trial experience in corporate removal, appraisals, and buyouts, among

others, I’ve tackled legal challenges head-on, driven by a determination to persevere through adversity.

But the measure of success extends beyond professional accolades; it lies in the impact made on the lives of others. Through pro bono work, I’ve focused on advocating for the rights of impoverished, abused, and neglected children and youth. Partnering with external agencies, this aspect of my work underscores a commitment to using my skills and resources for the greater good, ensuring that vulnerable members of our community have access to safe homes, healthcare, and education. It’s a reflection of a broader philosophy that sees leadership not just in achievements, but in the contribution to societal well-being.

The journey has been more about the collective progress and upliftment of our community than personal recognition. It’s in the quiet moments of helping a client navigate through

their darkest hours, in the relentless pursuit of justice for those without a voice, and in the dedication to mentoring the next generation of Latino leaders that true success is found. It’s a testament to the belief that our work’s true value lies not in accolades, but in the tangible difference we make in people’s lives.

This ethos of never allowing myself to be outworked transcends the confines of professional endeavors. It shapes my approach to leadership, community service, and personal development. In the vibrant mosaic of Latino leadership, where each narrative embodies resilience and determination, my dedication to continuous effort exemplifies the power of hard work. It is this principle that not only fuels my journey but also illuminates a path for future generations, showcasing that enduring success is not just about what we achieve, but the persistence and passion with which we pursue our goals.

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Jason
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Education (degrees & institutions): BS, Western Illinois University; AA, Muscatine Community College

Company Name: Transamerica

Industry: Financial Services

Company CEO: Will Fuller

Company Headquarters Location: Baltimore, MD

Number of Employees: 6,895

Your Location (if different from above): Davenport, IA

Words you live by: As long as I have faith, my family and a roof over my head, everything else can come and go without trepidation.

Who is your personal hero? Both my grandmothers – ground breakers and my first true examples of advocates for change. They both took on non-traditional roles (at that time) and worked outside the home in professional environments, setting an extraordinary example for their daughters and granddaughters to aspire to be more than what society tells what you should be.

What book(s) are you reading? Nothing at the moment but I enjoy reading biographies of comedians. One of my favorites is Bossypants by Tina Fey.

What was your first job? My first job was as a floor associate at K-Mart. My customer service days as a young adult taught me that kindness matters in everything you do.

Favorite charity: Mercado on 5th – a community-based program in the Quad Cities that promotes and provides opportunities to Hispanic/Latino small businesses and nonprofits through an economic growth initiative. Every Friday night since 2016 in the months of May through September, a market is opened that welcomes all and features local vendors, food and music to celebrate the Hispanic culture and support the community.

Interests/Hobbies: Basketball, traveling, music, as well as leading and supporting Transamerica’s Hispanic or Latino Affiliation (HOLA) Employee Resource Group

Family: Husband, Dario & Daughters, Sofia, 10 and Nora, 7

Companies should form partnerships with diverse business groups if they want to tap into diverse talent

Nearing the end of my collegiate studies at Western Illinois University, I was unsure of my post-graduation plans. I was an accounting major and knew I had several career paths I could take. At the time, I was dating my soon-to-be husband and he attended the University of Illinois. There, he was actively involved in the Latino Association for Business Students (LABS) and encouraged me to participate. Since I was attending a smaller university, there weren’t any culturally based business or accounting student organizations at that time. Having exposure to LABS opened a door that presented a life changing opportunity for me.

Each year LABS participated in the National Hispanic Business Association (NHBA) Conference. This was an annual leadership and business summit for Hispanic and Latino college students. The conference was centered around a career fair while also affording the opportunity to engage with Hispanic

leaders in various industries. Joining LABs, I attended the 2005 NHBA Conference in Houston, Texas. The experience allowed me to quickly realize the incredible access to large, successful, and well-known companies such as Procter & Gamble, Toyota, all the big four public accounting firms to name a few. It was here that I connected with Ernst & Young (EY) resulting in being recruited into their Master’s in Accountancy program. I was notified of my acceptance into the program several months later which remains as one of my proudest professional moments. Although I didn’t end up pursuing their master’s program, I was still offered full employment in their external assurance practice as a staff associate in their Chicago office. My employment at EY was foundational to what now has been a lifelong career in risk management and internal controls. From there I moved into several internal audit roles, which led

me to where I am today, as an operational risk manager at Transamerica. I have greatly enjoyed my professional journey as it has afforded tremendous experiences such as travel abroad, leadership roles, technical development, and networking.

I cannot stress enough how critical NHBA was in igniting my professional career. Without it, I honestly do believe the trajectory of my career path would be materially different. NHBA has since merged with ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) but this and similar organizations offer minority students and professionals an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. My story provides evidence to the ongoing need for companies to partner with diversity based professional organizations to better engage with future leaders that are part of an arguably untapped talent pool.

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Brandi Cruz Manager, Operational Risk Management

Education (degrees & institutions): BA, Ithaca College; MA, Columbia University

Company Name: Transamerica

Industry: Financial Services

Company CEO: Will Fuller

Company Headquarters Location: Baltimore, MD

Number of Employees: 6,895

Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC

Who is your personal hero? My wife, Jessie

What book(s) are you reading? The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow

What was your first job? Cashier at Winn-Dixie (local grocery store, Key Biscayne, FL)

Favorite charity: Aegon Transamerica Foundation and Freedom House

Interests/Hobbies: Running, tennis, backgammon

Family: Wife, Jessie, and three daughters, Avery, Lily and Carolina

For This Professional, Diversity of Experience is a Source of Inspiration and Energy

If you didn’t know me and happened to see my name or photo, you might make some assumptions —assumptions that overlook my cultural heritage. I have an English surname and a French first name. What you might not guess is that my parents were born in Cuba and that my Latino heritage spans continents and cultures.

My family’s story begins in the late 19th century, when my Spanish and English ancestors settled in Cuba. They built businesses and prosperous lives. Our family’s future in Cuba seemed limitless.

Decades later, uprooted by Castro’s communist regime, my family fled to the United States, finding themselves penniless exiles in a foreign land. With tremendous sacrifice and perseverance, they went on to lead successful lives in their adopted home, much as their ancestors had done upon arriving in Cuba

decades before. My family has always cherished the opportunities for all in America.

I am a first-generation American who came of age in the Miami melting pot of the 1980s. At the time, Cuban exiles made up 70% of South Florida’s Latinos, who already comprised more than a third of the area’s exploding population. I did not feel like a minority, Spanish was my native language. We spoke Spanish at home and ate ropa vieja, croquetas and arroz con pollo. I graduated from Miami’s historic Belen Jesuit Preparatory School—originally founded in Havana in 1854.

I love my Cuban roots. My parents and my grandparents are my heroes. To this day, I carry with me their example of resilience and hard work in the face of dislocation and loss, as well as their unwavering devotion to family.

They also valued multiculturalism

and gave me the opportunity to travel throughout South America and Europe.

As a teenager, I lived in Paris, France, where I learned a third language and absorbed yet another culture.

These experiences and assimilations, and near-constant exposure to global cultures, shaped my way of thinking and formed the basis of my future. My background inspired me to pursue a career in public policy and to lead corporate affairs for a multinational financial services company. Diversity and inclusion are not just words to me. When put into practice, they become sources of energy and enrichment in any enterprise or culture.

Similarly, my heritage and life experience make me keenly aware of the value of diversity in any prosperous society. They are a resource to be tapped—a key to innovation, creativity and economic growth.

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Company Name: Washington Capital Partners

Industry: Real Estate Financing

Company CEO: Self

Company Headquarters Location: McLean, VA

Number of Employees: 54+

Words you live by: “There is no try, only do.” – Yoda (Yes, I am a Star Wars fan.)

Who is your personal hero? Warren Buffett

What book(s) are you reading? Winning on Purpose by Fred Reichheld

What was your first job? Legal assistant at my dad’s law firm

Favorite charity: The WCP Foundation

Interests/Hobbies: Car racing, Formula 1, tech innovation, and investing

Family: Married to Giselle and together we have two amazing sons

A Q & A on mentorship, challenges, passion and more

How can today’s leaders support the next generation of Latino business leaders?

Mentorship has for the longest time been a great way for young future leaders to receive valuable words of wisdom. It is our duty, as Latino leaders, to pay it forward by identifying young talented individuals and contributing to their success.

What ignites your professional passion?

While passion evolves over time, today, a big driver of my professional passion is to contribute to the betterment of my industry, real estate financing. the industry I represent and belong to. I strongly believe in contributing to reshaping the industry that has done so much for me and my family. Witnessing the evolution of real estate investment has given me more fuel to run the next decade and beyond.

How important were mentors to your career success?

Mentors are extremely important to me, and they are such a big part of my success. I’ve always appreciated having a sounding board to run

complex ideas by as my mentors had invaluable wisdom based on their experiences. This knowledge, which is often learned through listening and absorbing information outside of the traditional classroom setting, saved me from costly errors and helped me achieve my goals faster.

How does unconscious bias affect hiring and career growth in today’s workplace?

We have included several policies, processes and procedures that avoid unconscious bias and our company values do not allow for unconscious bias practices at Washington Capital Partners. We had to be very methodical in our approach to ensure that anything theoretical became embedded in the way that we hire and promote people as well as the way we conduct business with all stakeholders.

Share a story about a key challenge you overcame:

One of the most significant challenges I had to overcome was raising capital for real estate during the Great Recession. At a time when real estate was center stage in the

economic downturn, my business needed additional capital to acquire new opportunities. I took many potential investors to countless projects hoping to ease their concerns, but a lot of them were still worried about the market continuing to lose value. I listened to their concerns, understood their objections, allowed them to poke holes in my strategy, and was prepared to defend my position. This eventually reassured them that I could consider multiple perspectives and that ultimately their capacity was in the right hands. Being patient instead of pushy and focusing on long-term goals and outcomes were key factors in gaining people’s trust. Twelve years later, those same people who gave me a chance with their capital continue to invest in my strategies.

What is the best advice you ever received?

The best advice I have ever received is that one should not work on good ideas, let alone bad ideas. Always be picky and work on the great.

Trust your gut instinct and have the strength to say no to the good. It will always take the time that you could’ve used for the great.

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Education (degrees & institutions): MBA, Jack Welch School of Business, Sacred Heart University; Undergraduate degree, Information Technology, Sacred Heart University

Company Name: Webster Bank

Industry: Financial Services & Banking

Company CEO: John Ciulla

Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, CT

Words you live by: Put yourself in their shoes. Si se puede - Yes, you can.

Who is your personal hero? My father – he is an amazing example of hard work and perseverance.

What book(s) are you reading? The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Alexander Grashow, Marty Linsky and Ronald Heifetz

What was your first job? My first job was a customer service representative at a local bank.

Favorite charity: Prospanica – I believe in their mission of fostering higher education for Latino professionals.

Interests/Hobbies: I enjoy cooking and anything related to futbol (football).

Family: My beautiful wife Nicole and my lovely children Abby (15), Mathew (12) and Stella (10).

Mentoring young professionals brings him joy and brings them success

Early on in my career, I had the privilege of working with incredible role models, who have paved the way for me professionally. Some of those leaders took the time to provide me constructive feedback that helped me grow personally and in my career. I understand the importance of leading by example and I challenge myself to make this a priority so I can be an example for other young Latinos/Latinas in my company.

It is my personal goal to help develop the Business Resource Group at my company and to set the strategy going forward. I consider colleague development to be our main pillar. We have identified young leaders in our group and we

look for ways to help them develop by giving them assignments and challenging them to think creatively and to be innovative. Additionally, we provide feedback and coaching to further their development.

I get energized when I get to interact with young professionals and learn about their aspirations. Their enthusiasm is contagious and it brings me joy when I see them succeed. One mentee who stands out to me was proactive with asking for feedback. She benefited from constructive conversations with me and I have enjoyed observing her career success grow. In reflection, I believe my feedback guided her to be a fearless leader, and make significant strides in her career.

I have no doubt that she will be entering executive-level roles soon. While we no longer work at the same company, we have made it a priority to contact each other quarterly.

My personal goal is to develop my current and future mentees, to not only increase their skill set, but to provide them with the tools they need to eventually become leaders in their line of business. At Webster, we are spending time building partnerships with external organizations in an effort to provide our Latino professionals with the opportunities to expand their networks and to be exposed to other leaders outside of the company. My ultimate goal is to create good employees, but most importantly good leaders.

54 2024 First Quarter www.diversityjournal.com
2 024 A W ARD INTERNATIONAL

Finding a way to belong helped this lawyer get through law school

The earliest memories of my childhood are filled with scenes of my mother and grandmother. Their love, strength, and resilience are etched into the very core of my being. Their stories are filled with bravery, each line a testament to their unrelenting determination to carve out a better life for themselves, but mostly for those they loved most in this world—their families.

I am proud to come from a family of hardworking women who forged paths for themselves in the face of adversity. My grandmother and her three children left their home in Mexico to start a new life in the United States. My mother, driven by her passion for education and promise of a better life, became the first person in our family to graduate from college. I applied the values of grace, dedication, and hard work that they taught by example as my guideposts as I pursued my dream of becoming

an attorney.

As the first in my family to go to law school, I traversed unknown territory. I questioned my ability to succeed. I searched for my sense of belonging. Then, I received the lowest score on my first law school midterm in Criminal Law, affirming the self-doubt I felt each day. I was at a crossroads: I could withdraw and recover half of my semester’s tuition, or I could take a chance on myself. The women who came before me had given so much for my future, so I refused to give up. At that moment, I knew I had to ask for help if I was to complete my journey.

Once I spoke up, my law school’s administration shared numerous educational resources and also paired me with mentors in the La Raza Law Students Association. Connecting over our shared experiences, from learning Spanish as a first language to understanding the sense of

comfort that cafecito and pan dulce (Mexican hot coffee and pastries) provide, made me feel at home in law school. With my sense of belonging cemented, and the profound support of my peers, I received one of the highest grades in Criminal Law and continued to excel thereafter.

I owe my successes to those who came before me and those who reached back to lift me up. I strive to do the same through my involvement in my community by serving as a mentor to high school and law students, and by holding leadership positions in organizations committed to ensuring our legal community is reflective of our population. Although the legal profession can often feel intimidating, particularly for those of us paving the way for our families and communities, it is important to remember that we belong—that we can hold space by being authentically ourselves.

55 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter
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Associate Attorney
Vivian Adame

Where are they now?

For over two decades, Profiles in Diversity Journal® has celebrated the achievements of over 2,000 Women Worth Watching® within our magazine’s pages. In this edition, we reconnect with 21 past award recipients who have progressed in their careers, established their own ventures, embraced fresh roles, or transitioned into entirely different fields of pursuit. Much like all our Women Worth Watching® Award winners, they epitomize dynamic leadership, relish challenges, adapt to change, and generously impart their insights and wisdom to inspire the next generation of women. Dive in and explore the diverse paths their professional journeys have traversed.

56 2024 First Quarter www.diversityjournal.com

As I began my professional journey, I created a career plan that outlined my background, core strengths and areas for development. The plan also included desired position attributes, and one-to-three, three-to-five, and five-plus year plans that aligned to my strengths and interests. I shared my career plan with any contacts I made who were willing to listen—my manager, peers, sponsors, mentors, internal HR recruiters, etc. This process helped others match my strengths and career

WHEN

WAS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT AT ST. CATHERINE’S SCHOOL IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, I WAS COMMITTED TAKING MATH AND SCICOURSES. In order to study and physics, I had to walk two down the street to the all-boys where there were only three or other girls in my classes. I was ceroutsider, but my commitment learning was stronger than my appreFor girls today, those negative stereotypes still exist.

I made my biggest career move several years ago when the CEO casually mentioned to a consultant that I would be valuable in the chief underwriting job, which also included the areas of Small Group and Individual Sales. Having held all sorts of accounting roles during my 17-year career, making the move to Underwriting and reporting directly to the Sales & Mar keting division took me completely out of my comfort zone. In hardly any time at all, that job became even more challenging, when healthcare reform mandated underwriting elimination. However, that single decision led to roles of greater responsibility in the company, including my current posi tions as the CEO’s chief of staff and chief diversity officer.

Along the way, in both my current

This McKesson Pharmacy Systems President developed, and then followed, her plan for success.

aspirations to potential opportunities within the organization. I selected leaders from across the business and set up informal mentor ing sessions with them to enhance my personal exposure and learn more about their functional areas. These sessions not only allowed me to gain insights into different parts of the busi ness, they also helped me identify areas of the business that might be of great est interest to me moving forward.

Attending as many company meet

Mand former positions with Medical Mutual, I acquired a number of selfawareness talents. To my surprise, I gained a better understanding of me, as well as my skills, values, interests, behavior, and character. I also gained self-confidence and a firmer belief in my abilities.

HEADQUARTERS: Redwood City, California

WEBSITE: www.ea.com

Back in my accounting days, I knew the financial side of the company in side and out—where we made money and how our costs were structured.

Since then, whenever I have faced a personal or professional obstacle, I’ve gone back to my dreams. These dreams have given me a lens to view the world and discover its myriad opportunities.

It was quite intimidating to take over an underwriting department where everyone was exceedingly experienced. Even more daunting, was the fact that I was the outsider in a very close-knit department.

I went about honing my listening skills, setting aside my own agenda, and empathetically and deliberately

the growing focus on STEM education in this country, we still have too few pursuing STEM careers. STEM jobs are often perceived as not family-friendly. I we are lacking female mentors and role models in STEM, and they are critical breaking down gender stereotypes that discourage women from pursuing STEM and STEM jobs. We all still have work to do to create a more diverse and innovative workforce. time with Electronic Arts, I’ve been lucky enough to witness how the audireach with our games has changed with the advent of new platforms including social, and online. In fact, 47 percent of all game players are women and we’re to see a shift to more women in the gaming industry workforce. Women know design and develop games that women like to play. Without different ideas, we

Growing up in India, for example, my first dream was to attend college in the United States. That dream became a reality for me. As a young adult in college, I believed that I had moved to the land of boundless opportunity. I have never lost that feeling and am grateful for all the doors that have been opened for me. Each career transition has helped me grow, and setbacks have been as vital to growth as success. I have been fortunate to work with many great leaders and have drawn from their experiences and advice to develop my own philosophy about leadership. Here are some of my favorite lessons:

Iwomen worth watching in 2009

Happily married with two

with the opportunity to participate in identifying and shaping new ideas to drive organic growth. The program also provides a context where we enact new behaviors that transform our culture. In 2009, more than 650 ideas from the company’s online IdeaNet were committed to action as a result of employee contributions. These ideas come from across our global employee population, with colleagues in 23 countries participating.

This GM and Executive Producer at Electronic Arts has built a career that combines her many passions. acting. What binds these experiences together has been my passion for inter active entertainment and video games,

ESPN EXECUTIVE ON PATH OF EXCELLENCE

I believe in trusting your instincts and bringing your true self to whatever you are doing. There is a power in per sonal uniqueness that I have leveraged

relevant expertise in your career.

started in business in what some may consider as an unusual role – a workplace anthropologist. I was fortunate to encounter and be mentored early in my career by a woman with 20 years’ experience practicing anthropology and consulting for large companies. As an early-career anthropologist, I was inspired by how she applied the technical aspects of the field to real-world business problems. Throughout my career, I have experienced how valuable it is to have mentors. In particular, I have sought multiple mentors who have given me diverse perspectives and helped me develop the courage to take risks. I believe we all have personal power to create positive change, and it helps to have support from people you trust, whether you are challenging the status quo or working to affect a whole system.

Today, I am using methods from anthropology to help drive culture change and innovation at Pitney Bowes. I lead an innovation program that provides all employees

My advice to young women explor ing technology careers includes three core principles I have leveraged over

The role of a leader is to simplify. There are always forces at work, often outside our control, that can add layers of complexity to any structure, initiative, or decision. This can overwhelm people and drain them of their energy and creativity. Leaders need to enable their teams by cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essen tials, so that a clear path can emerge.

enthusiasm in a subject or a cause. The end result is a synergy that inspires

Find and pursue your passion(s):

Find the best people and make them successful. We all know that the best leaders hire the best employees. What we often don’t consider is our own role in ensuring the success of those employees we hire. Talent alone does not guarantee success, and talented people need an environment where they can thrive. Whenever I’ve been successful, there has been at least one individual who looked out for me, helped me through obstacles, and gave me opportunities that pushed me beyond my own per ceived boundaries.

“It was quite intimidating to take over an underwriting department where everyone was exceedingly experienced.”

I consider it my calling and privilege to help people reach their full potential.

i have been very fortunate in my career choice. For me, the right manager is someone who has confidence in my abilities and lets me build a capable team. i have enjoyed situations where i have been brought in to either build or improve operations.

ne of the most important things ve learned in my career is that I need to remain true to myself. This has been a challenge, particularly early in my career. In moving up the ladder, I often found myself conforming to whatever corporate culture I happened to be in at the time. I don’t think my experience is that unusual.

Leadership is a privilege. Leadership is a service role and a privilege that needs to be earned every day. Be hungry for learning, not for titles. Grow as a leader by giving generously in terms of your time, passion, energy, insight, and resources. These principles have served me well, keeping me grounded throughout my career. Helping others achieve their dreams, and watching as those I’ve helped go on to help others, is one of life’s most gratifying experiences.

My success as an innovator at Pitney Bowes is due in part to my early mentor as well as others along each step of my career. IdeaNet couldn’t have achieved success without the team thinking big and taking risks. Taking risks brings growth. I believe a good mentor acts as a guide in helping you to navigate a career path. A great mentor challenges you to be a courageous leader who can positively transform the organizations and communities of which you are a part.

jumped from about 25 million homes to 74 million, signing long-term carriage agreements with the top 10 distributors, and is a staple of ESPN's industry-leading college sports

Take Calculated Risks: One of the greatest risks I have taken was cofounding an Internet development and online marketing company without outside financing. I trusted my intuition and relied on data to make the decision, and I eventually sold the company after eight years and $1 million in revenues.

Wise Woman (Crone): Age 50+. Inspiring others. Being true to me.

As I reflect on the stages of my own career, I see a lot of similarity with the feminine life cycle referred to in women’s literature. According to the literature, there are three stages of the feminine life cycle: maiden, mother and crone. In

My current role as GM & executive producer of The Sims 4 combines my passions for technology, entertain ment, and gaming. While my experi ences have not been conventional, they have prepared me for the role I enjoy today. Explore your disparate interests and passions. You’ll be surprised how much you can leverage seemingly non-

Stay Curious: Be an active learner, continuously challenge yourself, and take on stretch assignments that give you unique differentiating experiences. I have found that the key to being competitive in this marketplace is to always find ways to innovate and stay

the mentee for select reasons,

I am often asked to be a mentor request I am both honored and humbled by. In corporate America in order to be successful we need someone who provides guidance and helps to identify unwritten rules of engagement that help navigate your organization. Your mentor should be someone you can trust in asking questions, sharing information and guidance. Mentors should see their primary role as helping mentees think about their aspirations while painting a realistic view of what it takes to get there. Mentees should realize that most of

TITLE: Vice President, Deputy General Counsel

when i went off to college, my father gave me one piece of advice: “study something that will enable you to get a job.” For me, that meant accounting and business, rather than literature or social science. The technical skills i learned proved to be a good foundation as i was able to move from entry-level accountant to controller to vice president. Moving from technician to manager was a transition prompted by rapid growth in companies where there were limited staff and unlimited opportunity.

I think it’s helpful to recognize these stages may exist in your own career if for no other reason than to encourage you to challenge the norm. During my 20s and 30s, I was a conformist. Although I know I did my best, had I exercised more courage to be myself, I might have been more true to my unique gifts as a leader. I was fortunate to have mentors who helped me build my confidence and claim my power, and I know that without them, I would not be in this position today.

Wwhen put in that higher education of as a “nice-to-have” Unlock potential. experience of unlocked when are given opportunities, their background. came to the United in high school, biggest chance to make positive changes in my life and be able My degree represented my chance to achieve the American dream. Unfortunately the cost of education so much a question of can you afford to go to college as can globalization of business, economies under pressure, and increasing have created a perfect storm for young people: they need more pared. A college degree is essential for preparing you for the challenges I believe preparing for a working life should start lege. Based on my personal experience, I have made it my mission school students to help them identify career paths that reflect and bring out their passions. After all, if you don’t really understand careers that are open to you, how can you choose the best degree

“I believe in trusting your instincts and bringing your true self to whatever you are doing.”

Find people you then copy their strengths. I’m fortunate that My parents, Pratima and Mukund Shah, came to dollars in their pockets. They didn’t know anyone here they worked hard to build their lives. As I’ve established the profound leadership lessons they’ve embedded in

EDUCATION: BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland; JD, George Washington University

FIRST JOB: Cashier at McDonald’s

After successfully steering ESPN's first college network she was promoted to vice president, college sports programming & acquisitions and oversaw all of ESPN's college sports relationships and championed the company wide efforts surrounding the inaugural College Football Playoff. Colleagues attribute her business acumen and expertise in developing meaningful business relationships as president of college networks and ESPN's portfolio of college dedicated channels, including ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Words she lives by: What you do today creates every tomorrow. (Oprah) PDJ

Education is critical, but in these competitive stand alone. Young people need to couple formal learning with to give them a better chance of finding not just any job, but successful graduates take the initiative, either by finding work or getting involved with student organizations and groups that ence. I had a few internships before graduating, at a time when encouraged as they are now, and the experience undoubtedly me far more marketable and meant I started my career with an sibilities available to me.

Lesson 1: Have the courage to leave your comfort age my parents had to leave their family, friends, and This has inspired me to push. Even small steps in a possibilities. I’ve discovered new strengths and interests ognized had I not had the courage to try something

ting their own reputations on the line.

At PepsiCo, leadership takes career advancement seriously. We call this “talent sustainability.” Talent sustainability is the promise to invest in our employees to

Lesson 2: Don’t leave your dreams to chance. My that no one will hand you your dreams—you must career, I found it easy to become consumed by my checklist I forced myself to stop and think about my career path asked myself, what do I hope to accomplish? What If I didn’t make time to set my direction, I could’ve dreams forever out of reach.

Being where i am today was the result of happenstance, great mentoring relationships i went to a high school and engineering. i was for math. My high school been more thrilled that as a college junior, the encouragement of some

Lesson 3: Find balance. One reason why my parents’ monplace

57 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter 2 022 W ARD Watching® in Leadership INTERNATIONAL Education: JD, Harvard Law School; BA, Barnard College Company Name: Glenn Agre Bergman & Fuentes LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: n/a Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 30 Words you live by: Lead by example. Personal Philosophy: Take every call. What book are you reading: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky What was your first job: Music gigs Favorite charity: The Legal Aid Society Associate Job Title: Associate Education: JD, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; BA, Barnard College Company Name: Industry: Legal Company CEO: N/A Company Headquarters Location: Number of Employees: Miriam Manber 2 022 A W ARD Women Worth Watching® in Leadership INTERNATIONAL Workplace Flexibility Will Be a Game Changer Education: Global Professional Master of Laws, University of Toronto; Honours Bachelor of Arts Management, University of Toronto Company Name: OPTrust Industry: Pension Company CEO: Peter Lindley Company Headquarters Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: More than 350 Words you live by: Be open-minded and willing to learn. Personal Philosophy: Try new things, life is about experiences. What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng What was your first job: Performing artists management Favorite charity: Canadian Cancer Society Interests: Performing arts, skiing, golf, basketball, architecture, and design Family: Spouse, 1 daughter (age 12), and 2 sons (age 15 and 9) Jesusa Chow Vice President, Member Experience
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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL • Summer 2016 WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM 123 effect of eliminating redundancies, improving efficiencies, and providing real-time information to the entire construction team. Today, she is collaborating with CMiC to develop mobile applications that will put information in the hands of project teams on the ground. She also leads Pepper’s innovation cohort—a group of eight cross-functional employees investigating and funding technologies and ideas that drive real value was when I moved from CFO at the subsidiary level to Chief Information Officer at the corporate level,” said Jennifer. “I learned to adapt and use my talents to contribute to the company’s success. I’m more focused on uniting the organization as a whole and not letting one subsidiary be the Jennifer joined Pepper Construction Group in 1999 after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Arkansas State University and her MBA from Northern Illinois University. She is a frequent speaker on technology systems in the construction industry, Jennifer Green Chief Uses IS Savvy to Streamline Pepper’s Business Strategy Always look for ways to improve.
How did this BCBSSC VP get noticed? A commitment to quality work and
Kathy Higgins Emilie M. Ray
This CDO at Medical Mutual of Ohio
epitome of a continuous learner. Trained as an engineer, over her career she has become a Lean expert, gained expertise in big data and is relentless at building her knowledge base. Snow-Boscolo has made multiple lasting contributions to Terex; helping deliver value to its customers by finding better ways of working.
her career as a process engineer, Snow-Boscolo currently serves as senior director, customer many women along the way and
them chart their career paths, as well as serving on our corporate Women@Terex steering committee.” When asked what obstacles she had encountered during her career and how she overcame them, Snow-Boscolo simply says, “Prove it!” She explains that for many years she had to demonstrate that she was more than capable of handling the Jenny Snow-Boscolo Title: Senior Director, Customer Support & Business Planning Company: Terex Corporation IF YOU’RE NOT AT LEAST A LITTLE INTIMIDATED BY THE NEXT STEP, YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT CHALLENGING YOURSELF ENOUGH. ~ JENNY SNOW-BOSCOLO Women continue to encounter many obstacles in the workplace as leaders, as well as obstacles that prevent good at negotiating for their team, and not as good at negotiating pay for themselves. That personal advocacy is something we can was a female CEO. However, of all the Fortune 500 CEOs, only about five percent are female, leaving aspiring female leaders with a limited Women Leaders Make a Critical Difference Christina Dorobek Title: Chief Sales Officer Education: BA, American studies, English, Wellesley College Company Name: LevelUp Industry: Technology, software as a service–restaurants Company CEO: Seth Priebatsch Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 250 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: The current quote I’m loving is from my yoga class: “Growth is change, growth is opportunity.” Personal Philosophy: Drink it in. What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng What was your first job: Cold Stone Creamery Favorite charity: Center for Women & Enterprise, where I first worked out of college. ONE OF THE MOST EMPOWERING THINGS ABOUT BEING A WOMAN LEADER IS THE ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND HELP BUILD AN INCLUSIVE AND SAFE WORKPLACE. “ ” 105 38 HEADQUARTERS: Deerfield, Illinois WEBSITE: www.walgreens.com their early years and found a way to provide our family with a better life. From my father, I learned how to recover, even when things go astray. From my mother, I learned how to be pragmatic and stay grounded. Both taught me resilience and the value of hard work.
Starting
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Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner Walgreen Co. Chawla Sona Sroka Company and Executive Women Worth Sonia Porter Novelli “Education is critical, but in COMPETITIVE times it can no
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228 PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL September/October › What college courses do you suggest for aspiring leaders? Classes outside of your major
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? If so, how did you deal with it? No, as the only female on the executive
I feel my input and different
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BUSINESS: Entertainment software REVENUES: $4.1 billion EMPLOYEES: 9,000 Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer BA, MS, Stanford University Spanish-speaking Stanford employees at the El Centro Chicano student center.
Passion, hard work, and strong values are the keys to
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TITLE: Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer EDUCATION: BBA Management, University of Texas at Austin FIRST JOB: Shift supervisor at Burger King WHAT I’M READING: Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, by Linda Coughlin, Ellen Wingard & Keith Hollihan MY PHILOSOPHY: I will not trade wholeness
approval. INTERESTS: Physical fitness, COMPANY AND EXECUTIVE WOMEN WORTh W Debra A.
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Culpepper
the spon sor chooses the employee based on performance. The sponsor will provide strategic exposure, networking and positioning for an employee. Being a sponsor is more active than being a mentor. The mentor provides personal and professional development, plus career help. Sponsors openly campaign for career advancement, often put-
TITLE: SVP, Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer EDUCATION: BA, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; MOPC, California State University, Hayward FIRST JOB: Cashier/Cook, Taco Bell WHAT I’M READING: The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter, by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs MY PHILOSOPHY: “Be the Change that You Want To See in the World.” COMPANY AND EXECUTIVE W PharmD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey FIRST JOB: Tennis instructor
PHILOSOPHY: Surround yourself with good people, respect everyone, and remain
What I’m Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta
MY
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OU OFTEN HEAR EARLY IN YOUR CAREER
was
always
for me. problems and struggles of establishing their careers. Now, ance
to success. Without appropriate work/life balance underappreciated, and generally dispassionate about How has education affected your career? I decided to with a doctorate in pharmacy. I knew this would up more opportunities later in my career. After, at the VA in Buffalo, New York. This experience firsthand how seniors often don’t have a voice This motivated me to receive a certification in first pharmacists in New York to earn a Certified What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your is the key to success. Our industry is constantly medicines, diseases, and regulations all constantly We need to proactively adapt and innovate so rather than respond and be forced into change The Lifetime Healthcare Chitre Mona Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner
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Senior Vice President, Administration EDUCATION: Bachelor’s in business administration and MBA, Michigan State University FIRST JOB: Clerk at an insurance company during high school WHAT I’M READING: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy MY PHILOSOPHY: The key to any great My advice to others seeking KBR Klaudia J. Brace
B
women worth watching
Terex Corporation Bonita 108 Profiles in Diversity Journal September/Oct O ber 2010
Lawrence Pitney Bowes Inc. women worth watching in 2011 I title Director of Accelerated Innovation eDucation BA, Anthropology, Smith College FirSt JoB: Office assistant at a small computer company what i m reaDing Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand mY PhiloSoPhY: What matters is not just what you do but how you do it. FamilY: Daniel: Wonderful, supportive husband of 6 years. intereStS: Reading, dining out (especially regional and seasonal cuisine). FaVorite charitieS: Bridgeport Rescue Mission (Bridgeport, CT) comPanY: Pitney Bowes Inc. heaDQuarterS: Stamford, Connecticut weB Site: www.pb.com BuSineSS: Mailing & communications technology and services. annual reVenueS: $5.6 billion (2009) emPloYeeS: 33,000 (2009)
“Taking risks brings growth.” Jill

Education: JD, Harvard Law School; BA, Barnard College

Company Name: Glenn Agre Bergman & Fuentes LLP

Industry: Law

Company CEO: n/a

Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York

Number of Employees: 30

Words you live by: Lead by example.

Personal Philosophy: Take every call.

What book are you reading: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

What was your first job: Music gigs

Favorite charity: The Legal

Dare to Be Bold—and to Improvise

From early childhood through high school, I was an aspiring classical musician. During college, I discovered new passions in academics and public service. While law became my career focus, my experience as a musician helped me cultivate lasting skills that have molded me into the advocate I am today, including how to connect with different audiences, how to work tirelessly toward key goals, and how to distill complex ideas into a simple but powerful message in any given piece—these days, a brief or oral argument.

overtook them: focus, clarity, and passion.

Learning to perform under pressure didn’t happen overnight. Through trial and error, lots of practice, and plain old grit, I gradually learned how to thrive in highintensity situations—by harnessing and transforming my performance adrenaline into an asset; by understanding that failure is a necessary part of learning and improving; and by embracing rather than avoiding situations that can cause performance anxiety or discomfort.

As I’ve gone from aspiring musician to practicing

It is the pressure of performance that drives me forward rather than holds me back.”

One of the most helpful lessons I learned as a musician was how to perform under pressure. I can still feel my clammy hands, as stiff as piano strings, in the minutes before I took the stage. I can still hear my heart pounding so intensely it could have been mistaken for the low thud of a timpani drum. I can still see the glare of bright stage lights, like the sun on a scorching summer afternoon, beaming on me as I walked onto the stage. But I also remember these sensations fading into the background as others

lawyer, this lesson has stayed with me, inspiring me on a day-to-day basis. It is the pressure of performance that drives me forward rather than holds me back. I relish the high-stakes cases that my firm handles. I thrive when thinking on my feet during an oral argument or trial and navigating difficult legal problems. My comfort with discomfort has also shaped the decisions I make throughout my career, pushing me to be bold and to constantly seek out new challenges. And daring to improvise along the way.

Where are they now?

Skye Tian Gao is now a partner at Glenn Agre Bergman Fuentes after nearly two years as an associate for the New York firm. Tian Gao says she is a trial lawyer and a creative problem-solver who helps companies and people navigate tough legal situations. Her Profiles in Diversity Journal® essay made it clear that working under pressure is something that she learned to do as an aspiring classical musician years before her legal career. Her training has helped her learn how to find “comfort with discomfort,” she said in her essay.

58 2024 First Quarter www.diversityjournal.com 75 www.womenworthwatching.com 2022 Third Quarter
2 022 A W ARD Women Worth Watching® in Leadership INTERNATIONAL
exploring different cultures
Aid Society Interests: Literature, art, nature, and
2022

Where are they now?

Jesusa Chow has been at the same company, OPTrust, for almost 27 years but she keeps moving up the ladder. Last year, she became senior vice president, trading in her duties as vice president of member experience for OPTrust. The Canadian firm invests and manages one of Canada’s biggest pension funds and has net assets of almost $25 billion.

2022

Personal

What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

What was your first job: Performing artists management

Favorite charity: Canadian Cancer Society

Interests: Performing arts, skiing, golf, basketball, architecture, and design

Family: Spouse, 1 daughter (age 12), and 2 sons (age 15 and 9)

Workplace Flexibility Will Be a Game Changer

When I first entered the workforce, it wasn’t very common to see women in senior leadership roles. It’s been inspiring to watch this shift during my career. Women continue to make great strides in the workplace, but there are still challenges many of us must wrestle with as we continue to grow in our careers.

I have worked with many bright, talented women. Many of these women also undervalue what they bring to the table and lack the confidence many of their male peers possess. It can be a trap to become so focused on high achievement that you miss the successes along the way. I’ve found that we can be too critical of ourselves, allowing a drive to perfection to get in the way of recognizing our talents and capabilities. Recognizing this dynamic is key to supporting women in the workplace to build confidence and ensure that they are tapped for development opportunities that will place them on an advancement path.

This dynamic between self-doubt and the drive for achievement is often exasperating for women who balance their careers with family duties. Most

women find it extremely challenging to manage both work and family, and feel like they’re doing both well. It is possible to be driven at work and focused on family and not allow one to diminish the importance you place on the other. Over my career I’ve seen more and more women able to redefine their outlook and tailor what success looks like for them. More and more women are advocating for the support they need at home and at work to be able to continue to do both.

Over the past few years, the pandemic has exposed the precarious balance many women were navigating between home and family. It also demonstrated to a lot of organizations that there are many roles where employees can be highly productive outside the constraints of a traditional office location and hours. The move towards more flexibility in location and working hours will be a game changer for the next generation of women leaders.

Seeing the challenges women face in the workplace is key to the success of an organization, and those who tackle these challenges head-on will always be more successful at recruiting and retaining top talent.

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2 022 A W ARD Women Worth Watching® in Leadership INTERNATIONAL
Education: Global Professional Master of Laws, University of Toronto; Honours Bachelor of Arts Management, University of Toronto Company Name: OPTrust Industry: Pension Company CEO: Peter Lindley
Headquarters Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Number of Employees: More than 350
Company
Words you live by: Be open-minded and willing to learn.
Philosophy: Try new things, life is about experiences.
Jesusa
Chow Vice President, Member Experience

Where are they now?

Tonya Harris Cornileus is a Women Worth Watching® superstar. Harris Cornileus is currently senior vice president of learning and talent solutions for The Walt Disney Company. She came to our attention in 2021 when she served as a vice president at ESPN (owned by Disney) where she led a team that supported the talent development, talent management, and culture needs of some 7,000 employees around the world.

Tonya

Iam the daughter of educators. My parents and grandparents instilled in me the importance of a good education. As I was completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, College of Journalism, I was undecided about my career aspirations. A friend of mine suggested I consider teaching for a year until I was more certain of the path I wanted to take.

I had sworn I’d never teach, not because I didn’t value the profession, but because I saw firsthand how demanding the role could be for not a lot of money. But, I decided to pursue it anyway. I was hired to teach middle-grade students in an inner-city school in Miami, Florida. My students were Black/African American, Puerto Rican, and children of immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Columbia, and the Dominican Republic. And they were poor.

One afternoon midway through the school year, I paused the lesson and had a conversation with my students. By then, I had developed a caring relationship with them, and I had gotten to know their parents through many conversations. That afternoon I asked my students what they aspired to be when they grew up. As is typical of 11-year-olds, the boys wanted to be firemen, police officers, and professional athletes. The girls wanted to own beauty salons, or become dancers or actresses.

Then I arrived at the last student, Anneris. I can still see her face. She was smart, beautiful, and reserved; and she was popular among her peers. When I asked Anneris what she wanted to be, she said quietly, “I want to be a doctor.”

She said it as though she was embarrassed to have a dream so big, considering she was a child of immigrants surrounded by poverty in her community. I was overcome with compassion. I looked into the faces of my students, and I knew in that moment, I was not there by chance. I was supposed to be there. My students had the same dreams as any child their age, but I knew they would face more hurdles as black and brown children growing up in a poor, under-resourced school and community. That experience impacted me profoundly. I wasn’t sure about my future career path, but I knew whatever I did, it would involve helping people to believe in themselves, remove psychosocial and structural barriers, and accomplish their goals and dreams. I knew I wanted to help create a more equitable society. I’ve built a career doing this very work inside corporate systems and in society at large. My career as a talent development and diversity, equity, and inclusion leader is rewarding, and it all began when I said, “Yes,” to a teaching position in inner-city Miami.

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2021
PhD VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT, INCLUSION & WELLNESS The Importance of Saying “Yes” Education: PhD & MEd, human resource & organization development, University of Georgia; BS, broadcast telecommunications, University of Florida Company Name: ESPN, Inc. Industry: Sports Media & Entertainment Company CEO: Jimmy Pitaro Company Headquarters Location: Bristol, Connecticut Number of Employees: 5,000 Personal Philosophy: I want the world to know I’m here, and I care. What book are you reading: Think Again by Adam Grant What was your first job: Middle grades teacher in Miami, Florida Favorite charity: Feeding America Interests: Reading, writing/blogging, traveling, DEI, personal development, and sports Family: son, Lamon Cornileus; daughter, India Cornileus; and son, Tyrone Cornileus, Jr.
Harris Cornileus,

Margot Hoppin

Associate

2020

In 2020, a Young Lawyer Needs Courage HSG

Education: JD, New York University School of Law; AB, Harvard College

Company Name: Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP

Industry: Law

Company CEO: N/A

Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York

Number of Employees: 85

Words you live by: “Yes”; “No”

Personal Philosophy: I don't have one; all the most important moments and decisions in my life thus far have been wordless.

What book are you reading: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

What was your first job: Policy analyst at the New York City Economic Development Corporation

Favorite charity: Planned Parenthood

Interests: Literature, outdoor physical activities (hiking, biking, etc.), urban infrastructure, and design

It takes courage to tell people with power that they have unwittingly hurt you or that the institutions they lead and love have done so, and it takes courage to ask for things. " "

I urge every lawyer to regularly and critically consider how effective lawyers look, sound, and behave. Are they assertive and confident? Scholarly and even-tempered? What does each of those look and sound like? Not to put too fine a point on it: Can you imagine a peak performance of lawyering by a person who isn’t white, male, gender-conforming, and physically able? Do the mannerisms, intonations, language choices, and thought structures strike you as “white” or “male”? To be persuasive, must lawyers project confidence that their viewpoints are sound and ultimately correct? More fundamentally, must they speak with an implicit expectation that others will listen? On the flip side,

how do lawyers honestly project those things if they have been shaped in part by shame, fear, alienation, deprivation, bullying, neglect, systemic and innate racism or sexism, stereotyping, or any one of the many social experiences that teach people that they are powerless, and that their powerlessness simply drowns out the effect of anything they may have to say? There are many noble contenders for the foremost ideal of the legal profession, among them: fairness, intellectual honesty, and reason. Each of these is so important. But as I observe young lawyers (including me) develop against the backdrops of the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements, the Trump presidency, and the un-

folding reckonings that each of these is eliciting, I think the single most important quality in a young lawyer in 2020 is courage. It takes courage (and energy) to pay close attention, to say what you think, to disagree, and to risk disagreement. It takes courage to think, speak, and behave differently from those who seem to lead the profession. It takes courage to tell people with power that they have unwittingly hurt you or that the institutions they lead and love have done so, and it takes courage to ask for things. I have witnessed so many courageous acts along these lines in recent years, and I hope to witness countless more. I think the future quality and strength of the legal profession may depend on it.

56 Summer 2020

WOMEN WORTH WATCHING® AWARD WINNER

Where are they now?

Margot Hoppin co-founded her own law firm Hoppin Grinsell in 2023 in New York after serving as an associate at Holwell Shuster Goldberg LLP. Hoppin touts her wide background in civil litigation, commercial litigation and public defense skills for opening her own shop. In her standout Profiles in Diversity Journal® essay, Hoppin wrote that “I think the single most important quality in a young lawyer in 2020 is courage. It takes courage (and energy) to pay close attention, to say what you think, to disagree, and to risk disagreement.” She has shown plenty of that in her latest move.

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Where are they now?

Miriam Manber, a one-time associate at Hoguet Newman Regal and Kenny, is now a partner at the law firm and has racked up a number of awards as an outstanding litigator. Manber, who handles commercial and employment disputes, has been recognized by New York Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Litigation and been named a Benchmark Litigation Future Star and is on the Best Lawyers in America 2024 list. Best Lawyers is a prestigious peer-reviewed publication for those in the legal profession.

I’m hopeful that the current generation of attorneys will, like my firm, encourage young women to speak up and build skills. “ ”

You Should Smile More ….

Growing up, it never occurred to me that there were things I couldn’t do or couldn’t become because of my gender. Attending a women’s college only solidified my confidence. I was encouraged to speak my mind and argue passionately and persuasively. Even better, I was surrounded by other ambitious women who served as a support network and as my teachers outside of the classroom; the women I met there forced me to challenge my assumptions, think bigger, and reach higher. When I decided on a career in the law, sexism seemed like an antiquated notion, a historical footnote highlighted in period pieces like Mad Men, along with rotary-dial telephones.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. It started in law school, where I relished the opportunity to learn hands-on litigation skills by participating in moot court and trial advocacy programs. Professors lobbed the now-familiar critique at me and other women (but never men): Smile more. I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to smile while delivering an oral argument premised on a grisly criminal law hypothetical, but I did it anyway, because otherwise, I was told, I would come off as “cold” and “unlikable.”

After these experiences in law school, I wasn’t dissuaded from pursuing litigation, but I chose carefully when deciding where to practice. I chose to join a woman-owned law firm, where the partnership is seriously dedicated to mentoring and teaching its associates, regardless of gender. Unfortunately, not all firms are like mine, and I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate the casual sexism that seems to be endemic to the profession. I’ve often been the only woman in a room full of men. I’ve had opposing counsel try to intimidate me by threatening to call the judge in the middle of a deposition, continually ask to speak to the (male) partner on the case instead of me when calling the office on a matter for which I was responsible, and even ask why I was “allowed” to speak in court when a male partner was sitting next to me.

My firm has always been squarely in my corner in these situations.

I’m hopeful that the current generation of attorneys will, like my firm, encourage young women to speak up and build skills. The more commonplace we become, the more we can begin to dismantle the stereotypes used to try and hold us back.

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192 Summer 2019 WOMEN WORTH WATCHING® AWARD WINNER Job Title: Associate Education: JD, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; BA, Barnard College Company Name: Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP Industry: Legal Company CEO: N/A Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 32 Words you live by: Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides. Personal Philosophy: Try anything once! What book are you reading: Shrill by Lindy West What was your first job: Waitress at a pizza shop Favorite charity: Barnard College Interests: Music and theater
Manber
2019
Miriam

The most important thing is to always be yourself and to find the confidence and determination to succeed, regardless of the obstacles you encounter. “ ”

Believe in Yourself and You’ll Be Amazed at What You Can Achieve

be greater than your fear of failure.” If you believe that you will fail, you very well may.

tell you otherwise.” Even now, more than 30 years into my career, her words are the philosophy I have always lived by and the attitude I try to bring with me to work each and every day. Now more than ever, it is important for women to remember that it is important to believe in themselves, no matter what they do—in the workplace, at home, or out in their local community. If you set your goals high, you will have a much better chance of accomplishing whatever you’ve set your mind to, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve. I am often asked for career advice and am always reminded of this quote from Bill Cosby: “Your desire to succeed should

I know that it is easy to fear failing or not being taken seriously in the workplace, but I truly believe that having a positive attitude and positive intentions is the first step to overcoming those fears. There are no secrets to success. The most important thing is to always be yourself and to find the confidence and determination to succeed, regardless of the obstacles you encounter.

The best way to gain respect in the workplace, whether you are a woman or a man, is to do your job well. Nothing comes easy, regardless of gender. But, if you can prove that you are worthy and capable of added responsibilities, you will gain the respect and influence of those around you, and be well on your path to the life and career that you’ve dreamed of.

Where are they now?

Mayra Boitel, who became CVS’ division vice president in 2022, told Profiles in Diversity Journal® that she lived by her mother’s code: You can do anything. They must believe that at CVS where Boitel has received promotion after promotion after 13 years at one of the nation’s leading health care companies. She became part of Women Worth Watching® in 2019 when she served as chief merchant of alternative products at CVS Health.

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193 www.womenworthwatching.com WOMEN WORTH WATCHING® AWARD WINNER Mayra Boitel Job Title: Vice President, Chief Merchant–Alternative Formats Education: Registered Pharmacist degree, St. John's University College of Pharmacy Company Name: CVS Health Industry: Health care Company CEO: Larry Merlo Company Headquarters Location: Woonsocket, Rhode Island Number of Employees: 295,000+ Your Location: Miami, Florida Words you live by: Think positively, and positive things will happen. Personal Philosophy: Never give up, you can do anything you set your mind to. What book are you reading: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park What was your first job: Salesperson at Sterling Optical Favorite charity: Children's Cancer Research Fund Interests: Exercising, jogging, biking, and skiing Family: Married for 35 years to Art Boitel; two sons, Daniel (29) and Andrew (24) When I was growing up as one of three daughters in my family, my mother always told us, “Don’t sell yourself short. You can do anything, and don’t let anyone
2019
ONE

Christina Dorobek

Women Leaders Make a Critical Difference

Women continue to encounter many obstacles in the workplace as leaders, as well as obstacles that prevent them from rising to leadership roles, from implicit and explicit gender biases to sexual harassment and other challenges.

To start, it’s 2018 and women still make less than men. And the wage gap gets worse for women of color. Some states, like Massachusetts, have implemented regulations that prohibit employers from asking what someone makes in the interview process to help combat these inequities, but more can be done. Employers can do more to ensure there’s no gender bias in a company’s recruitment, promotion, and talent development. As women, we should also encourage each other to seek out raises. Women tend to be very

good at negotiating for their team, and not as good at negotiating pay for themselves. That personal advocacy is something we can help teach.

Working flexibility, or lack thereof, is another issue that disproportionately impacts women. Not all companies provide women with paid maternity leave, and if a woman takes a significant amount of time off, she may return to an increased wage gap. Flexible working arrangements are effective for companies to not only attract top talent, but also to reduce turnover and absenteeism, and support maximum productivity of employees at work.

I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have strong female role models in my life, from my mother to my classmates and alums at Wellesley College. My first boss after college

was a female CEO. However, of all the Fortune 500 CEOs, only about five percent are female, leaving aspiring female leaders with a limited number of role models. Furthermore, women tend not to receive the same level of sponsorship as their male colleagues. In order to become a leader, it’s critical to have sponsors that give you visibility within the company. And tout your accomplishments when you’re not there.

One of the most empowering things about being a woman leader is the ability to continue to promote diversity and help build an inclusive and safe workplace. I believe it’s our responsibility to promote diversity across not only gender, but also race, sexual orientation, gender association, and physical and mental capabilities.

Christina Dorobek is head of Investment Strategy at Groma now after nine years at Level

Up, a tech company, where she served as chief sales officer. Groma is a real investment startup based in Boston. In her Profiles in Diversity Journal® essay, Dorobek credited female role models such as her mother, colleagues and bosses for encouraging her career goals.

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2018
Title: Chief Sales Officer Education: BA, American studies, English, Wellesley College Company Name: LevelUp Industry: Technology, software as a service–restaurants Company CEO: Seth Priebatsch Headquarters Location: Boston, Massachusetts Number of Employees: 250 Your Location: Boston, Massachusetts Words you live by: The current quote I’m loving is from my yoga class: “Growth is change, growth is opportunity.” Personal Philosophy: Drink it in. What book are you reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng What was your first job: Cold Stone Creamery Favorite charity: Center for Women & Enterprise, where I first worked out of college.
OF THE
“ ” 105 www.womenworthwatching.com Where are they now?
MOST EMPOWERING THINGS ABOUT BEING A WOMAN LEADER IS THE ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND HELP BUILD AN INCLUSIVE AND SAFE WORKPLACE.

Where are they now?

Jenny Snow-Boscolo, a part of the 2017 WWW class, is now the senior director of global customer experience at Terex Corp. Snow-Boscolo has been a mainstay at Terex, a global manufacturing company. When she was profiled by Profiles in Diversity Journal® in 2017, she served as the Terex Corp.’s senior director of customer support and business planning.

“I think enabling others to lead and contribute to their fullest potential is the most important thing I’ve done,” she said at the time.

Jenny Snow-Boscolo

IF YOU’RE NOT AT LEAST A LITTLE INTIMIDATED BY THE NEXT STEP, YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT CHALLENGING YOURSELF ENOUGH.

Title: Senior Director, Customer Support & Business Planning

Company: Terex Corporation

Industry: Manufacturing

CEO: John L. Garrison

Employees: 11,300

Headquarters: Westport, CT

Education: B.S.I.E., Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech)

Personal philosophy: Be true to yourself and your values, leverage your strengths and have fun – you can’t work hard if you’re miserable!

Words I live by: Walk the talk.

Walk the talk. Those are words that Jenny SnowBoscolo strives to live by. And according to her colleagues she succeeds. She is regarded as the epitome of a continuous learner. Trained as an engineer, over her career she has become a Lean expert, gained expertise in big data and is relentless at building her knowledge base. Snow-Boscolo has made multiple lasting contributions to Terex; helping deliver value to its customers by finding better ways of working.

2017

Starting her career as a process engineer, Snow-Boscolo currently serves as senior director, customer support & business planning. But dealing with the technical side of business isn’t her only objective. She counts her greatest accomplishments as the people she’s mentored or managed along the path, who in turn elevated themselves to greater roles.

“I think enabling others to lead and contribute to their fullest potential is the most important thing I’ve done,” says Snow-Boscolo,

“I’ve always felt the need to step up and help take care of others, so leading was a natural role for me. I love solving problems and helping people. I’ve mentored many women along the way and helped them chart their career paths, as well as serving on our corporate Women@Terex steering committee.”

When asked what obstacles she had encountered during her career and how she overcame them, Snow-Boscolo simply says, “Prove it!” She explains that for many years she had to demonstrate that she was more than capable of handling the next promotional opportunity. She also offers this advice to young women moving up the pipeline, “If you’re not at least a little intimidated by the next step, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough.” She continues, “Remember, speed kills. Our model here is Observe, Orient, Detect, Act; if you do this faster than the competition we all win.”

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25 SUMMER 2017

Where are they now?

Last year, Rosalyn Durant became ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and acquisitions, making her one of the powerful Black women in sports. Back in 2016, Durant was a member of Women Worth Watching® for good reason. She started as an intern with The Walt Disney Company and rose to ESPN’s senior vice president of college networks. Her career has not stood still as she continues to make ESPN a valuable commodity.

Company: ESPN

Industry: Multimedia / Entertainment

CEO: John Skipper

Employees: 8,000 worldwide

Headquarters: Bristol, Connecticut

ROSALYN DURANT SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, COLLEGE NETWORKS

ESPN

ESPN EXECUTIVE ON PATH OF EXCELLENCE

Rosalyn Durant's career embodies a path of excellence, achievement and influence that has propelled her at a young age.

Howard Foundation, dedicated to increasing diversity in the multimedia and entertainment industries.

2016

Her colleagues say she’s a woman on the rise who has made her imprint within The Walt Disney Company (owner of ESPN), the cable community and the sports world at large. Durant has built her reputation on strategic acceleration of the businesses under her purview and the ability to develop and maintain key relationships.

She is committed to eradicating invisible boundaries for all and sits on the Board of Directors of the T.

Durant launched her career in 1998 as an intern at ESPN and has rapidly ascended to become a top executive within company and the sports community it serves. “I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when I interned at ESPN. I didn’t want the summer to end,” she said.

Her advancement began in affiliate sales and marketing where her internship turned into a full-time job. Her skill set and professionalism propelled her to senior director of

national accounts in six short years and in 2006 she was promoted to senior director of programming. Colleagues say her influence was immediate. She played a significant role in an eight-year contract extension with the NBA, which at the time was ESPN's mostcomprehensive digital rights package with a major professional sports league. She managed relationships with the NBA, Major League Soccer, FIFA and Olympic sport leagues. In 2008, she was named Vice President, ESPNU, where she maximized the value of ESPNU properties across the company's multimedia assets, including television, internet, radio, print, broadband and wireless. She’s also spearheaded the development of signature events for the network including the ESPNU Signing Day franchise.

Under Durant's supervision, ESPNU's nationwide distribution jumped from about 25 million homes to 74 million, signing long-term carriage agreements with the top 10 distributors, and is a staple of ESPN's industry-leading college sports programming portfolio.

After successfully steering ESPN's first college network she was promoted to vice president, college sports programming & acquisitions and oversaw all of ESPN's college sports relationships and championed the company wide efforts surrounding the inaugural College Football Playoff. Colleagues attribute her business acumen and expertise in developing meaningful business relationships as the keys to rapid success.

Today, she’s the senior vice president of college networks and sets the strategic direction for ESPN's portfolio of college dedicated channels, including ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network.

Words she lives by: What you do today creates every tomorrow. (Oprah) PDJ

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74 PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL • Summer 2016

Always look for ways to improve.

Jennifer Green

Chief Uses IS Savvy to Streamline Pepper’s Business Strategy

Jennifer Green began her career with Pepper Construction Group as a project accountant before serving in a variety of controller positions, including CFO for the company’s Illinois operation. In 2013, she was named chief information officer and in 2014, she was promoted to her current position—chief knowledge and information officer.

Focusing her energy on building a bridge between business strategy and information systems, Jennifer led the design and implementation of a single, integrated system (CMiC) that replaced more than a dozen independent systems and had the

effect of eliminating redundancies, improving efficiencies, and providing real-time information to the entire construction team. Today, she is collaborating with CMiC to develop mobile applications that will put information in the hands of project teams on the ground. She also leads Pepper’s innovation cohort—a group of eight cross-functional employees investigating and funding technologies and ideas that drive real value for customers.

“I think my biggest career leap was when I moved from CFO at the subsidiary level to Chief Information Officer at the corporate level,” said

Jennifer. “I learned to adapt and use my talents to contribute to the company’s success. I’m more focused on uniting the organization as a whole and not letting one subsidiary be the sole driver.”

Jennifer joined Pepper Construction Group in 1999 after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Arkansas State University and her MBA from Northern Illinois University. She is a frequent speaker on technology systems in the construction industry, and was recently featured in the AGC’s IT forum. PDJ

Where are they now?

Jennifer Green, honored by Women Worth Watching® in 2015, appeared in Profiles in Diversity Journal® as chief information officer for Pepper Construction, the company where she started her career after earning a MBA from Northern Illinois University and a BS from Arkansas State. In 2023, she became chief financial officer for Lumber 1 based in Little Rock, Arkansas. She arrived at the job with plenty of experience having served as CFO at several other companies including Fuel Distributor and Transporter and Knutson Construction Services.

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2015

Where are they now?

Rachel (Rubin) Franklin, part of Women Worth Watching® in 2014, has been promoted to senior vice president of lifestyle entertainment at Entertainment Arts, a company that has long been her home. In 2014, Franklin served as executive producer for the popular Sims video game and general manager of the Sims studio. Franklin told Profiles in Diversity Journal® that she played her first video game when she was just seven years old.

WOMEN WORTH WATCHING

My career path has been far from traditional. I have been an entrepreneur, led engineering teams, marketed global brands, and become executive producer of top-selling videogame franchises. My appetite for learning has always been equally diverse. Besides my education in applied mathematics and computer science, I also completed an acting/theatre program in London and studied voiceover

This GM and Executive Producer at Electronic Arts has built a career that combines her many passions.

acting. What binds these experiences together has been my passion for interactive entertainment and video games, which began after I played my first game at age seven.

I believe in trusting your instincts and bringing your true self to whatever you are doing. There is a power in personal uniqueness that I have leveraged over the course of my career.

My advice to young women exploring technology careers includes three core principles I have leveraged over the years:

Find and pursue your passion(s):

My current role as GM & executive producer of The Sims 4 combines my passions for technology, entertainment, and gaming. While my experiences have not been conventional, they have prepared me for the role I enjoy today. Explore your disparate interests and passions. You’ll be surprised how much you can leverage seemingly non-

Kathy Higgins

relevant expertise in your career.

Take Calculated Risks: One of the greatest risks I have taken was cofounding an Internet development and online marketing company without outside financing. I trusted my intuition and relied on data to make the decision, and I eventually sold the company after eight years and $1 million in revenues.

Stay Curious: Be an active learner, continuously challenge yourself, and take on stretch assignments that give you unique differentiating experiences. I have found that the key to being competitive in this marketplace is to always find ways to innovate and stay on the edge. PDJ

“I believe in trusting your instincts and bringing your true self to whatever you are doing.”

How did this BCBSSC VP get noticed? A commitment to quality work and team goals.

his players they would be the best conditioned team. His strategy was confirmed with a gold medal. In our careers, we will work with many people who have a greater depth of knowledge or are more practiced in certain skills. But there are other ways to make sure our work is noticed by our superiors. While it’s not emotionally healthy to view the workplace as a daily productivity contest, it is important that our work is recognized. Two areas where I have always tried to excel are in the commitment to the mission and in delivering value to the business. Fortunately, our level of commitment is within our control. Conscientiousness, or the lack of it, is recognized. I advise women to embrace a

dedication to quality work and demonstrate a personal connection to the goals of the team. Think of anyone you know who has ever been promoted. Are they bare-minimum types who are counting down the minutes until five o’clock? Probably not. Did they graduate at the top of their class? Maybe. But most likely, they are fully engaged in their work and the goals of the team.

If you want a job that simply pays the bills, just show up at the office and “meet expectations” every day. You’ll never have to worry about taking on greater responsibilities. But if you want a career that gives you a sense of fulfillment and helps you reach your personal potential in life, be the most committed member of the team. PDJ

“… embrace a dedication to quality work and demonstrate a personal connection to the goals of the team.”

2014

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PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL September/October 2014 82
During a practice session before the 1980 Winter Olympics, Herb Brooks— US men’s hockey team coach—told his players that they probably weren’t going to be the Games’ most talented squad—they weren’t going to outmuscle the Soviets or out-finesse the Swedes. But Coach Brooks promised

2014

Emilie M. Ray

This McKesson Pharmacy Systems President developed, and then followed, her plan for success.

As I began my professional journey, I created a career plan that outlined my background, core strengths and areas for development. The plan also included desired position attributes, and one-to-three, three-to-five, and five-plus year plans that aligned to my strengths and interests. I shared my career plan with any contacts I made who were willing to listen—my manager, peers, sponsors, mentors, internal HR recruiters, etc. This process helped others match my strengths and career

aspirations to potential opportunities within the organization. I selected leaders from across the business and set up informal mentoring sessions with them to enhance my personal exposure and learn more about their functional areas. These sessions not only allowed me to gain insights into different parts of the business, they also helped me identify areas of the business that might be of greatest interest to me moving forward.

Attending as many company meet-

Steffany Larkins

This CDO at Medical Mutual of Ohio leapt out of her comfort zone and into greater success.

I made my biggest career move several years ago when the CEO casually mentioned to a consultant that I would be valuable in the chief underwriting job, which also included the areas of Small Group and Individual Sales. Having held all sorts of accounting roles during my 17-year career, making the move to Underwriting and reporting directly to the Sales & Marketing division took me completely out of my comfort zone. In hardly any time at all, that job became even more challenging, when healthcare reform mandated underwriting elimination. However, that single decision led to roles of greater responsibility in the company, including my current positions as the CEO’s chief of staff and chief diversity officer. Along the way, in both my current

and former positions with Medical Mutual, I acquired a number of selfawareness talents. To my surprise, I gained a better understanding of me, as well as my skills, values, interests, behavior, and character. I also gained self-confidence and a firmer belief in my abilities.

Back in my accounting days, I knew the financial side of the company inside and out—where we made money and how our costs were structured. It was quite intimidating to take over an underwriting department where everyone was exceedingly experienced. Even more daunting, was the fact that I was the outsider in a very close-knit department.

I went about honing my listening skills, setting aside my own agenda, and empathetically and deliberately

ings, trainings, and relevant industry events as possible was also important in order to build and enhance my internal and external network. Attendance at these types of events provided me with exposure to the overall business, as well as access to key people inside the business. I made the most of these experiences by taking the lead on activities or projects, or volunteering to be a speaker in order to stand out from others in the group.

allowing others to be heard. I also learned the art of taking networking to the next level, forming a welldeveloped circle of influence that fuels enthusiasm in a subject or a cause. The end result is a synergy that inspires others to achieve excellence. PDJ

“It was quite intimidating to take over an underwriting department where everyone was exceedingly experienced.”

Where are they now?

Emilie Ray, part of Women Worth Watching® in 2014, hasn’t slowed down. She is currently a senior vice president and general manager of consumer business for McKesson, a healthcare company. Ray, a healthcare professional, was vice president and general manager of McKesson’s outpatient division 2014, but she’s done a stint as president for the company’s first transformation department and been a board member for Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Healthcare Industry Foundation.

69 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter
PDJ

MDO IT.

Since then, whenever I have faced a personal or professional obstacle, I’ve gone back to my dreams. These dreams have given me a lens to view the world and discover its myriad opportunities.

Growing up in India, for example, my first dream was to attend college in the United States. That dream became a reality for me. As a young adult in college, I believed that I had moved to the land of boundless opportunity. I have never lost that feeling and am grateful for all the doors that have been opened for me. Each career transition has helped me grow, and setbacks have been as vital to growth as success. I have been fortunate to work with many great leaders and have drawn from their experiences and advice to develop my own philosophy about leadership. Here are some of my favorite lessons: The role of a leader is to simplify. There are always forces at work, often outside our control, that can add layers of complexity to any structure, initiative, or decision. This can overwhelm people and drain them of their energy and creativity. Leaders need to enable their teams by cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essentials, so that a clear path can emerge.

Find the best people and make them successful. We all know that the best leaders hire the best employees. What we often don’t consider is our own role in ensuring the success of those employees we hire. Talent alone does not guarantee success, and talented people need an environment where they can thrive. Whenever I’ve been successful, there has been at least one individual who looked out for me, helped me through obstacles, and gave me opportunities that pushed me beyond my own perceived boundaries.

Leadership is a privilege. Leadership is a service role and a privilege that needs to be earned every day. Be hungry for learning, not for titles. Grow as a leader by giving generously in terms of your time, passion, energy, insight, and resources. These principles have served me well, keeping me grounded throughout my career. Helping others achieve their dreams, and watching as those I’ve helped go on to help others, is one of life’s most gratifying experiences.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/ or life? What did he/she motivate you to do? My parents have had a profound impact on my life. Both overcame adversity during their early years and found a way to provide our family with a better life. From my father, I learned how to recover, even when things go astray. From my mother, I learned how to be pragmatic and stay grounded. Both taught me resilience and the value of hard work.

Where are they now?

Sona Chawla, one of the class of Women Worth Watching® in 2013, is now chief growth and innovation officer for CDW, an IT services and consulting company, but she has been much more – president at Kohl’s department store and president of digital and chief marketing officer at Walgreens. Not bad for someone who wrote in Profiles in Diversity Journal® that if she could dream it, she could do it.

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2013 38 PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL September/October 2013 HEADQUARTERS:
WEBSITE:
BUSINESS: Retail
chain REVENUES:
EMPLOYEES:
TITLE: President,
BA,
MS, MIT
Boy
PHILOSOPHY: Always aim to give more than you receive.
I’m Reading: Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
succeed
stay competitive in your position/field? Staying
Deerfield, Illinois
www.walgreens.com
pharmacy
$75 billion
240,000
eCommerce EDUCATION:
Wellesley College;
Sloan School of Management FIRST JOB: Worked at Bob’s Big
MY
What
What does it take to
and
competitive in the dynamic field of eCommerce takes perpetual curiosity, willingness to learn, courage to rebuild or reinvent your work, and a desire to evangelize and drive change.
Y PARENTS ALWAYS TOLD ME THAT IF I COULD DREAM OF SOMETHING, I COULD
Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner Walgreen Co.
Sona
Chawla

Where are they now?

Mona Chitre has lived by the motto that one must have the courage to leave your comfort zone, as she wrote in the 2013 Profiles in Diversity Journal®. That motto has taken her many places in this nationwide health insurance company. Chitre, who has a PhD in pharmacy, is now president of pharmacy solutions and chief pharmacy officer at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield. In 2013, she served as director of clinic services, strategy and policy for Excellus.

HEADQUARTERS: Rochester, New York

WEBSITE: www.lifethc.com

BUSINESS: Healthcare

REVENUES: $6.6 billion

EMPLOYEES: 6,200

TITLE: Vice President, Pharmacy Management

EDUCATION: PharmD, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

FIRST JOB: Tennis instructor

2013

MY PHILOSOPHY: Surround yourself with good people, respect everyone, and remain humble. What I’m Reading:

The Lifetime Healthcare Companies Chitre

How has education affected your career? I decided to extend my undergraduate education with a doctorate in pharmacy. I knew this would be difficult, but it would open up more opportunities later in my career. After, I pursued a one-year residency at the VA in Buffalo, New York. This experience helped shaped my career. I saw firsthand how seniors often don’t have a voice in advocating for their healthcare. This motivated me to receive a certification in geriatrics, becoming one of the first pharmacists in New York to earn a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP).

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field? The ability to change is the key to success. Our industry is constantly changing. New technologies, medicines, diseases, and regulations all constantly change how we do business. We need to proactively adapt and innovate so that we can drive our own change, rather than respond and be forced into change by other factors.

YOU OFTEN HEAR EARLY IN YOUR CAREER PATH TO FIND A LEADERSHIP MODEL. Find people you believe to be good leaders, and then copy their strengths. I’m fortunate that I didn’t have to look very far to find my leadership models.

My parents, Pratima and Mukund Shah, came to the United States with only seven dollars in their pockets. They didn’t know anyone here and barely spoke English. But they worked hard to build their lives. As I’ve established my own life and career, I see the profound leadership lessons they’ve embedded in me through their remarkable journey.

Lesson 1: Have the courage to leave your comfort zone. I think about the courage my parents had to leave their family, friends, and country to pursue a better life. This has inspired me to push. Even small steps in a new direction can open up more possibilities. I’ve discovered new strengths and interests that would have gone unrecognized had I not had the courage to try something new.

Lesson 2: Don’t leave your dreams to chance. My parent’s journey showed me that no one will hand you your dreams—you must pursue them. Early on in my career, I found it easy to become consumed by my checklist of daily responsibilities. I forced myself to stop and think about my career path and long-term goals. I often asked myself, what do I hope to accomplish? What resources and skills do I need?

If I didn’t make time to set my direction, I could’ve listlessly floated along with my dreams forever out of reach.

Lesson 3: Find balance. One reason why my parents’ journey seemed so commonplace was because they were always present for me. They never brought home the problems and struggles of establishing their careers. Now, I realize how important balance is to success. Without appropriate work/life balance we feel stressed, overworked, underappreciated, and generally dispassionate about our jobs. But when we are true to ourselves, our family, and interests, we carry that enthusiasm into the office and into our homes. Balance shouldn’t be an inspirational goal, it should be a requirement!

My parents never sat me down to learn these lessons. They simply lived their lives. But their example has provided a leadership model that has had a profound impact on my career and life.

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September/October 2013 WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM 39
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
The
Mona
Company and Executive Women Worth Watching® 2014 Award Winner

Where are they now?

Sonia Sroka became part of Women Worth Watching® in 2012 when she served as senior vice president, director of Hispanic marketing for Porter Novelli. She has continued to rise. Now she is head of global multicultural and accessibility communications and official company spokesperson for Meta, once known as Facebook. Sroka urged students to get a college degree and also do an internship or two. “The experience undoubtedly gave me an edge,” she told Profiles in Diversity Journal® readers.

WHEN THINKING ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF A COLLEGE EDUCATION, IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE IS NOT ABOUT PREPARING ONESELF FOR A TRADE. It’s about preparing oneself for life. And when put in that context, it’s obvious that higher education should never be thought of as a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have.” Unlock potential. I have first-hand experience of the talent that can be unlocked when intelligent young people are given opportunities, regardless of their background. As an immigrant who came to the United States while I was in high school, going to college was my biggest chance to make positive changes in my life and be able to give something back. My degree represented my chance to achieve the American dream. A degree is essential. Unfortunately the cost of education is rising. For me, it’s not so much a question of can you afford to go to college as can you afford not to. The globalization of business, economies under pressure, and increasing job competition have created a perfect storm for young people: they need more than ever to be prepared. A college degree is essential for preparing you for the challenges ahead.

2012

Start early. I believe preparing for a working life should start even earlier than college. Based on my personal experience, I have made it my mission to work with high school students to help them identify career paths that reflect their values and interests, and bring out their passions. After all, if you don’t really understand the breadth of careers that are open to you, how can you choose the best degree to help you realize your potential?

Get experience. Education is critical, but in these competitive times it can no longer stand alone. Young people need to couple formal learning with on-the-job experience to give them a better chance of finding not just any job, but the right job. The most successful graduates take the initiative, either by finding work experience themselves, or getting involved with student organizations and groups that facilitate this experience. I had a few internships before graduating, at a time when internships were not as encouraged as they are now, and the experience undoubtedly gave me an edge. It made me far more marketable and meant I started my career with an open mind to the possibilities available to me.

HEADQUARTERS: New York City

WEBSITE: www.porternovelli.com

BUSINESS: Public relations and communications

TITLE: Senior Vice President, Director of Hispanic Marketing

EDUCATION: BS, California Polytechnic State University

FIRST JOB: Retail sales associate MY PHILOSOPHY: Be brave, and go big!

FAMILY: Husband Cesar Sroka, son Felipe Alessandro

› What does it take to succeed in your position? I have a tireless passion for what I do and truly believe I can succeed.

› Is there an educator who had a profound impact on your career and/or life? If so, what did they do to motivate you? A college teacher once explained of her own career: “I became the boss, and I was celebrating until I realized I was now the boss.” That’s the first time I understood the notion that with great achievement comes great responsibility.

› What advice would you give younger women about their education? Take it seriously but also enjoy it, and make friends and memories along the way.

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Sroka Company and Executive Women Worth Watching ® 2013 Award Winner Sonia Porter Novelli
Education is critical, but in these COMPETITIVE times it can no longer stand alone.”
228 PROFILES IN DIVERSITY JOURNAL September/October 2012

2012

Toledano

“Without different ideas, we cannot INNOVATE and reach our diverse consumers.”

WHEN I WAS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT AT ST.

CATHERINE’S SCHOOL IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, I WAS COMMITTED TO TAKING MATH AND SCIENCE COURSES. In order to study calculus and physics, I had to walk two blocks down the street to the all-boys school where there were only three or four other girls in my classes. I was certainly an outsider, but my commitment to learning was stronger than my apprehension. For girls today, those negative stereotypes still exist.

Despite the growing focus on STEM education in this country, we still have too few girls pursuing STEM careers. STEM jobs are often perceived as not family-friendly. I believe we are lacking female mentors and role models in STEM, and they are critical to breaking down gender stereotypes that discourage women from pursuing STEM education and STEM jobs. We all still have work to do to create a more diverse and thus innovative workforce.

In my time with Electronic Arts, I’ve been lucky enough to witness how the audience we reach with our games has changed with the advent of new platforms including mobile, social, and online. In fact, 47 percent of all game players are women and we’re starting to see a shift to more women in the gaming industry workforce. Women know how to design and develop games that women like to play. Without different ideas, we cannot innovate and reach our diverse consumers. We partner with many schools and organizations to attract young students to the industry. We make a point to show them that video games aren’t just for fun—they could be a future career. I feel that corporations must play a role in encouraging our future workforce to pursue interests in STEM. We must create an inclusive and supportive atmosphere for everyone.

› What college courses do you suggest for aspiring leaders? Classes outside of your major

› Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? If so, how did you deal with it? No, as the only female on the executive staff I feel my input and different perspective is even more valued. Diversity is valued where I work.

› How do you balance career and lifestyle/home responsibilities? My wonderful husband stays at home which allows me flexibility, and I always carve out time for my family.

› What advice would you give younger women about their education? Never underestimate yourself and what you can do— go for it!

Where are they now?

Gabrielle Toledano is now chief operating officer for Keystone Strategy and on a raft of corporate boards but she was honored by Women Worth Watching® in 2012 when she served as executive vice president and chief talent officer for Electronic Arts, which makes world-famous video games. Toledano recalled that she had to go to a nearby boys’ school to take science and math classes, which was an intimidating experience. But she wrote, “never underestimate yourself and what you can go – go for it!”

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September/October
Company and Executive Women Worth Watching ® 2013 Award Winner Gabrielle Electronic Arts
HEADQUARTERS: Redwood City, California WEBSITE: www.ea.com BUSINESS: Entertainment software REVENUES: $4.1 billion EMPLOYEES: 9,000 TITLE: Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer EDUCATION: BA, MS, Stanford University FIRST JOB: Teaching English to Spanish-speaking Stanford employees at the El Centro Chicano student center. MY PHILOSOPHY: Passion, hard work, and strong values are the keys to success. FAMILY: Happily married with two children

TITLE:

EDUCATION: BBA Management, University of Texas at Austin

FIRST JOB: Shift supervisor at Burger King

MY

INTERESTS:

FAVORITE CHARITIES: Mercy Education Project, Women’s Bean Project

COMPANY: Trinity Health

HEADQUARTERS: Novi, Michigan

WEBSITE: www.trinity-health.org

BUSINESS: Health Care

REVENUES: $8.5 billion

EMPLOYEES: 53,397

Debra A.

Canales

Trinity Health

I consider it my calling and privilege to help people reach their full potential.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my career is that I need to remain true to myself. This has been a challenge, particularly early in my career. In moving up the ladder, I often found myself conforming to whatever corporate culture I happened to be in at the time. I don’t think my experience is that unusual.

As I reflect on the stages of my own career, I see a lot of similarity with the feminine life cycle referred to in women’s literature. According to the literature, there are three stages of the feminine life cycle: maiden, mother and crone. In recent years, Dr. Joan Borysenko added a fourth stage, the guardian, to recognize the powerful role played by middle-aged women in modern society. These stages have played out in my career in the following ways:

Maiden: Age 20-29. Doing vs. being. Conforming to the norm. Doing for approval. Not breaking out. Looking and talking “right” for the work culture I was in.

Mother: Age 30-39. Nurturing others. Building friendships. Starting to recognize power and build confidence.

Guardian: Age 40-49. Bringing my whole self to work. Truthful period. Focus on humanity, healing and the spiritual side. Shift of discovery from neurotic things to enlightenment.

Wise Woman (Crone): Age 50+. Inspiring others. Being true to me. I think it’s helpful to recognize these stages may exist in your own career if for no other reason than to encourage you to challenge the norm. During my 20s and 30s, I was a conformist.

Although I know I did my best, had I exercised more courage to be myself, I might have been more true to my unique gifts as a leader. I was fortunate to have mentors who helped me build my confidence and claim my power, and I know that without them, I would not be in this position today.

As I enter the guardian stage of my career, I am encouraged by a new set of mentors, including some religious sisters who have dedicated their lives to serving others. These wise women inspire me to pay it forward by helping others grow professionally. I consider it my calling and privilege to help people reach their full potential. This is my passion and what drives me in my work. I encourage you to follow your passion, too, and do what you love. When you love what you do, it is no longer a job; it is a vocation. Building a rewarding career may not always be easy, but perseverance, embracing your unique and powerful gifts, and allowing others to support you will enable you to accomplish great things.

Where are they now?

Debra Canales, the executive vice president/chief administrative officer at Providence St. Joseph Health, is one of the highest-ranking Hispanic women in healthcare, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her Profiles in Diversity Journal® essay noted that she was working on staying true to herself as she rose through the ranks. Canales was executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Trinity Health In 2011, handling human resources and DEI duties.

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Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
& Keith Hollihan
WHAT I’M READING: Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, by Linda Coughlin, Ellen Wingard
approval.
PHILOSOPHY: I will not trade wholeness for
groups
Physical fitness, traveling, volunteering with different women’s
COMPANY AND EXECUTIVE WOMEN WORTh WATChINg® 2012 AWARD WINNER
2011

Where are they now?

Pamela Culpepper is now managing partner at Hanold Associates, an executive search firm, but she was selected for Women Worth Watching® when she served as senior vice president of human resources for Pepsico Co. in 2011. The human resources professional is also a board member for Prada Group and Cambia Health Solutions. Culpepper’s Profiles in Diversity Journal® piece spoke eloquently about being a mentor and a sponsor, someone who champions their younger colleagues.

PepsiCo Culpepper

I am often asked to be a mentor, a request I am both honored and humbled by. In corporate America in order to be successful we need someone who provides guidance and helps to identify unwritten rules of engagement that help navigate your organization. Your mentor should be someone you can trust in asking questions, sharing information and guidance.

Mentors should see their primary role as helping mentees think about their aspirations while painting a realistic view of what it takes to get there. Mentees should realize that most of the work in the relationship is directed by them in the form of self-reflection, action planning and the ultimate execution of that plan.

2011

I emphasize who owns the work in a mentoring relationship because so often the relationship is interrupted by unrealistic expectations. Mentees often want to know the formula for winning and a subsequent checklist to work from.

How success was achieved before is a nice historical reference, but following the footsteps of past success is not formulaic. Mentoring does not guarantee advancement or visibility. However, with increased individual effectiveness, a mentee increases the probability of her own success.

Unlike a mentor, who is chosen by

the mentee for select reasons, the sponsor chooses the employee based on performance. The sponsor will provide strategic exposure, networking and positioning for an employee.

Being a sponsor is more active than being a mentor. The mentor provides personal and professional development, plus career help. Sponsors openly campaign for career advancement, often putting their own reputations on the line.

At PepsiCo, leadership takes career advancement seriously. We call this “talent sustainability.” Talent sustainability is the promise to invest in our employees to help them succeed and develop the skills needed to drive the company’s growth.

Our company’s growth requires leaders and associates who can understand the world’s evolving needs. We intend to evolve our culture so our leaders and associates are recognized for their contributions and valued for the differences they bring to the workplace. Because of this, it is more important than ever to have mentors and sponsors who can provide guidance and position employees for career advancement.

As you assess your career, identify people who provide professional development and who may be positioning you for career advancement. Both mentors and sponsors are important and recognizing them will make you more successful.

75 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter www.diversityjournal.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 61
TITLE: SVP, Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer EDUCATION: BA, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; MOPC, California State University, Hayward FIRST JOB: Cashier/Cook, Taco Bell WHAT I’M READING: The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter, by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs MY PHILOSOPHY: “Be the Change that You Want To See in the World.” – Mahatma Gandhi FAMILY: Husband, Clifton; Son, Jordan INTERESTS: Traveling, reading FAVORITE CHARITY: Food For Good COMPANY: PepsiCo HEADQUARTERS: Purchase, New York WEBSITE: www.pepsico.com BUSINESS: Food and Beverage REVENUES: $65 billion EMPLOYEES: 300,000 COMPANY AND EXECUTIVE WOMEN WORTh WATChINg® 2012 AWARD WINNER Pamela “ ” Being a sponsor is more active than being a mentor.

Where are they now?

Jill Lawrence is now vice president of design for Crown Equipment Corporation after serving at Pitney Bowes for several years. Lawrence, director of accelerated innovation for Pitney Bowes in 2010, told Profiles in Diversity Journal® that having multiple mentors with diverse perspectives helped her become successful.

Inc. heaDQuarterS: Stamford, Connecticut

weB Site: www.pb.com BuSineSS: Mailing & communications technology and services. annual reVenueS: $5.6 billion (2009) emPloYeeS: 33,000 (2009)

started in business in what some may consider as an unusual role – a workplace anthropologist. I was fortunate to encounter and be mentored early in my career by a woman with 20 years’ experience practicing anthropology and consulting for large companies. As an early-career anthropologist, I was inspired by how she applied the technical aspects of the field to real-world business problems. Throughout my career, I have experienced how valuable it is to have mentors. In particular, I have sought multiple mentors who have given me diverse perspectives and helped me develop the courage to take risks. I believe we all have personal power to create positive change, and it helps to have support from people you trust, whether you are challenging the status quo or working to affect a whole system.

Today, I am using methods from anthropology to help drive culture change and innovation at Pitney Bowes. I lead an innovation program that provides all employees

with the opportunity to participate in identifying and shaping new ideas to drive organic growth. The program also provides a context where we enact new behaviors that transform our culture. In 2009, more than 650 ideas from the company’s online IdeaNet were committed to action as a result of employee contributions. These ideas come from across our global employee population, with colleagues in 23 countries participating.

My success as an innovator at Pitney Bowes is due in part to my early mentor as well as others along each step of my career. IdeaNet couldn’t have achieved success without the team thinking big and taking risks. Taking risks brings growth. I believe a good mentor acts as a guide in helping you to navigate a career path. A great mentor challenges you to be a courageous leader who can positively transform the organizations and communities of which you are a part.

“Taking risks brings growth.”
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Profiles in Diversity Journal September/Oct O ber 2010
2010 108
Jill Lawrence Pitney Bowes Inc. women worth watching in 2011
I title Director of Accelerated Innovation eDucation BA, Anthropology, Smith College FirSt JoB: Office assistant at a small computer company what i m reaDing: Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand mY PhiloSoPhY: What matters is not just what you do but how you do it. FamilY: Daniel: Wonderful, supportive husband of 6 years. intereStS: Reading, dining out (especially regional and seasonal cuisine). FaVorite charitieS: Bridgeport Rescue Mission (Bridgeport, CT) comPanY: Pitney Bowes

BBeing where i am today was not part of a well-thought-out plan. My career choice was the result of happenstance, but much of the success i have had results from great mentoring relationships that encouraged me to stretch professionally.

i went to a high school that focused on steering minorities to careers in science and engineering. i was encouraged to become an engineer because of my aptitude for math. My high school counselor (one of my first mentors) could not have been more thrilled that i chose to major in electrical engineering.

as a college junior, i had some reservations about an engineering career. at the encouragement of some graduating classmates (i.e., between class chatter in the student lounge), i decided to forego the traditional list of engineering recruiters and instead took a job as a patent examiner with the u s patent and Trademark office. The patent office was a great place for a freshly minted engineering graduate to work. i teamed with a senior examiner who was assigned to show me the ropes. not only did he teach me the job, but he also helped me to understand the value of the mentoring relationship and its importance to job success. For a junior employee, i was good at my job.

i realized that the patent office was the breeding ground for patent lawyers, and i decided, “i can do that.” i left the patent office after a little more than a year to attend law school full-time to pursue a career as an intellectual property lawyer.

“I would encourage everyone to find someone who has achieved what you want and ask that person for help.”

in a profession where minorities and women are woefully underrepresented, i have had the privilege of having many great mentors—most of whom did not look like me. While i may not have been their traditional pick for a protégée, my enthusiasm, willingness to listen, and generally upbeat attitude went a long way to bridging the gap and making the relationship work. i benefited (and continued to benefit) tremendously from the advice, direction, and opportunity that those relationships provided. i would encourage everyone to find someone who has achieved what you want, and ask that person for help.

as i move through this phase of my career and look forward to the next, i continue to seek out those who can provide guidance and encouragement so that my success in my “coincidental” career will be not be left to chance.

In 2009, Bonita Lewis Bell told Profiles in Diversity Journal® that thanks to veering off the usual career path for an electrical engineer major – after she graduated, she became a patent examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – and later, a patent lawyer. Now she is vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary for Anterix, a company that develops private wireless broadband across the nation. Lewis Bell has used her legal skills at Kickboard, Terex Corp., and General Motors.

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worth
in
86 Profiles in Diversity Journal September/Oct O ber 2009
2009 women
watching
2010
TITLE: Vice President, Deputy General Counsel EDUCATION: BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland; JD, George Washington University FIRST JOB: Cashier at McDonald’s WHAT I’M READING: Color Me Butterfly, by L.Y. Marlow; Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life), by Cathie Black MY PHILOSOPHY: Get involved! You learn so much by taking on new tasks in your professional and personal life. FAMILY: Husband, Howard; son H.B., 6. INTERESTS: Reading, walking, traveling with my family. FAVORITE CHARITY: Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation COMPANY: Terex Corporation HEADQUARTERS: Westport, Connecticut WEB SITE: www.terex.com BUSINESS: Manufacturer of equipment for use in various industries, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, surface mining, shipping, transportation, refining, and utility industries. ANNUAL REVENUES: $9.9 billion EMPLOYEES: 20,000 Terex Corporation
Where are they now?
Bonita Lewis Bell

Where are they now?

Klaudia Brace is now the chief financial officer for Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona after a long career at a number of companies including KBR, the engineering and construction company, where she worked when she was selected for the 2008 Women Worth Watching® award. Back then she counseled younger colleagues to “always look to do more,” advice that led her to several jobs as a chief financial officer.

women worth watching in 2009

Klaudia J. Brace

Ii have been very fortunate in my career choice. For me, the right manager is someone who has confidence in my abilities and lets me build a capable team. i have enjoyed situations where i have been brought in to either build or improve operations.

when i went off to college, my father gave me one piece of advice: “study something that will enable you to get a job.” For me, that meant accounting and business, rather than literature or social science. The technical skills i learned proved to be a good foundation as i was able to move from entry-level accountant to controller to vice president. Moving from technician to manager was a transition prompted by rapid growth in companies where there were limited staff and unlimited opportunity.

My advice to others seeking career growth or those just starting out is to always look to do more.

as a dual-career couple, my husband and i relocated six times in 15 years, with nearly every move providing me with a good opportunity to take on more responsibility and develop managerial skills. in addition, changing jobs exposed me to a wide variety of situations and people. i also was able, in one case, to move my job from New york to illinois, having established a good reputation as someone who gets things done and earned the trust of a CEO who had confidence that i could make it work.

My advice to others seeking career growth or those just starting out is to always look to do more. Think beyond the scope of your own job to understand how your role fits in making a company successful. as a manager, it is your responsibility to develop the skills of those working for you. The best accomplishment i have had is developing people who i want to take along with me.

2008

46 Profiles in

TITLE: Senior Vice President, Administration

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s in business administration and MBA, Michigan State University

FIRST JOB: Clerk at an insurance company during high school WHAT I’M READING:

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Diversity Journal S eptember
O ber 2008
/O ct
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy MY PHILOSOPHY: The key to any great organization is its people. Effective people management contributes greatly to a company’s overall success. FAMILY:
years, two sons ages 14 and 10 INTERESTS:
with
and watching my sons play sports FAVORITE
COMPANY:
Married 29
Skiing
my family
CHARITY: Adopt-A-Classroom
kBR HEADQUARTERS: Houston, Texas WEB SITE: www.kbr.com BUSINESS: Engineering, construction, and services company ANNUAL REVENUES: $8.74 billion total revenue in 2007 EMPLOYEES: More than 52,000
KBR

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79 www.womenworthwatching.com 2024 First Quarter
A W
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2 024
ARD
Wor
Watching
in Leadership INTERNATIONAL

Akin………………………………………………………………………………...............................................................……34

Allnex…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….................16

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc……………………………..…….......................................................................3, 35, 36

Anterix…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….77

CDW…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……..70

Comcast…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..37

Crowell……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………38

Crown Equipment Corporation………..…………………………………………………………………………………………76

Curacao…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………39

CVS………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………….63

Dechert LLP………………………………………………………….......................................…Inside front cover, 8, 17, 40

Elford………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….18

Entertainment Arts…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………68

Epiq Global………..………………………………………………………………..………………………………………………19

ESPN………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………....66

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield…………..………………………………………………………………………………………71

Freddie Mac…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5, 41, 42

Glenn Agre Bergman & Fuentes…………………………………………………………………………………………………..58

Goodwill Industries………………...……………………………………………………………………………………………….78

Google……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..30

Groma………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….64

Hanold Associates…….……………………………………………………………………………………………………………75

Hoppin Grinsell………….….………………………………………………………………………………………………………61

Hoguet Newman Regal and Kenny………………………………………………………………………………………………62

Infinite Global……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….26

Keystone Strategy….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………73

Knobbe Martens……….……………………………………………………………………………………………………………43

Latham & Watkins………………………………………………………………………………………………………………20, 45

L.B. Hall Fireproofing..……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..44

Lumber 1………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………67

MacKay Shields……………………………………………………………………………………………………...............…….46

McKesson………………………………………………………………………………………………………...............………..69

Meta………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...............………72

MSC Industrial Supply…….……………………………………………………………………………………………………….21

New American Funding……………………………………………………………………………………………………………47

New York Life……………………………………………………………………………………………………..22, back cover

Norton Rose Fulbright……………………………………………………………………………………………………......23, 48

Pepsi……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….........................49

Providence St. Joseph Health………………………………………………………………………………………………..…..74

OPTrust……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….................…59

Our Turn………………….……………………………………………………………………………………………...................10

Robins Kaplan………….……………………………………………………………………….………………………................50

Squire Patton Boggs……….…………………………………………………………………………………….........................24

Terex Corp……………….………………………………………………………………………………………..................…….65

Transamerica…………………………………………………………………………………………………...................……51, 52

Upbound……………………………………………………………………………….………………………...........................25

Walt Disney Company……….……………………………………………………………………………………………...........60

Washington Capital Partners.…………………………………………………………………………………….......................53

Webster Bank………………..………………………………………………………………………………………................….54

Wilson Turner Kosmo……..………………………………………………………………………………………...............…….55

80 2024 First Quarter www.diversityjournal.com
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