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LEADERS Worth Watching

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Inside this issue How To Make Equity Center Stage All the Time 2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Why and How Businesses Need to Embrace Neurodiversity Where are they now?

Next issue: Women Worth Watching in Leadership, Indigenous Leaders Worth Watching & Diversity Team Awards


S&P Global Congratulates

Karen Chu

Aye M. Soe

Shahzeb Rao

Jaspreet Duhra

Corporate Ratings Associate, S&P Global

Senior Director at S&P Global Platts

Global Head of Product Management at S&P Dow Jones Indices

Managing Director, Head of EMEA ESG Indices at S&P Global

S&P Global is proud to congratulate our four outstanding colleagues who have been recognized as Asian Leaders Worth Watching™. Through their talent, skills and dedication to excellence, they help us power the markets of the future and accelerate progress in the world.


PUBLISHER'S COLUMN All Things Diversity & Inclusion FOUNDER/CEO/PUBLISHER

James R. Rector VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

James Gorman DESIGNER

Stephen A. Toth ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Teresa Fausey EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Elena Rector WEBMASTER

David Toth

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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

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Single issue $14.95 1 year subscription (4 issues) $45.00 2 year subscription (8 issues) $82.50 Canada, 1 year subscription $52.50 Canada, 2 year subscription $97.50 International, 1 year $99.95 International, 2 year $187.50 U.S. funds only. Subscriptions can be ordered at: www.diversityjournal.com or call customer service at 800.573.2867 Copyright © 2021 Rector Inc.

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Profiles in Diversity Journal® is a quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, higher education, and military sectors. For more than 23 years, we have helped to stimulate organizational change by showcasing the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and committed individuals that are making it happen. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and may or may not represent the views of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Registered in U.S. Patent Office

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Congratulations to the 53 leaders profiled in this issue of PDJ. Each is acknowledged for his or her accomplishments and contributions. Each has been nominated by his or her respective employer. Carefully chosen, these leaders join hundreds of others who have appeared in more than 100 issues of Profiles in Diversity Journal over the past 23 years. What is the significance of this achievement? Leaders lead. This aspect of a person’s career is what motivates our staff to work with employers to identify candidates who provide wholesome examples of effective leadership. Effective leaders lead by example. They are found in all industries and careers. Our team is honored to bring our readers profiles that show how and why these leaders have achieved success. In our quest to identify and award effective leadership, we have added additional awards to our menu. For a complete list of currently available awards, please visit our website (https://diversityjournal.com/nominate/). Nominations for our awards prove that leaders populate all occupations and organizations. They provide forward movement for their organization by providing visible examples of a moral and valuebased work ethic. Effective leaders are also valuable mentors who play an important role in energizing an organization’s talent pipeline. As PDJ continues on its journey, we applaud the organizations that prioritize acknowledging their employees in the pages of this publication. Organizations participating in our awards demonstrate that their employees are truly respected, acknowledged, and appreciated. We believe that businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, and other entities that consistently nominate worthy employees for our recognition awards have the edge in attracting more top talent. Job seekers look for evidence that employers are proud of their employees, and noting which companies are included in our publication provides compelling evidence of this pride. Again, congratulations to the Women Worth Watching in STEM and Asian Leaders Worth Watching who are featured in this issue of PDJ, and to the esteemed organizations that proudly collaborate in this celebration.

James R. Rector Publisher & Founder Since 1999

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IN THIS ISSUE

01 | PUBLISHER’S COLUMN 05 | EDITOR’S COLUMN 08 | ARTICLES 16 | 1ST ANNUAL ASIAN LEADERS WORTH WATCHING AWARDS 42 | 3RD ANNUAL WOMEN WORTH WATCHING IN STEM AWARDS 74 | WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 88 | CORPORATE INDEX

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How To Make Equity Center Stage All the Time In this article (part 3 of a series), the author explains what inequity is and how it differs from notions like equality or fairness, why it is important to understand inequity as a systemic issue, how inequity can be addressed in the workplace, and the importance of making equity center stage all the time.

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Why and How Businesses Need to Embrace Neurodiversity Find out from a human resources expert why it is important to seek out and hire people who learn and think differently—it’s not just because it’s a good thing to do, but also because they have so much to offer. She also shares some valuable tips for reaching, connecting with, and hiring neurodiverse talent.

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Do you know a Diverse Organization Worth Watching? Profiles in Diversity Journal's first annual Diverse Organizations Worth Watching Award winners are actively pursuing greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in recruiting and hiring, growth and promotion, and overall development for everybody—from entry-level new hires through C-suite executives and board members. Recipients of this Award will also be working to increase supplier diversity and support for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the communities where they operate.

DIVERSE ORGANIZATIONS WORTH WATCHING

Nominations for the Diverse Organizations Worth Watching Awards will open in August.

The singular power of diversity Dechert is a global law firm that achieves dynamic results by embracing diversity and innovation. We are proud of our recent achievements – and eager for the continuing growth and progress the future will bring. •

Perfect score in the corporate equity index (CEI) and named one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality. Human Rights Campaign, 2021

Diversity Leader Award, Diversity Team Award and Innovations in Diversity Award. Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2020

Top Companies for Executive Women. National Association for Female Executives, 2020

One of the Best Law Firms for Women and Top 100 Companies for Women. Working Mother, 2020

Most Outstanding Firm for Diversity and Inclusion. Chambers Europe, 2019

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1st Annual Asian Leaders Worth Watching Welcome to PDJ’s first annual Asian Leaders Worth Watching Awards! The 24 award recipients that make up our inaugural class are profiled in this issue. They have answered personal and professional questions, and provided us with essays that will give you, our readers, a chance to get to know these multitalented, multilingual, and trailblazing individuals better.

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3rd Annual Women Worth Watching® in STEM We are pleased and proud to showcase this year’s 28 Women Worth Watching in STEM Award recipients. They are extraordinary women and pioneers in their fields. Get to know them and join PDJ in celebrating their achievements.

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

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EDITOR'S COLUMN “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” — Martin Luther King Jr. In the midst of what to many of us may seem a rather hopeless year— filled with COVID-19; hate crimes against all kinds of people for simply being who they are; soaring income inequality; a worsening climate crisis that increases the frequency and intensity of droughts and floods, hurricanes, wild fires, and more; mass shootings; and social and political unrest around the world—now may be a hard time to find remain hopeful. However, there is reason to hope. Really. The fact is most people are not hate-filled or cruel or greedy or prone to violence. They are ordinary people who are generally hard-working, friendly, helpful, charitable, and trying to do their best to do both well and good. Sometimes, they are even heroes. Not a week goes by that we don’t see a news story about regular men and women who find themselves facing someone else’s emergency and choose to do whatever they can to help— carrying someone from a burning house or car, stopping a crime in progress, or rescuing flood victims. Then there are the many individuals who quietly and mostly anonymously feed the hungry, clothe the poor, house the homeless, care for the sick—not because it is their job, but because it is a good thing born of hope. The individuals we recognize in this issue of PDJ, as Asian Leaders Worth Watching and Women Worth Watching in STEM are all examples of people who have worked hard to succeed at work and in life. They are active in their communities and support charities they believe in. And they have made it a point to reach back to help others, through mentoring, sponsorship, and advocacy, achieve their own definition of success. So, we should all breathe a sigh of relief every time we see a hopeful sign. We have reason to now, as the pandemic seems to be abating. Although there is much we can and should do to make the world a better place—and some natural events we simply must endure—there is always reason to hold King’s “infinite hope” in our hearts. Nature itself is the ultimate expression of the indestructibility of hope. Of course a poet, in this case Pablo Neruda, said it best and most beautifully: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” — Pablo Neruda So hang on to hope. And, as always, thanks for reading.

Teresa Fausey Associate Editor

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Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards 2021

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2021

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Who Are these Outstanding Individuals? Nominated by employers or colleagues, Black Leaders Worth Watching are confident, determined, high-performing, purpose-driven professionals who create value for their coworkers, customers, community, and of course the organizations where they contribute their talents. Your nomination of a Black Leader Worth Watching, or multiple Black Leaders Worth Watching, affords you an important opportunity to recognize and showcase the talents, ambition, and achievements of these exceptional people, while also voicing your support of a truly diverse and inclusive workplace.

Nominations for the 2021 Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards will open in August.

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How To Make Equity Center Stage ALL THE TIME By Donald Fan, Senior Director, Global Office of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Walmart

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This article is one of a three-part series on the topic of Equity at Work. With the heuristic study, the author aims to answer the fundamental question: Why and how does equity create value in corporate America. The first article, “Four Essential Levers CEOs Can Adopt to Achieve Racial & Gender Equity,” was published in the PDJ’s Fall 2020 issue, to discuss the leadership competencies needed to advance equity. The second piece, “Casting the Path to Equity in the Workplace,” in the PDJ’s 2021 Q1 issue, presents a case study demonstrating how business leaders elevate equity at work. In this third article, the author further explores how to make systemic changes and integrate equity into business DNA.

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lbert Einstein said, “You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.” While reimaging the postCOVID-19 age, we must remap our ways of thinking and ways of working. Can the future of work create not only economic value but also reflect our social and communal values? Putting equity center stage all the time is an essential component of this new mental model. Equity is the lifeline for winning the talent war in the upcoming decade, a competitive advantage of thriving in the fourth industrial revolution, and a determining factor to achieve racial and gender justice.

Why First, more and more organizations realize the crucial role equity plays on many fronts. According to Google Trends, the use of “Equity” shows an upward trend, as users searching business and industrial made the acronym “DEI” 200 percent more popular in the second half of 2020 than it was in the same period five years before. Secondly, embracing equity is a strategic imperative to catalyze breakthrough growth. Each year, Conference Board conducts a global survey of CEOs to discover what keeps them awake at night. That survey found

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that business growth in a disruptive world, talent war, and development of next-gen leaders remain the top challenges. Research proves time and again that organizations exercising equity attract and retain high-caliber talent and have a fair chance to compete successfully and win the game. Internally, these organizations foster a level playing field with an inclusive culture by offering equitable opportunities and access to everyone. They benefit in several ways: Equity empowers cognitive diversity in decision-making and problem-solving. Equity enriches talent experience and engagement. Equity prevents bias, favoritism, and partiality in people decisions, and ultimately, improves talent retention. Externally, equity helps make environmental, social, and governance issues part of the core strategy and demonstrates deliverable value. Thirdly, practicing equity propels business results through value creation. As stated in a recent Deloitte study, not addressing critical racial inequity is estimated to have cost the U.S. economy $16 trillion over the past two decades. If the gaps were closed today, it is estimated that $5 trillion could be added to U.S. GDP over the next five years alone, including tens and even hundreds of billions more dollars spent on food, housing, apparel, transportation, and entertainment each year.

The study showed that organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets as those without, three times as likely to be high performing, six times more likely to be innovative and agile, and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. Finally, equity is truly the capstone of the diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) journey because it results in a strong sense of trust and engagement. Think it this way. Suppose diversity reflects a seat at the table (individual). In that case, inclusion is a voice at the table (interpersonal), and equity is how you react to the collective voice in practice (institutional). Without equity, you cannot harness the value of diversity and inclusion.

What Equity simply means fairness and inclusivity by offering everyone an equitable opportunity and access to development, information, resource, and decision-making. Equity hinges on an objective rule-based discipline and trust-oriented culture. It entails removing hurdles such as favoritism, prejudice, xenophobia, and the consequences of these hurdles, such as injustice, disparity, and lack of access to all the things that create a safe and inclusive environment. As the rhetoric around equity becomes more ubiquitous, equity and

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equality are often conflated. Equality refers to sameness and equity centers on fairness. In other words, equity focuses on providing people what they need to be successful by addressing disproportionality. In contrast, equality offers everyone the same thing by assuming proportionality, regardless of individualized need. In general, Equity is what happens when all underrepresented employees have equitable opportunities and support to succeed and grow. You need to be aware of the difference between another pair of terms: systematic inequity and systemic inequity. “Systematic” implies a complete series of steps that you follow. It is explicit, like official policy or process. “Systemic” refers to the system itself. It is implicit, like unofficial practices or unwritten rules. It reflects a quality inherent in the system, not necessarily on purpose, but more that is just the way it works. Systematic inequity is a set of practices that discriminate based on gender, race, ability, and LGBTQ+. Systemic inequity describes a system that has imparity inherent in how it operates.

How Today’s reality is we have a significant equity gap to close in the workplace. As reported from a recent McKinsey study, black employees experience less fairness and fewer chances to succeed. See the result to the right:

Inequity is a systemic problem that requires a systemic solution. An equity strategy aims to level the playing field and ensure all employees feel psychologically safe to bring their whole selves to work. And everyone is offered a fair chance and equitable opportunity to learn, develop, and advance. That effort helps transit from an employee-centered value proposition to a human-cen10

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tered value proposition that treats employees as people, not workers. The equity strategy starts with organizational commitment, and leadership with empathy and authenticity. Intentionally revisit the current status and understand what brought you here. That assessment tells you where you want to play and how to win. You then hold people accountable for cultivating and sustaining an inclusive culture and equitable workplace. And you ensure that equity is central to every decision and career moment—from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding, to development, succession planning, and performance evaluation. Finally, communicate your equity narrative to the entire organization and invite everyone along on the journey.

How do you make equity center stage all the time? According to Fortune/Deloitte’s 2021 CEO Survey, 90 percent of CEOs reported that diversity, equity, and inclusion are strategic and personal priorities. Moreover, 90 percent also said their company aspires to be an industry leader in DEI practices. In order to build an equitable future, leaders must activate the full breadth of their control and influence across all parts of their organizations and beyond—from relationships to products, services to spend, and governance to external interactions. Business executives must lead by example to advance equity. They must utilize their commitment and behavior to influence the behavior and performance of others around them, and speak out to cultivate a culture of equity and inclusiveness. C-suite leaders can consider some examples in the workplace: Chief Executive Officer: Set vision and expectation; establish leadership commitments and hold C-suite leaders accountable for fostering a culture of equity and incluwww.womenworthwatching.com

According to Fortune/Deloitte’s 2021 CEO Survey, 90 percent of CEOs reported that diversity, equity, and inclusion are strategic and personal priorities. Moreover, 90 percent also said their company aspires to be an industry leader in DEI practices.”

sion; ratify strategic priorities around diversity, equity, and inclusion; and lead with empathy and humanity through example Chief HR Officer: Define workforce experience strategy to inform talent strategy and processes; design and deliver on financial, physical, mental, and emotional well-being through equitable rewards and other programs; monitor pay equity; lead succession strategy and planning; and enable a culture that embeds and values diversity, equity, and inclusion in all business operations Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer: Set strategic priorities with board and CEO; collaborate with executive members to enable DEI in all spheres of influence; initiate and promote DEI programs; establish, evolve, and publish diversity analytics; and encourage transparency and accountability on DEI ambitions and results Chief Technology Officer: Select and deploy technologies to sustain DEI; advocate data-driven decision-making; design and monitor information flow across the organization; consider biases and ethics in

technology; and create and assess data analytics In addition to leadership commitment, equity is formidable in practice because it calls for purposeful design and consistent effort—taking action against systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment. Without demonstrating how equity works with specific examples in your organization, it is a vacant concept that erodes trust and serves to undercut equity. Here are some practical examples that integrate equity in each of the crucial career moments: Recruiting and Hiring–Nurture a broad sourcing pool, and attract underrepresented talent through innovative initiatives and a trusted brand name: • Cast a broader net by diversifying candidate sources to reach an inclusive talent pool • Rethink qualifications to attract candidates from nontraditional backgrounds • Nudge recruiters and hiring managers at key points in the process to increase awareness of potential bias using AI 2021 Second Quarter

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• Conduct an in-depth analysis of recruiting processes, such as application pool, screening result, interviewing candidates, and selection decision, to reveal potential bias in each step • Require diverse slots and diverse interview panels to achieve a more equitable selection decision Onboarding–Involve everyone deliberately to set them up for success and create an enjoyable experience for all in the early days: • Emphasize equity, inclusion, and employee value proposition during the onboarding experience • Establish a buddy system, where every new hire is paired with a cultural ambassador to show them the ropes and decrease their learning curve in a new work environment • Introduce new hires to the ERG groups to engage them with a sense of community 12

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• Create checkpoints to learn and understand new hires’ experiences and needs, and ensure that everyone has a level playing field to start his or her career with your organization. Learning and Development– Purposefully invest in a robust talent pipeline and strengthen the talent bench of disenfranchised groups by aligning skills, abilities, and competencies with future organizational needs and changing business and talent strategies: • Offer everyone equitable access to learning and development opportunities, and resources • Re-skill diverse employees so they can move into jobs that are currently predominantly white or male; implement targeted development programs to teach learning agility and unlock their full potential

• Provide high-performers early access to sponsors to enrich their work experiences, expose them to senior executives, and accelerate their careers • Incorporate talent development and succession requirements in all people managers’ performance goals • Upskill employees to thrive in teams and position them to weather inevitable career challenges due to automation and digitalization Performance Appraisal– Apply a meritocracy system with objective and unbiased standards to raise employee engagement and morale: • Appraise employee performance and outcome, not appearance and background; communicate and apply an impartial framework and standard for appraisal ranking

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• Create a feedback loop to give honest and constructive advice frequently • Objectively identify “optimal” candidates for promotions and advancement using AI and machine learning • Measure employees’ perception of belonging, fairness, uniqueness • Tie DEI results to annual performance reviews and adopt a zero-tolerance policy with regard to harassment, discrimination, bigotry, and other non-inclusive behaviors Compensation and Rewards– Incentivize all employees with fair pay and benefits based on contribution, competency development, adaptability, and potential: • Commit to pay equity by reviewing compensation practices and conducting pay equity audits regularly to mitigate pay disparity • Identify well-being offerings that help establish an emotional connection with employees; make employees’ overall mental, physical, and financial well-being a priority • Offer inclusion perks and benefits centered around employee needs • Ensure your employee value proposition speaks to underrepresented talent Remote Experience–Reshape ways of working to meet the unique needs of an inclusive workforce: • Break roles down into activities to determine which can be completed under flexible work arrangements tailored to employees’ personal and professional needs • Identify ways to provide employees with options regarding where and when they can maintain productivity within the team context

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• Provide virtual space for a remote team to share; test best practices and learn from peers • Redesign virtual work and workspace attuned to inclusivity concerns and employee wellbeing, to increase innovation, performance, and morale By embedding equity into the talent lifecycle, you enrich your employees’ experience; thus, you accelerate their engagement and productivity, and make your team high performing, dynamic, and resilient.

Closing Fostering a culture of equity and inclusivity requires an evergreen commitment. We all have a pivotal role to play in reimagining the future, reframing the work, challenging the status quo, and transforming long-held beliefs and behaviors. To get there, we need to rethink and de-learn. Adam Grant introduced the hierarchy of rethinking style in his latest book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, which advocates thinking like a scientist (seeking out experts who disagree with you and weighing

the strength of logic and evidence). Thinking like a scientist is a state of mind—having the humility to know what we do not know, embracing the curiosity to find out more, and applying the new learning. That makes you not only willing to hear new points of view but also eager to seek out evidence that contradicts your opinions. For instance, ask questions like an anthropologist—why people differ in their beliefs and behaviors. Understand the human brain like a neuroscientist—discover people’s ways of thinking, learning patterns, implicit biases; and spot behavior patterns like a social-psychologist—study how people feel, behave, and relate to each other. We can adopt this scientific way of thinking to enhance equity in our business and talent strategy, and make it a vibrant part of our cultural DNA. With bold and audacious action, we can challenge outdated beliefs, change behaviors, and create a more equitable future. PDJ Donald Fan serves as Senior Director in the Global Office of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.

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WHY AND HOW BUSINESSES NEED TO EMBRACE NEURODIVERSITY By Vicki Thrasher, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Oracle Corp.

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s a long-time human resources professional, I find it encouraging to see how many employers are embracing the notion of hiring people who think and learn differently. Increasingly, corporate Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programs include neurodiverse people, meaning those with forms of autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia (difficulty with math), Tourette syndrome, ADHD, and other conditions. Numbers vary widely on how many people fall into these categories—a conservative estimate is 17 percent of the general population, but many suspect the percentage is far higher due to the number of people who have not been diagnosed. But whatever the actual number, this is a large

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demographic that companies can hire, train, and retain. Here’s how businesses—and we as HR professionals—can expedite that process.

Education is the Key—for Everyone HR professionals need to educate themselves and others, including senior management, about what neurodiversity means. A good start is to realize that, yes, neurodiverse people may be different from neurotypical people, but they also possess unique skills that can be invaluable to a team and an organization. This means employers must learn how to communicate effectively with neurodiverse people by understanding that these different thinking processes

can require different techniques. For example, in addition to verbal instructions, writing down tasks in person or following a meeting can be helpful techniques. These differences are also a key reason that companies would benefit from neurodiverse skill sets. But more on that later.

Seek out Executive Allies In a corporate setting, it’s critical to identify executive sponsors who will advocate for the hiring and retention of neurodiverse employees. Executive allies are essential in building a culture where employees feel supported and valued on the team. One way to build your executive ally bench is to effectively communicate the value proposition of hiring neurodiverse talent and how that

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will benefit the organization. You never know, they could belong to this community themselves, or perhaps have friends or family members who are neurodiverse. Starting the conversation is the first step.

Promote Employee-Led Employee Resource Groups Companies should also support the formation of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for neurodiverse people. These employee-led communities meet to discuss common issues and priorities regarding how to better support each other in the workplace while providing connection to others within the community.

lenging, some companies are changing technical interviews from one-on-one talks to a set of problem solving challenges. Other solutions include coaching hiring managers regarding how candidates may not be able to maintain direct eye contact or how panel interviews may not be effective. For new hires, making sure managers clearly outline tasks and assignments, and allowing sufficient time for prospective hires to acculturate to new processes, will boost their chances of success. For many people with autism, it is also helpful to break bigger projects down into smaller, discrete tasks.

Creating a neurodiversity ERG can help foster a greater sense of belonging for employees within that community, while providing a valuable avenue to help educate the broader organization about working with neurodiverse colleagues. Large companies like Oracle typically support ERGs for Black, Asian, Latino, and LGBTQ people, as well as women, veterans, and people of various generations, among others. Creating a neurodiversity ERG can help foster a greater sense of belonging for employees within that community, while providing a valuable avenue to help educate the broader organization about working with neurodiverse colleagues.

Create New Hiring and Training Techniques As noted, neurodiverse people may process new information in unique ways. That means companies should develop plans to recruit and bring neurodiverse people on board in relevant and productive ways. For example, since many people with autism find initial social interactions chal-

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Why Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion Helps Your Business As forward-thinking managers know, welcoming diverse people to the workforce isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good business. By bringing in people of differing viewpoints and abilities, organizations get a fuller picture of how their products and services are perceived and accepted (or not) by different people. If everyone on staff is a middleaged neurotypical male (nonminority), chances are you’re getting a very limited view of how you’re perceived by the markets generally. If, on the other hand, you bring in people who see and process information differently, you will get a fuller, more 3-D view, and perhaps even new ideas for products. Last fall CBS’s 60 Minutes did a fascinating

segment on this topic. Companies embracing diversity and inclusion get broader insights into how to develop products and sell to millions of people. Making use of the wonderful diverse complexities of our world is how companies can win in the marketplace and enrich their internal culture. New perspectives and opportunities for all can lead to great outcomes for both business and society. PDJ

Vickie Thrasher currently serves as Oracle’s senior vice president of HR. In her current role, she leads Oracle’s Organization Talent Development, Diversity Compliance and Inclusion, Employment Practices, Oracle Women’s Leadership, Top Talent Development, HR Strategic Communications, and Organization Design and Insights. Vickie joined Oracle Corporation in 1996 as an HR consultant and in 2000, she was promoted to vice president of business HR for North America Sales. As Oracle experienced exceptional growth, she was given additional responsibility, ultimately responsible for Business HR for the Americas. She has directed and led a variety of major initiatives in the areas of Talent and Performance Management, as well as M&A integration. With more than two decades of HR experience, Vickie has led HR teams across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, and information technology. Vickie attended Michigan State University earning a BA in Social Science, Labor and Industrial Relations and Saint Francis University of Pennsylvania earning a MA in Industrial Relations. She currently lives with her husband Greg, in the DC metropolitan area.

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ASIAN LEADERS Worth Watching

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The First Annual

The 1st Annual Asian Leaders Worth Watching™ Awards

PDJ Salutes its Inaugural Class of Asian Leaders Worth Watching™ Award Winners For more than two decades Profiles in Diversity Journal has honored outstanding individuals who have blazed new trails, welcomed challenges, mentored others, advanced diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community, and excelled in their chosen fields. Now, PDJ is honoring Asian Leaders with our first-ever Asian Leaders Worth Watching Awards. The 24 profiles that appear in this issue recognize and celebrate the hard work and impressive achievements of these Asian Leaders. Each award recipient has also provided us with the answers to some interesting questions and an essay that will give you, our readers, a chance to get to know these multitalented, multilingual, and trailblazing individuals a little better. Welcome to PDJ’s first annual Asian Leaders Worth Watching Awards.

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2021

Chief Strategy Officer

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Ken Wee

Education: BS magna cum laude, finance and statistics, NYU Stern School of Business Company Name: Activision Blizzard Industry: Entertainment Company CEO: Bobby Kotick Company Headquarters Location: Santa Monica, California Number of Employees: 9,200 Words you live by: Integrity, effort, passion Who is your personal hero? Nelson Mandela; Tammy Duckworth What book are you reading? Pachinko by Min Jin Lee What was your first job: Sales associate at Armani Exchange Favorite charity: Stop AAPI Hate Interests: Gaming, playing music, and football Family: Happily married to Yvonne and dad to son, Jordan, 2-1/2 years old

Simply Put, Ken Wee Gives Back Ken has been navigating complex cultures and environments from an early age. Born to a Malaysian father and Singaporean mother, Ken was born and raised in Australia, educated in the UK, and earned his bachelor’s degree in the United States. After graduating from New York University, Ken spent several years on Wall Street before joining McKinsey & Co, where he co-led its Asian diversity network, which contributed to his election as partner. In that role, he led McKinsey’s tech, media, telecom, and private equity practices. A lifelong gamer, Ken joined Activision Blizzard as chief strategy officer in 2019, where he identifies

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strategic growth opportunities that serve the company’s nearly 400 million players. During his tenure, the company has expanded the reach of its entertainment business and is redefining what it means to interact socially. Ken is helping Activision Blizzard deliver games that have the power to change stereotypes and bring people together, regardless of race, religion, or cultural values. Now as a senior executive, Ken looks to serve these underrepresented minority groups. When Ken Wee joined Activision Blizzard in 2019 as chief strategy officer, he was keenly aware of the challenges that many Asians face in reaching the upper ranks of

management. Upon reaching this milestone, Ken dedicated himself to helping other Asians shatter the bamboo ceiling. Throughout his career, Ken has prioritized mentoring those who seek career advice, creating a support network for Asians, and building a strong pipeline of potential Asian leaders. His platform has expanded as the leader of Activision Blizzard’s new Asian Pacific Islander(API) Employee Network. Earlier in his career, he co-led a similar diversity initiative at McKinsey & Company (Asian American Alliance), and has been both a mentor and an alumnus of diversity programs, such as SEO. Simply put, Ken gives back.

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Worth Watching

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LEADERS

Alison Chen Partner

Education: LL.M., New York University School of Law, 2004; J.D., University of Houston Law Center, cum laude, 2003; B.A., University of Texas at Austin, with honors, 2000 Company Name: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Industry: Legal Company CEO: Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson Company Headquarters Location: N/A, the firm does not have a HQ Number of Employees: 1726 Your Location (if different from above): Houston, Texas Words you live by: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never[.]”- Winston Churchill Who is your personal hero: Marcia Hyatt, my dear friend who I call “mom”—we met when I was in college and working as a leasing agent at an apartment complex and Marcia was the manager. She is my first real boss! What book are you reading: Leading Without Authority by Keith Ferrazzi What was your first job: My first real paying job was a pizza delivery driver. Favorite charity: SEARCH Interests/Hobbies: Reading; jigsaw puzzles, and mah-jong Family: Single mom with a 14-year-old son, 11-year-old daughter.

Having a Diverse Group of Mentors is Invaluable My mentors are extremely important to my career success. As a first generation immigrant, I relied heavily on my teachers and professors to mentor me throughout my school career, and, later on, found mentors at work to be my pillars of support. My first boss, Marcia Hyatt continues to acts as a mentor to me today. She was the first person outside of my family to see my potential based on my work ethic, drive and talent. She showed me the importance of building consensus (rather than being right), and helped me develop confidence to believe in myself. When I started practicing law, I actively sought out partners who I admired for advice. By building genuine and trusting relationships, my mentors served as sounding boards when I faced personal and professional challenges during my career. And not all of my mentors are women and diverse lawyers. In fact, I have many excellent mentors who are older white men, who showed

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me how to navigate an organization, influence upwards and advocate for myself. I find that having a diverse group of mentors is invaluable, with everyone bringing their unique experiences, perspectives and strategies to the conversation to help me address a wide range of issues. Given how valuable mentorship is to me, I now spend a great amount of time mentoring junior attorneys and law students, especially those that are diverse. For Akin Gump’s Houston office, I head the women’s initiative group where I lead monthly meetings and events designed to (i) identify and promote female talent, (ii) foster strong relationships and (iii) provide a forum for women attorneys to discuss work/life balance matters. I’m also a volunteer mentor for the Asian American Bar Association of Houston and Houston Bar Association. In addition, I frequently appear on panels and counseling law students and attorneys and sharing my lessons-learned. For example, in recent years, I have

spoken on UH Law Center’s panel “Real Scoop in Big Law,” discussing the importance of finding mentors, and a diversity panel regarding BigLaw diversity and inclusion programs. Also, I spoke on the Houston Young Lawyer Association’s panel “First Generation Attorney Committee Presents: Behind the Hiring Curtain” about law firms’ view and efforts on diversity and inclusion. I continue my outreach to diverse students during COVID, having recently participated in Akin Gump sponsored panels such as “Shaping Your Future: Forging Your Own Path to Success” and “The Power of Mentoring.” Additionally, I’ve recently spoken on UH Law Center panels including “Diverse Perspectives in Tax Law,” discussing my career and the intersection of diversity and tax law, and “Grit and Resilience” as part of the Center’s pre-law pipeline program. Mentorship is powerful and I hope to continue pave the way for the future generation of young lawyers.

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Partner

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Education: Juris Doctor, Georgetown University Law Center; Bachelor of Science, economics and political science, University of California, Davis Company Name: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: 1,726 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Always striving to stay ahead of the curve. Who is your personal hero? My parents and my mother-in-law; together they possess all the qualities I work to embody. What book are you reading? Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant What was your first job: Research assistant Favorite charity: Capital Area Food Bank; they provided a critical lifeline during the height of the pandemic Interests: Travel & hiking Family: Kendrick, Lauren and Kendrick Jr.

The Spirit of Doing More in this Time of Change As our post-pandemic world starts to take shape, the notion of falling back into my pre-pandemic life feels unlikely and at some level, unthinkable. In many ways, I’ve come full circle from my childhood as the daughter of South Asian Muslim immigrants doing their best to make it in America. Like so many first-generation Americans, growing up, I found myself in a constant push and pull between the two very different cultures that defined me. I attempted to balance and integrate various aspects of each into my life. This ranged from adopting the intense work ethic that made my father so successful, to forging my own career path on Capitol Hill, to fulfilling my responsibilities to my family and overall community. Because of the energy and intense thought associated with those deliberations, I

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eventually found my equilibrium and a strong sense of confidence. It has been years since competing priorities and values have overwhelmed my inner thoughts. But, when I think about this past year— the countless deaths, deepening economic inequality, and increased incidents of violence, particularly against people of color—it forced me to revisit and reassess. The pandemic amplified so many of the societal challenges we are facing, driving home the need to rebuild for the future. That process has already begun, and we see glimmers of hope, whether in the nationwide protests in the wake of the George Floyd incident or in gestures of solidarity in response to a dangerous increase in hate crimes against the AAPI community. The values ingrained in me from my earliest days—hard work

as an equalizer, persistence, public service, and reverence for our elders—somehow feel under attack as I look at the senseless violence, particularly against older AAPI women. These mothers and grandmothers represent our own families, who made selfless sacrifices to benefit the next generation. Thankfully, these events have also brought people together based on shared values, underscoring lessons of my childhood and the responsibility to do more. So, I have also refocused and now devote more time as a board member for the AAPI Victory Fund and as co-chair of Akin Gump’s AAPI firm-wide resource group, all in the spirit of doing more. Most important, I know it cannot end there. I need to continue to leverage my skill set to do my small part during this time of change.

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Arshi Siddiqui


2021

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ASIAN LEADERS

HongDao Nguyen Partner

Education: JD, Loyola Law School; BA, Biola University Company Name: Best Best & Krieger LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Eric Garner, Managing Partner Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: 400 Your Location (if different from above): Irvine, California Words you live by: “The fleas come with the dog.” – Ralph McGill Who is your personal hero? My parents, for always powering through. What book are you reading? Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (a book about a girl’s journey from Vietnam that my 8-year-old son suggested I read) What was your first job: Sandwich artist at Subway Favorite charity: World Vision Interests: Wrangling kids, learning new dishes to cook, and ploddingly working on a memoir about my parents Family: Husband, and a trio of sons, ages 1, 6, and 8

Happiness Is (in part) Having a Great Team to Tell You When You’re Wrong and Guide You Through the Narrow Straits I’ve been following a series in The Atlantic about how to achieve happiness. The columns are penned by Harvard professor Arthur C. Brooks, whose writing takes an abstract concept and breaks it into digestible chunks. A couple of ideas have resonated. The first is: You’re happier when you admit you’re wrong (and it’s great when you’re surrounded by a good team who will correct you, nicely). The second is: A happy career not only includes achieving, but also serving others. Attorneys are paid to be right. There’s pressure from clients to quickly and decisively provide the answer. Sometimes that’s possible, when the law is black and white. But sometimes the “right” response not only depends on the law, but also on practical outcomes, policy shifts, or other factors. That’s why one of Brooks’s lines resonated with me: “[C]hanging your views www.womenworthwatching.com

when your facts are proved wrong or someone makes a better argument—can make your life better. It can make you more successful, less anxious, and happier.” (The Atlantic, March 11, 2021, “Changing Your Mind Can Make You Less Anxious.”) I practice with a group of brilliant, fun, and kind attorneys. Each week, we talk about tough client issues, and in the course of an hour, we brainstorm scenarios, offer ideas, and sometimes, correct one another’s conclusions. Lawyers “practice” the law, which means sometimes we’re wrong. I try my best to embrace the corrections, which is ultimately better for my clients and my own mental health. I’m lucky to have a group of colleagues to kindly challenge me and correct my course, when needed. Moreover, as a junior partner, one of my objectives is to slay. That could mean taking on another cli-

ent, closing a big project, or getting a big speaking gig. While there’s a lot to gain through achievement, Brooks tempers that notion: “Time is limited, and professional ambition crowds out things that ultimately matter more.” (The Atlantic, July 2019, “Your Professional Decline is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think.”) He makes a case for serving others, through mentoring, for example, to find happiness. My team is also made of mentors who have helped me through the straits of law firm life. They’ve shown me different ways to solve problems, interact with clients, and grow as an attorney. It’s a huge stroke of luck that I’ve been able to work alongside each of them, absorbing bits of their styles as I define my own. As I rise in my career, my goal is to try to be as good a mentor to newer attorneys as the ones I’ve had. If Brooks is right, that will only make me happier. 2021 Second Quarter

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Partner

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Angela M. Liu

Education: JD, University of North Carolina School of Law; BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Company Name: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Henry N. Nassau Company Headquarters Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/New York, New York Number of Employees: Approx. 2,000 Your Location (if different from above): Chicago, Illinois & New York, New York Words you live by: “Be impeccable with your word.” – Don Miguel Ruiz Who is your personal hero? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg What book are you reading? Essentialism by Greg Mckeown What was your first job: Political fundraiser in Washington, DC Favorite charity: ACLU Voting Rights Project Interests: Yoga, spinning, coding, and eating barbecue Family: My husband and greatest champion, Justin; My parents and brother, who are without a doubt the most extraordinary and resilient people I know

The Majesty of the Law Ignites My Passion My professional passion is ignited every time I get to witness the majesty of the law. The first time this happened was when I was a young associate and a partner I regarded as rather intimidating asked me to join a pro bono effort in challenging the Wisconsin voter ID laws. The previous day, I had been having trouble finding the perfect case for him in another matter. I agreed to join the pro bono team— partly because I was scared not to, and partly because I needed to meet our firm’s 25-hour pro bono requirement. As it turns out, this case became central to my development as a lawyer. Looking back, I took my first deposition, went

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to my first trial, conducted my first appeal, and carried out direct- and cross-examinations of my first witnesses and experts on this same case. The experience left me both awestruck and humbled as I saw how the judicial process unfolds. I came to understand that the ideas and potential solutions we devise in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep may actually win a client’s case years later. They may even change the laws of a nation. When you get to see both the power and fragility in the law at the same moment, and work with that every day, it can be intoxicating. Looking Ahead The world of work and the

legal profession in particular will change as we become more connected on a global scale, have access to more information, and embrace collaboration. As information becomes more accessible, we’ll start seeing great cultural shifts across the industry as we on the one hand become more specialized, but on the other hand need to pool the best, diverse talent across specialties to deliver real world solutions to our clients. The legal profession, which has in many respects remained siloed, will have ced with no choice but to embrace collaboration. After all, as the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

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LEADERS

Sandra Baker Zarraga Principal, Financial Services Consulting

Education: BS, information systems & management and organizational behavior, New York University Stern School of Business Company Name: EY Industry: Financial Services: Banking, & Capital Markets Company CEO: Carmine Di Sibio Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 300,000 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York Words you live by: “It’s not what we say or think, but what we do that defines us.” – Jane Austen Who is your personal hero? Ruth Bader Ginsburg What book are you reading? Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek What was your first job: Silver jewelry sales and ear piercing at a local mall on Guam Favorite charity: Back on My Feet Interests: Running, yoga, tennis, hiking, fitness, and travel Family: Michael (spouse), Gianni (daughter), Payton (daughter), Cameron (son), and Knox (Labradoodle)

Both Mentors and Sponsors are Vital to Success My passion for inclusion, allyship, and sponsorship is embedded deep in my DNA. As an Asian woman from the small Pacific island of Guam, I was born and raised in a melting pot that embraced different backgrounds, traditions, and values. My proud island heritage has rooted me and taught me life lessons that contribute to my mantra of creating a more inclusive culture that promotes belonging for all. While I have certainly encountered challenges in my career, I have always been embraced by strong mentors and sponsors. They looked past race and gender and recognized my combination of talent, work ethic, and potential. I can honestly say I may not have risen through the ranks of the firm if not for their support. And because of that, I am motivated to pay it forward.

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Women—racially and ethnically diverse women in particular—are often over-mentored but undersponsored. Sponsors should stand up for us when we are not in the room and help guide us forward. Navigating a career in professional services can be a daunting task, especially as women in a maledominated field such as financial services and technology. According to research from Statista, just 26 percent of computingrelated jobs are held by women, and just 6 percent of those jobs are held by Asian women. I work hard to build a network that supports racially and ethnically diverse women in their career journeys and provides a framework to help guide them in the right direction. One way to accomplish this is by becoming a leader of an organization that supports

women’s advancement, such as WITI, a network of women in technology seeking to create a collaborative environment, where members can find support to fulfill their career potential, and 50/50 Women on Boards, a group dedicated to placing women in directorship positions of various public companies. I challenge every professional to take similar steps in supporting up-and-coming women, as well as racially and ethnically diverse leaders of tomorrow. By making ourselves available to counsel, encourage, and sponsor aspiring women in business and technology, we are helping to foster a work culture where all employees can feel they belong. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.

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Vice President, Global Operations, HARMAN Lifestyle Consumer Audio

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Education: Master’s degree, Macquarie University Graduate School of Management; BA, Sun Yat-Sen University Company Name: HARMAN International Industry: Connected Technologies Company CEO: Michael Mauser Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 30,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Shenzen, China Words you live by: Life is too short to be miserable. Who is your personal hero? Deng Xiaoping What was your first job: Market Researcher Favorite charity: China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption Interests: Travel, spy books/movies, good food, and spending time with friends Family: Married with two daughters

Great Mentors Are All around Us Nothing serves my career better than continuous learning and improvement. And mentors, formal or informal, are a great source of such learning and improvement. Looking back on my career, I have been fortunate to have worked with excellent leaders, from whom I have learned and benefited tremendously, as I observed how they developed and implemented strategies, led, interacted with and trained people, solved problems, made decisions, communicated, built relationships, and handled conflicts. Such first-hand experiences are much more important than skills, and they have become a part of my growth and professional assets. In my opinion, they are more effective than any MBA. Since I started my career, every one of my managers has played a key role in my growth, and can be considered my mentor. In addition to functioning as role models, they have

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been incredible sources of guidance. Whenever I am under pressure or disappointed, have questions, concerns, doubts, anxiety, or anger, or simply need second opinions, I turn to these mentors, and they never disappoint me. They are like a beacon that steers me clear of the wrong and always keeps me on track, while providing me with the needed insights, courage, and strength to win the day. I work with leaders from different industries, of different nationalities, and with different personal backgrounds. In working with these seasoned business executives, I’ve learned that there are multiple perspectives and various approaches to addressing problems. And I’ve learned to appreciate the value of open-mindedness and cultural sensitivity. Some of my managers have military backgrounds like West Point, the German Navy, and the United States Marines, and they’ve

demonstrated to me the importance of exercising strong will, persistence, and discipline in the workplace. I’ve also have had managers from many countries, including China, the United States, Israel, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia, and all of them significantly enriched my knowledge, exposure, and experiences. They all have their unique strengths and personalities, and it has been an amazing learning opportunity to see those qualities in action. It is from these strong leaders that I have learned how to lead, strategize, execute, and accomplish—at work and in life. My advice to young leaders is to make the most of mentoring whenever there is an opportunity. It is a shortcut to growth. Mentors do not necessarily come from formal mentoring programs—they are around us. We just need to be observant and have a desire to learn.

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Lily Guo


2021

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LEADERS

Kelei Shen Chief Technology Officer

Education: MS & BS, computer science, Eastern Michigan University Company Name: HARMAN International Industry: Connected Technologies Company CEO: Michael Mauser Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 30,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Novi, Michigan Words you live by: Enjoy every minute of your life. Who is your personal hero? There are so many, I can’t choose just one! What was your first job: Software Engineer Interests: Computer games, basketball, and cooking

I Can Honestly Say I Love What I Do I have always enjoyed solving complex problems and exploring new frontiers, whether it was as simple as playing with a Rubik’s cube and learning how to write code or as challenging as developing new and essential software. The journey of discovery, from identifying the problem to taking the necessary steps forward and achieving resolution, has been a guiding force for me through my entire professional career. Everyone has the opportunity to explore new areas and new markets on his or her own, but the secret to truly learning and discovering new things is working together. I strongly believe that we can learn from every single person we work with. Everybody brings his or her own

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unique experiences, perspectives, and ideas to work every day. By empowering the voices and opinions of everyone on the team, we can ensure a better chance of success and the potential to achieve something bigger than you might have originally imagined. Working with a team also allows you to learn about others’ journeys and stories, and learn from their experiences and challenges. Whenever you’re trying to solve a problem—no matter how big or small—the support of a team can make all the difference. If it weren’t for the dedication of my colleagues and team members at HARMAN, I don’t think it would be possible to achieve the level of success

that we have enjoyed, especially in recent years! And all that I have learned along the way from my team has been invaluable. From my first job working with digital signal processing technologies to my current role overseeing the development of audio and connected car technologies at HARMAN, learning new things and working hand-in-hand with others have always been my greatest passions. It’s often said that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And as chief technology officer at HARMAN, I am able to use my passion of solving complex problems to help my company create unparalleled experiences. And I can honestly say I love what I do.

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Partner

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Harsh Arora

Education: LLM, taxation, Boston University School of Law; JD, Florida A&M University College of Law; Certificate, Program on Negotiations, Executive Education, Harvard Law School; BS, University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management; and DP, International Management Institute, Switzerland Company Name: Kelley Kronenberg Industry: Law Company CEO: Michael J. Fichtel Company Headquarters Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Number of Employees: 400 Your Location (if different from above): Fort Lauderdale, Florida Words you live by: “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.” – Mahatma Gandhi Who is your personal hero? My father What book are you reading? The Art of War by Sun Tzu, translated by Thomas Cleary What was your first job: Resort Management Trainee in South Asia Favorite charity: American Red Cross Interests: Golf, Ttravel, art, and theater Family: My wife and our three young children; we have a son and two daughters

We Must Lend a Hand to the Next Generation of Diverse Lawyers I am most driven by solving problems for businesses, and my diverse background has made me as an innovative problem solver. To me, finding solutions is the essence of a good business lawyer. This is why, as outside general counsel for my clients, I focus on being a business strategist and bring my diverse perspective to the forefront. As a co-chair of my firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, I lead firm-wide efforts to aid the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse attorneys and support staff, including providing increased visibility and leadership opportunities for diverse legal professionals. This year has shown us that systemic change and racial equity in the law have never been more important. We can also say

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that diversity is truly the face of America, including in its top leadership. We need to seize upon this momentum to achieve eq uity in the legal profession, to ensure that diverse lawyers have more leadership roles and opportunities to solve the most complex issues. Today, diverse lawyers like me have a seat at the table because diverse lawyers who came before us pulled up chairs and insisted on having seats. We owe our positions to them. Therefore, it is imperative to follow their example and lend a hand to the next generation of diverse lawyers. Diversity and Inclusion issues have become a matter of reputation and brand for businesses at all levels. As a problem solver, I continue to drive learning and leadership training regarding

key diversity and inclusion topics for my clients, the community at large, and within my firm. These efforts continue to support workplace cohesion, legal compliance, market brand, business opportunities, and the ability to hire top talent from different backgrounds. On my path to solve the problems faced by businesses, I keep my focus on the strengths of decision makers with differences in backgrounds and opinions. We are stronger when we include those who are different in the decision-making process. We all have the opportunity to grow and learn by collaborating with those who have varied experiences and backgrounds. That enables us to solve problems and aid in the important cause of diversity and inclusion.

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2021

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ASIAN LEADERS

June Dumaguet, MSN, RN, NE-BC Chief Clinical Officer

Education: Bachelor of Science, nursing, Philippines; Master of Science, nursing, University of Phoenix Company Name: Kindred Healthcare Industry: Healthcare services Company CEO: Benjamin A. Breier Company Headquarters Location: Louisville, Kentucky Number of Employees: Approximately 23,900 Your Location (if different from above): Santa Ana, California Words you live by: Love yourself, never give up, live your dreams. What book are you reading? All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr What was your first job: Caregiver Favorite charity: Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) in honor of Sophia Myers Interests: Traveling, wine education, and viticulture Family: My beautiful wife, Kelly

Caring for the Whole Community The success of any business depends on the community in which it operates. Now more than ever, businesses are recognizing the need for community outreach and improving the lives of their customers. The health and well-being of a community must be at the forefront of business planning, as it has a critical impact on the financial performance as well as the ethical operation of a business. Being a responsible partner in community development has always been a core value of the Asian population. Health care specifically has a responsibility to the community it serves. Health care workers have an additional moral obligation to promote public health and serve as stewards of community resources. My Asian heritage significantly contributes to my view regarding the importance of being a good community partner. As a leader in the health care field, I am able to channel that

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value into community outreach that promotes overall population health and well-being. As we have seen over the course of the past year, the impact of community health and the importance of a stable health care workforce cannot be overstated. Consequently, health care organizations will be responsible for building a community and workforce able to withstand the challenges facing our post-pandemic society. During my 13 years as a registered nurse, I have always made it a point to give back to the community. I have participated in several outreach programs, medical missions, and health fairs. When COVID-19 vaccines first became available to health care workers and first responders, I led our hospital in partnering with our health department to help vaccinate local police officers and first responders. I also volunteered as a vaccinator in one of

the first COVID-19 vaccines points of distribution here in Orange County. During the pandemic, I saw the community work together to help the hospitals by donating PPE and food to show their appreciation to health care workers. I love the pride I feel in my work. Being a nurse leader is a challenging job. But, at the end of the day, I have a strong sense of satisfaction in knowing that I am making a difference. Doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings is far more than a tagline; it is a way of life, and the most important piece of advice to share with the world. I believe a key aspect of my success as a nurse leader is building strong professional relationships and recognizing potential. I want my colleagues to know they are needed and valued. I try to give my employees opportunities to grow.

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Partner

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Lisa Kim Anh Nguyen

Education: JD, University of Chicago Law School; BA, computer science, legal studies, University of California, Berkeley Company Name: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Richard Trobman Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: 5,400 Your Location (if different from above): Bay Area–Menlo Park & San Francisco Words you live by: We rise by lifting others. Who is your personal hero? Nguyen Thi Dung and Nguyen Van Khoa (my parents) What book are you reading? The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee What was your first job: Unemployment Office Favorite charity: Asian Law Alliance Interests: Playing soccer, chasing my kids, and beating my family at Mario Kart Family: Partner, Andy; children: Emma (6 years) and Reed (9 months); and cat, McClintock (17 years)

The Power of Learning to Own Who I Am “Go back to your own country.” I remember hearing those words for the first time as a young child. Those words did not confuse me, but the words from my dad that followed did. In his Vietnamese-accented English, my dad yelled, “I am in my own country. I’m an American!” At the time I could not wrap my head around what I perceived as conflicting ideas: Are we Vietnamese or are we American? Unfortunately, I took the wrong lesson from that day. In the years that followed, I worked hard to be more “American” and less Vietnamese. Even as a law student and young attorney, I tried to hide what I perceived as my differences, my Vietnamese identity, to be “more American.” I didn’t want to be known as a good lawyer for an Asian Amer-

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ican; I just wanted to be known as a good lawyer. As I matured as an attorney, I realized that my preoccupation with breaking the meek Asian woman stereotype and hiding my Vietnamese identity actually limited my ability to be an effective litigator. Instead of suppressing aspects of my identity, I could leverage the stereotype to surprise my opponents in arguments or to obtain more information at depositions. Instead of hiding my background, I could embrace my experience as a child of refugees to connect better with certain audiences and juries—people who had also watched their families work and sacrifice to achieve the “American Dream.” Instead of pretending that I “fit in,” I could use my experience of being

cast as “other” to better recognize how the skills, insights, and unique experiences of all team members would advance the group’s goals. I learned to own who I am, and I have come to realize that being a good lawyer and a good Asian American lawyer are the same thing. I have learned to embrace the Vietnamese aspects of my identity, and to lean into my differences as strengths. I learned what my dad meant when he proclaimed that he was an American: The journey and experiences of my parents—coming as Vietnamese refugees with nothing to build a better life in the United States—is the quintessential American story. So I am Vietnamese and I am American. And I am thrilled to be recognized for my skills as a lawyer. Period.

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2021

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LEADERS

Shagufa Hossain Partner

Education: JD, University of Miami School of Law; LLM, University of London; BSBA, Georgetown University Company Name: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Richard Trobman Company Headquarters Location: N/A Number of Employees: 5,400 Your Location (if different from above): Washington, DC Words you live by: Always try to look for the silver lining even when you face a setback. Who is your personal hero? My mum What book are you reading? Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie What was your first job: Sales associate at Harrods department store in London Favorite charity: Legal Aid of DC Interests: Baking, traveling and exploring new cuisines

Mentorship, Preparation, and Imagination Really Do Matter As the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, growing up in small towns across the UK, I was often the only person of color at school. There were no other students, much less teachers or leaders, who looked like me. Fast forward thirty years and I am in a senior position at a major law firm in Washington, DC. As I reflect on how I got here, a few important ingredients stand out—mentorship, preparation, and imagination. They are small things really, but they mattered. After graduating from Georgetown, where I studied business and Chinese, my first post-college job, in London, was in investment banking—a traditionally male-dominated profession. There were very few women at the bank, particularly at the more senior levels, and I was the only

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person of color. One of the few women at the bank was a managing director, who made a point of ensuring that I had opportunities to interact directly with clients; her mentorship shaped my experience at the bank. When I transitioned to a career in law, I again knew I stood out. As a summer associate, my mentor put me in front of clients, so that I could build trust and rapport. I became a part of the core team, and now, 15 years later, I am still working with many of those same clients. Another mentor reached out to me during my first year and asked me to work on an IPO with him. I really liked it, which opened the door for me to spend seven months in at my firm’s Hong Kong office focused exclusively on that type of work. I an immensely grateful for

the doors that were opened for me, and I try to pay that forward. I focus a lot on retaining great colleagues here at Latham. I make sure they know that that they have allies who will support and propel them. I help them imagine a place for themselves, just as I was able to imagine succeeding. A number of years ago I worked on a bond deal with a recently arrived associate. Just as my mentor had supported me, I helped her build a relationship with that client. Years later, at her wedding, her mom pulled me aside and thanked me for that early support, which she felt was critical to her daughter’s success. I had not imagined my actions had had such an impact, but it serves as a reminder that the little things—mentorship, preparation, and imagination—do matter.

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Audit Senior Manager

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Annie Yuan Norviel

Education: BS, accounting, California State University San Marcos Company Name: Moss Adams LLP Industry: Finance and Accounting Company CEO: Chris Schmidt Company Headquarters Location: Seattle, Washington Number of Employees: 3,400 Your Location (if different from above): San Diego, California Words you live by: Persevere, positive, collaborative, appreciative, and inspiring Who is your personal hero? Melinda Gates What book are you reading? Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos by Heidi K. Gardner What was your first job: Waiting tables in restaurants Favorite charity: Cancer Commons Interests: Hiking, road biking, interior design, gardening, travel, and binge watching Family: Husband, Vern, and son, Eric

A Winning Example of Perseverance I’ve been provided many opportunities throughout my career, but without perseverance, I may not have overcome the moments of challenge and feelings of discouragement in my personal and professional life. Born a daughter of a poor family in Beijing, China, I became the first in my family to immigrate to the United States. The new culture and language were initially very foreign to me, and I immediately needed to find work to provide income, but also support my integration and learning English. After waiting tables, I opened and managed my own small restaurant. Although I was proud of my progress, there were moments of feeling hopeless, waves of discouragement, and uncertainty. I knew I could do

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more, and my strong drive and perseverance, relationships with good friends, and learning from my failures are what allowed me to pursue my dream of furthering my education, and later, achieving my career goals. In addition to perseverance, resilience and establishing mentor relationships helped me succeed during my 13-year career in the accounting industry, as well as in my personal life. Mentors, and the coaching they offered, created visibility to possible opportunities and paths to success, including paths that didn’t look like those of others, but ones that aligned with my unique skills and background. Knowing what I gained through those connections, I want to pass that along to others

who are starting and growing in their careers. The culture at Moss Adams is centered around our people and clients, which provides me the opportunity to be a mentor by sharing my story, empathizing with others, and emphasizing the importance of staying motivated and persevering through the hardest of professional and personal challenges. I’ve learned that life is beautiful because each day is different and every person is unique. I believe mentoring with this mindset, along with perseverance, helps create successful, happy, and purposeful careers. I am proud when I look back at my accomplishments, but that feeling doesn’t compare to seeing my teams and those I work with realize that anything is possible.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

Worth Watching

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ASIAN

LEADERS

Jeong-Hwa “June” Lee Partner

Education: JD, University of Georgia School of Law; MS, educational psychology, University of Tennessee; BS magna cum laude, education, Troy University Company Name: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: James K. Lehman Company Headquarters Location: Columbia, South Carolina Number of Employees: 1,639 Your Location (if different from above): Atlanta, Georgia

Your interest and mentorship will be rewarded with deep gratitude and hard work. I gain as much reward as my mentees get from our mentor/mentee relationship. I hope more leaders take an interest in next-generation Asians.

Young Asians Are Hungry for Mentors As I look back, the biggest challenges I had to overcome to be successful in my professional career were the limits and boundaries I put on myself. As an Asian woman raised and educated in a society largely governed by the principles of Confucius beliefs, my unconscious motto was, “Don’t show off, be humble, let things be.” In other words, “Keep quiet and just do your work.” Only later on in my career, when younger attorneys sought my mentorship, did I realize that I was not being the good example of a

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leader that I had hoped I would be. I had to start forcing myself to come out of my comfort zone. I suspect that this shy and reserved trait is not just among Asian women but also Asian men. We tend to believe that there is more to gain from just listening than from speaking, and will likely not speak unless asked to. The current leadership could support next-generation leaders with Asian backgrounds by acknowledging this cultural difference and by actively encouraging them to express

their thoughts and ideas. When a leadership quality is identified, you could take an interest and offer mentorship to them. Young Asians are hungry for mentors because there are not many Asian career role models to begin with. Your interest and mentorship will be rewarded with deep gratitude and hard work. I gain as much reward as my mentees get from our mentor/mentee relationship. I hope more leaders take an interest in next-generation Asians.

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2021

Builder Division Development Manager

ASIAN

LEADERS Worth Watching

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INTERNATIONAL

Education: Bachelor of Arts, economics, UCLA; MBA Executive Program Certification, UCLA Anderson School of Management Company Name: New American Funding Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Rick Arvielo Company Headquarters Location: Tustin, California Number of Employees: 5,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Tustin, California Words you live by: We should focus on the people that like us, not the ones that don’t. But don’t forget about those other people either. You never know who they could turn out to be. Who is your personal hero? Ruth Bader Ginsburg What book are you reading? Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles What was your first job: Accountant (CPA) Favorite charity: Maryknoll Missionaries Interests: Travel, hiking, and food Family: Married with three kids, two girls and a boy

... even if you strike out at something in your career, you can’t get discouraged. You have to keep working, keep grinding, and take advantage of your next at bat.

Tenacity Is Key The one trait that I’ve always considered to be critical to my success is tenacity. You can’t ever give up. It’s about never giving up in life or in your career. You need to be willing to try different things. You can’t live in fear of failing or being unsuccessful. You have to be willing to seek out new things and commit to giving them an honest effort. Sales is like baseball. I’m a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan, and in baseball, if you bat .300 or .400, you are a really, really good baseball player. That means that even the best players are failing six or seven times out of ten. But they don’t get discouraged.

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And you can’t get discouraged either. You can’t look at or dwell on what you don’t get. You have to look at what you do get. You have to think about it this way: even if you don’t get the business this time around, you’re due to hit the next home run. You have to believe that you will succeed eventually, even if you failed this time. Take my first experience with working in the homebuilder business as an example. My first builder project, which would have been 20 units, fell apart suddenly. But before I knew it, I had secured a new contract with a different builder for 261 units. I learned then that it’s about not giving up on

what you believe in. I wanted to be the best in my field, and I didn’t lose hope after the first deal fell through. I kept working and secured a much bigger deal that helped jumpstart my career. That helped me learn that even if you strike out at something in your career, you can’t get discouraged. You have to keep working, keep grinding, and take advantage of your next at bat. You have to understand that you will need to make adjustments. Tenacity isn’t insanity. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again if it isn’t working. Be willing to make those changes and hit a home run in your next at bat.

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AWARD

Karen Chiu


2021

Worth Watching

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ASIAN LEADERS

Melissa Kuan Chief Strategy Officer, New York Life Investment Management

Education: Bachelor of Arts, economics, Yale University; Master of Business Administration, finance and strategic management, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Company Name: New York Life Insurance Company Industry: Insurance, Asset Management Company CEO: Ted Mathas Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 11,000 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York Words you live by: When connecting the dots, create a few of your own. What book are you reading? The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson What was your first job: Writing and selling short stories to my primary school friends Favorite charity: Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Interests: Good food, good films, and good friends Family: I live with my husband in NYC, and try to stay close to my parents in Malaysia and sister in the UK.

Mentors Have Been Invaluable to My Journey One of the things that I am most grateful for is having had the opportunity to chart my own course early in life. I was educated in a public girls’ school in Malaysia, where an emphasis on discipline and humility (everyone took turns cleaning the toilets) provided a good grounding for a wide array of undertakings. My parents demanded academic excellence, but did not otherwise get involved. Nor did they steer me towards certain paths over others. It never occurred to me to have a role model, and looking back, I am certain I would have found it limiting to have had to forge a path by studying someone else’s. I was preoccupied with finding a bridge to the world of possibilities. So, when I was accepted to Yale, I was

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glad to have followed a seemingly unconventional path. Without a doubt, this paved the way for me to be more dynamic with my future career choices and trust my instincts. Nevertheless, over the course of my career, I have found it invaluable to have had mentors and sponsors who helped guide my journey. They have provided me with opportunities, given me the support I needed to manage and lead across teams, and provided a practical window into the stakeholders we all seek to engage every day. Above all, they have shown a generosity of time and thought, whose dividends can only be paid forward It is a fraught moment to show up and lead, with the events of the past year throwing into sharp relief the need for more fairness and inclusion in the workplace,

and in society. As age-old biases continue to find their way into both conscious and unconscious realms, the onus is on all of us to ensure that everyone is equally seen and heard. While Asians should be afforded greater visibility and must represent a greater share of the public discourse, the task of altering the narrative and rebalancing that share falls on all of us—Asians included. At New York Life, our heritage of mutuality compels us to stand together with all members of our community and try to do better for the underrepresented among us. There are a few actions we can take in the near term to show solidarity, and many of us are thinking about ways to effect positive change over the longer term. But our best instincts are telling us that our shared values will point the way forward.

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2021

U.S. Chief Strategy and Operations Partner

ASIAN

LEADERS Worth Watching

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INTERNATIONAL

Education: JD, University of California, Berkeley; PhD, molecular biology, Princeton University; AB, biochemistry, Columbia College, Columbia University Company Name: Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP Industry: Law Company CEO: Jeff Cody Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York & Houston, Texas Number of Employees: 1,800 Your Location (if different from above): Austin, Texas Words you live by: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw Who is your personal hero? My maternal grandmother What book are you reading? Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro What was your first job: Paper route Favorite charity: Advancing Justice | AAJC Interests: Baking and cooking, watching kids soccer games, and traveling Family: Philosophy professor husband; son finishing high school; twin daughters finishing junior high; supporting parents and parents-in-law; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins

“You Play Basketball?” The first time I got the eyebrow raise and that question, it was unexpected because I grew up playing in a large Los Angeles community of Japanese-Americans who had a basketball tradition that started before and persisted through the World War II internment camps. Since third grade, I had played many hours of basketball—with Japanese-American (JA) girls, middleand high-school teams, coed JA summer leagues, college intramurals, with my best friend or family, in afternoon coed scrimmages in grad school, and weekend coed games with other mostly Asian American law students. I was no superstar, but basketball helped me develop confidence and I loved playing. As a 5’1” Asian woman living outside California, I understood the question. This time, it came from a senior lawyer at the law

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firm where I had recently started a new job. He hadn’t given me any work yet, and I sensed his hesitation. The first-year associates had a weekly game, and the senior lawyer played with us one night. After that, he started to give me assignments. While he likely would eventually have given me work anyway, I believe his seeing that I could, in fact, dribble, pass, and shoot on a court led him not only to give me a project, but also made him feel more at ease in doing so. This experience doesn’t mean that I should challenge everyone with unconscious biases to a one-on-one. Instead, I learned about needing to connect with different people in different ways in order to gain trust. Looking back over my career, I realize that with some people that connection came from a common educational background or from common

interests. Or it may have come in the form of a project, where I provided an analytical perspective that contributed to what others were trying to achieve. While undoubtedly we want to continue realizing the benefits of remote working learned this past year, I recognize that in-person working provides advantages. The ability to connect is especially important for those more likely to be the targets of unconscious bias and for those in underrepresented groups who may be at greater risk for marginalization. As my firm considers strategies, plans, and policies for how we will work in the future, as the chief strategy and operations partner, I want to be sure we maximize opportunities to connect with one another in order to minimize unconscious biases that can be impediments to a fulfilling legal career.

www.diversityjournal.com

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Gina N. Shishima


2021

Worth Watching

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ASIAN LEADERS

Nancy Huynh Global Head of Business Architecture, Client Technology

Education: BS, NYU Stern School of Business Company Name: RBC Capital Markets Industry: Finance Company CEO: Dave McKay Company Headquarters Location: Toronto, Canada Number of Employees: Over 7,800 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York Words you live by: Be empathetic and have compassion for others. Who is your personal hero? My mother What was your first job: Working with my parents at our family business Favorite charity: Those that focus on helping children. I am a mentor for TEAK, which is an NYC-based program that helps talented students from low-income families achieve their potential. Interests: Mentoring, traveling, cooking, and baking

How I Found My Voice As a first generation Asian-American, I grew up working alongside my parents in our family business, which not only taught me the value of working hard, but also gave me a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunities I was fortunate enough to have. I was raised to be modest, obedient, and not speak up to authority. I believe some of these typically Asian cultural values correlate to the biases Asian-Americans face in the workplace that cause them to be overlooked for leadership roles. Throughout my career, I have always been recognized for my work ethic. However, when I was up for promotion 10 years ago, I was told that, while I delivered well beyond expectations, my promotion would have to wait. After watching others around me who seemed to deliver less climb that elusive ladder, I realized that working

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hard wasn’t enough. I would have to evolve from ingrained cultural values and step out of my comfort zone to ensure my ideas and accomplishments were heard and known. Mentors and colleagues who encouraged me to voice my opinions helped me overcome my reluctance to speak up. I not only found my voice, but also learned the power of it. People wanted to hear my ideas and valued my opinions. However, this transition took time and was not without its challenges. Being an Asian woman in a predominately white male industry, I have had to overcome biases. I have had to work harder to be heard and not overlooked. While I believe a strong work ethic has raised my profile at work, my resilience and ability to be empathetic have been crucial in shaping me into the leader I am today. By being

grateful and focusing on the positives, I have had the resilience to overcome obstacles. And by being empathetic, I have felt compassion for others, empowering me to address challenges in a productive manner. But above all else, it has been my voice which has carried me forward. I have come to realize that many people have ideas and opinions, but are reluctant to speak up as I once was. As a leader, I look to foster an inclusive culture that values different perspectives. A desire to help others overcome bias in the workplace and achieve higher levels of success drives my belief in mentorship and feeds my commitment to people development. My hope is for a future of inclusiveness, where leaders focus on empowering people of all races and genders to find their voice and be heard.

2021 Second Quarter

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2021

Managing Director, Head of EMEA ESG Indices

ASIAN

LEADERS Worth Watching

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INTERNATIONAL

Education: BSc, geography & geology, University of Manchester; MSc, environmental technology (business & environment), Imperial College London Company Name: S&P Dow Jones Indices Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Doug Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 22,500 Your Location (if different from above): London, England, UK Words you live by: Treat everyone with respect. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Who is your personal hero? My mum What book are you reading? Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo What was your first job: Cashier at a supermarket Favorite charity: Action Aid Interests: Socializing with family & friends, travelling around & seeing new places (I’ve even enjoyed getting to know all my local streets during lockdown!), theater, restaurants, reading, and TV/movies Family: Parents, grandma, siblings, aunt, cousins, and nephew

I’m Lucky to I Have a Career I Love Since my school days, I have been fascinated by the interaction of humankind and the natural environment. Equally, I appreciate the influence of investment and I am delighted to be able to combine both in my current role, supporting the deployment of capital for good. In particular I am thrilled that the connection between finance and sustainability is finally being recognized. I am able to bring together knowledge gained during my studies and my experience to date to help build S&P sustainability indices. I love being able to use my sustainability expertise to discuss with the financial community concepts such as Paris-aligned or high-conviction investing. Let’s not forget that sustainability is more than just the environment. It

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is a broad spectrum of topics that also includes diversity. For investors, the issues we are grappling with include the following: How can we measure a corporation’s diversity record? Which companies are reporting diversity metrics? Why is lack of diversity a material risk for investors? What are the opportunities? How can we create a benchmark that tracks diversity? These are wide ranging, important, and interesting topics. The world of finance can be opaque and difficult to understand. I get a lot of pleasure from talking to my family and friends about the work I do. Studies suggest that racial minorities suffer more from financial inequality, and it is widely accepted that the most vulnerable will be most impacted by devastating events. The pandemic and climate change are two such threats. I hope to use my

knowledge to put fire in people’s bellies to take action to address these threats that exacerbate injustice. During my academic studies and for the first years of my career, I noticed that working in sustainability was not a career choice made by other obviously BAME individuals. I see more diversity now and I am proud to work for S&P Global, a company that has been proactive in recognizing and tackling diversity challenges. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be in my privileged position today without the pioneering steps taken by other minorities before me, and for that I am truly grateful. As a consequence, I am cognizant of my responsibility to pave the way for others. I look forward to promoting more positive change in the future, as we work towards becoming a more inclusive and just society.

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Jaspreet Duhra


2021

Worth Watching

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ASIAN LEADERS

Aye Soe Managing Director, Global Head of Product Management

Education: BA, economics, Tufts University; MA, economics, Fordham University Company Name: S&P Dow Jones Indices Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Dan Draper Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 650 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York Words you live by: “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll Who is your personal hero? There are too many. What book are you reading? A Promised Land by Barack Obama What was your first job: Product Developer at FactSet Research Systems Favorite charity: UNICEF; Médecins Sans Frontières Interests: Running and traveling Family: Husband and an eight-year-old little girl

To Lead, Learn to See a Bigger Picture I am originally from Burma, where I spent my early childhood years under military dictatorship. I came to the United States for my undergraduate degree and have lived here ever since. Because of my international experience, I always wanted to work for a multinational organization where I could meet colleagues and clients from around the world. My current leadership role at S&P DJI has enabled me to understand what our end clients need and bring index-based solutions to market. To do that effectively, you need a team with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds. I believe diversity is very important to achieving innovation and growth in any industry.

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To be successful in any role, it is important to have passion and intellectual curiosity. After graduate school, I knew I wanted a career in investment research. I started at S&P DJI as a research analyst and rose through the ranks to become the head of research for the Americas. Earlier in my analyst days, my manager told me to look beyond my day-to-day and see a bigger picture. It was the most important advice I have received in my career. I attribute a lot of my success today to that advice. as it changed my attitude. I wanted to understand the business and the industry, and I looked for ways to make an impact.

I assumed my current role at S&P DJI because I wanted to make an even bigger impact. I am sure there are many Asian women out there in the financial services industry just like me who want to broaden their scope and impact. When I look around, the number of Asian leaders in senior management positions in financial services companies remains low. We should try to better understand why that is the case and look for ways to promote emerging Asian talent. If it is due to lack of career guidance and support, those of us in leadership positions must strive to increase that number by providing coaching and mentoring. I am always happy to help by serving as a mentor and adviser.

2021 Second Quarter

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2021

Associate, Corporate Ratings

ASIAN

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Job Title: Associate, Corporate Ratings Education: Bachelor of Arts, public policy studies, University of Chicago Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Doug Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 22,500 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York What book are you reading? Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong; Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden What was your first job: Lifeguard Favorite charity: Crisis Text Line

Lessening the Burden of Feeling “Othered” I believe that an authentic way to support the next generation of Asian leaders is to think about how to lessen the burden of feeling “other” in the workplace. For the Asian-American community in particular, this question is layered with the complexity that the AAPI banner represents many distinct nationalities, languages, and histories, and how the AAPI racial identity is rapidly evolving from one generation to the next through the experience of immigration, assimilation, and other changing historic and political contexts. At S&P Global, our APEX employee resource group has been approaching this issue using David Eng and Shinhee Han’s book, Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation: On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans. Through psychoanalytic and literary lenses, the

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book explores what it means to operate in a society that does not reconcile with one’s lived reality, which results in very relatable anxieties, feelings of loss, and constant inward questioning. It can feel exhausting. With the rise in violence, harassment, discrimination, and emboldened hateful rhetoric towards Asian Americans, it can at times feel completely overwhelming, never knowing if you’ll be targeted as an unwelcome foreigner or expected to live up to the myth of the model minority. Representation is critical. So too is creating space for dialogue that acknowledges how harmful it can be to feel “othered.” Simply being heard or finding similar stories in the experiences of others can help relieve the burden of feeling isolated by those difficult feelings. Growing up as a half-Korean, Canadian, and eventually natural-

ized U.S. citizen, I was called a “green card-carrying alien,” and even today others take it upon themselves to decide whether I’m more Asian, white, or other. APEX has provided a space to listen, learn, and lead conversations regarding how to amplify leadership qualities of our Asian colleagues. It’s also been a place to celebrate the cultures and traditions we come from. There is much work to do, but I’m grateful for this recognition and for the opportunity to contribute to my firm’s community. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be in my privileged position today without the pioneering steps taken by minorities who came before me. And I am cognizant of my responsibility to pave the way for others. I look forward to promoting more positive change in the future, as we work towards becoming a more inclusive and just society.

www.diversityjournal.com

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Karen Chu


2021

Worth Watching

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ASIAN LEADERS

Shahzeb K. Rao Senior Director, Strategy and Strategic Initiatives

Education: Bachelor’s degree, business management, government, Franklin & Marshall College; Msc, accountancy, University of Notre Dame Company Name: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 22,500 Your Location (if different from above): New York, New York Words you live by: Be kind, practice empathy, try to keep a positive attitude, and have fun! Who is your personal hero? My mother What book are you reading? Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy What was your first job: Assurance and Advisory Services at Ernst & Young (now EY) Favorite charity: SOS Children’s Villages Interests: Traveling, reading, and theater

Find Mentors and Teams that Create a Positive Environment Being passionate about what you do is important in any career. However, the people we work with are an equally important aspect of our professional lives. They shape our perception of the broader industry, our particular firms, and even our own abilities. That is why it is vital to seek out mentors and teams that foster the right culture and create a positive environment. This is especially true at the beginning of one’s career. The right mentors can help you realize your strengths, work on your weaknesses, give you exposure to new areas of the business, and challenge you intellectually and professionally. The best mentors do all this while maintaining strong personal bonds and leading by example and encouragement. I have had the good fortune of

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working with a few such strong mentors and leaders. And it has been one of the most important aspects in shaping the course of my career. They pushed me to take on increased responsibilities, helped me gain more confidence by giving credit and recognition, and guided me through different phases of my professional life. As mentors, we should look to guide the next generation of leaders in a similar way. With businesses becoming increasingly global each year, we must now go a step further and also strive to build teams that are as diverse as the world around us. Populist movements and governments across the globe, including in Asia, are fanning old prejudices to maintain political power. Unfortunately, they do this to the detriment

of the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion. We must try and do what we can, even in our limited way, to counter this harmful trend. We can start by building our teams to be inclusive and equal, and treating colleagues and clients with respect, regardless of differences in culture, religion, race, or ethnicity. Allowing for diverse backgrounds, opinions, and experiences in our teams fosters a much more dynamic exchange of ideas. The diversity of perspectives also helps us better understand and address the differing needs of an increasingly varied customer base. So not only is a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion the right thing to do, it is also likely to be an important ingredient for the future success of any client-focused organization.

2021 Second Quarter

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2021

Vice President, Business Initiatives–Sam’s Club

ASIAN

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Ella Chan TM

Education: MBA, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and London Business School; BS, economics, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Company Name: Walmart Inc. Industry: Retail Company CEO: Doug McMillon Company Headquarters Location: Bentonville, Arkansas Number of Employees: 2.2 million worldwide Your Location (if different from above): Hong Kong Words you live by: “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” – Rabindranath Tagore Who is your personal hero? My mom; for her optimism, fearlessness, and refusal to see barriers What book are you reading? Ways of Heaven by Roel Sterckx What was your first job: Financial Analyst in a tech firm Favorite charity: Mother’s Choice; whose vision is to see every child in a loving family Interests: Cooking and exploration of new places and cultures Family: A husband who makes me better, an independent-minded son, and a quiet but fierce daughter

Marigolds Changed My Worldview I was not (and am not) the owner of a green thumb, but a gardener friend had told me how hard marigolds are to kill. So one spring, I planted a bunch on each side of my driveway. A more experienced gardener might have noticed that one side of the driveway sat just out of reach of the lawn sprinkler. After realizing my mistake, I was desperate to keep the supposedly hardy flowers alive and made a point of going out each day to water them. The routine became a bonding experience for me and my newly walking son. There are plenty of metaphors about gardening and parenting and this might be another, but the experience taught me the root of something deeper. As the summer passed, the

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marigolds prevailed. Some even flourished beyond expectation, without me doing a thing to help them. But on the side of the driveway where my son and I took so much care to deliver water daily, the marigolds only just survived. I was perplexed and then deeply saddened. Hadn’t we done everything right? Then the epiphany came. The flourishing marigolds benefited from being planted in a spot with greater access to sunlight. It wasn’t just the water, something I thought was essential, but also the sun exposure, something I’d taken for granted. People are much the same. We need exposure, we need to be seen. Life is about more than survival; the point is to thrive. Those marigolds that summer crystallized forever the importance of creating an environ-

ment that allows people to thrive and make a difference. I’m grateful and honored to serve on the President’s Inclusion Council at Walmart, where our purpose is to lead inclusion globally and to create a culture where diversity is essential and people are seen and heard. Our efforts focus on cultivating an inclusive Walmart, building equitable people processes, and driving a culture of ownership, accountability, and engagement. Exposure and inclusion are essential to unleashing full potential, maximizing growth, and achieving success. With just enough resources, people survive. But give them a bit more sun and they will thrive far beyond expectation. That’s why diversity and inclusion is so vital. Shine the light.

www.diversityjournal.com


2021

Worth Watching

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ASIAN LEADERS

Parvez Musani Vice President, Transportation and Last Mile Technology

Education: MS, computer science, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago; BE, chemical engineering, Sardar Patel University, India Company Name: Walmart Inc. Industry: Retail Company CEO: Doug McMillon Company Headquarters Location: Bentonville, Arkansas Number of Employees: 2.2 million worldwide Your Location (if different from above): Bentonville, Arkansas Words you live by: Drive, Passion, Mission. Time and Health are the most precious gifts. Dream Big. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. Who is your personal hero? My parents What book are you reading? That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea by Marc Randolph What was your first job: Software Developer @ Computer Associates Favorite charity: So many great ones, local and abroad, that focus on improving the communities they are in. Interests: Running, biking, volleyball and reading books Family: My parents who live with us, my wife, Amreen, and two beautiful kids, Sarah and Faiz.

Taking Extreme Ownership Early in my career I had to learn how to accept mistakes and take risks. Gaining these two traits has been essential to my success. In instances where I was worried I didn’t have the experience to perfectly take on a new role, I was scared—heart dropping into my stomach scared. But there were others who had faith in me and gave me a chance. I paid back that faith by working hard to learn on the job and make up those areas where I felt I was behind. Slowly, I learned to have faith in myself too. As I’ve moved into leadership roles, I’ve made it a point to pay it forward by valuing ability over experience and giving opportunities to those who, like me in my earlier years, may not see their full potential yet. Nobody is perfect, and that’s okay. For me, the

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pursuit of perfection is not about being a perfectionist at all costs. It’s about creating an environment in which we refuse to accept mediocrity. It’s about pushing back against the urge to say good enough is good enough. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned the path to improving is leading through crisis. This means when there is a crisis, you don’t go straight to blaming— yourself or a teammate. Instead, you figure out what can be done to make the situation better so the crisis doesn’t occur again. The readiness to analyze the crisis situation by putting yourself outside it to ensure better outcomes is extreme ownership. This also helps build trust because your team members know your goal is to improve, not to be the victim or blame others.

The great thing about extreme ownership is that once you’re able to focus on correcting a problem, rather than focusing on the mistake itself or attaching it to you personally, you become better prepared for possible risks in the future. Then you’re better equipped to not only avoid issues, but also to take calculated risks because you’re already thinking three steps ahead. Implementing this practice has set better expectations for my teams, so that they can become comfortable taking risks and pushing themselves. Risk-taking breeds creativity and innovation, which is vital to the success of great companies. If we get caught up in playing it safe because we don’t want to risk making a mistake, then we miss out on creating greatness.

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The 3rd Annual

2021

AWARD

Women Worth ® Watching in STEM INTERNATIONAL

The 3rd Annual Women Worth Watching® in STEM Awards

PDJ Salutes its Third Annual Class of Women Worth Watching™ in STEM Award Winners We are proud to feature the 28 Women Worth Watching in STEM® Award winners for 2021 in the following pages. Nominated by a leader or colleague within the organization where she is employed, and selected by Profiles in Diversity Journal based on her contributions, leadership, mentoring, and professional achievements in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, each of these outstanding women is an example for the rest of us. This is the third year PDJ has recognized women who have pursued, and excelled in, STEM careers with its Women Worth Watching in STEM Award. So, take this opportunity to get to know these remarkable women—learn about their personal interests and professional passions, and read their essays for some interesting insights and valuable advice.

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www.womenworthwatching.com

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2021

Partner

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: JD magna cum laude, New York Law School, Executive Articles Editor, New York Law School Review, Moot Court Association, Harlan Scholars Honor Program; BA summa cum laude, American University My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt My personal philosophy: Follow your intuition, listen (really hear) people, work hard, and know what you don’t know! What I’m reading now: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders My first Job: Waitress at a steakhouse My favorite charity: Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation My interests: Running marathons, playing golf, traveling to new places, cooking, and spending time with family My family: My husband, Brent, and my kids Sawyer (3) and Ruth (0, joining us any day now!) Company: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & New York, New York Number of employees: approximately 2,000 CEO: Henry N. Nassau

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Increasing Diversity in STEM

senior lateral positions.

they continue to develop.

First, law schools must do more to attract diverse, STEM graduates and revamp curricula by offering classes on technology and business. Second, retention begets recruitment. Diverse STEM candidates will look at a law firm’s mid-level and senior associate ranks as a predictor of their own chances for success. Third, engage diverse lawyers in STEM issues early in their careers, working alongside senior attorneys who can mentor and sponsor them. Lastly, increase the commitment to diversity through the Mansfield Rule, which requires law firms to measure whether at least 30% women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and lawyers with disabilities have been considered for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and

Barriers to Closing the Gender Gap in STEM

Moving Women Forward in STEM

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In the legal profession, attracting and developing more women in leadership roles requires firmwide change, driven from the top. Client teams and teams that pitch for new business must include women, and women must have opportunities to be touch points for clients. Additionally, having open conversations with junior STEM lawyers shows STEM women that there is a way to manage a career and family. Instituting a workplace culture where “work” and “life” need not be two separate and distinct beings, and setting an example for rising STEM women that pursuing a family and pursuing a senior STEM position are not mutually exclusive will attract women to careers in STEM and ensure they feel supported as

Attracting and maintaining girls and women in STEM fields early is essential. Family members and teachers play an important role in how girls perceive their capacity in STEM. Having women role models and seeing women in leadership positions in STEM industries is also important. One study found that if girls were exposed to the achievements of as many women inventors as boys are exposed to the achievements of male inventors, the gender gap in innovation could be cut in half. Another strategy is to include more women in research, which will in turn attract more women to science, because more careers and avenues of research will become relevant to women.

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AWARD

Lindsay Flora


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Ann Nguyen Delenela Vice President, Information Security

My credentials: Bachelor’s degree, computer science, University of North Texas My work location: Texas Words I live by: “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” – Mary Engelbreit My personal philosophy: Stay true to your core values regardless of circumstances or other people’s opinions. Your results will make room for you. What I’m reading now: Dare to Lead by Brené Brown My first Job: Cashier at Mervyn’s when I was 15. My favorite charity: National Kidney Foundation. My older sister is a recipient of two kidney transplants, and I am forever grateful to the work this wonderful organization has done to enable her thriving life. My interests: Martial arts, nature hikes, music/piano, and art & design My family: My husband and my 17-year-old daughter named Alexa, the OG. She had that name before Amazon used it. Company: Entergy Corporation Industry: Energy/Utility Company Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana Number of employees: 13,000 CEO: Leo Denault

How the World is Changing for STEM We have seen the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, which is the digitization of our everyday life. My refrigerator can now collect data about my grocery consumption, make recipe recommendations, and communicate it to my grocery list stored on the cloud or other mobile devices. Our growing dependency on technology requires a skilled workforce able to understand those technologies and interdependencies. Our future world will be increasingly focused on STEM and SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud), and we need to align our STEM approach with social and collaborative tools, mobile interaction, data analytics, and cloud

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technologies. I believe STEM and SMAC will no longer be auxiliary but integral to many of the jobs we have today, and create categories of work we have yet to realize. Moving Women Forward in STEM We need to emphasize that success in STEM today means inclusive teams that have a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives. To encourage women to launch STEM careers, we need to equip them with learning and development opportunities, and open avenues by which they can bring their diverse talents to the workplace. We need to make sure that we champion, mentor, and advocate for women through communities or networking opportunities to develop experiences and connections.

Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road Women are half of our population, so not tapping into that diverse talent pool would be a disservice to us all. I hope that in five years, we will have more women in STEM leadership, more girls entering STEM academic programs, and more women entering the workplace ready to take on corporate challenges in the STEM realm. To ensure that pipeline, however, we have to be intentional with early STEM development for girls and an intentional focus on expanding STEM opportunities for women.

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2021

Senior Manager

My credentials: Bachelor’s degree, computer science, Mumbai University; Master’s degree, computers and Information Science, Cleveland State University My work location: Los Angeles, California Words I live by: The best is yet to come. My personal philosophy: If you can dream it, you can do it. What I’m reading now: GRIT: The Power and Passion of Perseverance by Angela Duckworth My first Job: Computer lab assistant My favorite charity: Girls Who Code My interests: Listening to podcasts on Blockchain, and travelling My family: Husband and 6-year-old son Company: EY Industry: Consulting Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: 300,000+ CEO: Carmine Di Sibio

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The Changing World of STEM

STEM 5 Years down the Road

Technology is disrupting everything. You can either choose to be part of driving the disruption or watch it happen from the sidelines. In the coming years, we will see a shift in the skill sets needed in the workforce to perform a lot of the day-to-day tasks. Automation will likely eliminate a number of current jobs, but at the same time create the need for new kinds of jobs. School and college curricula will have to quickly be adapted to meet this growing new need and stay relevant. Our goal and responsibility should be that we build this new world filled with artificial intelligence, bots, and automation, and we make it equitable, just, and accessible for all people.

I want to see more women joining and staying in STEM jobs five years from now. I see huge growth in jobs in STEM fields, and my sincere hope is that women are part of riding this wave to drive the much-needed change. I hope there are more women in leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies and other big firms, thus accelerating their career growth and paving the way for the generations coming after them.

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My Own STEM Experience From being the only woman in a room of 10 or more men on a daily basis to feeling like my opinions don’t matter, I have experienced

some of the most of the challenges that women in STEM face. Building my confidence, realizing my selfworth, finding my voice, and fighting for my seat at the table have helped me grow professionally. And seeking feedback from trusted leaders and addressing bias have helped me thrive. STEM is an integral part of how we live and work today. It’s the best time to be part of this growth. I hope that the new world of technology helps alleviate some of the big problems that we are facing—from climate change to building trust in how businesses serve their customers. We should be grateful and hopeful for what our future holds, as we become an interplanetary species.

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AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Priyanka Garg


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Nitika Gupta Fiorella Principal

My credentials: JD, New York University School of Law; BE, chemical engineering & BA, political science, University of Delaware My work location: Wilmington, Delaware Words I live by: Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. My personal philosophy: The best way to excel at your work is to find a way to enjoy your work. What I’m reading now: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens My first Job: Math tutor My favorite charity: Women Against Abuse My interests: Traveling, watching Philadelphia Flyers hockey, and making cocktails My family: Loving husband, parents, sisters, brother-in-law, and nieces Company: Fish & Richardson P.C. Industry: Law. Intellectual Property Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 1,159 CEO: John C. Adkisson

The Changing World of STEM A woman in a chemical engineering class is not the unicorn she once was. We are certainly seeing more and more resources, programming, and incentives being devoted to increasing diversity in STEM fields, and I expect that will only continue in the future. We are seeing some industries and some specific companies take intentional steps to close the gender gap; the goal is to make that universal. We need to provide women opportunities to advance in STEM fields and help them succeed when they get those opportunities. Mentorship and sponsorship are critical to doing so. Making sure that women have the tools they need to get to the next level, and that they are supported by women who are already there, will help to usher in

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the next generation of women leaders in STEM. Breaking Down Barriers for Women in STEM The biggest barrier to closing the gender gap is lack of intentionality. We need to continue to work together to increase the accessibility to, and attractiveness of, all different types of STEM fields for women. Too often we leave these things to be pushed by societal change, as opposed to driving the change ourselves. STEM companies need to continue to be leaders in this endeavor by taking bold and intentional steps to recruit, retain, and advance women, and by trumpeting those steps to show service providers and other businesses the benefits of a diverse workforce.

My Own STEM Experience I have been fortunate over the years to have had many great mentors who helped shape my career in a STEM field. I have had the opportunity to work with women with very different backgrounds, different personalities, and different approaches to work and management. And I have seen them all succeed in their fields. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with men who recognize some of the difficulties women face in STEM fields and have tried to be part of the solution. I believe (and hope) that future generations will only see more and more of that.

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2021

Principal

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: PhD, Harvard University; JD, University of Texas My work location: Austin, Texas Words I live by: Trust yourself. My personal philosophy: Life is a team sport! What I’m reading now: Ask for More by Alexandra Carter My first Job: I worked at a shoe store in a mall. My favorite charity: Girlstart (www.girlstart.org) My interests: Gardening, cycling, and paddleboarding My family: Husband: Bill; adult children: Amelia, Juliet, Audrey, and Owen Company: Fish & Richardson P.C. Industry: Law Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 1,159 CEO: John C. Adkisson

Moving Women Forward in STEM To move women forward in STEM, we need to cultivate an environment that celebrates women’s accomplishments in STEM. Every woman headed up the STEM ladder needs to reach down and take others with her. And we need to encourage the men in our lives to do the same. Breaking Down Barriers for Women in STEM Barriers begin in K-12 settings, and are propagated through college and beyond. Girls need to see successful women in STEM and be encouraged to go boldly into what may be unknown and challenging territory. Barriers in the workplace include exclusivity and lack of flexibility. Acknowledging family respon-

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sibilities for men as well as women—and normalizing conversation about family commitments—will help reduce the gender gap as well. The advancement of women in STEM requires a significant investment in individuals, creating a pipeline of talent, and ensuring that the women in that pipeline don’t bail out for reasons like harassment, discrimination, lack of flexibility, lack of opportunity, and inequitable pay. There no magic cure. It is being in the trenches every day, encouraging others, standing up for others, promoting others, working together, and asking for more. My Own Experiences in STEM In my graduate chemistry program, there was one woman for every six men. The percentage of women practicing intellectual prop-

erty law in my office was much lower than that for many years. And now, although the percentage is higher, most of the women are in the lower and mid-level ranks. Still, I have always felt appreciated and respected. My current firm provides amazing professional development, mentoring, and career advancement opportunities. Being a woman in STEM is full of challenges and rewards. I have the satisfaction of doing what I love, making a contribution, and working with amazing colleagues. I see the challenges as opportunities to have meaningful conversations and find solutions that create a better workplace for all of us. Although recognition is nice, my greatest reward is watching the women I mentor grow, advance, and succeed.

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AWARD

Heather L. Flanagan, PhD


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Annie J. King Principal

My credentials: PhD, chemistry, MIT; JD, Suffolk University Law School My work location: Boston, Massachusetts Words I live by: Take pride in your work. My personal philosophy: Treat people with compassion and fairness. What I’m reading now: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden My first Job: Clerk at an office supply/stationary store My favorite charity: Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. (QARI) My interests: Growing and collecting orchids; I have over 100. My family: Married to a fellow attorney, and have a three-year-old daughter and a second child expected this spring Company: Fish & Richardson P.C. Industry: Intellectual property, patent law Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 1,159 CEO: John C. Adkisson

Increasing Diversity in STEM As a Chinese-American who grew up in San Francisco, I have always been inspired by role models who looked like me and had a similar background. Seeing their barrier-breaking successes in the face of adversity gave me confidence that I could make similar strides. One important way to grow diversity in STEM is for children, students, and young professionals to see that there are leaders who look like them and share their socio-economic background. It is important that these role models are not only more visible, but also that they actively participate in outreach and mentorship opportunities in their communities.

tendency to encourage young boys towards STEM fields, while young girls are less encouraged. This barrier to closing the gender gap is evident even at a very young age. I see it even in the toys that are advertised or suggested for my preschool-aged daughter—robots and trains for boys, dolls and kitchen sets for girls. Another important barrier is the unbalanced domestic responsibility placed on working mothers. Many women have difficulty continuing in their STEM career once they have children. There should be more support for working mothers, as well as less antiquated attitudes regarding the roles of both working mothers and fathers, so that fewer women will feel pressured to leave their STEM careers.

Barriers to Progress for Women in STEM

How the World is Changing with Regard to STEM

Despite progress, there is still a

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many needs in society that will require advances in STEM. The ongoing need for new vaccines and biotechnologies for COVID-19 and future threats calls for advances in biotechnology, health care, and technology. The rapid development of testing, therapeutics, and vaccines for COVID-19 has already re-emphasized the importance of STEM in our lives. And those applications were only possible based on years of fundamental scientific development by diverse researchers around the world. Similarly, technology research and innovation made it possible for many people to work and connect remotely when our way of life had to adapt. Many creative solutions from diverse contributors will be critical in facing the next set of challenges in our evolving world.

The pandemic has highlighted

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2021

Principal

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: BSE, bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley; JD, Northwestern University School of Law My work location: San Diego, California Words I live by: Figure it out as you go. My personal philosophy: Make someone else’s job (or life) easier every day. What I’m reading now: The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer My first Job: Oregon State University summer STEM program leader My favorite charity: Al Otro Lado My interests: Surfing, hiking, reading, and building things with my daughter My family: My husband, Dustin, and our 2-year-old daughter, Cailin Company: Fish & Richardson P.C. Industry: Law. Intellectual Property Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 1,159 CEO: John C. Adkisson

Increasing Diversity in STEM Although more and more women and minorities are being exposed to STEM fields, retention remains an issue. We need to devote time and energy to the advancement of underrepresented people within STEM, rather than just recruiting them. So much of STEM is still a boys’ club, where unwritten rules have been passed down for generations from man to man, without ever including people who don’t fit the mold. Often, those in power wonder why STEM fields continue to be male dominated when so many women have the talent to succeed. But those same people invite younger colleagues who look like them to lunch. Unofficial networking has a huge impact on the careers of junior people, and we need to make sure that is more equitable.

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Breaking Down Barriers for Women in STEM The biggest barrier to closing the gender gap is that the highest levels of power in both academia and industry are male dominated. More and more women begin college with a STEM major, but nowhere near 50 percent of graduates are women. Many women who begin STEM careers fall out within a decade, and very few make it to upper management. That has nothing to do with their abilities, but everything to do with the institutions that have dominated STEM for generations. Women are spoken over in meetings, their presentation styles are criticized or discounted, and their careers take a huge hit if they have children. Implicit bias against women—especially against women of color— halts their advancement. People tend to gravitate toward those who

make them feel comfortable—who think like them. That has kept STEM stagnant for generations, and has kept the gender gap alive and well. STEM 5 Years down the Road The next five years will likely be a rebuilding time for women in STEM. Some of the advancements we’ve seen over the past decade were erased by the pandemic. Women (especially mothers) have left the workforce at a much higher rate than men. We will need flexibility from companies and universities as classrooms and workplaces reopen. It is my hope that people who have had to take time away from work during the pandemic will be invited back into the workforce and given opportunities to succeed. I am hopeful because if anyone is prepared to overcome and succeed, it is the women who have pursued STEM.

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AWARD

Nicole Williams


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Anita Roach Vice President, Health Innovation Strategies

My credentials: MS, biochemistry, Georgetown University; BS, molecular biology & microbiology, University of Central Florida My work location: Arlington, Virginia Words I live by: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle My personal philosophy: Strive to find joy every day and appreciate every day you have. Every year older is a celebration. Every mistake offers a lesson to be learned. What I’m reading now: Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Dr. Sanjay Gupta My first Job: Burger King My favorite charity: FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) My interests: Strength training, mentoring, podcasts focused on working & motherhood My family: An amazing husband & two smart, wildly funny little girls Company: FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) Industry: Nongovernmental Organization Company Headquarters: Mclean, Virginia Number of employees: 45 CEO: Lisa Gable

Increasing Diversity in STEM In order to increase diversity in STEM fields, we need to do the following: • Encourage Black and Latinx students by providing opportunities to learn and engage, and by removing financial and social barriers • Recruit and build intentionally • Develop and advocate for affordable, accessible academic and professional opportunities for Black and Latinx individuals • Identify barriers that BIPOC health professionals may encounter when applying for funding and conference presentations and when submitting manuscripts

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• Ensure diversity in review panels and recognize that traditionally marginalized people do not have access to the same networks Moving Women Forward in STEM The lack of systemic investment in childcare and early childhood education is a key barrier to closing the gender gap in STEM. The pandemic has shown us that women bear the brunt of the childcare burden and are often made to decide between career and family. Investment in our childcare infrastructure can help with enabling more women to get in and stay in STEM fields. Engaging girls early on in a manner that normalizes women in STEM and creates opportunity and mentorship is also key.

My Experiences in STEM I have had the opportunity to have many female mentors who I not only learned from, but who also provided me with a variety of opportunities that helped pave a way for my career in STEM. I hope to do the same for the next generation of female STEM professionals. The past year has been a difficult one for so many, but especially for working women. Professional and personal support systems, including employers, care providers, and neighbors, have been so instrumental in determining whether or not women have been able to get in and stay in STEM this year, and will continue to be important.

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

2021

Vice President of Android Platform Engineering/Product Delivery

AWARD

Gunjan Singh

My credentials: BS, Harcourt Butler Technological Institute; MS, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee My work location: Novi, Michigan Words I live by: Teamwork, transparency, collective intelligence, compassion, can-do attitude, strong foundations, and out-of-box thinking My personal philosophy: I believe that we learn from every role and every assignment. No matter what the assignment, if you put 120% into it, you will improve during the process. What I’m reading now: I just finished American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar. I’m currently working on reading A Promised Land by Barack Obama, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni, A Fifty Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot, and Miracles Happen by Brian L. Weiss & Amy E. Weiss. My first Job: I was a design engineer at Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL). My favorite charity: Two of my favorite charities are Gleaners Community Food Bank and AIM for SEVA. My interests: My interests include travel, books, meeting new people, learning about history, renovation projects, and coaching and mentoring female talent. Company: HARMAN International Industry: Automotive Systems & Technology Company Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut Number of employees: 30,000+ CEO: Michael Mauser

Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap

those who pursue STEM careers.

strive to create inclusive learning environments.

Moving Women Forward in STEM A lack of female role models is one of the most foundational barriers to closing the STEM gender gap. Businesses must develop robust leave and transition policies, so female employees don’t have to choose between having a family and having a career. For example, HARMAN’s Fair Pay Practices program in India connects female engineers who’ve balanced work and home with new mothers returning to work. Businesses also need more programming focused on developing female talent. I’ve seen the benefits of such programs as a leader of the HARMAN Women’s Network. I’m proud that, today, women hold many top-ranking positions at HARMAN. Finally, less funding for early STEM education geared towards girls translates to fewer women in STEM fields and lower salaries for

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Studies show that women generally receive smaller grants then men, and that there are fewer STEM programs dedicated to women. This has real-world impact: women make about 20 percent less than men in STEM fields. To move women forward in STEM, we must close the funding gap. Most successful women in STEM claim that a mentorship or internship program helped them reach their career goals. HARMAN provides mentorships to future leaders through organizations like the 1,000 Dreams Fund and to current employees via associations like HARMAN’s Women’s Network. Ultimately, bolstering the presence of women in STEM must start at the beginning of young girls’ education. Educators need to correct their misconceptions regarding gender and STEM aptitude, and

Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road We must acknowledge that there is always more work to be done. The number of female role models in STEM is already increasing, and I think there will be a snowball effect as more women rise in the ranks and pull other strong female leaders along with them through mentorships and sponsorships. The presence of successful women in STEM inspires young women to pursue similar careers, which is why companies need to make a conscious effort to eliminate gender bias, offer equal opportunities and benefits, and provide ongoing support and education. In five years, I hope to see more women holding prestigious positions at top STEM companies like HARMAN.

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2021

Gina Becchetti

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Cofounder & Chief of Staff

My credentials: Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Santa Barbara My work location: San Jose, California Words I live by: Kindness. Compassion. Integrity. Resilience. Hustle. Flexible. Passion. Outcomes. Be brave. Innovate. Adventurous. Always think bigger. Always question. My personal philosophy: Give all of yourself in everything that you do. Lean in to help others wherever and whenever you can. Be open-minded and present, and listen carefully to the endless learning swirling around you, so you truly absorb and can apply it towards making a significant impact. My first Job: Assistant to an inspiring, female, prize-winning, international journalist My favorite charity: Hospice of Santa Barbara My family: My sons, Tommy and Charlie, drive my pursuit of being a strong role model and achieving a level of success that will support them with enough breathing room to be whoever they want to be, as their footprints become emboldened by age and experience. Company: Hypersonix Inc. Industry: Technology & Software Company Headquarters: San Jose, California Number of employees: >100 CEO: Prem Kiran

STEM Is Changing Our World STEM is at the heart of everything you see around you today. Data is the new oil, and technology is influencing and driving an evolution within every industry—retail, media, telecom, biotech, security, oil & gas, education, etc. All of these industries are fundamentally becoming tech-enabled businesses. Being part of a cutting-edge technology company, where we are achieving tomorrow’s innovations today, is exhilarating. I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else. Moving Women Forward in STEM Corporations, large and small,

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need to pursue internal programs that help identify and recognize top female talent. It is not a matter of promoting anyone in a minority position for the sake of balance, but rather recognizing strong talent that needs more help to be seen. We need to achieve a critical mass of women in leadership that can create a snowball effect, with women leaning in and supporting other women who want to build successful careers or take an entrepreneurial path. As a society, we need to find more creative and positive ways to establish social commitment and acceptance of women who take on key roles in technology and science fields, while recognizing and supporting the sacrifices that often

accompany such pursuits. Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road I think at least 25 percent of leadership positions, entrepreneurship, and world-changing roles will be led by women in the next five years. I say this as I see a stronger movement, growing awareness, and greater acceptance women leaders in every industry and region. Women are willing and able to take on any and every role that traditionally was male dominated. Technology will be at the heart of global growth over the next 50 years, and women will be playing a much more dominant role in leadership.

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2021

Director, Global Culinology

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: Diploma of Culinary Arts, pastry & baking, Institute of Culinary Education NYC (formerly Peter Kump’s NY Cooking School); Medical Technologist, United States Army Academy of Health Sciences My work location: Bridgewater, New Jersey Words I live by: “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt My personal philosophy: Lead by example and with empathy. What I’m reading now: A Promised Land by Barack Obama My first Job: U.S. Army Reserves medical technologist My favorite charity: World Central Kitchen & Feeding America My interests: Travel, reading, and cooking My family: Married with a tween daughter, 2 cats & 1 dog Company: Ingredion Inc. Industry: Food Development & Manufacturing Company Headquarters: Westchester, Illinois Number of employees: approximately 11,000 employees globally CEO: James P. Zallie

Increasing Diversity in STEM During this pandemic, we learned the importance of science in helping to save lives. I am hopeful that this will bring about greater engagement in academic and corporate settings to create a path for women from diverse backgrounds in the scientific community. Corporations and academia must work to diversify board representation, leverage external panels, and offer internship programs that excite and inspire tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. STEM pioneer Katalin Karikó, believed that her decades of mRNA research could be used for something truly groundbreaking. That work has been critical to the development of successful COVID-19 vaccines. Corporations need to partner with and support educators, researchers, and sociopolitical organizations to support initiatives designed to diversify STEM representation.

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Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap

Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road

The largest barrier is the underrepresentation of women. I currently serve on a nonprofit industry board for a food incubator whose mission is to add diverse board members and engage with industry leaders from different cultures and backgrounds. I am inspired to serve in this role and share my experiences with others. Taking the time to seek out and encourage talented women, and create an environment that allows for individuals to stretch themselves needs to be paramount. Many times, I see the industry take the path of least resistance, and use the same experts repeatedly for speaking engagements. We are also seeing more vocal advocacy from female leaders who are taking a stand by not participating in industry events that do not highlight diverse backgrounds, cultures, and genders.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many women to leave the workforce. I see this as setting us back in the short term. The good news is that, also because of the pandemic, new ways of working that many corporations have adopted will allow women greater flexibility so that, when they return to work, they will not have to choose work/life balance over their aspirations and career development. Women have found their voice as essential to their professional and personal growth. Academia and corporations are responding as personal and group advocacy increases. I see women as a driving force in all aspects of STEM and STEAM in five years. We all need to fearlessly advocate, mentor, and support movements that help us succeed in this industry.

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AWARD

Janet Carver


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Sarah Holloway, PhD Domain Intelligence Director, Kelly Science & Clinical

My credentials: BS, pharmacology, University of Bristol; PhD, pharmacology, University of Cambridge My work location: Chicago, Illinois Words I live by: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb My personal philosophy: The only thing that truly matters in life is the quality of your relationships. Pay attention to those and everything else becomes manageable. What I’m reading now: How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen My first Job: Medical Sales Representative, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer My favorite charity: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) My interests: Travel, food, hiking, and painting—Bob Ross style! My family: My fiancé, Matt, who I am marrying this year! Company: Kelly Industry: Workforce Solutions Company Headquarters: Troy, Michigan Number of employees: 7,100 CEO: Peter Quigley

My STEM Experience I’ve been very privileged in my career to have been supported by colleagues and leaders who valued me for my expertise and contributions—and in many cases, served as fantastic mentors who helped shape my career. It’s the reason that I am so passionate about mentorship and sponsorship—I’ve experienced first-hand the benefits in terms of career development. Identifying a mentor early on in your career is critical to your success—not just in STEM fields, but any field. I’ve had the privilege of serving as a mentor to others—both here in my role at Kelly and throughout my career— which has been a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. One of the best ways to achieve progress for women in STEM is to forge a path for others and lift them up when given the opportunity. There is a famous quote which I

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think sums this up perfectly: “Once you reach the top floor, remember to send the elevator back down for others.” There has never been a more exciting time to be a woman in STEM. The pandemic, as devastating and heartbreaking as it has been for me and so many others, has put a spotlight on STEM as a remarkable force for good. From the development of therapeutics and vaccines at unprecedented speed, to the feats of engineering required to produce and distribute them around the world, to the technology that has kept us all connected and together, despite being physically separated—the way STEM professionals have come together to solve the complex challenges before us is truly inspirational. As a woman in science, I have never felt more certain that I have chosen a career in which I can make a positive impact on the

world, and I hope that more women now, and well into the future, have the opportunity to experience that same passion. Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road In five years, I hope to see more women ascend to positions of leadership in business, academia, and perhaps, even the White House! The performance benefits for organizations with diverse leadership are clear. A 2019 analysis by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. For ethnic diversity, that metric increases to 36 percent. As more women ascend to positions of leadership, other women will realize that not only is it possible, but also that they belong in those positions.

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2021

Vice President, Kelly Government Solutions

AWARD

Sarah Porter

My credentials: MBA, commerce, Texas A&M University My work location: Baltimore, Maryland Words I live by: “I like to say it’s an attitude of not just thinking outside the box, but not even seeing the box.” – Safra Catz My personal philosophy: Always stay positive and don’t stop innovating, improving, and learning. I apply this philosophy to all aspects of my life, both personal and professional. What I’m reading now: The Future is Faster than You Think by Pete Diamandis and Steven Kotler My first Job: I have been working continuously since I was 15, first at a family-owned antique shop and then moving into retail management roles in my early career. My favorite charity: The NIH Children’s Inn. The Inn hosts families from all over the world coming to the National Institutes of Health for clinical treatments and studies. Their mission is to be a place like home for these families. My interests: Making anything, but primarily DIY home improvements and wood working. I also enjoy being active with my kids, their education and activities, as well as horseback riding and exercising. My family: Husband, Riley, of 19 years; 13-year-old son, Cameron; 10-year-old daughter, Bennett; and two Boston terriers, Stark and Hopper Company: Kelly Industry: Workforce Solutions Company Headquarters: Troy, Michigan Number of employees: 7,100 CEO: Peter Quigley

My STEM Experience Like many people I suspect, my career path has turned out to be quite different than I imagined it would when I graduated from college and joined the workforce. However, I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to work with a tremendous group of colleagues during my 14-year career with Kelly. Our company takes seriously its responsibility to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace in which everybody has an equal opportunity to succeed, which is evident in the number of women in senior leadership roles at the company. I’ve been fortunate to experience first-hand the benefits of direct and intentional mentorship from many leaders across Kelly who I know are invested in my continued growth. I also am proud to call several female STEM professionals my

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colleagues and team members. And for my part, I am committed to their development and success as well. A degree in STEM will open many doors for you, even if your career path takes you in a direction that is different from the traditional path in the field you chose. If you find yourself questioning your decision to pursue a degree and career in STEM, know that many women before you have confronted the same question, and trust that the possibilities ahead of you will make it all worthwhile. The rigor of an education in STEM, and the determination required to complete it, will instill in you the ability to analyze and conquer complex challenges—an invaluable skill, no matter your career path. You will encounter many obstacles throughout your career, and with the right mindset, you will overcome them and find fulfillment and success.

Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road If academia, companies, and other key stakeholders work together and take a deliberate approach to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture across STEM fields, we can dramatically improve representation of not only women in STEM, but other underrepresented groups as well. Doing so will bring diversity of thought, approach, and experience to STEM fields—all critical components of innovation. With many complex challenges facing society over the next five years and beyond—climate change, equitable access to clean water, and a global pandemic, among others—we need to bring everybody to the table and ensure everyone is heard in order to develop comprehensive solutions.

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2021

Counsel

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Heather Deixler

My credentials: JD, University of Washington School of Law; MPhil, University of Cambridge; BA, University of Pennsylvania My work location: Bay Area–Menlo Park and San Francisco, California Words I live by: This too shall pass. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite expressions and it always helps me get through the hard times. My personal philosophy: Work hard and be nice. And be a team player. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when people work together and are kind. What I’m reading now: The Seine: The River that Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino My first Job: Ice cream scooper at Friendly’s My favorite charity: San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust My interests: Running and hiking in Marin, spending time at the beach with my family, and spending time in France My family: I am married to my wonderful husband and we have two sons (6 and 9). My parents also moved out from New York to take care of our kids while my husband and I work, so they are very much a part of our little family unit. We couldn’t do this without them! Company: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 5,400 CEO: Rich Trobman, Chair and Managing Partner

Closing the Gender Gap in STEM STEM fields are still largely dominated by men. This means that young women have fewer role models to whom they can relate. I had wonderful mentors who guided me and helped shape my career. And yet, looking back, I realize that all of my mentors until I went to medical school were men. So I consciously mentor younger women, and I am aware of these sometimes unconscious barriers. I do my best to instill in these women the kind of confidence I see more often in their male counterparts. And I encourage them to embrace the support they will undoubtedly receive from male mentors as well.

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Moving Women Forward in STEM We can start by removing cultural barriers: changing how we approach math and science education for children as early as elementary school, reframing the narrative around girls’ skills in math and science; and making sure we encourage girls to pursue STEM subjects. We also have to create more opportunities for young women to compete in these fields, including providing a clearer picture of what career paths and jobs are out there in STEM. As a lawyer, it is truly an honor to be recognized for my work in a STEM field. That’s exactly the kind of open thinking that will make our field more approachable and attract women to STEM careers in labs, classrooms, or courtrooms.

Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road I think opportunities for women in STEM will continue to improve. The more women who are working in these professions, the easier it will be for girls to imagine a future doing similar work. I have noticed that some women in STEM tend to downplay their accomplishments, which I find interesting. I can think of several brilliant women I know—including a neuroscience professor at a highly esteemed institution—who are somewhat nonchalant about their accomplishments. I think this quality of being understated can be an asset when dealing with clients. I have found a lot of value in being relatable. People feel like they can tell me things and talk with me comfortably, rather than feel intimidated by a high-powered big law persona.

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18th Annual International Innovations in Diversity Awards

Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 18th Annual International Innovation in Diversity Awards honor organizations and institutions around the world that are developing innovative solutions for today’s pressing workforce challenges in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and human equity. The awards showcase diversity success and discovery and are open across all industry sectors and geographical regions. The objective of the awards is encouraging ongoing development and enhancement of programs, projects, and practices for increasing diversity, creating inclusive environments, and fostering cultural and individual understanding. The goal is opening pathways so diversity becomes a strategic advantage worldwide.

Nominations for the 2021 Innovations in Diversity Awards will open in August.

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Associate

AWARD

Rebecca (Reba) Rabenstein

My credentials: PhD, MPhil, neuroscience, Yale University; JD, University of Michigan; BS, psychology, Ohio State University My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: Always be mindful of context--whether it’s remembering the things in life that are truly important or reminding yourself that each person you interact with has had different life experiences that may result in them seeing an issue differently than you do. My personal philosophy: Live with empathy. Life throws troubles and gifts at everyone— just not the same ones. Recognize that some people may be better at some things than you are, and others may face challenges you never will. What I’m reading now: Almost anything in the fantasy or sci-fi genres. Personal favorites that I repeatedly dip into are stories by N.K. Jemisin, Terry Pratchett, or Douglas Adams. My first Job: Stable Crew at a summer camp, which involved taking care of the horses, cleaning stalls, and teaching riding lessons. My favorite charity: ASPCA and other organizations devoted to animal welfare My interests: Fantasy and sci-fi genres generally (books, movies, TV); how the mass of protein, fat, salt, and water that is our brains works; and spending time with friends and family My family: Is who you make it. I am fortunate in that so many friends have taken me in as family after the deaths of my parents. I am grateful and care for them all as if they are blood relations. Company: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 5,400 CEO: Rich Trobman, Chair and Managing Partner

My STEM Experience STEM has always been an interest in my life. As a child, I saw one of my mother’s high school students have a seizure, which led me to wonder what caused it and how I might be able to help. Years later in graduate school, I researched cellular and molecular changes in the brain associated with learning and memory formation, and how those pathways are taken over by chronic drug use. Currently, I spend my days learning about the technology underlying the cutting-edge medical therapies my clients have developed and translating that technology into terms that help the general public understand it. What I truly enjoy about my practice as a trial lawyer focusing on patent litigation and arbitration

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in the life sciences field is that my work allows me to continuously learn about and help protect numerous different scientific advances that can improve or save lives. My advocacy also allows me to help teach the broader public (including attorneys, judges, juries, and others) about these innovations and why they matter. As for being a woman in a STEM career in 2020, it’s still an uphill slog. Experts may doubt your scientific acumen. For example, to draw on an experience a female colleague had a few years ago, an expert witness suggested that she might better understand what a surfactant (i.e., a soap) was if she had spent more time in the kitchen washing dishes. Opposing counsel may—in an example from my own experience—say on a meet and

confer that you “sound just like my mom” when you ask for contact information. These types of slights are challenges that male colleagues likely will not face. Find and know your support networks in advance, and don’t be afraid to lean on them to help you shake it off—or respond in a more remedial manner if you so desire and circumstances allow. I have been fortunate in that I have had multiple mentors and support networks throughout my career that have helped (and continue to help) me do just that. That said, I am heartened to see a greater focus and willingness to talk about these issues, which will, I hope, translate into reduced negative impact on future women in STEM careers.

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2021

Patricia Young

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Partner

My credentials: JD, Harvard Law School; SB, chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; SB, economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology My work location: Bay Area–Menlo Park and San Francisco, California Words I live by: Always do your best. My personal philosophy: Be honest, be objective, be authentic, and smile. What I’m reading now: Do cookbooks count? The Food of Taiwan by Cathy Erway My first Job: As a dutiful daughter, helping my parents at their dry cleaning business. Paid, teaching violin. My favorite charity: World Wildlife Fund; Rainforest Trust My interests: Travel, gardening, painting, and music My family: My partner, Kevin, and I have been together almost 20 years; we have a pet bunny. Company: Latham & Watkins LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: none Number of employees: 5,400 CEO: Rich Trobman, Chair and Managing Partner

Increasing Diversity in STEM

Moving Women Forward in STEM

The Changing STEM World

We have to get children of all backgrounds excited about STEM at an early age; it just requires a strong foundation. If you don’t enjoy science or math at least by high school, you’re not going to suddenly decide to major in engineering in college. And even if you did, it would be a huge challenge. Exposing students to role models who look like them is an important step—the earlier the better. When I was growing up, my parents owned a dry cleaner and the only professionals I knew were their customers. I didn’t know what any of them did—just that they wore suits every day. So I went to college thinking I wanted to be an investment banker. I found my way over time, but I think it would have been easier if, as a child, I had known someone in STEM.

I encourage women to study STEM in college. You aren’t locked into being a scientist or engineer your entire life, and once you have a strong technical background, no one can ever take that away from you. The problem-solving skills you’ll gain in science or engineering will be really valuable in law or banking. I grew up liking science, but never saw myself in the lab long term. I gave it a try, including a summer internship at a pharmaceutical company. And at MIT, I worked in a lab with a grad student who had a startup. But he explained that patent lawyers were really important to his business, which got me thinking about patent law. I think if you’re directly involved in a STEM field early on, it gives you some flexibility to either be a scientist or find an adjacent area that maybe doesn’t require a lab coat.

The fact that we’re even talking about it is a huge change. Technology is so central to our daily lives; I think that familiarity makes STEM much more prominent. Ironically, the pandemic has placed medical science front and center. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation without talking about vaccines right now. Last year everyone was hyper-aware of clinical trials and FDA approval timelines. We have incredibly effective vaccines in an amazingly short period of time— this simply wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago. In some ways STEM seems more accessible than ever, not just to some brainiac scientist in a lab, but to all of us.

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Partner

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: JD, The John Marshall Law School; PhD, tumor cell biology, Northwestern University; BS, biology, Bradley University My work location: Chicago, Illinois Words I live by: Be flexible and take advantage of opportunities when they arise because you do not know how long these opportunities will be available. My personal philosophy: I learn by doing, so when I have a new opportunity or task I tend to jump into a situation head first. What I’m reading now: The Leavers by Lisa Ko My first Job: Cashier at a grocery store My favorite charity: Chicago Volunteer Legal Services; Girls 4 Science My interests: Organizing STEM events for middle school and high school girls, gardening, cooking, reading, and watching my sons play little league My family: I am married to John McKendrick and have two sons, Ian (age 13) and Sean (age 10). Company: Marshall, Gerstein, and Borun LLP Industry: Patent Law Company Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois Number of employees: ~200 CEO: Jeffrey S. Sharp, Managing Partner

... people of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds are developing an interest in STEM subjects.

My STEM Experience I was fortunate to have great female and male mentors to help guide and support me in both graduate school and in my legal career. I experienced gender bias during both undergraduate and graduate school, but this bias was outweighed by the support I received from my mentors. For example, my graduate advisor frequently expressed his view that woman are allegedly not as dedicated to science as their male counterparts, and that women are more easily distracted from their research. As a woman, I felt I was frequently being compared to the men in the lab, and I had to work harder to

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prove my dedication. In response, I looked to other women in the lab for guidance, and I asked respected female professors to be on my thesis committee. When I decided to move from the research lab to the legal field, I also looked to women mentors to help advise me in this transition. Finally, my mentors at Marshall Gerstein have been instrumental for my success as a patent attorney. Take advantage of mentoring opportunities, both to learn from more experienced mentors and to provide support and guidance to more junior women and men. STEM in a Changing World I believe STEM is becoming

more mainstream and STEM careers are more accessible to people from all walks of life. For example, my sons now have a STEM course in elementary school in addition to their normal science class. The importance of STEM in everyday life is becoming general knowledge, and as a result, people of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds are developing an interest in STEM subjects. Accessibility to these STEM subjects is increasing as well. Hopefully, this increased accessibility will cause more diverse people to pursue careers in the STEM fields, and leaders will realize the value of having diverse teams.

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AWARD

Sharon M. Sintich, PhD


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Kate Nuehring Su Patent Attorney

My credentials: BS, biomechanical engineering, Stanford University; JD cum laude, Northwestern University My work location: Chicago, Illinois Words I live by: Always stay humble and kind. My personal philosophy: Lift others as you climb. What I’m reading now: The Searcher by Tana French My first Job: Working on my family’s farm in rural Iowa My favorite charity: Chicago Lights; Cabrini Green Legal Aid My interests: Podcasts of all kinds, yoga, feminism, faith, parenthood, marriage, and friendships My family: Husband, Devlin; daughter, Charlotte (2 years old); and a tight-knit extended family Company: Marshall, Gerstein, and Borun LLP Industry: Patent Law Company Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois Number of employees: ~200 CEO: Jeffrey S. Sharp, Managing Partner

Increasing Diversity in STEM We need successful diverse role models in STEM fields in order to demonstrate to diverse potential STEM-ers that success is possible. Those of us who are already somewhat established have the responsibility to “lift as we climb,” that is to advance our own careers while simultaneously mentoring and encouraging those a few steps behind us. We also need STEM organizations to step up to support their diverse employees in these endeavors. This sometimes means adjusting a corporate culture, making accommodations for the needs of diverse employees, or rethinking the criteria truly necessary to scale the career ladder. Bringing Down Gender Barriers in STEM Thoughtless tradition can oper-

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ate against the inclusion of women in STEM fields. For example, based on current estimates, only about 18 percent of those registered to prosecute patents before the USPTO are women. Some women who have the technical ability to prosecute some types of patents are prevented from doing so because the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) qualifications for taking the patent bar do not include the type of degree they earned. For example, they did not earn an undergraduate degree in a traditional male-dominated field, such as electrical engineering. However, this would not prevent them from prosecuting patents in their own specific field of study. To its credit, the USPTO has recently issued a request for comments on proposed changes to requirements for admission to the patent bar to address this issue.

Moving Women Forward in STEM The Highwomen have a song that identifies women as “a critical reason there’s a population.” The reality is that women disproportionately bear the burdens of reproduction, and if we want to retain and promote women in STEM, we must acknowledge this fact. In the short term, we must offer more generous paid maternity leave, provide opportunities to breast pump or breastfeed, and support paternity/ partner leave. In the long term, that looks like reconsidering what a work day or career ladder needs to look like. When the pandemic hit, many companies were able to change to a remote-only environment with far fewer hiccups than expected. If that kind of massive change is possible practically overnight, I am convinced that far more flexibility could be granted to mothers who want to advance in their STEM careers.

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Partner

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Susan S. Jackson

My credentials: JD, Wake Forest University School of Law; BS, chemical engineering, Clemson University My work location: Charlotte, North Carolina Words I live by: It’s a marathon not a sprint. My personal philosophy: Be Grateful. What I’m reading now: Your Golden Retriever Puppy—Month by Month by Terry Albert My first Job: Babysitter My favorite charity: RunningWorks.org My interests: Cooking, watching movies, and puzzles My family: Dad, George, husband, Mark, 2 sons, Alex and Kenneth, and new puppy, Bailey Company: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Columbia, South Carolina Number of employees: 1,596 CEO: James K. Lehman

... we need to support and sponsor other women seeking to begin a STEM career or advance in a STEM field.

The Changing World of STEM Our global economy is dependent upon technology. Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives and is all around us. Even young children are exposed to and use technology on a daily basis at school and at home. As a result, the public is becoming more receptive to recognizing individuals working in STEM fields. I believe that this is particularly true in light of the ongoing pandemic, which has the entire world working to find a scientific solution to protect and save people’s lives.

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Moving Women Forward in STEM As women in STEM, we need to support and sponsor other women seeking to begin a STEM career or advance in a STEM field. It is important to serve as a sponsor for other women and to provide them with opportunities. Sharing experiences and lessons learned is particularly important in helping ensure that the women who follow us do not make the same mistakes we did and achieve their goals even sooner than we did.

My STEM Experience As an engineering student and a practicing patent attorney, I have experienced being in a male-dominated environment, However, I believe that experience has not been a negative, but rather, a positive one, as it has motivated me to do my very best to succeed despite the odds. I went to law school to be a patent attorney and to use my technical skills and knowledge in STEM every day in helping others protect their intellectual property. I believe that it is important to share the lessons I have learned with young women who also have an interest in STEM and the legal profession.

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2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Natalie Shapiro Vice President & Head of Service Technology

My credentials: Master’s degree, information systems, Pace University; Bachelor’s & Master’s (combined) degrees, physics and math, Belarusian State Pedagogical University My work location: Clinton, New Jersey Words I live by: “People may not remember what you said, or what you did, but they always remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou My personal philosophy: Treat people the way you want to be treated. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. What I’m reading now: Rereading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari My first Job: Summer camp counselor My favorite charity: Animal rescue and medical research charities My interests: Travel, architecture, photography, and cooking My family: Husband, and a grown son Company: New York Life Industry: Insurance Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: 11,000 CEO: Ted Mathas

Closing the STEM Gender Gap

Moving Women Forward in STEM

There are many barriers we need to overcome as a society to close the gender gap in STEM. I believe the most critical barrier is the gender stereotypes that society often encourages. Stereotypical gendered behaviors often begin with societal, community, and family expectations, and form these norms, which can lead to gender-based role expectations in boys and girls beginning at an early age. To close the gender gap, we will have to start chipping away at these perceived norms in small incremental steps. Our society must reflect on how decisions and policies being made today help to perpetuate this issue.

We need to have more women in positions of leadership! Representation is key to others feeling as though they can achieve leadership roles themselves. Having female role models to look up to and female mentors to share experiences with is invaluable for building a career in STEM. Movies, books, and social media also have an important role to play in encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM. Movies like Hidden Figures or On a Basis of Sex are likely to inspire generations of women to choose careers in male-dominated professions, challenge the status quo, advocate for themselves, and rise to leadership positions in their fields. I vividly remember reading Lean

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In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. Every word of the book resonated, inspired, and helped me to advance my career. Don’t be afraid, seek and speak your truth, be assertive, find mentors, get a seat at the table, and make opportunistic lateral moves are all pieces of advice that I often give to other women. Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road I am hopeful that in 5 years, we will start seeing more women move into leadership roles in male-dominated fields like STEM. I suspect that women CIOs and CEOs will no longer be rare or unusual. I am certain that the steps we are taking today to challenge gender biases will help to get us there.

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

2021

Senior. Director, Technology Product Management; Head of Risk and Regulation

My credentials: BSC, economics, Instituto Technologico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic My work location: London UK Words I live by: Health, freedom, love, and dance My personal philosophy: Be Comfortable with being uncomfortable. What I’m reading now: Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou and Caged Lion by John H. Steel My first Job: Ballet teacher for girls between 4 and 6 years old My favorite charity: Chicas en Technologia My interests: Dance and Pilates My family: I come from a large Caribbean family that revolves around my maternal grandmother: an entrepreneurial fearless woman who is now 94 and still rocking life. I am the eldest daughter of 3 siblings. Company: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services & Credit Ratings Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: 20,000+ CEO: Douglas Peterson

Increasing Diversity in STEM When I think of diversity, what comes to mind is diversity of thinking: how do we analyze and respond when faced with challenging situations? This kind of diversity is formed at a very early age, from the experiences we have at home and in our neighborhoods, schools, communities, etc. I think schools play a pivotal role here; they can continue to expand the curricula to include more STEM related subjects/programs. This way, children can grow up seeing their peers—male and female—develop an interest, and later, a career in STEM, and have that be normal. Another way to increase diversity is to look for talent in individuals with nonstandard backgrounds in

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unfamiliar places when recruiting. While it is critical to have the right qualifications to be successful in a STEM career, I think the recruiting process could be more creative in how and where it searches for candidates. For example, the technology and film industries have a lot more in common than you would expect. They both develop products through an iterative process using advanced technology and taking into account customer feedback through the process. This crosspollination between industries could bring about some interesting paths for employees and candidates. Moving Women Forward in STEM Let’s go to the source of the next generation of professionals: our schools! I am a big fan of the work

that organizations like Chicas en Technologia do. They foster STEM education and vocational programs for young girls with a view to closing the gender gap and bringing diversity to STEM industries. They create spaces, courses, and events where young girls can be curious, meet others who want understand the different career paths that the STEM industries offer, and decide whether they want to pursue further education. Also, STEM education needs to be more financially accessible. Organizations like Per Scholas are making a contribution by creating tuition-free programs and providing skills-based training and access to employer networks for individuals who would otherwise have no access to STEM positions.

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AWARD

Annya Marte Jaquez


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Ketki Lamba Associate Director, Quality Engineering, S&P Global Platts

My credentials: Master’s degree, computer applications, Banasthali Vidyapith My work location: Gurgaon, Haryana, India Words I live by: “Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.” – William Arthur Ward My personal philosophy: Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you intend when you do a thing will always determine the outcome. This law creates your world for you! – Brenna Yovanoff What I’m reading now: Good to Great by Jim Collins My first Job: Software Engineer, Aricent Technologies (now Capgemini Engineering) My favorite charity: CRY; a non-governmental organization that helps restore the rights of children to build a society that promises equality, justice, and dignity to all irrespective of their birth. My interests: Reading and volunteering My family: A supportive husband and a talented 9-year-old daughter Company: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: 20,200 CEO: Douglas L. Peterson

Increasing Diversity in STEM

The Changing World of STEM

We need to work on two areas here: one, making children (girls) aware of the different areas that can be explored in the field of STEM and two, increasing awareness around diversity and inclusion in the organizations that currently offer roles in STEM. While one will ensure more participation through early education and help increase the representation of women in STEM careers, two will bring about a mindset change so that we are able to create a more inclusive environment in which diverse individuals may thrive at work. When organizations are truly committed to making a difference and increasing diversity at all levels, change happens.

STEM is becoming an integral part of our daily lives. We are increasingly more dependent on technology and engineering than ever before; we use it to find solutions to local, as well as global problems. We are also living through a collective realization of how understanding science has tangible and practical implications in our daily lives. Hence, there is a need to include STEM skills in the basic definition of literacy if we want to empower the next generation to address global challenges. Teaching science, technology and engineering skills for the real world has never been more important. Moving Women Forward in STEM Addressing organizational, cultural, and gender inequities that pre-

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vent organizations from attracting and retaining women in STEM can serve as a big step in this direction. These might simply translate to having flexible work policies and arrangements, policies to sustain the extended roles in STEM, mentoring partnerships with universities, and opportunities to let women thrive in their current roles by valuing what they bring to the table. Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road Increased support from individuals and organizations committed to making a difference will eventually provide a platform that allows women to bring their authentic selves to work. We are slowly moving to a world wherein diversity is no longer seen as an option but an essential cultural value to have.

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Director of Cloud Architecture

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: Master of Computer Applications, RGPV, Bohpal My work location: India Words I live by: Be ambitious and always believe in yourself. My personal philosophy: Always act with integrity and believe in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam What I’m reading now: The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, PhD My first Job: Engineering trainee My favorite charity: Charity that works for child welfare My interests: Reading and dancing My family: I am married to Ram Sharma and blessed with a 10-year-old son, Hriday Sharma Company: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: 20,200 CEO: Douglas L. Peterson

Increasing Diversity in STEM Education is the key. I believe all of us should work towards making sure everyone, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, should get a proper education. We must expose young minds to STEM fields and encourage those who are interested to follow their hearts and minds. Moving Women Forward in STEM Mentoring is one of the key aspects. We need to mentor women to help them take their “seat at the table” and not “leave before you leave” (as Sheryl Sandberg said in her book, Lean In). Mentors can help make sure women keep going and do not quit.

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Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road I see women growing and acquiring critical positions. As time passes, more and more women around the world have access to education; they are more aware of opportunities and career choices. Not just women, but people around them, are tuned in to the importance of building women’s futures. Slowly, but positively, we are increasing the support system for women in STEM. My STEM Experience My experience as a woman in a STEM career has been both enriching and challenging. Throughout my education and career, I have had deep support from my mother; she always supported me to follow my dreams and pursue whatever I

wanted. I had many setbacks and challenges, but with my support system I came out of each one of them as a better person. I am fortunate enough to have had the right mentors to guide me. I still remember the first advice I got from one of mentors: Learn to manage your finances; do not be dependent on anyone -- be independent. And my partner is a real partner -- he always helps me with all duties. When our son born, never for a day did I feel it was only MY duty; it was always OUR duty. Being women leader in a STEM career in 2020 is amazing. We are fortunate to have career choices, opportunities which our mothers never got. All of us should work together so that each woman can achieve higher success and follow her dreams.

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AWARD

Sajal Mahajan


2021

AWARD

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Bindu Majumdar Head of Service Delivery for Ratings Technology

My credentials: BS, electrical engineering, Northern Illinois University My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill My personal philosophy: Work hard, have integrity and be true to yourself. What I’m reading now: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth My first Job: Information technology analyst at Andersen Consulting (Accenture) My favorite charity: Eden Institute, provider of Autism Services My interests: Spending time with family and friends, running, and cycling. My family: I am married and have two teenage daughters. I am blessed to have support from my husband, daughters, parents, sisters, and my in-laws. Each of them of has guided me to who I am and continue to be each day. Company: S&P Global Industry: Financial Services Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: 20,200 CEO: Douglas L. Peterson

My STEM Experience As a woman in a STEM career, my experience, or my story, like many others, is unique to me. My professional story includes having two jobs during my career, with a gap, when I was fortunate enough to pause and spend time with my young daughters. Areas that helped move me forward as I transitioned back into the workforce included a tremendous amount of support from my husband and my family. I would not be in the position that I am now, nor performing at the level I am, without the support of my family. Studying for and passing the PMP exam was an accreditation that not only bolstered my self-confidence, but also demonstrated to me that I still had the ability to have a career as I started to re-enter the workforce.

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Through professional relationships, I was able to join S&P Global, initially as a consultant and then as a full time employee. My story has been filled with many successes and firsts, as well as setbacks and failures. Each experience provided me the opportunity to grow, collaborate, learn, and coach others. What I would like your readers to know about being a woman in a STEM career in 2020 is that it is not only rewarding, but also challenging, as the discipline is evolving so quickly due to automation. As my daughter says, it may not be rainbows and chocolate all of the time; be prepared for that. When possible, seek out mentors or leaders within your organization who can support you; in turn, you should also be a mentor to other women in your organization.

Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road In five years, I see women in STEM closing the pay parity gap, more women leaders, and more women being recruited into these fields. I think our experience with COVID-19 will be a contributing factor to more women embracing STEM. Early childhood and higher education will be forever changed, with the acceptance of hybrid learning delivered through technology. Our mothers, daughters, fathers of daughters, and brothers of sisters who have been exposed to STEM will help make our future workforce more diverse, accepting, and supportive. Women may continue to be underrepresented in fields like engineering and computer science, but I believe growth will continue.

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Director

AWARD

Marsha Rose Gillentine, PhD

My credentials: JD, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School; PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; BS, Berry College My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: Live life to the fullest. My personal philosophy: Live life without regrets. What I’m reading now: My daughter and I are reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riorda My first Job: Babysitter My favorite charity: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training My interests: Reading, spending time with family, and introducing my daughter to cooking My family: Husband and daughter Company: Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Washington, DC Number of employees: 400 CEO: Michael B. Ray (Managing Director)

Increasing Diversity in STEM Increasing diversity in STEM begins with exposing young girls to various aspects of science in everyday settings and emphasizing how much fun it can be. For instance, I taught chemistry as a form of magic at my daughter’s Harry Potter-themed eighth birthday party! As the co-leader of a Brownie Girl Scout troop, I also introduce elementary-aged girls to biology, coding, and even astrophysics in fun and easy-to-understand ways, and encourage them to expand their learning in these fields. If we nurture girls’ curiosity for STEM disciplines, as opposed to stigmatizing it or treating their scientific classes at school like a burden, they will feel more inspired to explore STEM careers when they grow up.

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Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap The biggest barrier I see to closing the gender gap in STEM is getting young girls interested in these fields, particularly computer science, physics, and engineering. We need to determine creative and effective methods to not only excite girls about STEM at a young age, but also continue to encourage them through their higher education and entrance into the workforce. I was fortunate to experience support from my professors throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies in biology, but my classes were at least 50 percent female. For the classroom and professional settings with gender gaps, however, women need more role models across all scientific fields to demonstrate success and provide guidance.

Moving Women Forward in STEM One of the key components of moving women forward in STEM is identifying female role models and mentors in underrepresented fields like engineering, mathematics, physics, and computer science. I have been blessed to receive invaluable mentorship throughout my career (which has come primarily from male supervisors), but I know that not everyone has those opportunities. I would like to see more women in STEM fields serve as mentors, so that other women in their specific fields can see themselves succeeding and learn from their mentors’ experiences, both positive and negative. I also encourage women to advocate for themselves by seeking out mentorship from women they admire.

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Bonnie W. Nannenga-Combs, PhD Director

My credentials: JD, Seattle University School of Law; PhD, Baylor College of Medicine; BA, Hope College My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall My personal philosophy: Be skeptical, but keep an open mind. What I’m reading now: The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age by David Callahan My first Job: Trimming trees on a Christmas tree farm My favorite charity: Horton’s Kids My interests: Art, education, and nature My family: Married, with two children Company: Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Washington, DC Number of employees: 400 CEO: Michael B. Ray (Managing Director)

Closing the STEM Gender Gap We can down old gender stereotypes by making STEM education relatable and accessible to all, rather than presented in a context traditionally only relatable to a subset of kids. My first exposure to physics in school included examples primarily based on baseball, cars, and artillery cannons, which were not relatable or interesting to me. Diversifying and broadening the way we teach, and avoiding gender bias in the classroom, will help make the foundational concepts in STEM accessible to a wider audience of students. Additionally, increasing the number of women teachers and mentors in STEM fields can help close the gender gap. A woman choosing a STEM career is often facilitated by having a female role model. For example, my high school advanced biology teacher was one of the few women

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instructors I had in high school and college. I gained confidence in her class and participated more than in my other STEM courses. I had excellent male mentors during college and graduate school, but as I started my career, I sought guidance from women in the field. The rise of women in leadership shows the younger generation that success in STEM is attainable. Moving Women Forward in STEM To move women forward in STEM, employers need to provide early opportunities for women to advance in their careers, including putting women forward for project leadership roles, committee positions, speaking engagements, and professional development and publishing opportunities. Gaining valuable experience early in your career can lead to advancement opportunities, the development of niche expertise, and recognition as an expert.

We need to see more women acknowledged as the “go-to” authorities in their fields. This will contribute to an increase in female role models across the STEM disciplines. Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road The changes to the way we learn, work, and interact with family that developed over the past year will likely impact women in STEM over the next five years. Now that remote working is more widespread, women may have more options regarding work schedules and career moves that fit their lifestyles. However, the added pressure of “around the clock” availability can disproportionately affect women who are balancing home life responsibilities. I hope the new norm will provide a more even playing field as women take advantage of these changes.

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Partner

Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

My credentials: JD cum laude, Harvard Law School; BS summa cum laude, mechanical engineering, University of Maryland, College Park My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: Treat others with the same dignity and respect as you would expect to receive. My personal philosophy: Never set a ceiling for yourself. What I’m reading now: Becoming by Michelle Obama My first job: UMCP Engineering Career Center student advisor My favorite charity: NAACP Legal Defense Fund My interests: Spending time with my family, traveling, yoga, and cheering for my children at their sporting events My family: My husband is a financial advisor at Voya Financial; we have three children, Aiden (age 9), Avery (age 7), and Ava Rose (age 3). Company: WilmerHale Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts & Washington, DC Number of employees: 1,931 CEO: Susan Murley and Robert Novick (Managing Partners)

The Changing STEM World Women are becoming more widely recognized for their work and contributions to STEM. In October 2020, two women—Emanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna—shared the Nobel Prize in a scientific field for the first time. However, previous years looked much different. In 2019, for example, nine individuals won Nobel Prizes in the three scientific fields— physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine. All nine were men. Most of them were white. While it is encouraging that women are receiving much deserved recognition for their contributions, the world still has a long way to go. Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road I hope to see more women in

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positions of leadership in science and technology companies. The vast majority of C-suite positions in the life sciences and technology sectors are held by men. My hope is this will change in the future, as more women are advancing in these areas. Increasing diversity in STEM fields brings with it benefits for society at large. Technological advances and innovation are important for stimulating economic growth and solving the many issues facing this country and the world at large. As a society, it is critical that we have a diverse group of people in leadership positions who are tasked with tackling these problems—people who can bring different and unique perspectives and solutions to the forefront. Increasing the representation of women in positions of leadership is one important step toward reaching that goal.

My Own STEM Experience For the past nine years, I have represented clients navigating a variety of intellectual property challenges. One of the things I love most about the job is that each case presents a unique opportunity to learn about different areas of technology and innovation. Over the past several years, I have learned about how cell phones communicate with cell towers, the technology that allows the postal service to sort millions of pieces of mail every day, the techniques that surgeons use to conduct complex medical procedures, and many other technologies. Every case brings a new challenge, and I never cease to be amazed by the incredible work science and technology companies do every day.

www.diversityjournal.com

AWARD

Brittany Blueitt Amadi


2021

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Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL

Natasha Desai Director, Product Management

My credentials: Master’s degree, math & special education, St. John’s University My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: A little Mase & P. Diddy and a little me: “Breathe, stretch, shake, let it go… and have happy thoughts.” Whatever scenario life throws my way, this applies. My personal philosophy: Progress isn’t about falling less; it’s about being better at getting up. What I’m reading now: Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal My first job: Teaching piano and tutoring when I was in middle school My favorite charity: Donors Choose; as a former educator, I’ve seen first-hand the amazing impact this organization has on school communities, including teachers, students, and classrooms. My interests: Indian Dance; I have trained in classical Indian dance and teach Bollywood dance classes. From a young age the mathematics in music and movement attracted me, and the years of training taught me discipline and humility. As an adult, I am blessed that my passion has evolved with me. My family: My nuclear unit/quarantine pod: My rock star husband, Rajas, and adorable mini-golden doodle, Ebbett Company: Xandr Industry: Advertising Technology Company Headquarters: New York, New York Number of employees: ~1,500 CEO: Mike Welch

Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap I read a great article last year by Terri Williams on W2.0 that spoke to this issue, and it resonated with me. One thing she mentioned was stereotypes between genders. These are deeply rooted in our culture and start at an early age, when we walk down the toy aisle and see a distinct divide between Barbie and Superman. While sometimes subtle, these can greatly impact our ability to confidently pursue anything. As we grow up, these gender normative stereotypes continue. Women too often are subject to statements like, “Girls are sweet and pretty, and boys are smart and strong,” or “Good girls don’t act like this,” and “So, when are you getting married?” or “When are you having children?”

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Yes, many strides have been made, but this isn’t about seeing Superman excited about going to his Malibu beach house in high heels supporting disproportionate dimensions, nor is this is about seeing Barbie fight bad guys. What it’s about is representation.

goals. Opening Slack channels to celebrate successes, hosting hackathons that provide employees opportunities to solve complex challenges in creative ways, engaging with nonprofits, and creating open forums with leadership are just a few ways we do this.

Moving Women Forward in STEM

What Else I’d Like Readers to Know

The answer to moving anyone forward in STEM is simple: opportunity. From education to visibility in the workplace and leadership positions to networking, support from peers and colleagues alike to provide equal opportunity is essential. At Xandr, we go a long way to provide employees of all backgrounds and at all levels the opportunity to achieve their

Now is the time to pay it forward and be the representation that we might not have had growing up. There is a younger generation that has nothing but opportunity in front of them, and it’s on us to show them what they can achieve. I want to challenge each and every one of us to think about how we’re paying it forward—each day, week, month, or year. How are we making a difference in the STEM community?

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Where are they now... Over the years, PDJ has recognized more than 2,000 Women Worth Watching. In this issue, we catch up with a dozen more past Award recipients, who, since winning, have been promoted, started their own companies, taken on new roles, or moved into new fields of endeavor. They continue to be dynamic leaders, who welcome challenges, embrace change, and share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of women. Read on, and discover where their professional journeys have taken them.

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Kathleen Gibson

President & CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation

Where are they now...

Kathleen Gibson, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2011, today is president and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation, a 75-year-old foundation located in Dallas, Texas, which supports medical research. Before joining Southwestern Medical Foundation in 2014, Gibson served as president, commercial banking and president, U.S. commercial banking at Citibank. Previously, she served as president for Bank of America Dallas. Gibson earned a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University.

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2011

Kimberly Waller Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry

Where are they now...

A 2011 Woman Worth Watching, Kimberly Waller now puts her talents and experience to work in the role of senior client partner at Korn Ferry. Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Waller served as practice leader for Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company. Earlier in her career, she served as COO and managing director at Aon, a professional services firm that sells a range of risk-mitigation products. Waller holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Science in organizational change from Northwestern University. She is also a licensed Charter Property Casualty Underwriter.

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2011

Where are they now... Dr. Adis Maria Vila President & Founder, Vila & Associates

Dr. Adis Maria Vila, a 2011 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, is founder and president of Vila & Associates, a consultancy that addresses leadership, organizational culture, cross-cultural management, and more. Earlier in her career, Vila served as chief diversity officer for the United States Air Force Academy, and as vice president, external affairs at Miami Dade College. She was also vice president, government relations & regulatory policy, Caribbean & Latin America for Nortel Networks, and served as secretary, department of administration for the state of Florida. Vila holds an MBA in marketing and business policy from the University of Chicago–Booth School of Business, a JD from University of Florida–Fredric G. Levin College of Law, a BA in mathematics and political theory from Rollins College, and a certificate in corporate governance from Harvard Business School.

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Wenli Wang

Where are they now...

Partner in Charge, San Francisco & Walnut Creek Offices & China Practice Lead Partner, Moss Adams LLP Wenli Wang, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2011, now serves as partner in charge for the San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices of Moss Adams LLP. She is also the firm’s China practice lead partner. Since completing her internship with Moss Adams in 1995, Wang has remained with the firm and steadily risen through the ranks, holding increasingly responsible positions. Wang earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and literature from Peking University and her MBA in taxation from California State University–Hayward. She is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Ashley Burke

Where are they now...

Senior Vice President–Communications, National Mining Association A 2012 Woman Worth Watching Award recipient, Ashley Burke currently serves as senior vice president of communications for the National Mining Association. Prior to joining her present firm, Burke was global communications director at Dentons, senior vice president, communications at DynCorp International, and executive vice president at Prism Public Affairs. Previously, she served as communications director for the Entertainment Software Association and manager, media relations for Powell Tate. Burke earned her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from Washington and Lee University.

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2012

Where are they now... Beth Wozniak Chief Executive Officer, nVent

A 2012 Woman Worth Watching, Beth Wozniak has for the past three years served as CEO for nVent, a global provider of electrical connection and protection solutions. Before joining nVent, Wozniak served as senior vice president at Pentair, Earlier in her career, she was president, environmental and combustion controls and president, sensing and control at Honeywell, as well as director at Honeywell Aerospace. Wozniak holds bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from McMaster University and an MBA from York University.

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2012

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson Member, Board of Directors, Tesla, Inc.

Where are they now...

Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, honored as a Woman Worth Watching in 2012, has recently been named to the Board of Directors of electric car company Tesla, Inc. Until recently, Wilson-Thompson served as executive vice president and global chief human resources officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance. Previously, she was senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Walgreens, and senior vice president, global human resources and vice president and chief counsel, U.S. businesses, labor and employment for the Kellogg Company. Wilson-Thompson earned JD and LLM degrees from Wayne State University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

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Kate Rubin

Founder & Principal, Leadership Foundations

Where are they now...

Named a Woman Worth Watching in 2012, Kate Rubin has founded Leadership Foundations. She is also a teaching fellow at Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. Previously, Rubin held leadership positions at Datamaran, Datacard, and IBM. She also served as president of UnitedHealth Foundation, and president and CEO of Minnesota High-Tech Association. Rubin holds a master’s degree in human resource development from the University of Minnesota, College of Education and Human Development, as well as a BBA in marketing and industrial relations from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.

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Kelsey Turcotte

Senior Vice President–Investor Relations, UiPath

Where are they now...

Kelsey Turcotte, recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2013, recently made the move to UiPath, where she serves at the company’s senior vice president, investor relations. Turcotte comes to UiPath from Teladoc Health, where she was vice president of investor relations. Previously, she held similar positions in the investor relations area with Palo Alto Networks and CA Technologies. Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions with McAfee, Sotheby’s, and Merrill Lynch. Turcotte holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Middlebury College and successfully completed Sotheby’s American Arts Course, where she studied American art and antiques.

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2013

Where are they now... Deborah Singh

Chief Human Resource Officer, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Named a Woman Worth Watching in 2013, Deborah Singh recently joined Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, where she serves as chief human resources officer. Previously, Singh served as executive vice president, people and culture for the Canadian Cancer Society, vice president, people for Habitat for Humanity GTA, and vice president, organizational effectiveness for Plan Canada. Earlier in her career, she was a human resources instructor and challenge examiner for the Human Resources Professional Association and a professor at Centennial College. Singh holds a CHRM from Ryerson University and a BA in sociology from the University of Waterloo, as well as a master’s degree in counseling (GPP) and a DPhil in counseling from California State University.

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2013

Where are they now... Jennifer Sherman

President & CEO, Federal Signal Corporation Recognized as a Woman Worth Watching in 2013, Jennifer Sherman has been named president and CEO of Federal Signal Corporation, where she has worked for nearly 27 years. During her tenure with Federal Signal Corporation, Sherman has served in roles that include corporate attorney, general counsel, assistant secretary, vice president of human resources, president, CAO, and COO. Sherman graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Managment.

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Dagmar Rosa-Bjorkeson

Where are they now...

Chief Operations Officer, Mesoblast Limited

Dagmar Rosa-Bjorkeson, a 2013 Woman Worth Watching, recently joined Mesoblast Limited, where she serves as the company’s COO. Previously, Rosa-Bjorkeson served as executive vice president, and chief strategy and corporate development officer, for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, as well as executive vice president, launch excellence and president, biosimilars for Baxalta. Earlier in her career, she held several increasingly responsible positions with Norvartis. Rosa-Bjorkeson holds a master’s degree in inorganic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an MBA in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin Red McCombs School of Business.

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CORPORATE INDEX

BOLD DENOTES ADVERTISER BLUE PAGE NUMBER OF AD

Activision Blizzard................................................................................................................................................................................................... 18 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP...................................................................................................................................................... 19, 20 Best Best & Krieger LLP........................................................................................................................................................................................ 21 Dechert LLP....................................................................................................................................................................... 3, 22, 44 Ernst & Young (EY)......................................................................................................................................................................................... 23, 46 Entergy Corporation............................................................................................................................................. 45, back cover FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education)................................................................................................................................................. 51 Federal Signal Corporation................................................................................................................................................................................. 86 Fish & Richardson P.C..................................................................................................................................................................... 47, 48, 49, 50 HARMAN...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 24, 25, 52 Hypersonix, Inc........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 53 Ingredion.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 54 Kelley Kronenberg.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 26 Kelly.................................................................................................................................................................................. 55, 56, 57 Kindred Healthcare................................................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Korn Ferry.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 77 Latham & Watkins LLP............................................................................................................................................................. 28, 29, 58, 60, 61 Leadership Foundations....................................................................................................................................................................................... 83 Marshall, Gerstein, and Borun LLP............................................................................................................................................................. 62, 63 Mesoblast Limited................................................................................................................................................................................................... 87 Moss Adams...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 30, 79 National Mining Association............................................................................................................................................................................... 80 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP................................................................................................................................................. 31, 64 New American Funding........................................................................................................................................................................................ 32 New York Life........................................................................................................................................ 33, 65, inside back cover Norton Rose Fullbright US LLP......................................................................................................................................................................... 34 nVent............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 81 Oracle Corporation................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital................................................................................................................................................................... 85 RBC Capital Markets.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 35 S&P Global Inc. .......................................................................................................... inside front cover, 38, 39, 66, 67, 68, 69 S&P Dow Jones Indices................................................................................................................................................... 36, 37 Southwestern Medical Foundation.................................................................................................................................................................. 76 Sterne Kessler Gerstein & Fox..................................................................................................................................................................... 70, 71 Tesla, Inc..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 82 UiPath.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 84 Vila & Associates..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 78 Walmart, Inc.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 8, 40, 41 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.................................................................................................................................................. 72 Xandr............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 73

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For 175 years, we’ve been helping people act on their love. No matter who they love. We’re proud to be recognized as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality. Join a team that puts love into action every day at newyorklife.com/lgbt Be Good at Life.

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Diversity in STEM From the plant to the field to the office, women play essential roles at Entergy. So, we’re working every day to ensure a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging, a workplace that welcomes and inspires the best from future generations of female leaders. And the result is sustainable value for all our stakeholders – customers, employees, communities and owners. Congratulations, Ann, for being among the “Women to Watch in STEM.”

Ann Delenela VP, Chief Information Security Officer Entergy Corporation

A message from Entergy Corporation. ©2021 Entergy Services, LLC All Rights Reserved

A message from Entergy Corporation. ©2021 Entergy Services, LLC All Rights Reserved

Profile for Diversity Journal

Profiles in Diversity Journal Second Quarter 2021  

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