® Spring 2020
Inside this issue Human Equity, the Age of Purpose, and the COVID-19 Plague Leading the VUCA World through Empathy, Humility, and Inclusivity Hiring Future Leaders At Times Like This, Little Things Matter The Inclusion Production Function: How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Programming and Policy
Social Pinging—the Next Stage in Achieving Meaningful Inclusion
Will Diversity and Inclusion Fall Prey to COVID-19?
WHERE YOU BELONG Idaho National Laboratory promotes a vibrant culture of inclusive diversity that fuels growth and drives innovation.
All Things Diversity & Inclusion
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James R. Rector VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
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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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In our unending quest to seek out, honor, and recognize outstanding achievement, we offer opportunities for organizations to participate in our nominate-recognize-celebrate awards features. More than 45 organizations are recognized in this inspiring issue, as well as many Women Worth Watching leaders in STEM and Diversity Team members. We believe the name of the game is leadership. Leadership at the top level is responsible for establishing purpose, direction, and support for achieving the goals and aims of the organization. Balancing this effort is the leadership of many individuals working together to make the right things happen for win-win results. PDJ recognizes that individual and team efforts are the mainstay of successful organizations, and that recognition of meaningful work and achievement is fundamental for sustaining positive work environments. The organizations that are proactive in delegating and supporting employees are also the ones that step forward and participate in our award features. If you’re doing great work, why not share the successes and individual achievements with the marketplace, so that everyone benefits and the world is a better place? We take this opportunity to congratulate all the leaders profiled in this issue. We tip our collective hat to acknowledge that companies that participate in our issues are special, and their nominations and support prove this case over and over. Congratulations to the PDJ team members for their patience, creative energy, and endurance in producing this exciting celebratory issue, while dealing with numerous serious issues beyond their control.
James R. Rector Publisher & Founder Since 1999
IN THIS ISSUE
01 | 05 | 08 | 10 | 14 | 60 | 98 | 110 |
PUBLISHER’S COLUMN EDITOR’S COLUMN HUMAN EQUITY, THE AGE OF PURPOSE, AND THE COVID-19 PLAGUE LEADING THE VUCA WORLD THROUGH EMPATHY, HUMILITY & INCLUSIVITY WOMEN WORTH WATCHING IN STEM DIVERSITY TEAM AWARDS ARTICLES CORPORATE INDEX
Women Worth Watching® in STEM 2020 We are pleased and proud to showcase this year’s 41 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.
Human Equity, the Age of Purpose, and the COVID-19 Plague COVID-19 seems to be bringing out the best in us—a generosity and caring for others that we haven’t always displayed. What does this generosity and willingness to help one another mean? What do equitable leaders already know about what really motivates people to do and be their best? And how do those leaders maximize that potential?
Leading the VUCA World through Empathy, Humility & Inclusivity How can today’s leaders meet the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the current crisis? According to this author, they should meet these challenges by employing vision, understanding, clarity, and agility—a leadership style he calls VUCA Prime.
INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIVERSE SUPPLIERS Before Arizona became a state, SRP was helping the region thrive. We know Arizona businesses win when we work together. That’s why SRP continually hires and purchases from a diverse supply chain reflective of our community. In fact, we supported over 600 diverse suppliers last fiscal year. We’re ready to partner with you to build a better community today and for the next generation. For details, visit srpnet.com/supplierdiversity.
SRP is proud to support Profiles in Diversity Journal and our mutual desire to promote and advance supplier diversity and inclusion.
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The First Annual Diversity Team Awards Check out the 18 winners of PDJ’s first annual Diversity Team Award! Meet the passionate and talented individuals who have come together to further the cause of diversity and inclusion. These teams embody the ideals of diversity and especially, inclusion. We are proud to feature them in this issue and look forward to presenting this award to many diversity teams in the future. PAGE 98
Hiring Future Leaders: 3 Ways Financial Services Organizations Can Achieve Diversity Today and Cultivate the Leaders of Tomorrow This contributor discusses three powerful steps your organization can take to identify and support women who can become tomorrow’s leaders: put diversity at the center of your organization; engage with your community to find next-gen leadership candidates; and identify and promote the emerging leaders already in your workplace.
At Times Like This, Little Things Matter Using the present crisis as a jumping-off point, these contributors take a new look at some always important “little things”—MicroTriggers. They share the upside and the downside of the new normal, and show us how we can take this opportunity to become more aware and treat each other well.
EDITOR'S COLUMN “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
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–Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
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It’s hard to know what to write today, but the quote above seems to me to describe where we are at this moment in our history—a period at least as momentous as the period of the French Revolution Dickens refers to. After weeks of guarding our individual and collective well-being by distancing, isolating, and sheltering at home, we are just beginning to emerge into a still uncertain world. And we see that, sadly, some things haven’t changed. We have once again been reminded, in horrific fashion, that humans are too often the biggest threat that humans face, that justice is often nowhere to be found, that our shared humanity is still being denied, and that for many of us, the failure of others is at least as important as my own success. I have no insight to offer—no answers. I know we need to do better. We need to listen. We need to look at reality, not just our corner of it, and admit that the deck is heavily stacked. Maybe this time, we’ll really change—I don’t know how we get there. The only thing I know for sure is that it’s up to us—it’s our choice to make, our chance. I hope we take it. As always, thanks for reading. Teresa Fausey Associate Editor
The Inclusion Production Function How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Programming and Policy Youâ€™ll learn how to identify and overcome the pitfalls of programming and policy, and instead, focus on individual actions and behavior. This change in approach can help your organization make important strides toward a genuinely inclusive environment.
Will Diversity and Inclusion Fall Prey to COVID-19? The current pandemic, and resulting recession, could easily cause organizations to circle the wagons and fall sway to affinity bias. But, according to this contributor, this bias can be overcome by reminding leadership that inclusion will continue to be a strategic driver in a post-pandemic world and taking steps to shore up support for D&I programs.
Social Pingingâ€”the Next Stage in Achieving Meaningful Inclusion Just as the sonar ping sent out by a submarine must receive a return ping to let the operators know where the vessel is positioned in relation to its surroundings, we need to listen for the social ping that echoes from those with whom we interact to know where we, and they, stand.
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Human Equity, the Age of Purpose, and the COVID-19 Plague This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. – George Bernard Shaw By Trevor Wilson
s I write this article I have been socially isolated in my house for more than 10 weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, but the most recent stats seem to be moving in the right direction. However, beyond the daily death stats, we are witnessing another fascinating phenomenon related to the inspiring spirit of human generosity. Some are calling this phenomenon the gift of the pandemic. Those who believe in a power beyond themselves have started to refer to the COVID plague as the “Planneddemic,” pointing to these inspiring stories as evidence. A recent article documented several amazing stories of human benevolence sparked by the coronavirus plague. For example,
rival gangs around Cape Town, South Africa, after decades of fighting, have agreed on an unprecedented truce to work together to bring food to struggling households in their communities. Some South African leaders have called it a miracle because they had long given up on the possibility of peace between these gangs. In Naples, Italy, people have been leaving “solidarity baskets” all over the city. The baskets, full of fresh fruit, are for those who are struggling due to COVID-19. Welcoming signs beside the baskets invite Naples citizens to “put in if you can and take out if you can’t.” Across the planet there are many stories like these of people spontaneously helping out their fellow man and woman due to the COVID-19 attack.
The research behind what motivates people to perform these random acts of kindness is important to our area of human equity and to maximizing total human potential. We start with a review of the research on human motivation. In 2009, Daniel Pink wrote an intriguing book, Drive: The Truth about What Motivates Us, in which he argues that the Industrial-Taylorite Age carrot-and-stick approach to motivating employees is out of step with what science has found really works. While most people leaders may have ignored this surprising research, we have found there is an important minority of leaders (approximately 10%) who have figured out how to truly engage and motivate employees. We have dubbed this small
minority of people managers the Equitable Leaders®. Equitable leaders consistently follow the scientific research on human motivation to maximize the total potential of their staff and obtain superior business results. In short, equitable leaders consistently practice human equity. What is it that these equitable leaders know about human motivation and human equity that others do not? A Canadian scientist Dr Julie Carswell has studied these leaders after 10 years. Her findings are summarized in a 10 year Equitable Leader database. After studying our 10-year Equitable Leader database and observing hundreds of leaders globally, this is what we know for sure. Equitable Leaders don’t just demonstrate professional behavior; they go further to create equitable and inclusive work environments for all employees. These leaders create environments where people feel valued, respected, and included. Somehow, these extraordinary leaders also create atmospheres of mutual trust, support, and respect, where people feel they have a place at the table that really matters—where they are not just tokens representing the latest diversity group. Most important, equitable leaders ensure that members of their team feel valued because of, not in spite of, their differences. They ensure each person is recognized and developed, and that all talents are routinely tapped into. Equitable leaders understand that human equity not only means putting people first but also substantially impacts bottom-line results such as increased profitability, improved efficiencies, substantially improved employee engagement
reduced costs, and reduced unwanted turnover. While diversity was frequently seen as an exercise in legislated compliance or corporate social responsibility, human equity leads directly to improved employee engagement, which means superior business results. Not surprisingly equitable leaders exhibit different workplace behaviors. Dr. Julie Carswell and her team developed a list of nine core competencies equitable leaders should demonstrate: openness to difference; equitable opportunity; accommodation; dignity and respect; commitment to human equity; knowledge of human equity; change management; leveraging innate talent and ethics and integrity. She has also developed a unique tool to measure leadership behavior in these areas. We know that equitable leaders use autonomy, mastery, and purpose to motivate their staffs. Once again, this practice is supported by the research. Autonomy is giving employees a full sense of choice at work. Mastery is the desire to get better at something that matters. And purpose is working on something bigger than you. Some describe it as working on something that will live beyond you. The opening quote by George Bernard Shaw was written well before the creation of human equity and the present global health crisis. Yet I used it to explain the need for human equity based on what we learned from the “top 10 percent” equitable leaders. Purpose will be an important consideration in the post-COVID working environment. A friend of mine is a living case study of someone who has long been searching for purpose at work. He has a cute coffee cup which he proudly displays on his
desk that reads, “Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.” While I wouldn’t call him a selfish clod, I do find him spending a lot of time complaining that the world will not devote itself to making him happy. What I think he longs for is purpose. He wants to be part of something much bigger than just his paycheck and benefits package? Perhaps this would change if he felt he had a unique and important contribution to make to his place of work. During this time of the latest human plague, many of us are searching for the answer to the question, “Is this all there is?” As Daniel H. Pink put it in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us: Every thirteen minutes another hundred people—members of the wealthiest and best-educated generation the world has ever known—begin reckoning with their mortality and asking deep questions about meaning, significance, and what they truly want. When the cold front of demographics meets the warm front of unrealized dreams, the result will be a thunderstorm of purpose the likes of which the world has never seen. PDJ
Trevor Wilson Global Human Equity™ Strategist, Toronto, ON. He is a dynamic speaker, a visionary thought leader and a global diversity and Human Equity™ strategist. Wilson is founder and president of TWI Inc
Leading the VUCA World through Empathy, Humility & Inclusivity
By Donald Fan
he world is in crisis. The United States is in crisis. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed racial violence, racist threats, and hate crimes toward black people and other minority communities in America. The global public health pandemic, coupled with social injustice, has swept the world, making an unprecedented impact on every aspect of human life. This crisis is just the latest example of the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world we are living in—a world that has presented us with the 911 terrorist attacks, the 2008 economic crisis, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing systemic injustice. Are we prepared to live and cope with this unparalleled turmoil over the long run? In the wake of the pandemic and social injustice, I can’t help asking myself if we can foster a leadership style—let’s call it VUCA Prime (Vision, Understanding, Clarity, Agility)—that will help us effectively battle VUCA challenges in the 21st century. VUCA Prime is a behavioral leadership model, first introduced by Robert Johansen, meant to counteract each aspect of the VUCA world—
volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity—with a specific positive response. Vision–When conditions are changing unpredictably, leaders should remain optimistic and keep focused on the future and desired target state and vision. Understanding–When uncertainty is presented, explore and experiment with empathy to increase learning and understanding of what is going on externally and internally. Clarity–When faced with complexity, learn to break down the challenge into manageable pieces and simplify wherever possible, as clarity informs well-calculated decisions and decisions enable robust execution. Agility–When the future contains multiple alternatives, be ready to adapt your approach to match the desired outcome. Organizational agility is simply achieved by adopting the practice of inclusivity and collaboration. Facing the crisis, some leaders demonstrate VUCA leadership and make themselves stand out of the crowd. For example, since the coronavirus breakout, Walmart executives have been leading by example. They stand out, speak up, appeal for change, lead the pack on important
social and cultural issues. To respond to the recent heartbreaking racial tragedies, the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, took a stand and sent a message to its employees, stating: “In our 50-plus years as a company, it rings true more each year that the world’s challenges are our challenges. The global health crisis has tested all of us in recent months, and the racial violence in the U.S.— in particular, the murder of George Floyd—is tragic, painful and unacceptable. Inside the company, our work to recruit, develop and support African Americans and other people of color will be even more of a priority. We need each of you to actively partner to identify and work with your leaders to bring in great talent to the company. We want all of you to exercise your voice to make every part of our company even better. To influence and lead change in society more broadly, we are going to invest resources and develop strategies to increase fairness, equity, and justice in aspects of everyday life. We will find the natural overlaps between Walmart’s core business and society’s larger needs that perpetuate racism and discrimination. Specifically,
we’re going to focus the power of Walmart on our nation’s financial, healthcare, education and criminal justice systems. In addition to leveraging our business to drive these outcomes, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committing $100 million over five years through a new center on racial equity. The goal of the center will be to address systematic racism in society head-on and accelerate change. Through the $100 million commitment, the center will support philanthropic initiatives that align with the four key areas noted above. The center will seek to advance economic opportunity and healthier living, including issues surrounding the social determinants of health, strengthening workforce development and related educational systems, and support criminal justice reform with an emphasis on examining barriers to opportunity faced by those exiting the system. As an associate at Walmart, you are expected to truly, authentically and more deeply embrace inclusion. We must work together to actively shape the culture to be more inclusive and not just accept our differences but celebrate them—all the time— within every team. We’ve made a difference in the world in so many ways. We can make a meaningful, lasting difference in racial equity, too.” While we need leaders who speak their minds and inspire others to make a change by learning more and contributing more, we should also reflect on what we learn and contemplate what it takes us to bend the curve of the crisis and get out of it stronger and more resilient.” By observing and learning from how Walmart, my employer, has reacted in the current pandemic and social events, I believe it is essential to lead the VUCA world through empathy, humility, and inclusivity—the emotional foundation of the
Empathy Psychology describes empathy as the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of others. Developing empathy is vital for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. Empathy occurs in three stages: cognitive empathy—becoming aware of the emotional state of others; emotional empathy—engaging with and sharing those emotions; and compassionate empathy—taking action to support other people. During this large-scale public health and social crisis, empathetic leaders believe we are all in this together, and that it is vital to think of others, care for others, and always be ready to offer help and support. At a time when we all practice social distancing, it is more important than ever that we remain emotionally connected. Walmart’s CEO and his executive team have been consistently visiting the stores, clubs, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers across the country to learn about and understand employees’ and customers’ needs and concerns. They are making swift, consequential decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of employees and customers, whether the decisions involve optimizing sourcing
and replenishing essential products on the shelves, or changing workplace policies, benefits, and practices. The company is reinvesting in and enhancing the technology infrastructure to provide robust systemic support for virtual connection and team collaboration. Walmart is also developing institutional mechanisms to keep its employees and customers safe and healthy. If employees are not feeling well, have a fever, or exhibit symptoms, they are encouraged to stay home. The company has created a new COVID-19 emergency leave policy, and an employee health screening process has been developed, which includes taking each employee’s temperature each day before work. Additionally, the company is providing gloves and masks for employees working at the front lines. Testing for COVID-19 is 100 percent covered, and access to telehealth appointments through Doctor on Demand and online COVID-19 assessments are free, for employees and family members on a Walmart medical plan. All employees have access to Resources for Living, which offers three behavioral counseling sessions at no cost. The company has also established a 6-20-100 rule to promote healthy behaviors (see accompanying graphic).
Harvard professor Frances Frei demonstrates how to cultivate and maintain trust using the well-known trust-building triangle: People tend to trust you when they believe they are interacting with the real you (authenticity); when they have faith in your judgment and competence (logic); and when they feel that you are interested in them and care about them (empathy). When trust is lost, that loss can almost always be traced to a breakdown in one of these three drivers. In her view, empathy is the most common wobble. We can only establish trust when we are fully present and give 100 percent of our attention to the people, or the situation, in front of us at that moment.
Humility Humility is a virtue that pivots on low self-preoccupation. It refers to self-awareness, appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, and seeking out new ideas and feedback. There is no better time to practice humility than in the middle of a crisis. Facing uncertainty and ambiguity, leaders with humility are self-aware, authentic, open to new ideas, and appreciative of the value and contribution of others. They are confident that they can weather the storm, have a better grasp of organizational needs, and make better-informed and timely decisions. According to Gallup research, when leaders present a clear path forward, people demonstrate high resilience. There is a rallying effect when we pull together with a shared vision to move beyond the crisis. People look to leadership to act with confidence and provide a crisis management plan. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Walmart leaders have regularly communicated with employees with compassion (we are in it together), commitment (action for change), and openness (why, what, how). Leveraging 12
frequent town hall and roundtable sessions to keep employees connected and informed, convey the path forward, engage employees by sharing stories of unsung heroes, solicit feedback and input, and address emerging needs decisively and in a timely manner. The company has implemented initiatives to make facilities safer for employees and customers, including the following: • Reducing store hours to allow for enhanced cleaning and to provide adequate time for replenishment without customer and member demands • Increasing cleaning procedures in all facilities, including additional ways to sanitize shopping carts and contact surfaces, and contracting additional thirdparty support • Providing daily cleaning guidance to stores and clubs regarding store sanitation protocol for when an employee or customer is diagnosed with COVID-19 • Encouraging employees and customers to practice social distancing through signage, including floor markers, directional traffic arrows, and public service announcements over the PA system • Implementing no-contact payment options through Walmart Pay at all in-store checkouts • Hosting special shopping hours for customers age 60 and older, those with disabilities, and individuals with compromised immune systems So far this year, the company has committed $935 million in bonuses to recognize hourly employees for their contributions to communities across the country during this challenging time. Research shows that when we think in the interest of others, take care of their needs, make decisions for them rather than for ourselves,
we are more likely to come up with constructive solutions and foster a trust-based culture. As Ricard Warren states in his book The Purpose Driven Life, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
Inclusivity There have been conversations around how the coronavirus and social injustice have provided us with an opportunity for a cultural reset and will change not only the ways we work, but the fundamental ways in which we live our lives. We also witness that the adverse impact on communities of color is apparent and shocking from various fronts like health, economy, career, and public policy. The coronavirus, coupled with incidents of injustice, racial violence, and hate crime, presents a wake-up call for all of us. Leading through the crisis requires an inclusive mindset and leadership. Inclusive leaders believe that people are the center of their business. They advocate and practice social justice, workplace equity, and social responsibility. Walmart’s Chief People Officer, Donna Morris, challenges the company’s HR professionals “to raise the expectations for racial equality. My hope is now, more than ever, the people/HR community leans in, leads, and role models humanity when it is needed most. Throughout my career, people have expressed how the function can make maximum impact—it happens when you allow everyone in your organization to be their authentic self and be included— and treated with respect, dignity and fairness. Now is the time for change. Let’s band together and be champions for inclusion. Let’s challenge our programs, processes and approaches to remove barriers to equality. Let’s listen, encourage and amplify the voices of those underrepresented. Let’s demonstrate empathy,
compassion. Together, we can build a better, more inclusive America.” The Chief Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ben Hasan, elevates communication cadence with employees through various channels. He seizes the opportunity, addresses the challenge, and encourages action to influence inclusiveness. He launches a social media campaign #washhate to invite employees to fight hate crime and racial discrimination. The Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion and Walmart.org are launching the RACE Ahead series for all associates, which will create a safe space for transparent, relevant and solution-oriented conversations that are respectful and inclusive of all perspectives. The discussions will focus on how systemic racial inequities in education, criminal justice, health care and financial have disparate impacts on Black or African Americans and other people of color. The nine Associate Resource Groups reach out and engage employees at all levels through virtual events and power dialogue sessions to carry on the inclusion conversations and to have a safe space to surface and exchange hopes and fears while staying social distancing. They share the solidarity “I Stand in Support” graphics to show support and allow employees to add to their email signature, or post to Workplace with a message of support. To support the community, Walmart announced a donation of www.diversityjournal.com
$25 million for the global COVID-19 response at the beginning of the outbreak. The company has made changes to its supply chain financing program to get qualified suppliers paid faster and waived rent for Walmart property partners in April. As massive layoffs and furloughs occur across the country, Walmart presents an employment opportunity to many Americans, while helping better serve customers at this time of increased demand. During the coronavirus pandemic, the company has hired 300,000 people, of whom 51 percent are women, 53 percent are people of color, and 51 percent are Gen Z. Walmart knows how significant expanded testing is to getting America back on its feet, and is committed to supporting efforts to broaden COVID-19 drive-through testing. Since the public-private partnership was announced in March, the company has been working closely with lab partners, the Department of Health and Human Services, and state and local officials to select and set up more than 100 testing sites in areas of need. In a recent article, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review, titled “The Key to Inclusive Leadership,” Julie Bourke and Andrea Espedido discussed the signature traits inclusive leaders share: 1. Visible commitment: Inclusive leaders articulate authentic commitment to diversity,
challenge the status quo, hold others accountable, and make diversity and inclusion a personal priority. 2. Humility: They are modest about capabilities, admit mistakes, and create the space for others to contribute. 3. Awareness of bias: They show awareness of personal blind spots, as well as flaws in the system, and work hard to ensure a meritocracy. 4. Curiosity about others: They demonstrate an open mindset and deep curiosity about others, listen without judgment, and seek with empathy to understand those around them. 5. Cultural intelligence: They are attentive to others’ cultures and adapt as required. 6. Effective collaboration: They empower others, pay attention to diversity of thinking and psychological safety, and focus on team cohesion. When we learn from a crisis, we gain the knowledge and understanding required to a better world—with prosperity, justice, respect, and dignity. Though we will continue to overcome the challenges of the VUCA world, I remain optimistic. I am convinced that courageous leaders with empathy, humility, and inclusivity are capable of envisioning the best possible future, keeping people motivated to do their best to achieve it, and laying the groundwork for others’ success in winning the future. Don’t think you are not a part of the change. Let’s all work together and declare a new Day One. A promising tomorrow starts today. PDJ Donald Fan serves as Senior Director in the Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.
Moving Women Forward in STEM Grace Doepker, Engineering Associate Manager at Arrow Electronics. Read more about her on page 21,
In order to move women forward in STEM, we must start investing when theyâ€™re young. Making sure schools and after-school programs give young girls tools that can help spark in them a lifelong passion for STEM. Next, we need to recognize the achievements of the women in the industry today. By focusing on those aspects, rather than just their gender, we can show whatâ€™s important and that their advances have merit. Finally, I think we need to identify women with potential, and make sure they have the tools, strategic relationships, and support they need and deserve.
Marie Wright President Creation, Design & Development and Chief Global Flavorist
My credentials: BSC Joint HONS, chemistry and food science, Kings College London My work location: Cranbury, New Jersey Words I live by: Always be humble and kind. My personal philosophy: Be better today than yesterday. What I’m reading now: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi My favorite charity: American Cancer Society and the newly formed WFFC (Women in Flavor and Fragrance Commerce, Inc.) Foundation (breast cancer) My interests: Cooking, fashion, opera, travel, skiing, and running My family: Gorgeous kids, Emma and William Company: ADM Industry: Food ingredients Company Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois CEO: Juan Luciano
In Her Own Words . . .
My Experiences in STEM
Moving Women Forward in STEM
Women in STEM 5 Years Out
The difficulties women collectively face in every career frontier are well and accurately documented in today’s world. Women are taken less seriously, and you have to prove yourself more than men in order to earn respect from your peers. I would say that throughout my career what was expected of me has been different from what was expected of my male colleagues. I am, however, very pleased with the progress that has been made at ADM to help combat the challenges I, and many other women, faced earlier in our careers. Today, I know that my contributions are highly valued by my colleagues and the company, and that is a very rewarding feeling.
From a very young age, women are taught that they are not as valued as men within the STEM industry. That message is delivered to them by the lack of female role models within the STEM industry, the stereotypical gender norms that young girls feel they have to follow, and the overall stigma towards young girls in co-educational schools. If we began to eliminate these gender norms, end the stigma toward women, and produce more female role models within this industry, we would be moving women forward in STEM. We need to create a more inclusive environment that will encourage women to consider a serious career in STEM and offer a career ladder that allows women to balance work with the societal pressure of being a mother.
The unfortunate reality is that a lot of the changes needed to give women an equal footing in STEM have not been made. But I see a more progressive generation following mine—both in society and at ADM—and they are motivated to make the changes necessary to ensure that women, and other diverse groups, are treated equally. In five years, I hope to see far more women progressing up the ladder and reaching their career goals. I hope to see companies across the industry making an effort to allow women to fulfill their desires outside of work without having to make disproportionate sacrifices. I am not sure I see us meeting all of our goals in five years—we have a lot of work to do—but by 2030, I think it is possible.
Shauna Herron Director
My credentials: BEng Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), CEng Chartered Engineer, CEnv Chartered Environmentalist, Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland My work location: Ireland & Scotland Words I live by: Hard Work. Fairness. Teams. Gratitude. My Philosophy: Be happy in what you do What I’m reading now: Leonardo Da Vinci: The Biography, by Walter Isaacson My favorite charity: Take Heart Mercy Mission (My 5-year-old son had life-saving heart surgery at 11 months of age.) My interests: Crew rowing, friends, and family My family: My husband Jerry; our wonderful 5-year-old twins Rory & Isabella; my three amazing sisters Maria, Julie, and Christine; and my mum Eilish and dad Mickey; I also am blessed with an incredible extended family Company: Aegion Corporation–Environmental Techniques Industry: Construction & Wastewater Industry (Trenchless Technology) Company Headquarters: Chesterfield, Missouri CEO: Charles R. Gordon
In Her Own Words . . . My Experience in STEM Thankfully, both my parents were teachers who were very open minded and encouraged my three sisters and me to be who we wanted to be. My first encounter with negativity was telling my careers teacher at school that I wanted to be an engineer and he suggested that I should become a teacher or nurse because that would be better for a girl! I ignored his misguided advice. I was accepted to study civil engineering at Queens University Belfast at the age of 16 and found that university to be very encouraging in the promotion of women. In my early career, I worked as an engineer at Harland & Wolff Shipyard and then in a design consultancy in Jordan. In both locations, I was treated well, once people understood that I
knew my job and what I was there to do. I then had an incredible 10 years with Charles Brand, a renowned heavy civil engineering company, where I was part of a team that built bridges, pipelines, weirs, and harbors. I even became a commercial diver during that time, so that I could inspect some of the underwater works we were involved in. In 1999, I moved to Environmental Techniques (ET), into the field of trenchless technology, which has a brilliant environmental and sustainability focus. Since ET was acquired by Aegion in 2017, I have gained so much insight into their technologies and techniques. I am learning every day from my team in ET and the wider Aegion team about different approaches—so refreshing at this stage in my career.
Women in STEM 5 Years Out I would love to see a greater gender balance in five years and believe it is attainable if companies and society wake up to the benefits of a diverse workforce. We must address the following issues in order to achieve that balance: Promote a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset: The more girls and women believe that they can develop the skills they need to be successful in STEM fields, the more likely they are to actually be successful in STEM fields. Growth mindset is very important in science and engineering, where difficulties and challenges will be encountered. Gender Pay Gap: The presence of women in STEM in five years also depends on how effective government programs, such as the Gender Pay Gap Initiative in the UK, are in addressing inequalities.
Boshra Momen Nejad Engineering Manager
My credentials: MSc, electrical and computer engineering, University of Alberta My work location: Houston, Texas Words I live by: Honesty. Respect. Integrity. My personal philosophy: Stay positive, because whoever is happy will make others happy too. What I’m reading now: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek and Principles by Ray Dalio My interests: Physics, cooking, playing piano, and social activities My family: Husband and one baby daughter Company: Aegion Corporation–Corrpro Companies Inc. Industry: Oil & gas engineering and consulting Company Headquarters: Chesterfield, Missouri CEO: Charles R. Gordon
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM In my opinion, to increase diversity in STEM fields, we have to focus on two main contributors: willingness and support. Women and minorities must be willing to seek education and careers in STEM fields. To increase willingness, we need to improve the ways women and minorities are inspired and motivated to pursue these paths. They need support and encouragement from their families, educators, and hiring authorities. Greater awareness about education and careers in STEM would increase the willingness and support of the general public. Companies should also promote diversity in the workplace by implementing necessary instruction and procedures. Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap I see four main barriers to closing 18
the gender gap in STEM fields: The definition of success, maledomination of the industry, women’s low self-confidence in pursuing STEM careers, and the lack of public awareness. • The definition of success and the path forward is not clear in STEM fields. This makes young women more hesitant to pursue a career in these unfamiliar fields. • The male domination in STEM deters many women from choosing these careers. The stereotypes and sexism women encounter lead many to pursue other careers. • The lack of self-confidence women feel with regard to STEM fields may lead them to choose other careers where they feel more confident and respected. • Finally, a lack of public awareness is another important factor contributing to the STEM gender gap.
My Experiences in STEM I’ve had a good experience working in STEM, due in large part to my interest in physics, finance, electrical engineering, and management. It is important to choose a career path based on your strengths and interests. Back home in Iran, students choose between three different paths in high school: biological sciences, physics and mathematics, or humanities. Ideally, the choice is made based on grades in specific subjects and interest in specific fields. This helps the student understand their capabilities and interests rather than stereotyping a specific career field. It is also very important that you enjoy your everyday work. While it’s not easy being a woman working in a male-dominated industry, I find it motivating and proactively seek new challenges which has been beneficial to my career development.
Er. Jeslin May Lian Quek Senior Vice President & Deputy Managing Director My credentials: Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours), The University of Leeds, UK; Master of Science, civil engineering, National University of Singapore; PE (Civil) Professional Engineer, Singapore; SPE (PS) Specialists Professional Engineer in Protective Security, Singapore; ACPE, ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer; CEng (UK) Chartered Engineer My work location: Singapore Words I live by: Integrity, consistency, loyalty, and courage My personal philosophy: The only path to success is through hard work. What I’m reading now: The Book of Samuel My favorite charity: Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) My interests: Things related to healthy lifestyle My family: Husband, daughter, and son Company: Aegion Corporation–Fyfe Asia Pte. Ltd. Industry: Building materials–infrastructure rehabilitation Company Headquarters: Chesterfield, Missouri CEO: Charles R. Gordon
In Her Own Words . . . Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap Deeply entrenched assumptions regarding the differences between men and women remain the most significant barrier to closing the gender gap in STEM in Asia-Pacific region (APAC). Biological, psychological, and cultural differences give rise to an unconscious bias that prevails in varying intensity, depending on one’s wellbeing and education. For example, women have always been seen as better suited for work related to nurturing, teaching, and administration, while men tend to be associated with professions such as engineering, construction, and the military. Until such distinctions are neutralized, closing the gender gap will remain a long and arduous process. Increasing Diversity in STEM For APAC, the gender gap in www.diversityjournal.com
STEM fields across regions varies substantially. In some areas, women make up the majority, while in others, a low minority. Overall, women are still the minority. To foster greater diversity at work, organizations must bring down the barriers that disproportionately hold women back and create an ecosystem of gender parity. The gender gap and achieving greater diversity can be addressed by:
• Shifting attitudes about the role of women in society and work through the presentation of awareness programs • Introducing family-friendly and gender neutral policies
• Increasing economic incentives for women based on meritocracy and not gender
• Developing programs for mentoring young women to encourage their participation in STEM fields
• Creating incentives to promote
skills development in STEM fields for already-working women Women in STEM 5 Years Out Significant strides have been made by women in STEM over the past few decades. While this is encouraging, the uneven distribution of men and women across countries and continents in these fields means that gender parity across the board is far from being achieved. Although progress has been made in increasing diversity in STEM fields, it will still take many more years before complete equality is reached. I see more female representation in STEM five years from now, with more women assuming important leadership positions. And I envisage that the battle for gender equality will continue with even greater fervor and momentum, as women in STEM become more empowered.
Marlane Miller Rodriguez Pipeline Services Engineering Manager
My credentials: BS, industrial distribution, Texas A&M University My work location: Houston, Texas Words I live by: “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” – John Lennon My personal philosophy: Be kind. Work hard. Be honest. Follow the rules. Have lots of fun. What I’m reading now: Atomic Habits by James Clear My favorite charity: Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Texas My interests: Music, art, wine, and saltwater fishing My family: Husband, Ernesto; sister, Meredith (also in a STEM field); parents, Marvin & Sharon; aunt, Vickie; grandmother, Emilie (96 y/o WWII survivor) Company: Aegion Corporation–Corrpro Companies Inc. Industry: Oil & gas engineering and consulting Company Headquarters: Chesterfield, Missouri CEO: Charles R. Gordon
In Her Own Words . . . How STEM Is Changing the World Some of today’s biggest challenges are being overcome by people in STEM fields. Scientists are researching and developing new energy methods. Technology is evolving so rapidly that it has become part of almost every aspect of our daily lives. Engineering is continuing to tackle challenges, and as one is tackled another one arises. Mathematics is one of the tools we use to do all of that. This is why it is so important that we provide access to a quality education that builds skills and fluency in STEM fields. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I see the future of women in STEM as strong and exciting. There are energetic, smart, confident women leading the way and breaking down barriers. As awareness grows, more women and men will encourage girls and 20
young women to choose STEM paths. I believe that STEM careers will be more enticing, and not as intimidating, to women as barriers are broken and stereotypes disappear. My Experiences in STEM I’ve been pretty lucky as a woman in a STEM career; I’ve had more positive experiences than negative. I have a very supportive family and strong, successful parents who are considered experts in their respective fields. My family encouraged independence, demanded hard work, and fostered math and science education. My education from elementary school through high school cultivated math and science for all types of students. I entered college ready to literally “be whatever I want to be.” In my career, I have been extremely fortunate to have had supportive bosses and mentors
who nurtured my development. However, I have also felt as if I needed to work harder than my male peers to prove that I deserved a seat at the table. The foundation from my family, guidance from my mentors, support from my husband, and working hard, has given me the confidence to know I belong at the table and that I have earned my management position, despite being the only woman in the room. Thirteen years ago, I was one of fewer than five women at Corrpro in a STEM position. Now I’m one of many. However, progress does not mean parity. Being a woman in a STEM career has its challenges, particularly if you work in environments that are male dominated. Young girls and women must learn to believe in themselves, stay true to themselves, and refuse to be discouraged as they pursue careers in STEM.
Grace Doepker Solution Architect
My credentials: Bachelor of Science, mechanical engineering, University of Dayton; Master of Science, mechanical engineering, design, and manufacturing, Clemson University My work location: Centennial, Colorado Words I live by: “Don’t be a Victim.” – Jim Dietz My personal philosophy: Never Settle. What I’m reading now: My Greatest Defeat by Will Buxton My favorite charity: Colorado Young Leaders My interests: Rowing, motorsports, and design and innovation Company: Arrow Electronics Industry: Distribution and engineering services Company Headquarters: Centennial, Colorado CEO: Mike Long
In Her Own Words . . . My Adventures in STEM Mostly, I am thankful to those who blaze trails before me, and grateful I was born when I was. I’ve been lucky enough to have had mostly very positive experiences while pursuing my STEM career. I feel incredibly fortunate to work for a company that values diversity and gives me opportunities that allow me to pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career. Of course, I wish there were more women for me to look up to, but I’ve made it a priority to try my best to look back and support others where I can, and I hope others do too. I am a passionate engineer and a lifelong learner. Over the last several years, I’ve been actively engaged in a number of initiatives: My work on the Arrow
SAM car, a semi-autonomous car which enables the driver to drive using head movements and his or her mouth, has enabled Sam Schmidt (a quadriplegic ex-Indy race car driver) to achieve a number of world firsts, including obtaining a provisional driver’s license in the State of Nevada. I also participate in Arrow’s intern program by not only managing interns, but also by being a mentor and leading the case competition. Moving Women Forward in STEM In order to move women forward in STEM, we must start investing when they’re young. Making sure schools and after-school programs give young girls tools that can help spark in them a lifelong passion for STEM. Next, we need recognize the achievements of the women
in the industry today. By focusing on those aspects, rather than just their gender, we can show what’s important and that their advances have merit. Finally, I think we need to identify women with potential, and make sure they have the tools, strategic relationships, and support they need and deserve. Women in STEM 5 Years Out Five years out, I hope to see more women in more positions, especially leadership. I hope to see people embracing the differences and value women bring to STEM. I hope to see equal pay for women. I hope to see more women supporting and sponsoring other women. I hope to see more men stepping into the conversation. And I hope to see more female entrepreneurs in STEM fields.
Nancy Luo General Manager
My work location: Beijing, China My personal philosophy: Simple living What I’m reading now: The Bible My favorite charity: High School Scholarship Foundation to help underprivileged but deserving students; I also act as a mentor for them My interests: Long-distance running, yoga, and reading My family: Family of three (one daughter) Company: Arrow Electronics Industry: Technology Company Headquarters: Centennial, Colorado CEO: Mike Long
In Her Own Words . . .
Increasing Diversity in STEM
could be powerful influences.
I believe we need to start with parents and schools. To attract more girls to the study of STEM subjects at university and encourage them to enter STEM careers, parents and teachers need to address social stereotypes by fostering a mindset in girls that says, “STEM subjects are for girls too.” Of course, good STEM teaching and good career advice is crucial too. Another way to encourage girls is to introduce them to female role models in STEM. Schools could invite female scientists, astronauts, doctors, engineers, mathematicians, and other STEM professionals to mentor and inspire girls. We should also leverage the media, including social media. Online articles and videos that tell inspiring stories of real women who are succeeding in STEM, along with the promotion of STEM programs,
Recognizing the Barriers
Cultural factors are a hurdle in closing the gender gap. Chinese culture has long placed greater value on the male sex. Even though the value of the female sex is increasing rapidly in China now, many girls and women are still held back by biases, social norms, and expectations influencing the subjects they study and the careers they pursue. Official statistics show there are more female than male university graduates in China. And studies from World Economic Forum show that China is one of the countries producing the most STEM graduates. However, women are still underrepresented in STEM education and in STEM careers in China. This is mainly due to unconscious bias, especially among parents and teachers, who assume that girls are
less suited to study STEM subjects than are boys. Until we address this bias at the primary and secondary school level, better gender balance will be impossible to achieve. Women in STEM 5 Years Out With the advancement of technology, the availability of educational opportunities, more role models, the recognition of the value of diversity, greater awareness of unconscious biases, more women-friendly policies, and flexible work arrangements, I believe we’ll see more and more women thriving in STEM. How fast the world can progress in this area will depend on whether families, schools, companies, media, and governments act with urgency to support girls and women in STEM. Lastly, we all must work to remove gender stereotyping— a barrier that may be the hardest to overcome.
Rachel Oborny Andersen Marketing Manager
My credentials: MBA, Daniels College of Business; BSBA, University of Denver My work location: Centennial, Colorado Words I live by: Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly. My personal philosophy: Try everything. What I’m reading now: Upstream by Dan Heath My favorite charity: Samaritan’s Purse My interests: Music, travel, and Colorado sports teams My family: Husband Company: Arrow Electronics Industry: Technology Company Headquarters: Centennial, Colorado CEO: Mike Long
In Her Own Words . . . How STEM Is Changing Our World The rate of advancement is faster than ever as innovation is no longer limited by geography or the availability of development resources. With the introduction of online tools and remote testing facilities, people are able to push technology boundaries and set new standards in a collective global environment. For example, our team in Denver is collaborating with an organization in Kenya to develop the latest energy harvesting technology. This work could have broad implications for future iterations of renewable and solar energy solutions to power our world. This advancement is timely as the world is looking to STEM to solve our problems at an even faster pace. Our heroes aren’t
always wearing capes or scoring goals; they are often wearing lab coats and solving systematic equations. Moving Forward in STEM The messaging we offer women regarding STEM must change. Women need to be told that their skills are valuable and needed in a STEM workplace. We need to quit highlighting the boundaries that have existed, and instead focus on how women can succeed and have influence. Women have unique talents and abilities that enable them to process a lot of data and information at the same time and make decisions to move forward. In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, this is a highly desirable skill, and women are positioned
to make a huge impact. Women in STEM 5 Years Out The future of women in STEM is up to us—the women. If we want to make a difference, we need to disrupt the perceived norm and make positive impacts in STEM fields. We need to quit being intimidated by what we have been told. Get the degree. Apply for the job. Speak up in the meeting. If we don’t have the right skill to solve a problem, we need to be brave enough to pursue it. We should find ways to stay relevant by remaining curious and seeking out learning opportunities to enhance our competencies. Let’s contribute our voices to the discussion. We have value and we belong in STEM.
Shelby Schnurrenberger Supplier Management Director
My credentials: Bachelor of Arts, international business and German (minor, international relations), Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota My work location: Denver, Colorado Words I live by: Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets. My personal philosophy: Nothing gets done without action. What I’m reading now: Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky My favorite charity: Denver Dumb Friends League; Breast Cancer Research Fund My interests: World travel, hiking with my husband and dog, painting, biking, and running My family: My incredibly supportive husband, Matt, and our 16-year-old dog, Mayreau Company: Arrow Electronics Industry: Technology Company Headquarters: Centennial, Colorado CEO: Mike Long
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM Diversity is incredibly important for a community, for an organization, for a team, and for success. Diversity begins with access to a good education, resources, and role models that support young girls’ dreams. Fostering diversity requires moving beyond a mandate from corporate, and creating a culture that sees past gender, age, or other surface characteristics. We are inherently drawn to like-minded individuals, but we need to learn to see the benefits of perspectives other than our own. In order to increase diversity in STEM, we must begin by exposing girls to activities and programs that introduce them to the world of STEM and familiarize them with foundational skills. Math and science teachers play a critical role, and it’s important that they work in creative ways to connect with 24
and bring out students’ nascent STEM interests. We are just beginning to understand the myriad ways we can engage and excite students in STEM. Closing the Gender Gap The barriers to closing the STEM gender gap are the same ones women have been facing for decades in the workforce. Although feminism has come a long way, the responsibility of caring for a sick child generally falls to her mother. The COVID-19 crisis is highlighting this issue even more, as schools have started closing early, putting greater pressure on mothers to balance work and family. It’s important for professors and employers to understand the different requirements of individuals, and to find reasonable solutions. Flexible school and work environments help level the playing field for women.
STEM is Changing Our World There are two big shifts in the past decade that support women in STEM: technology in our dayto-day lives; and broader access to STEM schools. Technology has taken over our daily lives and we take it for granted; think about the last time your internet was down for a day. Most toddlers can use an iPad or touch screen as well as, or better than, their parents. STEM schools provide children of all backgrounds a unique insight into the possible and prepare them with the skills they will need to succeed in an economy that is increasingly dominated by STEM. My eight-year-old niece attends a STEM school in Colorado, and I’m amazed and excited to see what she is being exposed to at such a early age. If she continues with this curriculum, she will be graduating high school with skillsets that will open up her entire future.
SreyRam Kuy, MD, MHS, FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine; Surgeon, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center; Deputy Chief Medical Officer, US Department of Veterans Affairs VISN 16 My credentials: MHS, Yale University; MD, Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Medicine My work location: Houston, Texas Words I live by: Serve your community and make it better. My personal philosophy: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” What I’m reading now: How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon My favorite charity: Dog Tag Bakery, a nonprofit that empowers veterans and their families through business training and educational opportunities My interests: Public service, philanthropy, and church My family: Sister and mother Company: Baylor College of Medicine and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Industry: Health care Company Headquarters: Houston, Texas CEO: Paul Klotman (Dean, Baylor College of Medicine); Francisco Vazquez (Medical Center Director, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center)
In Her Own Words . . . How the STEM World Is Changing
Increasing Diversity in STEM
Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I never dreamed of being a surgeon or serving in a leadership role. I just didn’t see myself as someone who could fit that mold. I was small, soft spoken, and a girl. But I had amazing mentors and role models, who encouraged and inspired me. My mentors were both men and women, and from them I learned the confidence and courage to be unafraid. A lot has changed since I started my journey in medicine. Now, there are increasing numbers of women training in surgery, though women as chairs and senior executives still lag significantly behind men. And though I do still walk into boardrooms where there are very few others who look like me, I realize, at least I’m at the table, and it’s my obligation to use my leadership role to advocate for opportunities and support for diversity in STEM.
To increase diversity in STEM, it’s important to begin early, by inspiring young learners through representation, outreach, support, and mentoring. It’s also critical to continue to address the issues that often lead diverse and women STEM professionals to leave STEM careers.
support continues throughout the career trajectory. There are many well-known factors that contribute to attrition for women in STEM, so it is important to put in place initiatives, such as family-friendly policies, tenure timeline flexibility, and representation on key decision-making bodies. These policies not only help women, they help all people move forward in STEM.
Closing the STEM Gender Gap Women in STEM 5 Years Out Representation of women in senior positions is essential for closing the gender gap in STEM. Also important is having strong allies for gender equity and diversity in STEM, who use their leadership and power to advocate for policies that embrace and support diversity.
In five years, I would want to see women in STEM being the norm, not the aspiration. I would want to see representation in board rooms, on key decision-making committees, and serving in senior executive positions. Some Words of Advice
Moving STEM Women Forward It is critically important that the pipeline for increasing women in STEM be supported, and that
Three things are key to being a woman leader in STEM in 2020: dream big; be resilient; and pay it forward.
Natalia Shuman CEO–Bureau Veritas, North America My credentials: MBA, Columbia University–Columbia Business School & London Business School; bachelor’s degree, international economic relations (honors) St. Petersburg State University of Economics My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: Build trust and integrity, respect all individuals, be open and inclusive, and believe in our collective roles to support social and environmental responsibility. My personal philosophy: Trust your gut, and be confident to always do the right thing. You can foster real change and succeed with the confidence to seize opportunities. What I’m reading now: The Great Influenza by John Barry My favorite charity: Organizations that address persistent gender gaps across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, like my alma mater, Columbia University, and their Girls in STEM program; St. Jude Clinic; American Red Cross My interests: Travelling, tennis, golf, and spending time with family My family: My husband is an economist and a writer, and we have a teenage daughter. Company: Bureau Veritas Industry: Testing, inspection, and certification services Company Headquarters: Paris, France (global); New York, New York (North America) CEO: Natalia Shuman (North America)
In Her Own Words . . . What can be done to increase diversity in STEM fields? There are three key actions that will lead to a more diverse STEM environment. First, reaching girls at a younger age is imperative; several studies and other research, that students decide as early as the second grade whether they are good at STEM and whether they like it. Yet, by the fourth grade, girls’ interest is already waning. Next, women already working in STEM must continue to find ways to strengthen that pipeline through organizational cultures that support women’s career needs. Flexible work options are vital to ensure we can keep nurturing women as they grow in their STEM careers. Finally, let’s continue to find creative and inspiring ways to keep a focus on diversity and
inclusion. One way we can do it is to celebrate women who are STEM superstars. At Bureau Veritas, women leaders head up some of our major operations, and I am excited to celebrate them as examples of what women can achieve in STEM. What barriers do you see to closing the gender gap in STEM? Challenges to entry still exist in practically every profession. To close the gender gap in STEM, we must find a way to create environments that allow women to flourish. There is a business case for creating more diversity in these critical fields, and we know that diversity is linked to innovation and profitability. If teams include people who think differently, they typically end up with far better results, and more innovation down the road.
How is the world changing with respect to STEM? Millennials, and even younger generations, continue to set the bar for the modern workplace. This is also happening in STEM, where more and more employees are accustomed to working and socializing in inclusive environments. In this regard, we are at the vanguard of diversity and inclusion, and I predict the trend will grow stronger as the world sees the value of bringing all kinds of perspectives to the table. In fact, it’s never been a better time for women to pursue careers in STEM, or a better time for the women already making their mark in STEM fields to double down on their goals and contributions. In my own leadership role, I will continue to encourage women at Bureau Veritas to seek opportunities that can take them out of their comfort zone, leading to positive career changes.
OUR DIVERSITY MAKES US STRONG EVOLUTION CAN TAKE THOUSANDS OF YEARS, BUT SOMETIMES IT CAN TAKE JUST A MOMENT. If the year 2020 has shown us anything, itâ€™s that diversity and inclusion are everything. We are seeing the possibility for rapid change right before our eyes. We are embracing the moment, knowing more clearly than ever that diversity is the defining strategy for becoming better in everything we do. This is why Bureau Veritas is dedicated to making diversity and inclusion a priority. We will continue to foster the culture we need to make this happen. We will do our jobs every day, knowing that diversity is our most valuable asset. We will continue to Shape a World of Trust through safety, ethics, and financial responsibilityâ€”knowing that our inclusive workforce is what makes it possible.
SHAPING A WORLD OF TRUST www.bvna.com
Katherine A. (Kassie) Helm, PhD Partner
My credentials: AB cum laude, biopsychology, Sigma Xi, Princeton University; MA, Johns Hopkins University; PhD, neuroscience, full scholarship–the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Johns Hopkins University; JD cum laude, Fordham University School of Law My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: It’s not a chance unless you take it. My personal philosophy: Everything is figureoutable. What I’m reading now: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday (very helpful during a global pandemic) My favorite charity: Every Mother Counts My interests: Playing with my kids and long distance running My family: Married to a lawyer and the mother of three boys Company: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: New York, New York/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania CEO: Henry N. Nassau
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM
enjoy the ride.
We have to find a way to imbue a sense of intellectual curiosity in every child about STEM fields. The most effective education is that where the purpose is to teach people how much they don’t know, and to instill in them a true desire to learn it. Diversity is not a problem in kindergarten. We need to make sure we light the fire for everyone to want to carry on in STEM fields.
Moving Women Forward in STEM
Breaking down STEM Barriers STEM careers nowadays are highly competitive. People fail so many times before having a success (e.g., see the documentary General Magic). In order for the gender gap to close, we need to help everyone, but especially young women, harness their fear of failure and resist the urge to overreact. Life in any competitive career is a series of ups and downs—you have to learn to 28
All the effort in the world won’t matter if women are not inspired. For whatever reason, women can be their own worst enemies, trying to attain impossible standards of perfection and preparedness, whereas so many studies tell us that men often dive right in, underprepared and undaunted. We need to encourage women to act—with all of the confidence of a mediocre white man, as the saying goes. Women in STEM 5 Years Out The female voice has become an incredibly powerful tool for identifying inequities and unacceptable societal behavior in the past few years. As a result, women are part of a powerful narrative. This is helpful in overcoming stereotypes and dogma—for as progressive as STEM fields are,
they are still highly encumbered by traditional views on leadership. As women move to the forefront, we can direct the conversation. My Experiences in STEM I became enamored with STEM subjects, long before the acronym existed. In high school in Canada, I was accepted to a program called Shad Valley, a summer enrichment program for high-achieving students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. It opened my eyes to the fact that good ideas speak for themselves. It may be hard for younger generations to appreciate that STEM fields did not always have this level of acclaim, profitability and industry adoration. I followed a career in science through my PhD and then transitioned into biotech patent law. I feel fortunate that my days are spent working on innovation that saves lives and that helps people to find new and better ways of doing things.
Rachel Passaretti-Wu Partner
My credentials: BA summa cum laude, State University of New York at Binghamton; JD, New York University School of Law My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: The future is female. My personal philosophy: Science matters. What I’m reading now: Epidemiology in Medicine by Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr. P.H. and Julie E. Buring, Sc.D. My favorite charity: ACLU My interests: Photography, jewelry making, and crafting My family: Husband (Robert), 2 daughters (Ruby & Roxy), dog (Coco), and fish (The Powerpuff Girls) Company: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: New York, New York/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania CEO: Henry N. Nassau
In Her Own Words . . . My Experiences in STEM Interestingly, until I began to reach the highest levels in my career, I didn’t experience any gender gap. This was a blessing, because I didn’t perceive any limitations and thought my potential was boundless. Although I’ve noticed some obstacles recently, I draw on my years climbing the ladder, and simply smash through any glass ceilings. I think this is an immensely exciting time to be female, as awareness around diversity and inclusion, and a strong focus on women, is growing. I’d encourage women in STEM to continue to lift other women up, so we can increase diversity and raise the profiles of women at the highest levels. Moving Women Forward in STEM One way to increase diversity is to foster mentorships. After all, “You cannot be what you cannot see.” www.diversityjournal.com
Having role models and mentors is a key way to support career advancement for all people. Our law firm has a program called Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) to help women associates navigate the path to partnership, which significantly improves the playing field through female mentorship. In the five years prior to its implementation, 18 percent of lawyers promoted to partner were women. In the five years since its implementation, 31 percent have been women. Bringing Down the Barriers We have systemic and often unconscious biases, which impact our thinking, mindset, and behaviors. In addition, while women are underrepresented in STEM fields, there are even fewer women of color to be found there. By drawing more awareness to these issues, we can shine a light on our biases, and help foster inclusive and diverse communities.
The STEM World is Changing STEM is becoming more mainstream and popular, which is really exciting. Schools, and society in general, are changing in ways that encourage more and more girls to participate in STEM-related subjects from a young age. This, hopefully, will encourage more young women to enter STEM careers and pave the way for more female leaders in STEM moving forward. In light of the unfortunate Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of science is suddenly top of mind for everyone. Hopefully, a “silver lining” of our current situation may be a greater awareness of the critical need for investment in, and support for, STEM industries. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I’d like to think women will be running the world in five years!
Andrea L.C. Reid Partner & Co-Lead–Global Life Sciences My credentials: BS, chemistry, and minor in mathematics, Boston University; MS, chemistry, University of Massachusetts Lowell; JD with distinction, intellectual property, Suffolk University Law School My work location: Boston, Massachusetts Words I live by: “If not you, who? If not now, when?” – Hillel the Elder My personal philosophy: When an opportunity door opens, walk through the door. What I’m reading now: When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics by Beth Baumert My favorite charity: USDF Circle of Friends My interests: Equestrian training and competing in dressage, spending time with my horses, cooking, knitting, yoga, hiking, and time with friends and family My family: Married to husband with BS in chemistry and MS in chemical engineering, with daughter who is a chemistry major at Baylor University and a son who is a jet engine mechanic at Pratt & Whitney Company: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: New York, New York/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania CEO: Henry N. Nassau
In Her Own Words . . . Overcoming the STEM Gender Gap Women have made great strides in the STEM fields in past years as we approach equal numbers with our male counterparts. Today, we are invited into STEM fields and many of the barriers that limited our involvement in the past have been dissolved. There are still barriers, but I personally believe that our perseverance, our support for one another, and the support of our male colleagues will eventually eliminate gender gaps. And, as more women become successful in this field, others will be inspired to join and become successful, as well. The STEM World Is Changing Views on gender roles have evolved in recent years, allowing women to have a stronger voice in developing their own career
vectors. Women in STEM are not afraid to speak up, receive credit for their ideas, and conduct their own research. In turn, more women are becoming more prominent in STEM, which inspires other women to join and pursue similar success. This cycle will continue and the population of women in the STEM fields will continue to grow. Moving Women Forward in STEM We must remember that, as women, that our male colleagues are our friends and can become part of our career support structure. Be sure to leverage your male connections and mentors. In my career, I have many men to thank the opportunities, mentoring, and training I’ve had along the way to my own career successes. And, it is our role to support equally the careers of both men and women as they enter STEM fields.
That said, in order to maintain the current rate of female population growth in the STEM field, recognition for these women is important. Providing equal opportunities regardless of gender, is crucial for women to feel motivated in this field and continue to be a part of the community. As more women become successful in this field, more leadership positions will be occupied by women, demonstrating that women and men can succeed in STEM fields. Women in STEM 5 Years Out The population of women in the STEM field will continue to increase as stereotypes are broken and more women join STEM programs. In five years, more women will be recognized as important members of this community and the gender gap will continue to close.
Sara Roitman Partner
My credentials: JD, Boston College Law School, staff writer and note editor, Boston College Law Review; BA, Hamilton College My work location: Chicago, Illinois Words I live by: Work hard, say yes to opportunities, and be kind to people—these are words I both live by and my guiding professional philosophy. What I’m reading now: These days, my favorite reading is largely focused on stories for my children. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts (illustrator) is a beloved favorite. It is a heart-warming and inspiring read for girls and boys—especially if we are to inspire the next generation of diverse STEM leaders! My favorite charity: Center for Reproductive Rights My interests: Hiking, cooking, and traveling, in particular; but ultimately, doing anything with my family and our sweet golden retriever. My family: My husband, Ben, and kids Will (5), Max (4), and Alice (1) Company: Dechert LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: New York, New York/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania CEO: Henry N. Nassau
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM
lawyers into a wide range of roles.
Fortunately, the legal profession is ahead of other industries when it comes to involving diverse attorneys in STEM fields, but we have much room for improvement. In our field, you cannot overstate the importance of giving diverse lawyers opportunities early and often. One thing firms can do to deliver high-quality STEM work from diverse attorneys is to ensure that the younger diverse lawyers are engaged in STEM issues early in their careers through partnerships with STEM-focused senior attorneys. This engagement will help young and diverse lawyers identify specific interests in STEM fields, while nurturing meaningful mentoring relationships. Equally important, it will help spark the next generation of diverse STEM leaders who will become passionate about key STEM issues and drive these talented diverse
Bringing down Barriers
There are many barriers to closing the gender gap, but there is also much we can do. One significant way we can close the gap and retain some of our greatest future STEM leaders is by showing young STEM women that thay can successfully manage a career and a family. The more examples we have of senior STEM women who have chosen to have children and be involved as supportive parents, while also successfully holding demanding senior positions, the more we can attract the best talents from a diverse pool and provide younger women the support they need to remain in STEM fields. The STEM World Is Changing Product liability law is seeing an increase in gender-specific
mass tort litigation and a greater focus on women’s health care products. This is attributable to several factors, including an increase in pharmaceutical products designed primarily or exclusively for women (e.g., hormone therapy, birth control, breast implants) and the fact that women tend to interact with the health care system more than men (even excluding pregnancy-related visits). Firms will benefit by being mindful of this trend and recruiting strong and diverse lawyers into STEM fields. On a more contemporary note, we are exploring how the coronavirus pandemic will change the role of STEM issues in the product liability legal field. In particular, the constant focus by the lay media on medical science and public health may influence how judges, witnesses, jurors, and other stakeholders perceive and consider science and epidemiological issues going forward. www.womenworthwatching.com
Yolanda Bowdry Williams Director, Automation Center of Excellence
My credentials: BS, biology/mathematics, Jackson State University; MBA, operations management, Webster University My work location: New Orleans, Louisiana Words I live by: “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. My personal philosophy: “Despise not thy humble beginnings.” Zechariah What I’m reading now: Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald My favorite charity: American Heart Association My interests: Increasing my knowledge of artificial intelligence, cross-country travel around the U.S., reading and writing poetry, attending live music shows, and thrifting My family: 3 Children: Oscar, 27-year-old, software engineer, Walmart; Maxine, 23-year-old, associate producer, Buzzfeed; and Serenity, 22-year-old, senior, Temple University Company: Entergy Corporation Industry: Utilities/Energy Company Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana CEO: Leo Denault
In Her Own Words . . .
How the STEM World Is Changing
Moving Women Forward in STEM
Overall, technology is the key to removing bias from the talent acquisition process. Artificial intelligence can support locating talent from a broader candidate pool, and mask bias differentiators associated with ethnicity, gender, and age. AI can improve job postings through guidance on tone, voice, and length to reduce biases. Additionally, internet job boards can diversify talent pools using AI queries. Automated assessments and asynchronous video interviews enable candidates to get past first level HR recruitment reviews. AI can interact with candidates and learn about their skills and interests, and match those attributes to job openings. AI can mitigate bias and enhance diversity by providing data analytics and reporting to HR during decision-making in hiring and promoting diverse employees. New technologies and tools are worth the investment in this space.
There are three important ways we can help move women forward in STEM—mentorship, sponsorship, and ownership. Mentoring women can help them navigate daily work activity and guide them in developing their skills and abilities. It allows experienced women and men to share their knowledge in meaningful ways. The next level of support is sponsorship—an influential leader advocates on behalf of a woman to help her progress professionally. These leaders actively participate in implementing programs and policies that move the needle on the career progression of women. Where mentoring and sponsoring involve sharing advice and shepherding development, ownership consists of creating new avenues for societal change. I’ve seen this in my field through Women in Tech and Girls Who Code. These organizations, and
others like them, are creating a new normal by removing hurdles to technical careers. I would love to see increased activity in science, engineering, and mathematics. Barriers Are Coming Down Barriers are falling for women entering STEM. Although most women may not have grown up thinking about these fields, it’s clear that when they make the move to STEM, they find their skills are transferable. Based upon their diverse backgrounds, women in technology, for example, provide unique perspectives in research outcomes, user experience, and product applicability. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I see women moving into more leadership roles across all fields in STEM—from working in STEM careers to sitting on more corporate boards and working as social influencers and entrepreneurs.
Salute to the Women of Entergy At Entergy we are focused on growing a world-class energy business that creates sustainable value for all our stakeholders – customers, employees, communities and owners. Achieving this objective requires us to continually assess every aspect of our business, from how we innovate to how we invest to how we create a high-performance workplace.
Congratulations, Yolanda on your well-deserved recognition as one of the “Women Worth Watching® in STEM.”
Yolanda Bowdry Williams Director Automation, Center of Excellence
A message from Entergy Corporation. ©2020 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
LaRhonda Leonard VPâ€“IT Operational Excellence, Provider & Medical Management Systems My credentials: BS, computer engineering, MBA, Clarkson University My work location: Rochester, New York Words I live by: Always believe in yourself. My personal philosophy: Never underestimate what you are capable of accomplishing. What Iâ€™m reading now: The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes My favorite charity: United Way My interests: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and supporting my sons in their athletic and academic endeavors. My family: two sons, ages 17 and 20 Company: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Industry: Health Insurance Company Headquarters: Rochester, New York CEO: Christopher C. Booth
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM
The Changing World of STEM
We can increase diversity across STEM fields by continuing to invest in programs that allow women and diverse candidates to pursue STEM degrees and explore STEM careers. By celebrating and highlighting the diversity already present in STEM, we let younger talent know that there is a community of support within STEM that they can learn from and depend on.
With technology advancing at lightning speed, there are now more opportunities than ever in STEM. As we begin to embrace these opportunities, we will see more advancement opportunities for women and diverse candidates in these fields across the board.
STEM Women on the Move It is important that we continue to encourage young women to pursue degrees and careers in STEM. It is also vital that those women encounter a strong network of programs and support from other women in STEM to keep then engaged, and that they understand that there endless options in STEM available to them.
Women in STEM 5 Years Out I see us continuing to close the gender gap and increasing our percentage in leadership and other influential positions across the globe. We will continue to increase the impact of the legacies we are creating as we pursue our own careers in STEM. My Own STEM Experience Earlier on in my career, it was difficult and challenging to be a woman in STEM. I was not aware of many
programs and other avenues of support that could help guide me through my career options. Because of that, I did not always make the best choices when it came to selecting positions. This lack of knowledge hindered my growth. Once I was at Excellus, that all changed. Here, there was plenty of support from leadership regarding many aspects of my career path. There were also opportunities to seek out mentors and participate in programs, internally and externally, that allowed me to enhance my skill set and helped me grow as a leader. During my time here at Excellus, I have made great career choices and have learned so much along the way. Now I look for opportunities to encourage young women to pursue degrees in STEM, and coach and mentor women who work in STEM fields in order to support them in reaching their career goals.
Marcella Fioroni Mathematics & Technology Teacher and Robotics Coach
My credentials: MSc, McMaster University; BEng, University of Toronto; BEd, York University My work location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Words I live by: Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. My personal philosophy: Speak thoughtfully, act with integrity, and be your authentic self—especially when it’s difficult. What I’m reading now: Seeing Like a Rover byJanet Vertesi My favorite charity: Student Financial Aid Programs (any) My interests: Hiking, yoga, softball, trivia, travel, local culture Company: Crescent School Industry: Education Company Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada CEO: Michael Fellin, Headmaster
In Her Own Words . . . How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
From what I have seen in my career, two important changes are happening. First, STEM subjects are becoming more accessible and easier to learn. Any enthusiastic person with an internet connection can learn the basics, or study particular topics in depth. Second, rather than a more traditional view of STEM subjects as highly technical, rigid, and prescribed, STEM is now more popularly viewed as collaborative, creative, and open ended. And while, as a teacher, I believe taking time to learn the foundations of STEM subjects in a school setting is essential, gone are the days of thinking all scientists work in a laboratory and every problem has only one correct solution.
We can help move women forward in STEM by seeking out those who are enthusiastic and encouraging them to take on leadership roles. I believe with the changes in the industry—moving toward more collaborative, innovative, and interdisciplinary STEM work—there are all kinds of leadership opportunities available. And there are certainly qualified female candidates for such roles. I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of all employers to see the value of female leadership, especially in STEM fields, where there are so few women. It is also the responsibility of women to support and encourage one another and have the courage to take on leadership when it presents itself. More women in leadership will serve as inspiration for women to strive to move forward.
My experiences in STEM I am grateful to have had primarily positive experiences in my professional career. In my current place of work, I am supported and respected by my colleagues and superiors. I have been encouraged to pursue professional development, including completing my doctoral studies, and have been given every resource necessary to excel in my teaching. Crescent School has been an incredible place to work and I find my career tremendously fulfilling. Sadly, what has been a constant since I entered university is the lack of female leadership in the field. The majority of my professors and all of my career superiors have been men. While these people have all been positive influences, I would have benefited from mentorship from women. www.womenworthwatching.com
Angela D. Follett, PhD Principal
My credentials: JD (magna cum laude), University of St. Thomas School of Law; PhD, chemistry, University of Minnesota; BA (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), chemistry, biochemistry, Gustavus Adolphus College My work location: Twin Cities (Minneapolis & Saint Paul, Minnesota) Words I live by: Luck favors the prepared. My personal philosophy: Work to lift up those around you. I would not be where I am today without the help and assistance of countless others along the way who took the time to invest in me and help me step up to the next stage in life, my education, or my career. I strive to pay that forward whenever possible. To help those around me when I can and to make the world (even my tiny bit of it) a better place by working towards a net positive. What I’m reading now: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden My favorite charity: Organizations that make a direct impact on children and that support the education and advancement of women and girls My interests: Reading, cooking, walking, hiking, and yoga My family: Husband, Charley, daughter, Lydia (age 12), and son, Peter (age 7) Company: Fish & Richardson Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts CEO: John Adkisson
In Her Own Words . . .
How the STEM World Is Changing
Moving Women Forward in STEM
Barriers are becoming a bit easier to overcome—in particular, there has been a strong push to stop characterizing certain careers and paths of study as being strictly male or female. This goes a long way to fostering curiosity and building a love for science, technology, engineering, and math. Showing women working in all aspects of the STEM fields provides young women and girls with models and inspiration that one such career path could be right for them. Instead of feeling as if they will be the only “girl” in the room, they can know that someone has walked that path before them and, while it may be challenging, it can be done. I am seeing that type of acceptance grow and change, which is a strong step forward.
We need to start early and rebuild the identities we associate with careers in STEM and with those we identify as being successful in STEM careers. It is important to challenge and change the assumptions and stereotypes associated with various STEM pursuits. There is not one gender, race, or class of person who should be assumed to be successful in any particular field. Highlighting diversity, and working to make it a reality across fields, is incredibly important to encouraging more women to enter STEM fields. Stereotypes create a large barrier for women in STEM careers. We also need to do more to incorporate application into the teaching of STEM. It is important to not only teach the content of STEM topics, but also to illustrate the variety of applications and contexts
in which each can be used. Expanding how we teach and apply STEM education will help lower the barriers faced by those who simply learn better in a hands-on and concrete way. Women in STEM 5 Years Out Women will make up a higher percentage of the population working in STEM and will be filling more leadership roles. It is unlikely that we will have achieved full equality in five years, but I believe we will have made significant strides in terms of higher levels of job placement, increased retention, promotions to positions of leadership, and salary equality with our male counterparts. As our communities recognize and support women, and their desire to have both a successful career and a successful personal life, more and more women will participate and thrive in STEM.
Lisa Greenwald-Swire Principal
My credentials: JD, Georgetown University Law Center; BA, University of Michigan, Political Science and English My work location: Silicon Valley, Redwood City, California Words I live by: Carpe diem. My personal philosophy: You live once and you don’t know when your time is up. As a breast cancer survivor, I have learned that you’ve got to go for it. You have to make the most of what you have been given. What I’m reading now: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides My favorite charity: Any charity relating to cancer My interests: Dancing, travel, and writing My family: I’m a mom of two teenagers, a fur baby and a husband. Company: Fish & Richardson Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts CEO: John Adkisson
In Her Own Words . . . How to Increase STEM Diversity Take a broad view of what diversity is. At Fish, we think of diversity in many different ways—in perspectives and backgrounds, genders, religions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, cultures, and the infinite differences that distinguish us from one another. Diversity and inclusion are pillars of our firm, and we strengthen them by embracing a wide range of individuals. Be focused and mindful in your recruiting. Evaluate the needs of diverse individuals entering STEM fields and find ways to support the talent pipeline. My firm’s fellowship program is a good example. We provide diverse first-year law students with paid summer positions, mentoring, and scholarships. The program represents a key component of our ongoing initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who have a specific interest in technology law and will contribute to the diversity of our practice and the legal profession. www.diversityjournal.com
Foster a culture that supports diverse leaders. Diverse leadership is important to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. STEM businesses need to promote from within and create policies that work towards increasing the number of individuals with diverse backgrounds in leadership positions. Many of Fish’s departments, committees, subcommittees, affinity groups, and initiatives are led by diverse individuals, which is a direct result of our commitment to increasing leadership opportunities. Breaking down Barriers Historically, the roadblocks to closing the gender gap were more overt. Even though they are more subtle today, the barriers women in STEM face still exist. However, we now have more champions of gender diversity, who are leading the efforts to place more women in STEM. Many companies are addressing the problem individually. But as
the saying goes, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” By joining forces, sharing ideas and resources, and speaking in one voice, we’ll see those barriers break down faster. Corporate America is looking internally and externally to close the gap. Many major companies are demanding diversity from their outside teams and vendors, making it a condition of employment. When STEM companies take bold approaches to closing their own gender and diversity gaps—and demand that those they do business with do the same—it will create a culture that reflects the diversity of their employees, customers, and the communities where they do business. Organizations that are addressing the gender gap are growing stronger and more powerful. Within the legal industry, we see many groups facing diversity issues head on, including ChIPs, an organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy. www.womenworthwatching.com
Tiffany Reiter, PhD Principal
My credentials: JD, Suffolk Law School, Boston, MA; PhD, molecular biology, Mayo Graduate School; BS, biotechnology, St. Cloud State University My work location: Boston, Massachusetts Words I live by: Work hard, be honest, be creative, and there is always more to learn. My personal philosophy: Be passionate and seek inspiration in what you do. What I’m reading now: Guilty Not Guilty by Felix Francis My favorite charity: LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders; Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) My interests: Archeology, anthropology, gardening, and mystery fiction My family: My fiancé, mother, brother, and a large extended family Company: Fish & Richardson Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts CEO: John Adkisson
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM I think increasing diversity in STEM should start in the elementary school system to encourage young women to speak up and be heard in science and engineering courses. At even younger ages, we want women to be aware of successful, even famous, female scientists; career opportunities they can explore; and that careers in STEM are fun, challenging, and rewarding.
school to inform women about STEM opportunities and encourage them to learn more about careers in STEM. How the STEM World Is Changing There are sincere efforts being made to inform and bring awareness to female scientists and engineers. Young women now have female role models they can look up to and learn from in the STEM fields.
Barriers to Closing the Gender Gap
Moving Women Forward in STEM
We need to make leadership in business and government understand the importance and value of having a diverse workforce. Having a diverse STEM workforce allows businesses and universities to recruit and retain the best overall talent. We also need to improve educational programs in elementary, middle, and high
I think mentorship and sponsorship programs are important for women in STEM. I often request more diversity in speaker panels at conferences when I do not see a lot of diversity represented. Programs that allow women in to meet and communicate play an important role in moving women forward in
STEM. Finally, it’s vital that we work together with our male colleagues to improve diversity in business. Men still hold many more positions of power than women, and we need their support and commitment in order to achieve greater success. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I hope to see more women taking leadership positions in STEM and more women studying and pursuing careers in STEM. A Word of Advice to Women in STEM There are so many different career opportunities in STEM. It is okay to take a step outside your comfort zone. Get creative and explore the different opportunities that are available to you.
Jenny Shmuel, PhD Principal
My credentials: JD (cum laude), Harvard Law School; PhD, materials science & engineering, MIT; BS, materials science & engineering, MIT My work location: Boston, Massachusetts Words I live by: The golden rule. In my household, it takes the form of my kids’ favorite book, Do Unto Otters As You Would Have Otters Do Unto You. In the book, a rabbit is getting new neighbors—a family of otters—and doesn’t know how to interact with them. A wise owl provides the answer with a dose of humor: Respect and empathy are the keys to good relationships. My personal philosophy: I’m a lawyer and an advocate, but not a fighter. I try to argue the merits and avoid personal attacks on opposing counsel or the adverse party. What I’m reading now: I just finished the Harry Potter series and I’ve started The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m also reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Nothing academic. My favorite charity: Best Friends Animal Society My interests: The legal landscape for biosimilars; family; and travel (I spent months backpacking through India before law school; I’ve hiked to the Everest Base Camp and Macchu Picchu, and would like to do Patagonia next… maybe when my kids are a bit older.) My family: My husband and I have three kids (ages 4, 6, and 8), and a close-knit extended family. Company: Fish & Richardson Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts CEO: John Adkisson
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM
How the STEM World Is Changing
Women in STEM 5 Years Out
We can increase diversity in STEM by planting the seed early that STEM is a viable option for diverse kids. When we ask little girls what they want to be when they grow up, do we intentionally include engineers and inventors and scientists as options? When teachers talk about career paths in school, do they show pictures of racially and gender diverse individuals doing STEM work? Do they highlight highly successful women and minorities in STEM?
It is definitely changing for the better. Decision makers are increasingly aware that diverse ways of thinking positively impact the bottom line. Technology is making remote and flexible work a reality. Although progress is slow, more and more women are advancing into positions of authority.
Success breeds success. As more women make a name for themselves in STEM, more women will join their ranks. I hope that in five years we will have even more women in STEM-related leadership positions.
Barriers to Closing the Gender Gap Perceptions are a huge barrier. If girls and women don’t think they can pursue STEM careers, they won’t try. Similarly, if girls and women don’t think they’ll be happy and successful in a STEM profession, they won’t consider it. www.diversityjournal.com
Moving Women Forward in STEM Make sure that the factors considered for advancement credit the valuable skills that women (statistically) are better at than men, not just the ones that men (statistically) are better at than women. Do not make women toot their own horns to advance their careers—this is notoriously hard for many women. Do away with rigid structures such as required 9-to-5 office hours and face time that disproportionally disadvantage women, who are often primary caregivers.
My Own STEM Experience I feel thankful that I have not experienced discrimination or sexism in my career. Perhaps I am just lucky, but I like to think it is a sign that things are improving. Nevertheless, as a woman in a STEM career, I have often been in the minority. For me, the solution has been to work in collaborative environments where, even though the work is demanding, it always feels like a team effort rather than an individual competition. I have found other women and supporters who have gone out of their way to advocate for me, and I try to pay that kindness forward for other women. www.womenworthwatching.com
Alissa Vickery Senior Vice President–Accounting and Controls My credentials: BBA, accounting, Master of Accountancy, University of Georgia My work location: Atlanta, Georgia Words I live by: Wash your face every night, make your own money, and never bark alone. My personal philosophy: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt What I’m reading now: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow My favorite charity: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta My interests: Relaxing at the lake, long boat rides, reading, college football, and spending time with family My family: Married 15 years to my high school sweetheart, Matt; our 11-year-old daughter, Bella; and Archie, our chocolate Labrador retriever Company: FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc. Industry: Payment products & services Company Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia CEO: Ron Clarke
In Her Own Words . . . Breaking down Barriers for Women in STEM In order to close the gender gap in STEM, we need to eliminate gender-related stereotypes and encourage both girls and boys to get involved with—and excited about— STEM at a very early age. As much as we don’t like to admit it, children grow up limited by the stereotype that boys should enjoy math and science, and girls should gravitate toward subjects like reading and writing. Educators, and of course parents, have a duty to eliminate gender biases, so that both boys and girls will recognize that they can pursue whatever they’re genuinely passionate about—not just what others may expect of them. How the STEM World Is Changing The rate at which technology is
evolving today is unprecedented; something new can arrive and grow immensely popular, and just as quickly become obsolete and disappear. For older generations, who didn’t grow up with this pace of change, it’s often hard to adjust. But for my young daughter, who learned how to navigate my new iPhone faster than I did, understanding such tech seems to come naturally. Because our children start from a more technically advanced place, they are more interested in, and better equipped to understand and use, new technology. Women in STEM 5 Years Out In the next five years, I think we’ll see greater gender diversity in STEM for two reasons. First, women are becoming a force to be reckoned with across industries—today, we have female CEOs,
founders, and more. When looking at how the presence of women in STEM—and in the workforce at large—has grown from my mother’s generation to mine, I can only imagine what future generations may look like. Second, and more important, I think we’ll see more women in STEM in future years because diversity facilitates better business outcomes. It’s undeniable that men’s and women’s brains are wired differently, leading us to have different thought processes and arrive at different answers to the same questions. As a leader, I believe that the more diversity you have sitting at the table—not just with regard to women, but across ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds—the better the outcome typically is. And businesses everywhere are beginning to embrace this concept.
Madison Bell Senior Product Operations Manager
My credentials: BA, Stanford University My work location: San Francisco, California Words I live by: Fairness, transparency, integrity, empathy, and grit My favorite charity: Planned Parenthood My interests: Traveling, running, quilting, crocheting, and Burning Man My family: Zak Stein (Partner) Company: Flexport Industry: Technology and logistics Company Headquarters: San Francisco, California CEO: Ryan Petersen
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM Here are some of the ways we can increase diversity in STEM:
• Ensure that all students finish high school, and make college affordable and accessible to all high school graduates who exhibit aptitude and interest
• Make it easier for prospective hires to relocate for STEM jobs, including obtaining visas and relocating families • Improve parental leave policies (require new parents— fathers and mothers—to take equal time away from work, and offer flexible return-towork arrangements) • Increase the availability and reduce the cost of high-quality childcare • Provide equal access to opportunities and fair evaluations
Barriers to Closing the Gender Gap • Candidates from nontraditional backgrounds are often not considered • Companies are unwilling to train and grow their employees
• Workplace cultures make employees feel as if their voices aren’t heard, their work isn’t valued, and that they don’t really belong • A lack of mentoring and advocacy for women
Moving Women in STEM Forward • When possible, consider people from nontraditional background for STEM roles
• Commit to training employees who show an aptitude for and interest in STEM • Create an inclusive team and company culture
• Identify and address bad behavior so that work environments are healthy and supportive
• Ensure that performance evaluations are fair and consistent Women in STEM 5Years Out Five years from today, I believe we will see more women:
• Learning about STEM earlier in their educational experience • Will be earning STEM-related degrees
• Holding STEM-related leadership roles • Serving on boards and in the C-suite
I’m not sure we will see all of the above changes in the next five years. However, I’m hopeful that more women in STEM leadership roles will push forward some of the needed changes listed here. www.womenworthwatching.com
Brianna Satterlund Vice President, Program Management & Quality My credentials: Master of Science, Electrical Engineering & Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University My work location: Novi, Michigan Words I live by: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment,” – Ralph Waldo Emerson My personal philosophy: Devote your whole self to your passions, never stop learning, and love freely—not in spite of the world we live in, but because of it. My favorite charity: The Michigan Science Center STEMinista Project, which provides much-needed role models and resources for our metro-Detroit communities. Watching young girls realize that they also have the potential to grow up and become scientists, engineers, researchers, and more …. It’s so touching and important to me. My family: With four children (a 10-year-old, an 8-year-old, and twin 1-year-olds—all boys!), there is a fair amount of fun, chaos, excitement, adventure, love, and humor in our household. During the winter, we spend most weekends at the hockey rink or snowboarding. Through the summer, we’re always outside, hiking, swimming, or riding our bikes. I’m exhausted, but in the best way—it is so fantastic, and exactly what my husband and I signed up for when we created all these fun, special, and challenging little human lives. Company: HARMAN Industry: Technology Company Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut CEO: Michael Mauser
In Her Own Words . . . Respecting Our Diversity My son has this quote framed in his room, and when I asked him why these words meant so much to him he said, “It’s about my dyslexia. It makes me feel okay about things that I have to work harder at than others, like reading and writing. And it makes me feel proud of the things that I’m really good at already, like our mini-society project and my social studies quizzes.”
These words are so important to me because they reflect the challenge we have existing in a society that expects everyone to be the same, when in reality, everyone is so wonderfully and fabulously different. My Start-in-STEM Experience During my sophomore year of high school, I worked as a technician at a hearing-aid facility was located about a half mile from my
school. I took electronics classes every year in high school, and my freshman class teacher referred me to the company for a position working during the evenings after school and on weekends. I made $6.50 an hour and thought I was the luckiest teenager on the planet—it empowered me to buy the “expensive jeans” at the mall and save up for my first car. It taught me valuable lessons about hard work and the importance of technology, but mostly it was just very fun!
Kumari Williams Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition My credentials: BBA, human resources management, Grand Valley State University; MBA, Wayne State University, Master of Business Administration My work location: Novi, Michigan Words I live by: If you treat people right, they won’t just go to the wall for you, they will go through it. My personal philosophy: I’m protective of my personal brand, which includes being known for treating people right and providing high-quality work. I drive results, but I care about people in the process—you can do both at the same time. What I’m reading: I just finished reading Multipliers by Liz Wiseman; I am currently reading Now Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath, Marcus Buckingham, and Donald O. Clifton. My favorite charity: I currently sit on the board of Perfectly Scarred Inc. (assists youth burn survivors with confidence building); Give Merit, Inc. (provides educational resources to underserved youth); and Downtown Boxing Gym (empowers Detroit students through education, athletics, and mentorship). My family: I am a wife to Plesze Williams—we’ve been married since 2012—and mom to Ethan and Aiden. Company: HARMAN Industry: Technology Company Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut CEO: Michael Mauser
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM We have to continue to expose children at early ages to STEM. As employers, we should be forward-thinking and work with local schools at all grade levels in both urban and suburban areas to ensure that all children have access to professionals in STEM and programs that support it. Having a career in STEM can change the social economics of a whole family. We are obligated to help plant the seeds that drive curiosity and expose these children to careers in areas they wouldn’t have normally been exposed to. The Changing World of STEM It’s clear that there has been a significant uptick in conversation around diversity in STEM. Science, technology, engineering, and math are related to everything—there are so many opportunities to touch www.diversityjournal.com
STEM in almost every industry. In my opinion, it’s a great improvement, and it allows for a level of representation and consideration that hasn’t been as prominent in the past. Moving Women in STEM Forward Executives who hold leadership roles in the workforce must be active advocates and allies for women in the workplace. They have to expose these women to new opportunities, develop them, mentor them, and stand up for them if injustice occurs. Real change relies on individuals who actively get involved and champion women pursuing careers in STEM. It’s not okay for us to just be satisfied with our own progress and not think about the progress and development of others. My job as a leader is to help other people win.
Women in STEM 5 Years Out Over time, I think women will continue to occupy more STEM roles that have a significant impact at companies in all industries. We will be in positions that allow us to have a strong voice at the table, and will advocate for other women and underrepresented people to have a seat at the table as well. It won’t happen overnight, but we will continue to see progress over the next five years. My STEM Experience For the past 10 years, I’ve focused on recruiting professionals in STEM. I’ve had the fortunate experience of recruiting, screening and selecting some of the best female talent in STEM for various roles across the country. I continue to be inspired by the stories and triumph of all the incredible female leaders in technology and engineering with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. www.womenworthwatching.com
Brenda L. Danek Partner
My credentials: JD, New York University; PhD, chemical engineering, University of Delaware; BSE summa cum laude, chemical engineering, University of Michigan My work location: Chicago, Illinois Words I live by: Today’s a great day to create some memories. My personal philosophy: Good communication is the basis to solve all problems. What I’m reading now: Cozy mysteries to distract from the daily news My favorite charity: Amnesty International and Planned Parenthood My interests: Recently, Swimming, diving, and documentaries Company: Latham & Watkins Industry: Law Company Headquarters: N/A CEO: Rich Trobman (Chair & Managing Partner)
In Her Own Words . . . How We Can Increase Diversity in STEM We can continue to implement the cultural changes that have already led to increasing diversity, such as identifying the systemic privileges that have long been attached to the stereotypical male engineer, lawyer, etc. It took a lot to recognize that there was gender or racial bias at the subconscious level and to acknowledge that white male privilege is real—not something that can be brushed aside as a “gender or race card” that’s been played by the disenfranchised. This recognition that different perspectives exist—and are valuable—has been the turning point in embracing diversity in the field. Just because it’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t make it the only or right way. Closing the Gender Gap Barriers in STEM The biggest challenge to address44
ing most problems is recognizing that there is a problem. Over the last few decades, the STEM fields started embracing the value of different perspectives rather than just numbers. It’s not about simply leveling the field, it’s about identifying opportunities lost by silencing or ignoring contributions that diverse voices bring to problem solving. The gender gap received a lot of media coverage, but it took time for it to become a cultural norm to embrace the real value that different perspectives and problem-solving skill sets bring to the STEM community. In the 1990s, the call to move against traditional standards of perspective, and respecting and validating alternative experiences, was frequently dismissed as “political correctness.” Now, dismissing something as politically correct, or even just “political,” has become less acceptable. Moving Women Forward in STEM As we continue to normalize
gender equality in STEM, the real win will be not identifying someone as a woman in STEM but just as an person in STEM. The diversity of voices will be an entrenched value, and it will be understood that diverse research teams benefit problem-solving and scientific inquiry. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I’ve experienced a great, supportive community of women in STEM. When talking to women 10 years junior to me, I appreciate how different their experience has been. We’re on a really hopeful and inspiring trajectory. People are continually striving to make things better across STEM—and in the legal profession—with new solutions to a host of challenges. My own firm recently implemented a gender neutral parental leave policy, which no company would have thought about 10 years ago.
Inge A. Osman Partner
My credentials: JD, Harvard Law School; BSE magna cum laude, electrical and biomedical engineering, Duke University My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: Don’t give up. The beginning is always the hardest. Life rewards those who work hard at it. My personal philosophy: Be grateful for the many blessings in your life each day. What I’m reading now: Becoming by Michelle Obama My favorite charity: International Rescue Committee My interests: Travel, reading, and baking My family: I have two young boys (4 and 2 years old) Company: Latham & Watkins Industry: Law Company Headquarters: N/A CEO: Rich Trobman (Chair & Managing Partner)
In Her Own Words . . . How STEM Is Changing Our World STEM is more important today than ever before. As awareness of the significance of STEM has grown, there has been an increased focus on addressing the lack of diversity in the field. Overcoming Barriers and Closing the Gender Gap The largest barrier to closing the gender gap in STEM is an implicit cultural bias that women and girls are just not as good at math and science as men and boys. This bias is pervasive, and many women and girls internalize it without realizing they are doing so. We must recognize and understand this bias so that we can more effectively address and combat it. Overcoming this bias will take work, both institutional and individual, but we can go a long way to undercutting it by shining the light on all www.diversityjournal.com
the incredible women and girls who are already working and succeeding in STEM. Moving Women Forward in STEM Women and girls who have expressed an interest in STEM should be nurtured and encouraged. This means providing them with the educational opportunities necessary to progress in their chosen STEM fields and offering them role models and mentors to help guide them along the way. In my experience, providing women with options for maternity leave and flexible work schedules is particularly important. These accommodations help give women the tools they need to balance work and family so that, if they choose to have a family, they can continue to move forward, progress in their chosen careers, and pursue their passions.
Women in STEM 5 Years Out Over the course of my career, I have seen encouraging advances among women in STEM, and I personally have been very lucky in the encouragement and opportunities I’ve received. As a partner, I can work with my colleagues to create opportunities and pathways so others in my field may progress. My practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, and we are always looking for women who are adept at learning about new technologies to protect the valuable patents that underpin them. Women are advancing in STEM fields, and I expect that they will continue to do so over the next five years. Increasingly, women are rejecting the notion that they cannot pursue a career in STEM simply based on their gender. We have a long way to go, but I hope and expect to eventually see women and men equally represented throughout the STEM fields. www.womenworthwatching.com
Elizabeth Richards Partner, Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice
My credentials: JD cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center; Master of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; AB summa cum laude, Georgetown University My work location: Washington, DC My personal philosophy: Two (or more) heads are better than one; diversity of views produces better results. What I’m reading now: Playing Big by Tara Mohr My favorite charity: Children’s Law Center of DC My interests: Recently, I’ve developed a keen interest in creating and tending to my small garden of herbs and vegetables with much more time at home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. My family: Husband, three kids, and a dog Company: Latham & Watkins Industry: Law Company Headquarters: N/A CEO: Rich Trobman (Chair & Managing Partner)
In Her Own Words . . .
Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap
Moving Women Forward in STEM
I think the most obvious barrier is the long-standing misconception that women may not be as skilled in STEM fields as men. This widespread unconscious bias against women who seek a career in STEM may be the hardest to address because it resides within individual perceptions. It cannot be eliminated through textbooks, or legislation, or corporate mandates—though all of these elements are important for raising awareness. To overcome this bias, women in STEM may have to work harder and longer than men to succeed. And those who tire of the fight and abandon a STEM career may unintentionally discourage other women in the field. This is why it is incumbent on women working in STEM fields to continue swimming against the current of unconscious bias.
As a woman involved in the legal and public health implications of STEM, I think about the field broadly, to include all sorts of ancillary industries—such as the legal industry—that play a role in advancing STEM. I studied law while earning a Master of Public Health degree, and was excited to pursue a career in STEM that married these two passions. As a food and drug lawyer whose clients are engaged in the “hard” science work we think of as STEM, I have come to see the importance of ancillary industries, like law, that support and enable those efforts. I have, therefore, focused on mentoring and advancing other women in the legal field, and encouraging them to expand their views of what a STEM career can be.
Why a STEM Career? In STEM fields, no two days at work are the same. In my practice, advising FDA-regulated entities, the technology is always changing. Science is always changing. Discoveries are made every day, and the law often needs to catch up. The work is absolutely fascinating, and I am always learning something new—often with practical application to my life and the lives of those around me. Pursuing a career in, or one focused on, STEM is not easy; it requires a constant hunger and appreciation for learning— more days than not, I come home with my brain in a twist. But I can’t imagine I’d have as interesting a career—and as brilliant clients—had I not pursued STEM professionally.
Jane E. Remillard Partner
My credentials: JD, Boston University School of Law; BA, molecular biology, Princeton University My work location: Boston, Massachusetts Words I live by: “Lead by example.” I believe one of the best ways of encouraging other women to enter STEM careers is to personally demonstrate my ability to succeed in a STEM career, and to project my enthusiasm. My personal philosophy: Always make doing your best your measure of success! What I’m reading now: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman My favorite charity: Danny & Ron’s Animal Rescue Shelter My interests: Triathlons My family: I have three siblings, and seven nieces and nephews. Company: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Columbia, South Carolina CEO: James K. Lehman
In Her Own Words . . . The Changing STEM World
sense of equality
My Own STEM Experience
Advances in STEM are quickly increasing, including computer technologies that enable rapid development of life-saving therapies. Including women in these transforming advances is more important than ever.
Moving Women Forward in STEM
I started in molecular biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University in 1985, when few women were focusing on STEM careers. I enjoyed learning a “specialty” area. My interest in cutting-edge innovations led me into the field of patent law, and I never looked back. I have always been passionate about my career—working with clients, developing patent protection for lifesaving therapies, and after 28 years, serving as a leader and hopefully an example to other women entering the profession.
It is essential to encourage women in STEM at all phases of their careers, from recruitment to promotion, and to publicize their accomplishments in STEM.
Increasing Diversity in STEM Women in STEM 5 Years Out To increase diversity in STEM, it is necessary to publicize and promote women’s success in STEM careers, in an effort to inspire women who are considering such careers. Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap Lack of self-confidence and a
I see more women entering STEM careers and playing key roles in the development of technologies that transform the ways we live, work, and learn. Given the ever-increasing importance of technology in our society, it is essential that Women’s contributions be recognized and promoted in STEM.
Vivian G. Armstrong Vice President & Head of Corporate Technology
My credentials: Bachelor of Arts, Washington University in St. Louis My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: To whom much is given, much will be required. My personal philosophy: Be your authentic self in every aspect of your life. Transparency is the key to success. Treat others the way you want to be treated. What Iâ€™m reading now: Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice My favorite charity: Girls Who Code; Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Fund My interests: Running, exercise, reading, family time, basketball, and beach vacations My family: Husband for 27 years, Mark; daughter, Sierra (Hampton U Grad); and son, Mark (HS Sophomore-elite basketball player) Company: New York Life Industry: Insurance Company Headquarters: New York, New York CEO: Ted Mathas
In Her Own Words . . . The Changing STEM World Many school systems now place an increased emphasis on STEM, and children are immersed in STEM-related topics at an early age. The coding classes available to young students with little to no previous exposure will build the muscle required to navigate a long-term sustainable career. For example, my son was able to take a robotics class at the age of 10, which introduced him to the coding world. Increasing Diversity in STEM One of the best ways to increase diversity in STEM is for companies and trade journals to highlight and showcase diverse individuals in various STEM positions across a myriad of industries and companies. The current perception of what it means to be committed to STEM does not
lend itself to creating and supporting diversity in the workplace. Closing the STEM Gender Gap To close the gender gap in STEM fields, we must 1) include a greater number of diverse candidates during the interview process for new STEM opportunities; 2) promote more women to leadership positions throughout organizations; and 3) recognize that there are many career paths open to STEM professionals and many ways to contribute. My Own STEM Experience I have had an amazing 32-year STEM career, which began at a large data processing company, where I participated in a training program and acquired the skills I needed to succeed as a mainframe
programmer. During my 18-year tenure there, I rose from programmer trainee to senior client account management. I then transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry, joining the teams at Pfizer and Zoetis. Four years ago I was introduced to an amazing opportunity at New York Lifeâ€”business relationship manager in charge of internal & external communications. I am honored to have been recently promoted to vice president responsible for the corporate technology portfolio. It is important to note that over the past 15 years of my career I have had the opportunity to move into a different role almost every two years, which allowed me to learn new platforms and processes, and grow my personal brand. The ability to build and sustain strong technology and business relationships in a short time is the cornerstone of my success.
Julie Belair Vice President, Actuarial Services and Plan Policy My credentials: HBSc, actuarial science and statistics, University of Western Ontario My work location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Words I live by: Learning is a lifelong journey. My personal philosophy: Make improvements, not excuses. What I’m reading now: A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer (at the insistence of my children) My favorite charity: War Amps My interests: Playing sports (ultimate, basketball, golf, soccer, hockey), coaching youth sports, and listening to live music My family: Husband and two sons (12 and 9 years old) Company: OPTrust Industry: Pension Company Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada CEO: Peter Lindley
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM Start with looking at recruiting practices. Do the prerequisites for the position narrow the talent pool unnecessarily? Does the job posting include language that is geared toward one type of candidate over others? Does the short list include a diverse set of candidates? If not, don’t accept that “there are no diverse candidates.” Challenge the recruiter or team to look at alternative networks to source diverse candidates. And finally, a thoughtful explanation if a diverse candidate is not selected for the position should be provided by the hiring manager as part of the recruiting process. Implementing these actions can have a big impact on increasing diversity in STEM fields. Closing the STEM Gender Gap For many young girls growing up today in North America, there www.diversityjournal.com
is no shortage of careers they can dream about pursuing. The situation is a lot better than when I was young. I remember checking the boxes of pre-populated options that were very much stereotypical roles for females in the early eighties: nurse, flight attendant, etc. Unfortunately, even today there are still far too many girls who are ruling out careers in STEM fields. There is still the perception that scientists and mathematicians are men with crazy hair wearing white coats. These stereotypes are perpetuated in children’s books and cartoons, which does nothing to close the gender gap in these fields. Also, more often than boys, I hear girls say that they aren’t “good” at math. Once children decide, or are told, they are not “good” at a STEM subject, they may distance themselves from it and place their focus somewhere else. This essentially closes the door on a career in a STEM field.
Parents, educators, and the media need to reinforce the message that there are many great career options for girls in STEM fields. Moving STEM Women Forward An organization’s strategic priorities should include a goal of achieving a higher level of female representation. It is a signal to staff that leadership believes that gender diversity in STEM is important. Incorporating a goal of reaching and maintaining a certain percentage of women at all levels of the organization will ensure that STEM women have the opportunity to advance. This commitment would mean fewer gender gaps when recruiting for talent, in rates of promotions, in retaining key talent, and developing succession plans. It is also important that there be both sponsors and allies—of both genders— within the organization to help women move forward in STEM. www.womenworthwatching.com
Tracy Hatanaka-Lejnieks Interim Chief Financial Officer My credentials: Bachelor of Arts (honours), commerce and economics, University of Toronto Scarborough; Chartered Professional Accountant, CMA My work location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Words I live by: As leaders, we are only as effective as those around us. We need to surround ourselves with the best, the brightest, and those with the passion to be curious. My personal philosophy: Live by the Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they want to be treated, not the way you want to be treated. Be sensitive to other people’s needs. Recognizing diversity helps us understand how others want to be treated, as well as how to close any gender or culture gaps. What I’m reading now: High Performing Investment Teams: How to Achieve Best Practices of Top Firms by Jim Ware My favorite charity: Canadian Cancer Society My interests: Tennis and cooking My family: Married, with one son and daughter-in-law Company: OPTrust Industry: Pension Company Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada CEO: Peter Lindley
In Her Own Words . . . The World is Changing with STEM If we look around, we see that time is of the essence in today’s business world. Technical advancements have been phenomenal, with the speed of data and information growing exponentially. Large bureaucracies and inefficient operations will no longer be able to compete effectively. STEM demands modernization and a fresh way of thinking. Innovation and ingenuity, along with creativity, are key success factors in ensuring organizations evolve and adapt to the ever-changing world around us. Diversity of thought will create endless possibilities and alternatives, especially for those who have STEM knowledge and expertise. I believe in the power of women to lead this paradigm shift. Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap Traditional companies (i.e., ones that have been around for a number 50
of years) may be stuck in past hiring practices, which are biased against diversity. There will be a natural weighting of more male applicants and hiring managers, given the existing gender bias. Unless there is a focused commitment to recognize the value of gender diversity in STEM fields, this barrier will continue to exist. There are so many new opportunities in areas such as fintech, research and development, business analytics, and other new ventures that will need the best and brightest to succeed. I firmly believe that women will play central roles in the success of these organizations, and will be integral to their future growth. Moving STEM Women Forward Having role models and seeing the success that women have had in these fields can be inspirational for our next generation of leaders. We need to encourage and inspire young women to break down the
stereotypical ideology that STEM fields are only for the guys. Another path to building interest in STEM is through educational sponsorships, such as scholarships, competitions focused on innovation, and technology initiatives geared specifically toward girls and young women. Building confidence with a “can do” and “will do” mentality will create momentum and enthusiasm. Organizations must also make commitments to progressive hiring practices focused on diversity— gender and ethnicity. However, it can’t stop there. Organizations also need to foster a corporate culture and internal dynamics that support diversity. I am fortunate to be part of an organization that conducts training on unconscious bias and respect in the workplace. Programs like these highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion to the overall success of the business. A diverse workplace drives culture, creativity, productivity, and innovation.
Michelle K. Holoubek Director
My credentials: JD, George Mason University School of Law; BS, physics, Louisiana State University My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: “Make it happen!” Or, as Jean Luc Picard would say, “Make it so.” My personal philosophy: Work hard. Be supportive of others, and of yourself. Focus on the possibilities. What I’m reading now: Belgravia by Julian Fellowes My favorite charity: World Bicycle Relief My interests: Classical piano, being a volleyball/basketball mom, and anything related to LSU. My family: My husband and I have two kids, a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. Our family life revolves around volleyball, basketball, and math teams, as well as our two Maine Coon cats. Company: Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Washington, DC CEO: Michael B. Ray (Managing Director)
In Her Own Words . . . Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap In the United States, I think the barriers to STEM are largely social. If all of the other girls in your grade or friend circle are not interested in science, many girls will likely decide to drop it and do what their friends are doing. There is peer pressure, societal pressure, intrinsic and unconscious bias. Growing up, I was responsible for the “inside” chores—cleaning house, cooking, and doing dishes. My brother was responsible for the “outside” chores—lawn mowing, automotive work, and “fixing things.” I think those kind of intrinsic biases shape our expectations for the future. I consider it fortunate that I was pretty independent and outspoken as a kid! But not everyone is.
Only when we get past those intrinsic societal biases can we really make progress towards parity in STEM, particularly in the electronics and computation-based industries. There are even more challenging barriers in other parts of the world. Moving STEM Women Forward There must be more engagement for young girls, because someone who hasn’t been involved with STEM growing up is unlikely to be interested in it as a career. Schools are working on increasing diversity in STEM and there are more women in STEM careers, and that will be very helpful. Women in STEM 5 Years Out The engagement of women in
STEM is already increasing, so in five years, we’ll see even more role models in high tech, engineering, and the math-based sciences. A lot of those women already in STEM fields are very vocal that this is something that girls can do—can succeed at. Sometimes, showing what’s possible gives confidence to those who are considering entering a field, which in turn increases the number of people who actually do it. The abilities to work remotely and connect from remote locations will also continue to improve, and the requirement to be on site for work won’t be as significant any more. That is very helpful for women in STEM, since it means you can monitor your work from your lab or office by computer, allowing for a more flexible lifestyle.
Carla Ji-Eun Kim Director
My credentials: JD cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School; MS, pharmacology, University of Minnesota; MS, cell & molecular biology, University of Pennsylvania; BA magna cum laude, biology, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point My work location: Washington, DC Words I live by: Carpe Diem Personal Philosophy: “Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home.” – Neale Donald Walsch, Conversation with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2 What I’m reading now: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari My favorite charity: World Vision My interests: Yoga, mindfulness, science, time travel, Chinese martial arts, and hiking My family: I have two children. My first son studied biology and computer science in college and is now working at an IT company in San Diego. My second son is a sophomore in college, studying business and computer science. Company: Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Washington, DC CEO: Michael B. Ray (Managing Director)
In Her Own Words . . . How the World Is Changing for STEM The speed of science and technology development has reached an exponential level, according to Ray Kurzweil. Developments made possible in the next 10 to 20 years will be huge. New drug development, for instance, will be faster, and testing will be more rigorous as we try to make medicines safe. New drug developments will become more systematic and computerized. STEM will be more fascinating, and there will be more opportunities for women. Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap
ourselves too much. Asking “Is this right?” or “Should I do this?” creates a negative perception of our confidence and ability. This is an internal barrier we can change—and help other women to change.
different issues; and we are good at finding harmony. We do not just understand science, we embrace it. Collectively, we are becoming stronger, and in time, STEM is going to be very different.
Moving STEM Women Forward
Some Words of Advice
It is important to find ways to help girls gravitate toward science. We must also help girls and women understand that it is okay to make mistakes and fall—and that it is important to get up again. We will be successful only when we have experienced failure. Accepting failure is a cornerstone of improvement.
As women in STEM, we must overcome our own self-imposed limitations—limitations that we lock ourselves into when we think, “I can’t do this. I am scared. Should I do it? Can I demand this?” We create many boxes like this. We feel comfortable in our box because we believe it’s predictable and secure. But that’s an illusion. We must break the box open, expand the box, then break it again. By doing so, the world will become bigger and bigger. We need to resist that urge to be comfortable and predictable, and instead, seek new experiences, try different roles, meet new people, and encourage young people to do the same.
Women in STEM 5 Years Out There are internal barriers and external barriers. We’ve gotten a lot better at overcoming external barriers, such as providing child care help for women and families. The internal barriers come from our own self-doubt and the fear of asserting 52
I hope and believe there will be a lot more women in STEM. Women have many advantages: we’re very thorough and detailed-oriented; we can juggle multiple issues at once; we make connections among
Christine Bongard President and Co-Founder
My credentials: BA, communications & BS, finance, Kean University My work location: Cedar Knolls, New Jersey Words I live by: “Dwell in possibility.” – Emily Dickinson; “I hope I’m as good a person as my dog thinks I am.” My personal philosophy: Hug people, travel the globe and learn new cultures, and try to leave the world a little better than you found it. What I’m reading now: The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates My favorite charity: Greyhound Friends of NJ, an adoption group for retired racing greyhounds My interests: Traveling, reading, food, and volunteering My family: Brother, Paul Bongard, and sister, Carolyn Bongard, both located in NJ; 2 adopted retired racing greyhounds, Fleetwood and Leo Company: The WIT Network Industry: Technology Company Headquarters: Cedar Knolls, New Jersey CEO: Christine Bongard
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM I believe change needs to start at the top of organizations. Owners and C-level executives need to enforce stricter changes when recruiting and promoting diverse candidates in their workforce. Right now, it is still too lax in most companies. For example, Dell Technologies has set a new company goal that by 2030, 50% of their workforce will be women and 40% of all leadership positions will be women. This is a great example of what companies can do to enforce change. This will bring about so much more opportunity for diverse candidates in our industry. Another idea is for companies to develop mentorship programs in-house that match women with execs who can work with them to develop and nurture a promotable career path. Support is needed at all levels and by matchmaking the two, the executive can help guide www.diversityjournal.com
the mentee through company politics and processes, and the mentee can provide good feedback to the executive on how messaging is being received at other levels in the company. It’s a win-win. Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap I believe the biggest barrier exists in the schools. Girls are being ridiculed for showing interest in STEM subjects in high school and then, withdrawing from these programs so as to not draw attention to themselves. Young women studying STEM in college are dropping out for lack of community in the classroom, and for being harassed by their male classmates. Some of this starts at home. We need to encourage acceptance at all levels. Primary schools have to institute programs that encourage the younger girls to participate and reward their accomplishments. Colleges and
universities perhaps can offer more scholarship opportunities for young women. But that is not enough. Once women are attending classes, safety measures need to be put in place and harassment must be harshly punished or women will continue to drop out. Perhaps corporations can work more closely with universities to coach and support students through these challenges. Moving STEM Women Forward If tax incentives, based on proven diversity metrics, could be implemented by the government, that might help. Sometimes, big and bold acts are necessary to help push people in the right direction. Also, people speaking up to their managers and questioning their own company’s statistics might help influence change within the company. You can’t discount the fact that many small acts can indeed bring about great change. www.womenworthwatching.com
Tracy Kerrins Group CIO–Enterprise Functions Technology
My credentials: BSE, industrial and operations engineering, University of Michigan My work location: Charlotte, North Carolina Words I live by: Some women fear the fire. Some women simply become it! – R.H. Sin My personal philosophy: Luck favors the prepared! What I’m reading now: The German Midwife by Michael Robotham My favorite charity: Make-A-Wish Foundation My interests: Love to travel with my family, be outside running or walking, and cooking! My family: Married to Todd Kerrins for 17 years, we have three daughters: Abby (13), Lindsey (13), and Natalie (10). We also have two dogs that we love, both Shorkies—Simba and Phoebe. Company: Wells Fargo Industry: Financial services Company Headquarters: San Francisco, California CEO: Charles Scharf
In Her Own Words . . . My Tremendous STEM Adventure I would describe my career as exciting, different than I expected, full of opportunity, and overall, tremendous. I started off writing code and working in the utilities industry, not knowing that I would eventually end up in financial services. But I am glad I did. I have truly loved my career so far. I have had the pleasure of leading a number of large-scale, transformational initiatives, with talented technology teams and respected organizations. I’ve worked with and learned from some of the industry’s greatest visionaries. I’ve failed, at times, but I was able to use those opportunities for growth and reflection because I had a strong support network around me. I can say with confidence that I gave each day, role, opportunity, and challenge my all. I worked hard, collaborated with amazing teams, and celebrated many 54
successes. I have loved my experiences as a woman in STEM, even the low points because they provided some of my greatest opportunities for learning. To say that I feel privileged is an understatement. Being a woman in STEM is tremendous, and I look forward to paving the way for and inspiring the next generation of strong female leaders. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I hope we will continue to see a reduction in the gender gap for senior roles and board positions. As that movement expands, seeing women in high-level leadership and executive roles will become less shocking, with fewer “firsts.” Also, I hope that dialogue will focus on what matters—the work— and there will be more emphasis on the value, strength, and leadership women in STEM bring to changing the world.
If You’re Considering a STEM Career There is no better place to be in 2020 than in a STEM field—especially technology! Technological advances continue to change the way that we live, work, interact, collaborate, and more. Being a woman in STEM, during this exciting time, means that you are part of changing the world. Literally. We are innovating, bringing our unique perspective to change and leadership. In addition, we are leading and working at a time when diversity is a focus, and we are seeing progress. While STEM careers are still challenging at times, we are changing the dialogue for the women who will follow in our footsteps. I feel privileged to be a technology leader in this dynamic and exciting time, and a female leader at a time when diversity has reached an inflection point.
Jill Case-Wirth Senior Vice President & Chief Nurse Executive
Words I live by: Relationships matter. Be humble. Serve with compassion. Find joy in life. Be relentless in your pursuit of excellence. Company: Wellstar Health System Industry: Health care Company Headquarters: Marietta, Georgia CEO: Candice Saunders
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM Creating opportunities in middle school and high school for career exploration, and partnering with schools and industries that require STEM graduates in their workforce will increase diversity in STEM fields. Many companies would be interested in investing in the development of these students, offering collegecredited courses in a dual enrollment model. This would benefit students who may have economic needs achieve credit hours tuition free, and open scholarship and grant opportunities. Barriers to Closing the Gender Gap Historic stereotyping needs to be overcome. For example, nursing has long been viewed as a largely female career, secondary to the “caring” perspective. However, science and math are prerequisites and today’s nurses, who represent the largest workforce in the health care industry, are scholars. These nursing professionals www.diversityjournal.com
partner with physicians, APPs, and pharmacists, and others to meet the complex needs of patients. Moving Women Forward in STEM Early exposure to all that is possible for all genders is critical. Stories of women, men, and LGBT individuals serving in nontraditional roles, or preparing for careers, inspire children to consider STEM. Piquing a child’s interest between the ages of 11 and 14 opens her or his mind to possibilities. Industry-based experiential learning with immersion in STEM roles and careers also allows those who are interested to explore opportunities. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I believe that women will make up more than 50 percent of the workforce in STEM career areas. Additionally, I believe the academic sector will see a growing number of women in faculty and doctorate rolls.
My Own STEM Experience Like many people I chose nursing as a career to care for people—it aligned with my purpose. But I also chose nursing because I enjoyed math and science, was a good STEM student, and recognized that I had the ability to achieve scholarship in the nursing profession. Over my 40-year career, the profession has become more diverse, as the face of nursing changed from that of a “woman” to “any and all’ faces. Nursing is a career that offers diverse opportunities in health care and in many other industries. Growth and development opportunities for nurses appear to be endless, as new roles emerge outside health care. Telehealth, virtual care, and consumer convenience are transforming the industry and creating an even greater need for STEM nurses. And pride in the profession is strong, as the American people have named nursing the most trusted profession for more than 17 years! www.womenworthwatching.com
Mary Brimmage Chatman Executive Vice President; President, Kennestone and Windy Hill Hospitals
My credentials: PhD & RN, East Carolina University My work location: Marietta, Georgia Words I live by: Winning teams produce winning outcomes. My personal philosophy: If you want to be a positive person, surround yourself by positive people. What I’m reading now: Greater Than Yourself by Steve Farber My favorite charity: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation My interests: Sports (basketball & football), cross-fit training, pets (dogs & cats) My family: Divorced mom with 2 kids—16-year-old son, Tre, and 18-year-old daughter, Jasmine; also caretaker to my aging mother (Marzella, 78 years old) Company: Wellstar Health System Industry: Health care Company Headquarters: Marietta, Georgia CEO: Candice Saunders
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM Increasing diversity begins with introducing STEM skills which starts at home through exposure and encouragement. Literacy and the passion for learning are foundational to STEM and can start very early in life. At one of the hospitals I lead, the parents of every newborn are given a book to encourage bonding, literacy, and early skill enhancement. As children gain a passion for STEM, they also need to have role models that will help guide their growth. I volunteer with several programs, such as Girls, Inc. and BUY Cobb, that give children support and guidance for personal and future professional growth. How the STEM World Is Changing The good news about health care is that we are making great progress in diverse representation in the field. Although there are far more female than male nurses in the field, there is still more work to do at 56
the governance and board level to increase diversity. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, women currently make up about 11 percent of health care CEOs in the United States. Through training and mentorship organizations can and should do better, but I see progress.
industry-savvy sponsors who become their champions for change is a key strategy in moving women forward. This effort helps shorten the “get-to-know” window. It also gives women an opportunity to develop their own brand and build key relationships at the next level. Women in STEM 5 Years Out
Moving Women Forward in STEM We still need to take on the differences in the way women leaders in STEM are perceived. In some professional environments, similar personalities of men and women are perceived differently. Women may be considered aggressive and men are gogetters. At WellStar we have learned to embrace these differences to allow both men and women to thrive. In health care, we are forced to make tough decisions about the health and lives of our patients every day. This requires compassion but also confidence in decision-making and actions. Pairing women with
According to one study, if gender equality existed today, the world would have 300,000 additional women focusing on STEM fields. These numbers would translate to an additional three million potential female scientists in the next 10 years. In 5 years, this gap will continue to close, if—and only if—women currently in STEM use what I refer to as the “BOUNTY Effect.” BOUNTY, or Bring One Up Next to You, means taking time out of your busy schedule to mentor and coach. Be visible—you didn’t get where you are by hiding behind the scenes. And be bold—this important work takes courage.
Monica Grewal Partner
My credentials: JD, University of Connecticut School of Law; MS, electrical engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; BS, bioengineering, Trinity College My work location: Boston, Massachusetts Words I live by: Do it now! My personal philosophy: Work hard and look after all, especially the innocent! What I’m reading now: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles; Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb My favorite charity: IINE (International Institute of New England) My interests: I am a chronic runner. Every morning, with my two dogs, Pixel and Calypso (Caly), I take on whatever wonders New England’s version of nature sends my way. My family: My husband is a professor of bioengineering at a university in Boston, and we have two children—a son, 24 years of age, and a daughter, 17 years of age. Company: WilmerHale Industry: Law Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts & Washington, DC CEO: Susan Murley and Robert Novick (Managing Partners)
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM I hope my exemplary work life in science and engineering will inspire my daughter to pursue a life in a STEM field (so far, she is into bioengineering). We need to instill confidence in younger girls and get them into math, robotics, and science clubs early. We also need to think deeply about the toys they play with from the get-go! Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap There are few role models and mentors for girls in elementary, middle, and high school. Often early on, children encounter only male math teachers and see few women in science. How the STEM World Is Changing There is more engagement by
successful women in their limited circles and more women in STEM are being recognized, but this is only in developed countries. We need to lift girls in low-income and developing countries to parity with their male counterparts. Moving Women Forward in STEM STEM fields remain predominantly male. I am encouraged by the numerous programs and organizations focused on making STEM fields accessible to girls and motivating them to take part in these exciting areas of learning. I believe we need to continue to invest in and promote these programs. I think it’s also important to mentor the next generation of women in STEM. At WilmerHale, I serve as a mentor to associates with an engineering background, as they learn the practice of IP
law. I also serve as a member of the Diversity Committee in the firm’s Boston office because creating a welcoming environment for all lawyers, regardless of their diversity, is very important. Outside the legal field, I remain dedicated to mentoring young girls. I served as a Girl Scout leader for my daughter’s troop, making sure the girls had opportunities to ponder the miracle of science and technology. The Girl Scouts worked toward their US Patent and Trademark Office Intellectual Property (IP) Patch with my guidance. Women in STEM 5 Years Out I see women moving into more leadership roles across all fields in STEM—from working in STEM careers to sitting on corporate boards and working as social influencers and entrepreneurs.
Theresa Vu Senior Vice President, Engineering
My credentials: Master’s degree, computer science, Brown University; BA, cognitive science, University of California, Berkeley My work location: New York, New York Words I live by: “The best way out is always through.” –Robert Frost My personal philosophy: There’s an opportunity to bring artistry into anything. What I’m reading now: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong; Untamed by Glennon Doyle My favorite charity: acwp.org (Aid to Children Without Parents) My interests: Making music Company: Xandr Industry: Advertising Company Headquarters: New York, New York CEO: Jason Kilar
In Her Own Words . . . Increasing Diversity in STEM There’s a lot of great work being done right now, and by a lot of great pioneers. My suggestion is not new, but what I think is most critical is ensuring equal access to technology education in all communities. Though curriculum and supporting tools are becoming more and more available, there’s still so much resource shortage in poor communities—a lack of access to devices, families who can’t afford internet access, and neighborhoods with few publicly available access points. Whatever we can do to enable equal access—through policy changes or device donation or discounted internet access to low-income families—will help. Moving Women Forward in STEM From a corporate perspective, I see a lot of exceptionally talented
women in junior roles (women who I wish I was half as talented as when I was in those same roles!). I see many fewer women at the leadership level. Collectively, I think society is still primed to recognize only a handful of leadership patterns. While we’re quick to recognize the work and talent it takes to close a deal, we have a harder time recognizing the work and talent it takes to coach an employee out of a victim mindset. We’ll recognize a great, motivating, all-hands speech, but we won’t recognize the leader that gives useful feedback and acknowledgement on a consistent basis. I believe to get more diversity in leadership, we have to really train ourselves to see and reward all varieties of leadership. How the STEM World Is Changing I believe the STEM world is
changing in two ways: First, STEM literacy is becoming a must-have skill instead of a nice-to-have skill. A lot has been said about that, so I won’t bore you. Second, technology is becoming so accessible, and AI is becoming so advanced, that those in STEM will have to work as much on their humanity as they will on their technical skills. I’m a musician so I’ll use a music analogy—there’s plenty of AI now that can write a song because chord progressions and melodies and drum patterns lend themselves well to algorithm. As a human song writer, you have to look at what you do that can’t be captured in algorithm. The same goes for writing software, or even managing people who write software. What do you bring that technology cannot? So I think as STEM evolves, as technology evolves, so must our focus on our humanity.
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, 2020 Diversity Leader Award and Diversity Team 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, 2019 Most Outstanding Firm for Diversity and Inclusion. Chambers Europe, 2019 Highly Commended for Most Pioneering Firm for Female Lawyers. Chambers USA, 2019 dechert.com/diversity
Diversity and Inclusion
The First Annual
Diversity Team Awards 2020
Throughout its history, Profiles in Diversity Journal has recognized thousands of individuals from around the world who are making a difference by advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion. Now, with the introduction of our Diversity Team Award, we honor the collaboration and synergy created by teamwork. We recognize the importance of diverse contributions and salute the passionate people in your organization who have joined together to advance the cause of diversity and inclusion each and every day. Weâ€™re pleased and proud to showcase and congratulate the Diversity Teams featured in this issue of our magazine. By recognizing the contributions these teams make to their organizations and communities, we celebrate the inclusivity that diverse individuals working together as members of a team represents. Welcome to PDJâ€™s first annual Diversity Team Awards.
A Celebration of Individuals Who Have Joined Together to Advance Diversity and Inclusion
Company: ADM Diversity Team Name: ADM Diversity & Inclusion Teams Diversity Team Leader: Aurelie Giles
DM’s diversity & inclusion (D&I) global and regional teams have been instrumental in implementing D&I initiatives across the world to continue to develop a diverse talent pool and foster an inclusive workplace culture at ADM. Our gender-balanced teams are composed of members of senior management from different business units and corporate functions, representing multiple nationalities, reflecting the diversity within the company. These colleagues meet on a regular basis to evaluate progress and advance plans to execute D&I global and regional programs. Their efforts have led to significant achievements, including the following: • Partnered with Paradigm for Parity with a commitment to achieving senior leadership gender parity by 2030 • Continued support for Together We Grow, a coalition of public, private and academic institutions formed to address talent diversity in food and agriculture industries • Global workforce participation in ADM’s eighth consecutive year of inclusion training • Implemented an HR requirement to ensure diverse candidate slates and panels of interviewers during the hiring process and put in place a procedure to track this new process • Encouraged senior leaders to act as role models, using inclusive behaviors and
communicating about D&I with their teams to promote the D&I culture • Launched a development program for colleagues with disabilities and women in mid-level management roles • Conducted ADM’s first Global Week of Understanding (GWU) to encourage meaningful dialogues on inclusion across our workforce • Included corporate roles in commercial talent reviews to facilitate cross-functional feedback on talent, thus supporting the transition of corporate leaders into business roles • Rolled out numerous D&I-related campaigns to drive awareness and spark discussion • In partnership with external agencies, conducted equal pay reviews in multiple countries • Provided training programs and leadership programs for highly praised female leaders • Created lunch-and-learn sessions to introduce and increase awareness of the D&I culture The D&I teams also ensured the recognition of women in senior management roles by nominating them for external awards and promoting their participation at D&I conferences, including these: • Marie Wright, chief global flavorist and president of product creation, design, and development, was
named a “Woman Worth Watching in STEM” by Profiles in Diversity Journal • Manda Tweten, president of key account management, and Fabiana Bianchi, vice president of global marketing and growth, were recognized last year as winners of Profile in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching award • Mayka van Acht, VP HR EMEAI, participated in a panel discussion on identifying talent and taking recruitment to the next level at the 2019 Women in Food and Agriculture summit in the Netherlands • North Central Minority Supplier Development Council named Supplier Diversity Lead Veronica Johnson as the organization’s Advocate of the Year and Impact Award winner, in addition to recognizing ADM as their 2019 National Corporation of the Year • ADM was also one of just 76 employers to earn the prestigious Military Friendly® Company designation for 2020 for our commitment to recruit, hire, and train military veterans and their spouses, and to partner with and support veteran-owned businesses. The increasing visibility of women in leadership roles has been key to promoting greater awareness of D&I issues and inspiring talented women who aspire to rise to management positions.
The Nashville Hispanic Bar Association held their Cafecito & CLE event at Bass, Berry & Sims featuring a discussion around the current legal issues affecting the Hispanic community in Nashville.
Members of Bass, Berry & Sims receiving our award for being recognized by Working Mother Magazine as one of the Best Law Firms for Women in 2019.
Our representatives attending the 6th Annual HBCU Pre-Law Summit and Expo in Atlanta. This is the only national pre-law event created to address the unique issues and concerns of students and graduates of HBCUs interested in going to law school and becoming lawyers. Our firm was the only law firm to attend the event and expo.
Members of the Vanderbilt OutLaw Group and our LGBT Affinity Group toured the Oasis Center to hear about the amazing work the Center does. The photo was taken in the art studio at Oasis in front of a mural created by the young people who go to the Center. â€œYou Belong Hereâ€? is represented in many different languages.
Members of our LGBT Affinity Group donated and then packed 450 snack packs for the Oasis Center for the at-risk LGBTQ youth the Center serves.
Meeting of our LGBT Affinity Group and the CEO of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Company: Bass, Berry & Sims Diversity Team Name: Bass, Berry & Sims Diversity Team Leader: Todd Rolapp
The annual Vanderbilt OutLaw Dinner brings together the Vanderbilt OutLaw Group and our attorneys to talk about having a successful legal career as an LGBT attorney.
ur entire firm is our diversity team, as we are all ambassadors, allies, and active participants in our inclusion and diversity initiatives and programs. Fairness, equal opportunity, and responsibility guide us in building and sustaining a firm and culture that is inclusive and diverse. Embracing these principles strengthens who we are as a firm and enhances the services we provide to our clients and our communities. We are willing to confront challenges that are unique to our firm and those within the larger legal community that go beyond surface-level methods to create lasting change. Our Executive Committee drives the effort to build and sustain an inclusive culture. As part of their leadership, the committee adopted a strategic plan for inclusion and diversity, which contains five core components—leadership, culture, advancement, recruiting, and communications. Through this plan, firm management set forth a commitment to real action and investment, with a clear accountability framework for promoting workplace
The firm hosted the Vanderbilt Asian Pacific American Law Student Association to continue building our relationship with the group to provide mentoring and career support to its members.
inclusion and diversity, and identifying areas of improvement. Our affinity groups also play a key role in building and sustaining a culture of inclusion and communication. By tapping into distinct experiences of diverse individuals and elevating their insights, these groups help foster a sense of community, identify and address unique challenges, and bolster a firm-wide environment where we come together to deal in truths and open dialogue with all firm personnel. Our affinity groups have a direct connection to firm leadership. An Executive Committee member serves as a liaison to each group to ensure members’ perspectives are heard and considered at the highest level. In response to these efforts, Bass, Berry & Sims has received the following honors: For the third year in a row, we received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. We are only one of seven Tennessee-based companies to receive a perfect score in 2020. Taylor Wirth, an associate in our Corporate & Securities Practice Group, was named a 2020 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyer Under
40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. We are proud to be among the 60 law firms honored by Working Mother Magazine on the 2019 “Best Law Firms for Women” list. We placed 16 out of those 60 firms for utilizing best practices in recruiting, retaining, promoting, and developing women attorneys. We recognize inclusion and diversity are more than “right now” challenges. Real change requires a long-term commitment. That is why we have sought out partnerships with education and community organizations to help create early opportunities to develop young people of all backgrounds and encourage them to consider a career in law, and support members of our firm who are active in such programs. Inclusion and diversity are pillars of our firm’s core values, and we are investing time, resources, and leadership to ensure our efforts are successful. We are united and committed to becoming a more inclusive firm of top-tier attorneys and professionals who represent the best in their fields, offer different perspectives, and help to strengthen the fabric of our communities and our workplace.
Global Director, Diversity and Inclusion
Global Talent Assistant
Manager, Diversityand Inclusion
Deputy Chair, Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
Chief Talent and HR Officer
Senior Specialist, Graduate Recruitment and Diversity
Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Company: Dechert LLP Diversity Team Name: Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Satra Sampson-Arokium
s a global law firm with 26 offices in 13 countries, Dechert has a multinational identity that is fundamentally diverse. As such, the firm’s commitments to diversity and inclusion are not simply words written on a website—they are guiding principles that all those at Dechert live by every day. Amid a busy, multifaceted D&I program, standout innovations and initiatives include the following: Affinity Groups: Signature events in 2019 included a Veterans Leadership Panel that explored how skills learned on the battlefield apply in corporate America; Cephas Williams’s “56 Black Men” campaigning photography exhibit, which took aim at stereotypes in the professional services industry; and a client event held at Washington, DC’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Diversity Champions: An award program, open to all those at Dechert whatever their seniority, role, or location, set up to recognize those who have given most to support a diverse and inclusive culture. The firm’s leaders chose four Diversity Champions from 100 peer-nominations; each was awarded a bonus. Diversity Dashboards: A user-friendly program, covering hours, work quality, and distribution of assignments, that helps firm leaders see where D&I efforts are working effectively
and where more attention is needed. Diversity Symposium: A two-day event for diverse associates, designed to help cultivate a wider professional and support network, and to connect directly with firm leaders. Inclusive Leadership: Regular interactive sessions for all personnel aimed at building inclusive leadership skills. Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) program: Designed to help women associates navigate the path to partnership. In the five years prior to implementation, 18 percent of lawyers promoted to partner were women; in the five years since, 31 percent have been women. We aim for parity, but celebrate the upward trajectory.
RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS In 2019, Dechert achieved Mansfield Rule 2.0 Plus Certification, which recognizes steps taken to broaden the pool of women lawyers, lawyers of color, and LGBTQ+ lawyers who are considered for significant governance roles, senior lateral openings, and promotions. Our progress can also be measured in numbers: • 43% of the firm’s governing Policy Committee are women, LGBTQ, or diverse • 42% of partner promotions over past two years have been women, LGBTQ, or diverse
• 63% of lateral partner hires in 2019 were women • 36% of offices are managed by women, LGBTQ, or diverse partners • 55% of lawyers promoted to partner in January 2020 were women
RECENT ACCOLADES • Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion – Chambers’ inaugural European Diversity & Inclusion Awards 2019 • Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality – Human Rights Campaign, 2020 (eighth year running) • Diversity Leader Award – Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2020 • Innovation in Diversity Award – Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2019 • Top Companies for Executive Women – National Association for Female Executives, 2020 • 100 Best Companies and Best Law Firms for Women – Working Mother, 2019 • Top 10 Firms for Family Friendliness – Yale Law Women, 2019 • Highly Commended, Most Pioneering Firm for Female Lawyers – Chambers USA, 2019 • Great Place to Work® – Certified in the United States, 2019 (second year running)
Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer and Chief Office of Minority & Women Inclusion Officer
annie Mae is a leader in diversity and inclusion (D&I) across the financial services industry. Our mission is to harness the power of a diverse workforce, and our relationships with diverse suppliers and business partners, to enable Fannie Mae to achieve optimal business results. Our Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) is responsible for oversight and promotion of D&I programming, engagement, strategic planning, metrics, and reporting. We promote diversity and cultivate an inclusive culture through key actions including these: Governance: We established
Vice President, Office of Minority & Women Inclusion
Director, Office of Minority & Women Inclusion
a D&I Strategic Plan and D&I Policy to provide the overall governance framework for an enterprise D&I program. This framework includes roles and responsibilities, establishes requirements and accountability, and provides direction for all business activities across Fannie Mae. Senior Leadership Engagement: Our team engages leadership regularly through meetings and robust reporting on key D&I performance metrics. These meetings build accountability and visibility across each leaderâ€™s contribution to our D&I goals. Our board of directors provides independent oversight of our
Director, Future Housing Leaders Program
D&I program. Our Management Committee (inclusive of president and CEO) oversees the implementation of the D&I Strategic Plan. Our leaders serve as executive sponsors for our employee resource groups (ERGs), facilitate courageous conversations (CC), and speak or blog at internal and external D&I events. Diversity Advisory Council (DAC): We created the DAC, an advisory working group of officers and employees representing various business units across the company. The DACâ€™s mission is to ensure the successful delivery of the D&I strategy through identification of opportunities and corresponding actions.
Company: Fannie Mae Diversity Team Name: Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Bill Fahey
TEAM MEMBERS Tamara Carrera Enterprise Program Manager
Damien Heath Diversity & Inclusion Manager
Jinny Jang Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Tasha Daniels Enterprise Program Manager
Damion Henderson Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Shannon Ice Compliance/Ethics Specialist
Tracy Fitzgerald Compliance/Ethics Specialist
Lisa Huynh Business Analyst
Daphane Womack Non-Tech Project Manager
D&I Training: We partner with business leaders to develop D&I training plans. We provide courses, including, but not limited to, unconscious bias and inclusive leadership. Our robust internal page includes articles, blogs, leadership development opportunities, and other D&I resources for all employees. Courageous Conversations (CC): We provide opportunities for employees to engage in respectful dialogues focused on important and sensitive topics in a safe space through our CC series. The goal is to promote a culture of inclusion through self-reflection, practicing authenticity, challenging assumptions, learning the perspectives of
others, and building affinity with colleagues across the enterprise. ERGs: We built on our culture of inclusion and created a strategy to leverage our 11 employee-led ERGs as a resource for the company. We are maximizing the diversity of voices at the table and empowering employees across the company in supporting business objectives. Disability Inclusion Strategy: We launched a renewed focus on disability inclusion, inclusive of strategic partnerships, education, training, and resources. Future Housing Leaders: We developed a program that connects college students from
diverse backgrounds with paid summer internships with housing industry employers to promote diversity in the talent pipeline. We enhance those internship programs by offering a curated curriculum rooted in housing finance, executive exposure, peer networking, and educational materials to help students succeed.
Recognition & Awards Additionally, we have received recognition and awards from a number of organizations for our D&I work, including Black Enterprise, Human Rights Campaign, Latina Style Magazine, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Hispanic Network Magazine, and Omnikal.
Allen J. McKenna
Diversity & Inclusion Partner
Deputy Diversity & Inclusion Partner
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Client Development Officer
Talent and Recruiting Partner
Company: FordHarrison Diversity Team Name: FordHarrison Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Dawn Siler-Nixon
n 2009, Dawn Siler-Nixon became FordHarrison’s diversity & inclusion partner, charged with leading the firm’s national strategic diversity plan. Over 11 years, Dawn has created a Diversity Team, comprising partners, firm leadership, and staff, which has made significant progress in weaving D&I into the fabric of the firm’s culture. Innovation and industry awards are the two areas where the team’s contributions are most evident. • Diversity Pipeline Initiative focuses on recruitment/long-term retention of minorities and lateral attorneys. An incentive bonus is paid to FordHarrison attorneys who facilitate the successful hire of a minority candidate. The incentive is paid over three years and conditioned on mentoring and the minority attorney’s continued employment. • The Women Leaders Forum is an invitation-only event, bringing together C-Suite, in-house counsel, HR executives, and FordHarrison’s female partners to partake in thought-provoking conversations that address issues impacting senior female executives, in a relaxed setting. The participants engage in deep, raw conversations about workplace and personal dilemmas only experienced by women at the highest leadership levels.
The Diversity Team ensures FordHarrison’s involvement with D&I organizations that are impacting the culture of our workplaces and world, including Corporate Counsel Women of Color, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, National Employment Law Council, National Diversity Council, National Bar Association, and Anti-Defamation League, among others. The Team solicits, vets, and approves lawyer attendance. In addition to providing feedback and resources following the events, The Team prepares and disseminates internal and external publication of firm involvement with these organizations. Team members also work to select diverse firm representatives for major firm conferences, such as the Association for Corporate Counsel’s Annual Meeting. The Team maintains a strong connection with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). Each year since 2015, the Team has appointed a diverse attorney to serve as the annual LCLD Fellow and in 2020 appointed the firm’s first LCLD Pathfinder. In addition, for the past four years, the Team selected and the firm hosted 1L summer scholars and partnered with LCLD to mentor law students. Each year since 2013, the firm’s holiday card raises funds for socioeconomically
disadvantaged groups. From 2013 through 2017, the funds were donated to the FordHarrison School in Cambodia, a primary school in one of the poorest areas of Cambodia developed and funded by FordHarrison. In 2018 and 2019, the holiday card supported Habitat for Humanity International, helping to build homes for those in need.
Industry Awards Earned The Diversity Team is instrumental in FordHarrison’s receipt of accolades and acknowledgements, locally and nationally. Some of the most recent recognitions include the following: • The National Law Journal – #5 on the 2019 Women’s Scorecard • Law360 – #6 on the “Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys” list among firms with 50–149 lawyers, and #10 on the “The Best Law Firms for Female Partners” list among firms with 50–149 lawyers. • Profiles in Diversity Journal – 2020 Top 10 Innovations in Diversity Awards (for Women Leaders Forum) • Profiles in Diversity Journal – Women Worth Watching recognitions in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019
Chief Diversity Officer
t Greenspoon Marder, we strongly believe that by embracing our diversity and cultivating an inclusive environment, we enrich our employees, strengthen our firm, support our community, and enhance our ability to serve our clients across the globe. The firm has continuously fostered and instituted policies that promote diversity and inclusion within Greenspoon Marder. In fact, the firm provided same sex benefits to employees within the firm a decade before it was even considered to become law. Additionally, Greenspoon Marder consistently reviews and adjusts the firm’s methods of outreach to ensure it attracts a diverse pool
of legal and professional talent, which includes its outreach to law schools and prominence in a wide variety of publications that attract and appeal to a diverse audience. Almost 70 percent of our employees are female and 39 percent identify as racial or ethnic minorities. As a testament of such, in 2018, several of the firm’s female executives and attorneys were featured in Profile magazine’s “No Glass Ceiling at Greenspoon Marder.” Deputy Managing Partner Rebecca Bratter, Partners Rachel Gillette, Beth-Ann Krimsky, Myrna Maysonet, Dana Somerstein, and Senior Associate Alicia Lewis gathered at the firm’s headquarters for a roundtable
discussion of how the distinctive culture at the firm came about naturally, the struggles they have seen women face at other organizations, and why celebrating diversity has strengthened the firm’s relationship with their clients, as well as the communities in which they live and work. In 2019, Greenspoon Marder appointed Myrna Maysonet, a Hispanic lesbian, as chief diversity officer. She proudly serves as a mentor to the firm’s diverse attorneys and staff, and advocates for the rights of those who often aren’t sitting at the policy-making tables across the country. Most recently, Greenspoon Marder launched a formal Diversity Council as part of its growing
Company: Greenspoon Marder LLP Diversity Team Name: Diversity Council Diversity Team Leader: Myrna Maysonet
ur Diversity Council is composed of a diverse group of voices across different genders, sexual orientations, races, backgrounds, titles, neurodiversitys, and geographical locations. They’re representative of Greenspoon Marder’s diverse family.
diversity initiatives. The Council had been tasked with creating, implementing, and promoting diversity and inclusivity across the firm. The creation of diversity policies without a committed mechanism to ensure their success is meaningless. The formation of the Council represents our firm’s commitment to continue our diversity and inclusive initiatives by putting meaningful mechanisms in place. For that reason, our Diversity Council is composed of a diverse group of voices across different genders, sexual orientations, races, backgrounds, titles, neurodiversitys, and geographical locations. They’re representative of Greenspoon Marder’s diverse family.
RECOGNITION • Ranked as one of the “Best Law Firms for Minorities” – Law360, 2019 • Recognized as a “2019 Best Workplace For Women” – Fortune, 2019 • Recognized as one of the “Top 100 Law Firms for Women” – Women Inc., 2019 • Shortlisted as an “Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion” – Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA, 2019 • Ranked, “Female Equity Partner Scorecard,” The American Lawyer, 2019
• Certified, Florida Unique Abilities Partner, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, 2019-2020 • Ranked, “Best Law Firms for Women,” Law360, 2018 • Recognized, “Florida’s Most Inclusive and Diverse Law Firms,” Daily Business Review, 2018 • Recognized, “Outstanding Firm in Advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion,” Chambers Women in Law Awards, 2017 • Recognized, “Exceptional Employer,” Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation, 2016
n 2013, Senior Vice President and Global D&I Officer Dawn Frazier-Bohnert built a team intentionally representing different generations, genders, locations, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and more to help develop and implement the D&I strategy for Liberty Mutual. The team models and practices what they share, collaborating closely and providing tools and direction for over 49,000 employees globally, to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
2019/2020 Initiatives • Race & Ethnicity Collaboration: Modeled after our ongoing gender collaboration initiative, helps employees build skills in working across race and ethnicity.
• Leading at Liberty: partnered with our global leadership team on this integrated, enterprise-wide program with a focus on growth mindset and inclusive leadership skills. • Global Collaboration: Our global strategy includes D&I foundational learning— Global Fundamentals—and Aperian GlobeSmart®, a cultural dexterity tool. Tackling these new initiatives would be impossible without the strong foundational work from the D&I office in partnership with Liberty leaders and employees.
Accomplishments • Human Rights Campaign CEI score of 100 for third consecutive year
• 2019 Fortune magazine’s Best Workplaces for Diversity for the second time • CEO David Long and Liberty Mutual participation in the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ • Inclusion in Action – Based on nine skills for employee communication and collaboration, the interactive, self-paced video series helps employees cultivate better work relationships and results. In 2019, based on our employees’ effective use of the Inclusion in Action eLearning, Liberty has made this video series commercially available. • After hosting an effective Men as Allies Summit, established a Men as Allies Council, representing all
Company: Liberty Mutual Insurance Diversity Team Name: Office of Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Dawn Frazier-Bohnert
business units to support ally development across the company in partnership with ERGs • Expanded talent sourcing strategies, partnering with new schools and optimizing our D&I sponsorship portfolio • Sponsored the NBMBAA Conference in Detroit, MI; ASCEND, the largest, nonprofit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals in North America; Out and Equal Workplace Summit, and others • Presenting sponsor and participant in The Commonwealth Institute’s 2019 Women’s Leadership Development in Massachusetts Impact Study
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) A major part of D&I’s work revolves around six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), of which allies are key to the strategy. Allies are included in all of the ERGs, which focus on the following communities: LGBTQ+, African descent, Asian American professionals, Hispanic/Latinx community, Women and men, and active military/veterans.
Key ERG Milestones • Expansion of ERG sites/ chapters across the country into eight major locations • Annual ERG Leadership Year-End Meeting with CEO David Long and his direct reports
• Pride@Liberty ERG now marches in ten Pride Parades • Amigos@Liberty sponsored and attended the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) Annual Convention • Continued offering the LEADA@Liberty Scholarship, awarded annually to four Massachusetts students of African-American descent • WE@Liberty launched community partnership with Women’s Lunch Place • Valor@Liberty co-hosted a Veteran’s Day event with Amigos@Liberty, featuring Major General Luis Visot
Partner and Director of Diversity & Inclusion
he Mayer Brown Diversity and Inclusion (MB D&I) team has been an integral part of ongoing efforts to support and increase diversity and inclusion within the firm. Set forth below are a few notable examples of the team’s successful initiatives along with recent recognition. Following many months of planning by the MB D&I team, the biennial Mayer Brown Diverse Lawyers Retreat was held in 2019 with the theme of “Promoting Diversity. Sponsoring Inclusion.” All of the firm’s US-based ethnically diverse and LGBTQ lawyers were invited to attend, along with members of the Management Committee and firm practice leaders. The goals of the two-day retreat were to provide (i) opportunities
to meet and network with diverse lawyers from other offices and firm management and (ii) professional and business development training to enhance the attendees’ career trajectory. During the retreat, Mayer Brown acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of three lawyers who went above and beyond in supporting the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives with the Mayer Brown Diversity Champion Award. Other highlights of the retreat included a keynote address by Morgan Stanley executive, renowned speaker and author, Carla Harris, professional and business development sessions with nationally recognized consultants, and a fascinating presentation by a leading expert on impostor syndrome. The MB D&I team looks forward
to planning another successful and uplifting retreat for the firm’s diverse lawyers next year. Additionally, to demonstrate Mayer Brown’s global commitment to diversity, inclusion and excellence, March was designated as Global Diversity Month. The firm held 20 distinct programs and events in over 15 offices around the world throughout March 2019. The onset of a pandemic curtailed most of the events planned during March 2020, however the MB D&I team converted various programs to virtual events and hopes to reschedule others when circumstances allow. Furthermore, the MB D&I team launched an affinity group program a few years ago that now includes over 20 robust and active affinity groups across the United States.
Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity Initiatives Manager
Company: Mayer Brown LLP Diversity Team Name: Mayer Brown Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Jeremiah DeBerry
iversity of perspectives and cultures expands our knowledge, heightens our sensibilities, and empowers us to exceed our clients’ expectations in an increasingly global market.
– Jeremiah DeBerry, Partner and Director of Diversity & Inclusion
These groups have made significant contributions to the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
Awards & Recognition • A Top 10 Firm for Diversity: According to the 2020 American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard, Mayer Brown was ranked in the top 10 for diversity among large law firms (firms with 900+ lawyers in the US). • Top Performer: For the past four years, Mayer Brown has been named a Top Performer by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). • Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality: For the tenth consecutive year, Mayer Brown
received a perfect score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. • Equality Trailblazer: Jeremiah DeBerry, Partner and full-time Director of Diversity and Inclusion, was recognized in 2019 by the National Law Journal in its inaugural list. Only 28 people were selected out of thousands of nominations. • Responsible 100: Jeremiah was also a recipient of the 2019 Responsible 100 award that recognizes New York’s most outstanding corporate executives who embody the core principles of corporate
social responsibility including diversity, equity, and community engagement. Mayer Brown proclaims that its commitment to diversity and inclusion is unwavering and remains a top priority, as there is still much to accomplish. Their efforts have produced tangible results. Over the past few years, due to Jeremiah DeBerry’s service on the firm’s global Partner Promotion Committee, the firm has increased the diversity of its partnership by almost 200%. On behalf of the firm, the MB D&I team will continue to strive to provide a supportive and inclusive work environment that affords all attorneys and business services professionals an equal opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.
Head of Talent Management and Chief Diversity Officer
Corporate Vice President
Patricia Gomez-Garcia Senior Associate
ur Office of Diversity and Inclusion team consists of seven full-time employees, with efforts spanning four areas: talent acquisition, talent management, employee engagement (including our ERG program), and reporting & analytics.
Jessica Webster Senior Associate
Clarissa Moses Senior Associate
Company: New York Life Diversity Team Name: Office of Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Kathleen Navarro
Vibha Bhat Associate
Established in 2006, our Office of Diversity and Inclusion team consists of seven full-time employees, with efforts spanning four areas: talent acquisition, talent management, employee engagement (including our ERG program), and reporting & analytics. Two of the seven team members are in fully integrated HR roles: our Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Talent Management Kathleen Navarro, leads the company’s integrated strategies for talent management and D&I; and our Talent Acquisition Diversity Strategist sits on the Talent Acquisition team, directly aiding and advising recruiters in inclusive hiring practices and reaching diverse talent through our various partnerships.
Innovation We have developed innovative D&I campaigns, programming, and leadership development programs, including these: • Annual D&I Awareness Campaigns – Our campaigns help foster an inclusive workplace culture that appreciates and celebrates unique perspectives and differences. Annual themes have included What You Can Do, #InclusionMatters, #BeYourself, #PowerofPerspective, and You Belong (launched this year). Our campaign’s educational and experiential activities have garnered high levels of participation from employees
across departments and locations all over the nation. • Coming Together: Conversation Series – We created this series to provide a safe forum for courageous conversations and foster an environment of trust and engagement where complex conversations can take place. As of this year, we’ve hosted 17 courageous conversations, including sessions in partnership with our ERGs. We continue to build on this comprehensive program that includes ongoing company-wide discussions on race relations and other timely topics, a courageous conversation toolkit, guest speakers, and the sponsorship of related research projects. Our most recent external guest speakers include PFLAG, a national LGBTQ+ organization that delivered content to enhance participants’ understanding of gender and provided tips on how to be effective allies; Louisa L., a French contemporary artist who showcased and gave remarks about her New York Her immigrant women portrait collection; and Wade Davis, an inclusion consultant who shared insights about cultivating belonging in the workplace. With robust support from senior leadership and high participation across the company, the “Coming Together: Conversation Series” has been instrumental in shaping our culture of inclusion and
setting us apart as a D&I leader in the industry. • Amplify Program – In 2019, we redesigned the internal leadership development program exclusive to people of color to maximize the impact for participants. Several components were added to create a more robust participant experience: increasing participants’ exposure to the business by incorporating a business project; providing executive mentors; providing internal and external exposure to senior leaders; and providing participants’ managers with inclusive leadership training. The redesigned program, Amplify, will launch this year and help strengthen our multicultural pipeline.
Awards We’ve received a variety of D&I awards for our programs, most notably we’re 17x recipients of LATINA Style’s Top 50 Award (Company of the Year in 2019); 13x recipients of NAFE’s Top 50 Companies for Executive Women; 9x recipients of Working Mother® magazine’s Best Companies for Multicultural Women; 8x recipients of Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality; a perfect 100 score from the Human Rights Campaign; and 3x recipients of Diversity Best Practices Leading Inclusion Index Company. Lastly, we’ve received Profile in Diversity Journal’s Top 10 Innovation Award in 2019 and 2017.
Vice President, MS Communications Business Unit, and co-chair, MS sector D&I Leadership Council
o pioneer a new path forward in innovation and technological advancements, Northrop Grumman believes diversity in its employees defines possible. The Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (MS) Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team has put forth exemplary efforts in creating an inclusive work culture for a workforce of 23,000 employees worldwide, working primarily in STEM fields. The team has implemented various D&I initiatives that helped Northrop Grumman become DiversityInc’s top-ranked aerospace and defense company in 2019—17th overall ranking and #1 for people with disabilities.
Pamela M. Roberts Director, MS Diversity & Inclusion
The MS D&I Leadership Council team, which drove the sector’s diversity accomplishments, includes Vice President, MS Communications Business Unit and co-chair, MS sector D&I Leadership Council Roshan Roeder; MS Director, Diversity & Inclusion Pamela M. Roberts; and Lead Diversity & Inclusion Specialist Tiffany Ridley. Their collective efforts focused on four main strategic approaches: addressing full integration barriers; improving retention of people of color and females; identifying nontraditional talent sources (e.g., people with disabilities and people without degrees); and planning for sector-funded employee engagement activities.
Tiffany Ridley Lead, MS Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
They also successfully maintained a collaborative, diverse workplace by establishing various D&I initiatives, leveraging employee resource groups (ERGs), and participating in external national diversity conferences. They also collaborated with internal communication partners to showcase diversity initiatives that increased employee participation and awareness. These initiatives ranged from Heritage Month celebrations (e.g., Black History Month highlight in internal publications) and diversity panel participation, (International Women’s Day “Each for Equal, Challenging Stereotypes and Bias” executive panel) to diversity leadership training
Company: Northrop Grumman Diversity Team Name: Mission Systems Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council Diversity Team Leader: Roshan Roeder
he Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (MS) Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team has put forth exemplary efforts in creating an inclusive work culture for a workforce of 23,000 employees worldwide, working primarily in STEM fields.
sessions (e.g., Transgender Employee Assistance Training sessions and Facilities Training for Gender-Neutral Restrooms) and inclusion events held throughout the year. In 2019 alone, more than 275 ERG events were held across the sector to unify the workforce. For example, Summer Games hosted by an ERG, welcomed 775 employee participants, which led to 514 employee referrals for Talent Acquisition. The D&I team conducted training sessions for new ERG leaders, provided informational sessions on how to request new ERG chapters at each work location, facilitated bimonthly ERG steering committee and council
meetings, and partnered with Talent Acquisition to host three virtual career fairs specifically for ERG-referred candidates. Additionally, the team helped facilitate employee and executive participation in multiple national diversity conferences that honored employees who helped the company excel. One of these included the 2019 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Conference, during which the team led the GMiS workshop “Executive Leadership Coaching.” Also, eight MS employees were honored for their pioneering STEM-related work in the defense industry—four Black Engineer of the Year Award winners, two GMiS winners,
one Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers winner, and one Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers winner. These MS D&I efforts are highly recognized throughout the sector and company. In 2019, MS achieved the employee survey’s top strength in diversity— a first-time accomplishment for any Northrop Grumman sector. This Northrop Grumman Mission Systems D&I team is a 2020 Outstanding Diversity Team. They continuously focus on driving a diverse and inclusive organization by challenging the status quo; addressing unique barriers and challenges; and remaining focused on hiring, development, and retention.
Company: Phillips Lytle LLP Diversity Team Name: Phillips Lytle Diversity & Inclusion Committee Diversity Team Leader: Sandra E. Langs
t Phillips Lytle, we recognize that our ability to deliver the highest level of client service comes from having the benefit of our inclusive culture. The Phillips Lytle Diversity & Inclusion Committee is comprised of attorneys firm-wide. Our Committee is dedicated to fostering our firm’s ethos that a commitment to diversity and inclusion has a tangible impact, both internally and externally. The Committee does so by ensuring (1) that ours is a community in which each attorney is given the tools and support necessary to succeed, and (2) that the firm remains fully engaged in what is important to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Our strong belief in diversity and inclusion is at the core of our work—both inside the firm and within our communities.
SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENTS Peace Out! Diversity Pipeline Program Phillips Lytle has developed its own innovative Peace Out! pipeline program in which teams of attorneys work with middle school students in underserved communities to introduce them to the practice of law. The firm has worked with nearly 1,500 students since the program’s inception. Phillips Lytle Diversity Scholarships Since 1990, the firm has bolstered its commitment to www.diversityjournal.com
increasing diversity in our legal community through the establishment of a Phillips Lytle Diversity Scholarship at a major New York State university. Each year, the firm awards scholarships to promising law school students showing financial need, outstanding legal aptitude and a commitment to the practice of law in Western New York. Last year, the firm collaborated with another local undergraduate college to endorse a new scholarship for diverse students pursuing a legal career. Phillips Lytle Leadership Conferences Phillips Lytle partners with community leaders to host and facilitate periodic leadership conferences. A valuable part of our Phillips Lytle pipeline, these events provide an opportunity for Phillips Lytle attorney volunteers and community leaders to contribute time and expertise to advance the important mission of preparing promising, economically disadvantaged, and underrepresented students for success in higher education. Women’s Resource Group The Phillips Lytle Women’s Resource Group seeks to develop and promote female attorneys and maximize their opportunities for business development and leadership. Innovative programs and ongoing dialogue are at the core of this initiative. The Group promotes networking, mentorship and training of women attorneys.
IDEA Awards The firm recently partnered with a local business publication for an inaugural diversity and inclusion event. The event was developed to prioritize the importance of diversity and inclusion, champion equitable human resources practices and develop inclusive cultures. Nearly 300 were in attendance at the inaugural IDEA Awards, where 19 individuals and eight organizations were celebrated for championing diversity and inclusion in the Buffalo Niagara region. Recognition • AT&T Legal Diversity and Inclusion Award • National Federal for Just Communities Community Leader Award • IIIP Review: The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession • International INNOVATION in Diversity Award • Two of our attorneys have received the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching® Award • Received attorney recognition in Lawyers of Color’s Inaugural Nation’s Best List and Second Annual Hot List • Honored with numerous local Bar Association awards for pro bono service
ince 2001, Reed Smith has had an enterprise-wide, formal and robust Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) program in place, led by our global chair and supported by the firm-wide D&I committee. Over the past several years, Reed Smith’s Diversity and Inclusion program has made significant strides towards our firm-wide purpose of fostering an environment that allows all of our people to thrive, while also demonstrating leadership on issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. We have adopted new programming, enhanced and expanded existing initiatives, partnered with clients, allies, and peer firms, and placed
added emphasis on ensuring that our partners and our leadership are more reflective of our firm in total. Each of these elements has resulted in the engagement of our lawyers and professional staff with our D+I program at levels never before seen. Our D&I committee, which leads our D&I programming, now consists of more than 130 firm personnel around the globe. The deliberate and committed approach we have taken toward creating a truly diverse and inclusive environment is best reflected in our 2020 partner and counsel promotion class, which was our most diverse ever. Additionally, we achieved the highest levels of diverse (24.3%) and women lawyers (41.4%) in our history. We understand that diversi-
ty and inclusion in law means meeting and exceeding statistical targets, as well as putting in place programs and initiatives that reinforce the firm’s dedication to recruiting, developing, retaining, and advancing diverse talent. With this in mind, we’ve launched—or expanded upon— the following to support our D+I goals (further explanation of each program is available upon request): • Mental Health Task Force • Client Inclusion Leader program • Business inclusion groups reverse mentoring • Inclusion survey • I Count! campaign to encourage self-identification
Company: Reed Smith LLP Diversity Team Name: Reed Smith D+I Committee Diversity Team Leader: John Iino
• Diversity scorecards • Ramp Up and Ramp Down policy to ease the transition period for leaves of absence • Vendor Diversity program We are also honored to have been recognized by organizations at the forefront of advocating for diverse workplaces, both within and outside the legal profession. Accolades we have received include the following: • MCCA Sager Award finalist • Mansfield Certification Plus • 2019 Inclusion Blueprint Champion • Corporate Equality Index: Perfect Score Diversity is a strategic driver for our firm, and that remains
true during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve had to adjust how we do business during the pandemic, but that’s not stopping us from pushing ahead on important initiatives at the firm, particularly on the D&I front. That said, as a direct response to the pandemic, and its impacts on our people across our firm, we recently launched a D+I Coronavirus Task Force. The purpose of this group, which consists of D+I program leaders, inclusion group and women’s initiative chairs, and representation from human resources, recruiting, and marketing and communications, is to specifically develop and coordinate plans to address D&I related issues and to support and engage our people during
the crisis. The Task Force is designed to help centralize and coordinate the various efforts currently being undertaken by individual business inclusion groups (BIGs) and to dovetail with the broader centralized firm-wide efforts, as opposed to developing independent content. We value diversity and inclusion at Reed Smith because we believe that supporting our people to be their authentic selves and embracing a diverse workforce allows us to assemble better teams that deliver better results for our clients. While we still have much work to do, we are optimistic because our efforts are bringing about change.
Elizabeth Tafoya- Supplier Diversity Administration
Darlene Guinty, Supplier Diversity and Patti Pyle, Manager of Supplier Diversity recieve the 2019 Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence Award.
alt River Project is a political subdivision of the state of Arizona and is a Federal Reclamation Project established by the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902. Delivering water and power to two million customers. Salt River Projectâ€™s Supplier Diversity Team is currently a three person department. Supplier diversity was implemented in 1995. However, the department was re-energized in 2012 to educate external
community constituents, organizations, & entrepreneurs. Internally, we communicate to employees across the enterprise, emphasizing that every employee is responsible for the success of our Supplier Diversity and Sustainability initiatives, identifying the impact on the economic vitality of Arizona. Over the past year, SRP has accepted several awards: Corporation of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and more. We have also been inducted into the
Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence Awards for the past six years, which recognizes organizations that have spent at least $1 million dollars with diverse, minority-owned suppliers. We have moved the needle in the past eight years. When we began in 2012, we had a 9.2 % managed-spend; last year we reached a managed spend of 24%â€”spending $184 million dollars with diverse and small local businesses. Our diversity spend includes
Company: Salt River Project Diversity Team Name: Salt River Project Supplier Diversity Team Diversity Team Leader: Patricia Pyle
ur diversity spend includes women, minorities, veterans, and small local businesses. We selfimpose targets that will ensure our procurement spend reflects the communities we serve.
We demonstrate everyday that SRP cares for our customers and our community.
women, minorities, veterans, and small local businesses. SRP is not regulated through a corporation commission; we selfimpose targets that will ensure our procurement spend reflects the communities we serve. We publish a quarterly Newsflash that highlights a diverse business, and identifies the diverse businesses added to our database and utilized by our supply chain professionals. Working with the Arizona Indian Chamber of Commerce,
the Team has mentored Native American students; we also mentor women, minority, and veteran business owners and entrepreneurs. Many are current suppliers. We also provide capacity building opportunities by offering scholarships that enable diverse small business owners to attend the Arizona State University Small Business Leadership Academy taught by MBA professors. The eightweek engagement provides
small business owners with instruction that provides business acumen on several skills and offers them opportunities to build relationships with other business owners for solutions. Patricia Pyle serves on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Southwest MSDC, WBEC-West, Southwest Veterans Foundation, and the Advisory Council for the National Center for Indian Economic Development.
St. Elizabeth DIAC members & Associates visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center during Black History Month
he creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (DIAC) at St. Elizabeth Healthcare provides strong, genuine, and caring leadership throughout our organization. In the last two years, a charter was implemented to define the DIAC structure, functions, and goals. An executive sponsor was also secured, demonstrating leadership’s commitment to incorporating the DIAC’s recommendations into daily practice. The recent creation of both the Office of Diversity and the
Diversity and Inclusion Leader role has helped St. Elizabeth recently complete a SWOT analysis of the organization to better understand our associates’ comprehension, connection, and conscientiousness of inclusion at St. Elizabeth. With the establishment of the Office of Diversity, St. Elizabeth has become a significant champion of diversity and inclusion in the Northern Kentucky region and Greater Cincinnati community. The DIAC comprises senior executives and associates from all levels of the St. Elizabeth
Healthcare organization. In turn, these associates are supporting the establishment of associate resource groups (ARG), giving the council members the unique opportunity to become ARG executive sponsors and champions. These groups will form new alliances throughout the organization, focusing on diversity and inclusion education, both internally and externally for the community. Additional achievements include the following: • Enhanced communications for limited-English patients: Efforts include
Company: St. Elizabeth Healthcare Diversity Team Name: Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council Diversity Team Leader: Alieu Nyassi
St. Elizabeth Multi-Ethnic Diverse Voices Associate resource Group Members
providing the Emergency Department with larger-screen TV and resource lists for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. • Establishing an EPIC flagging system for special needs patients: This flag is communicated in the header of a patient’s electronic medical record to help meet the unique needs of each patient throughout all areas of our healthcare system. • Creation of diverse and SOGI educational programs: A multi-year strategic plan was established
to provide educational programs for multi-culture patients, workforce education, community involvement, and supplier diversity. Proposed plans are in place for SOGI education and additional resources are available to help care for SOGI patients. • Highlight contributions of ethnicity diverse associates: Intranet spotlight showcases achievements and contributions of ethnically diverse associates and their impact on both the organization and community.
• Adaptive meetings for team virtual team associates: Implementation of conference-call and Microsoft Teams virtual meetings to aid associates working remotely or at multiple facility locations. The Council is proud to make recommendations to St. Elizabeth leadership to help influence strategy and address healthcare disparities and inequalities in the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati communities. Together, we are making a difference.
From left to right: Cal Jackson, Director, Global Diversity & Inclusion; Ameerah Mukayed, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist; Beth Simonetti, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer.
ech Data’s D&I program is focused on increasing its global strategy. Tech Data executives are provided with roles that engage their leadership and provide learning opportunities at all levels. Strong executive leaders are also integral to providing financial support for the following events: • Sponsoring business resource groups • Sponsoring D&I regional councils • Providing D&I subject matter experts for special events • Introducing and participating in D&I special events • Major external D&I events
that have been funded by executives:
o Martin Luther King, Jr. St. Petersburg, Florida, Parade entry
o St. Pete Pride, the largest Pride festival in the Southeastern United States, with 1100 Tech Data parade marchers
o First-time Phoenix Pride entry
Tech Data’s mandatory leaders’ development program has been created with an intensive D&I education module, exposing executives to unconscious bias and how it impacts recruitment, development, and succession planning. The company’s D&I program has an internal and external
focus. Internally, there is a robust cultural competence education curriculum that is influenced by workplace trends. Externally, Tech Data’s D&I office influences community outreach by collaborating with the community outreach manager to continuously identify new partnerships. This program promotes Tech Data as a good corporate citizen through new partnerships. The majority of Tech Data’s D&I external efforts are partnerships with underrepresented groups in various communities, such as the following: • Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement • Parks Diversity • National Urban League
Company: Tech Data Diversity Team Name: Tech Data Diversity & Inclusion Diversity Team Leader: Calvin (Cal) Jackson
ech Data’s mandatory leaders’ development program has been developed with an intensive D&I education module, exposing executives to unconscious bias and how it impacts recruitment, development, and succession planning.
• Tampa Diversity Chamber of Commerce • MacDonald Training Center for Persons with Differing Abilities Tech Data also attends various Career Fairs put on by these groups: • Hispanic Serving Institutions • Historically Black Colleges and Universities • LGBTQ+ Career Fairs • Military Veteran Career Fairs The D&I program strives to provide colleagues exposure to a plethora of communities and cultures they may never have experienced in the past. In partnership with the above mentioned groups, Tech Data negotiates volunteer opportuwww.diversityjournal.com
nities for its colleagues, which in turn enhance their cultural competence of these dimensions of diversity. This external immersion of colleagues has also enlightened many of them regarding any biases or misgivings they may have regarding the capabilities and business qualifications of underrepresented groups. Internally, Tech Data’s D&I program educates the workforce regarding the capabilities of underrepresented groups. The D&I office manages the annual objectives of the company’s D&I councils and business resource groups. These groups develop and share a plethora of educational events to enhance the cultural competence of their colleagues. Topics have included these:
• Transgender military • LGBTQ+ experiences (Italy, Costa Rica, & U.S.A.) • Women’s career growth • How men can support women in the workplace Tech Data holds industry events for their vendor and reseller partners. At these partner events for large and small businesses, attendees learn about the various components of Tech Data’s D&I program. Events such as Tech Select and Vendor Summit have provided spaces for discussions about successful “Women in the Channel” and spaces to learn from Tech Data’s D&I global leaders and executives who are considered D&I ambassadors.
Ulmer’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee includes active members from across the firm’s offices.
Ulmer’s Columbus office hosted a Diversity Champions Panel where female in-house attorneys shared their insights on how to ensure D&I plays a role in everyday business.
Ulmer’s Cleveland office hosted an insightful seminar for clients and friends geared at increasing awareness and understanding of transgender issues in the workplace.
Company: Ulmer & Berne LLP Diversity Team Name: Diversity & Inclusion Committee Diversity Team Leader: Inajo Davis Chappell & Timothy J. Downing
iversity and inclusion are cornerstone values at Ulmer, which are continually supported by the efforts of our respected Diversity & Inclusion Committee. The Committee, led by Chair Inajo Davis Chappell and Chief Diversity Officer Timothy J. Downing, includes more than 30 members who guide the firm in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women and minority lawyers, and supporting charities, events, and sponsorships that serve as a platform for diverse people and ideas. The Committee has played a significant role in building Ulmer’s diverse and inclusive workplace and transforming the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion into action. By working to ensure diversity and inclusion are tangible, measurable components of our daily life, the Committee has helped to create a culture at Ulmer where differences are celebrated, all perspectives are embraced, and issues are seen from every angle. To continue building on the Committee’s progress, the firm refined its strategic plan to bolster our diversity and inclusion efforts by partnering with a consultant dedicated to promoting
organizational diversity and developing innovative solutions for culture change. The Committee also encouraged the firm to abide by the Mansfield Rule to increase our already growing number of diverse attorneys and to engage in asking employees for their preferred gender pronouns. The Committee’s efforts are also seen in the wide variety of educational programs and events the firm has long hosted, which are designed to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion in all its forms. In the last year alone, the firm held several events, including a seminar on transgender issues in the workplace, a celebration of Robert Madison (Ohio’s first African-American licensed architect), and a discussion with Jay Berry of “The Black 14,” a group of black football players who were kicked off the University of Wyoming team in 1969 for protesting in favor of social change. Our informative diversity programming underscores the firm’s commitment to supporting and enhancing our culture of inclusion. The Committee also believes true diversity and inclusion should extend beyond the walls of our firm. We sponsor and
participate in several important external events, including the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s annual Walk, Rock & Run event, the Greater Cincinnati YWCA Racial Justice Breakfast, and the Human Rights Campaign annual gala in Cleveland. We also engage in community outreach through a network of diverse organizations and support the firm in working with diverse vendors and suppliers. For these accomplishments, Ulmer was recently recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a Diversity Leader, and individual Committee members have been recognized on the National Law Journal’s list of Equality Trailblazers and honored with Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Award and Litigation Counsel of America’s Diversity Law Institute Award, demonstrating the team’s commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We are incredibly proud of the strides the Committee has made in promoting diversity and inclusion. We know Ulmer’s biggest strength is our people, including these important Committee members, who work together to impact our firm and the world in a positive way.
Company: VT LEND University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine DIVERSITY Diversity Team Name: Health Disparities and Cultural TEAMS Competence (HDCC) Group Diversity Team Leader: Maria Mercedes Avila, PhD, MSW, MED
he Health Disparities and Cultural Competence (HDCC) group was founded in 2015 under a federal grant and since then, the group has secured funding to continue its work within the state, regionally, and nationally. HDCC oversees multiple federal and state programs related to substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion, neurodevelopmental disabilities, refugee and immigrant health, and most recently, in culturally responsive approaches to Genomic DNA testing with underserved communities. HDCC’s 16-member group is housed under the Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (VT LEND) at the University of Vermont. Ninety-five percent of HDCC’s members represent fifteen racially and ethnically diverse communities, including refugee, immigrant, Middle-Eastern, and two Native American communities, making it a model for diversity within the region and nationally. HDCC’s mission is to advocate for health equity in the state and nationally, and ensure all communities have equitable access to opportunities in housing, education, employment, health care, and supports within social contexts. The group has helped inform
policies related to cultural and linguistic competence, language access, and culturally responsive service provision. Most recently, the group was an integral part of Governor’s Act 80 related to workforce development and diversity to help identify pathways for foreign-born physicians and other health care workers to be recertified and able to practice in the United States. HDCC’s goals include 1) providing guidance to translation and interpretation services and best practices related to language access, 2) advancing knowledge related to best practices in working with cultural brokers and community outreach workers, 3) serving as content experts and community voices on social determinants of health, 4) sharing information, knowledge, and training with the wider underserved and unserved communities, and 5) creating a safe and inclusive space for communities to discuss health equity and related issues. HDCC’s members take personal responsibility as mentors and leaders for their own communities, bringing knowledge, training, and experience back and sharing with the HDCC team current issues affecting their populations. Many members are physicians and allied health care workers who provide training and community learning sessions on
topics related to substance use prevention, mental health promotion, and suicide prevention. This training has reached more than 3,000 community members. HDCC’s work has been featured in local news outlets and at the North American Refugee Health conference, the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) annual events, and most recently, at the Vermont Care Partners Annual Health Equity conference, where the group released a health care disparities documentary and educational module. HDCC has been awarded numerous grants over the years, including a prestigious Frymoyer grant that made the aforementioned documentary possible. The group has been recognized under VT LEND with two state and national awards: 2018 Green Mountain Self-Advocates Ally of the Year Award Recognition for outstanding partnerships with self-advocates across the state; and the 2018 AUCD National Multicultural Council Leadership in Diversity Award. HDCC’s innovative approaches to diversity and meaningful community collaboration and partnership have been highlighted regularly as effective and best practice models in community participatory and engagement work, reaching thousands of community members annually.
Capital City Pride Event
ur Commitment– Wellmark is a committed inclusive company, where each individual is important, respected, and feels a sense of belonging. Every individual will have the opportunity to contribute and develop in ways consistent with our vision, mission, and values. With Inclusion as one of our core values, we are able to attract and retain the best talent and gain insights regarding how to meet the needs of our members. Wellmark has been recognized for this commitment to inclusion with more than 70 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) awards since 2009. The Team–Under Wellmark Chairman & CEO John Forsyth’s leadership, the Inclusion Council was formed in 2006 to drive heightened focus and awareness, building an inclusive company for Wellmark’s members, employees, and the community. The Inclusion Council comprises up to 18 members at any given
time (employee volunteers) and is led by the Chair, John; this diverse group represents a variety of backgrounds and job levels. The purpose of the council is to promote engagement, to educate and communicate through various channels, and increasing awareness and workforce participation in the community. This team serves as role models for cultivating an inclusive, trusting, and healthy culture.
Inclusion at Wellmark ATTRACTING DIVERSE TALENT–Wellmark has established a reputation of commitment to D&I and organically draws diverse talent. The Talent Acquisition Team has strategic goals to ensure an ongoing pipeline of strong, diverse talent. This team and the Inclusion Council participate in multiple organizations through volunteerism, sitting on boards and committees with the intent to estab-
lish and grow relationships across multifaceted diversity organizations. INCLUSION AWARENESS MONTH–An annual tradition of heightened education and experiences for employees, the month includes a theme contest, special events, demonstrations, fairs, activities, and an employee-nominated Inclusion Ambassador Award for outstanding commitment to D&I. For ten years, an annual employee survey has averaged 93 percent of employees valuing inclusion at Wellmark. INCLUSIVE LEARNING– Wellmark infuses inclusion into all curricula. A foundational inclusion course is required for all new hires. Many other D&I-focused elective workshops are also offered. BEACON PROGRAM–This high school internship program provides meaningful paid working experiences for underadvantaged students. INCLUSION HUB–This website gives employees a way to share
Company: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Diversity Team Name: Inclusion Council Diversity Team Leader: Chairman and CEO John Forsyth
Vice President Inclusion & Organizational Development
Credentialing Coordinator, Provider Network Education
Chairman & CEO
Team Leader, User Experience Design
Trainer I – Ops
Sr. Talent Acquisition Consultant
feedback and receive regular updates about Wellmark’s commitment to inclusion. The Hub is one of the most viewed employee sites on Wellmark’s intranet. One component is Wellmark Superheroes, which focuses on core values, strengths, gratitude, and recognition of others to engage, connect, and inspire employees. INCLUSIVE MEDICAL BENEFITS–Inclusion Council feedback resulted in enhanced gender affirmation benefits, Wellmark was one of the first companies to implement these changes. INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY COMMITMENT–Volunteerism is promoted and rewarded through a volunteer giving program. The Council leads or supports many diversity-focused events. Nonprofits must certify that they are accepting of all aspects of diversity. Other examples of commitment include Wellmark proudly flying the Pan-African flag www.diversityjournal.com
Sr. Account Service Rep.
Provider System & Database Specialist
Senior Performance Auditor
Sr. Advocate, Customer Service
HR Operations Specialist
during Black History Month and the Pride Flag during LGBTQ month. INCLUSION INFUSION INTO THE BUSINESS–Wellmark has a Health Provider Inclusion Hub with D&I tools and resources, Supplier Diversity Program, and an Inclusion Communication Guide for all organizational communications.
Recognition and Awards • LGBTQ Legacy Leader Ally Award–dsm Magazine/One Iowa • One Iowa presented Wellmark with the Sharon Malheiro Award for LGBT Advocacy • Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index–Best Place to work for LGBTQ Equality (100%, Perfect Score) • Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Youth Leadership Initiative Community Partner Award
Team Leader Operations
Organizational Learning & Development Consultant
System Liaison – Ops, Operations System and Support
• Des Moines NAACP Merit Employer of the Year Award • Employer Support of Guard and Reserve’s Pro Patria Above and Beyond Awards • Capital City Pride’s Company Ally Award • Best of the Best Top Employer, Hispanic Network Magazine • Top Veteran-Friendly Company, U.S. Veterans Magazine • Best of the Best Top Employer, Professional Woman’s Magazine • Best of the Best Top DisabilityFriendly Company, DIVERSEability Magazine • Best of the Best Top Employer, Black EOE Journal • Recognized as Top Diversity Employers by Black EOE Journal and Professional Woman’s Magazine • Recognized as a Top Health Insurance Company by Professional Woman’s Magazine www.womenworthwatching.com
Hiring Future Leaders:
3 Ways Financial Services Organizations Can Achieve Diversity Today and Cultivate the Leaders of Tomorrow
By Keisha Bell
ith Women’s History Month behind us, we have paid tribute to the many women leaders across politics, science, and the arts that have shaped our world today. And a crucial part of preserving their legacy is positioning the next generation of women to be leaders who build on their progress. As a woman who has been in financial services for more than two decades, I believe we must commit to cultivating the next generation of leaders. This is particularly true, given the systemic lack of diversity in early
STEM education and STEM careers. The financial industry has long attracted top STEM talent and is well positioned to lead the charge in cultivating future STEM leaders by actively and intentionally promoting diversity. Here are three goals organizations can set and achieve that will propel this important evolution and nurture the next generation: Goal 1: Create hiring and work procedures that put diversity at the center of your organization Financial services firms must
make clear efforts to create environments that are flexible and attractive for today’s diverse workforce. Millennials, and those representing Generation Z, are now entering the workforce and do not see strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and robust D&I initiatives as a “nice to have,” but as a basic requirement for employers they wish to consider. One way companies can highlight their commitment to D&I, and to prospective employees, is by having work policies with inclusivity at their core.
For instance, having a parental leave offering that encourages new parents, regardless of gender, to take time off as their families grow is a differentiator. Over the past two years, more and more DTCC (Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation) employees have begun to take advantage of this benefit, and an increasing number of men are taking parental leave. Corporations can also support women across all levels by introducing programming that meets women where they are in their careers, and creates a clear path and support for the next step forward. This can be achieved by offering mentorship programs and flexible work arrangements, and
demonstrating that we need to actively recruit more women. Although improving diversity in finance is an initiative each firm has a responsibility to own, diversity can also be improved through collaboration with community organizations, other corporations, colleges, and universities. Companies can find future STEM leaders early in their careers by connecting with a wide variety of educational institutions. Being intentional about including historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs) during the recruitment process is one way to embed inclusivity and diversity into this process. But introducing STEM’s next
Goal 3: Identify and promote emerging leaders in your organization While the first two goals work to bring future leaders into your organization, highlighting and elevating leaders that emerge within your organization is critical to creating a workplace that fulfills its D&I focus and retains top talent. In fact, a recent industry survey finds that millennials are likely to double their average tenure at firms that show commitment to diversity and inclusion practices. These practices and programs can come to life during the review season. Being intentional in promotion decisions is a crucial way to ensure leaders are being identified
At DTCC, we created a deliberate program to identify high-potential female employees, and through this program, we had more women than men promoted to the managing director level in 2019
by supporting nontraditional career paths. For example, our company runs a “Re-Emerge” program that focuses on women seeking to rejoin the workforce after taking a minimum 2-year hiatus away from work, which frequently happens with new mothers. Programs like this help women carve their own career path, while promoting creative, inclusive thinking across organizations. Goal 2: Engage with positive forces in your community to find the next generation of leaders According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 40 percent of the financial services industry’s labor force consists of women,
women leaders cannot just happen once they have their degree. Instead, creating a diverse workforce means supporting organizations that cultivate the talents of young girls. The financial services industry must recognize that there is a societal, structural issue that often blocks young girls from pursuing STEM education, and our industry can take steps to lessen these inequalities. Organizations like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code are doing great work to break down these barriers. By partnering with organizations focused on inclusion in STEM, firms are not only helping to expose more kids to STEM careers, but are also creating a strong pipeline of future leaders.
and advanced. At DTCC, we created a deliberate program to identify high-potential female employees, and through this program, we had more women than men promoted to the managing director level in 2019. We will stay focused on this program in the years to come. Achieving true diversity and inclusion in organizations takes time, dedication and a true commitment at all levels of the organization. By being intentional in hiring practices, partnering with organizations and institutions that provide access to diverse talent, and making a concerted effort to promote diversity within organizations, firms are well placed to make measurable and impactful advancements in this important area. PDJ
At Times Like This, Little Things Matter By Janet Crenshaw Smith and Gary A. Smith Sr.
e weren’t prepared for now, yet here we are. So much is out of our control—sufficient food supply, equitable health care, safety concerns, and yep, even reliable Zoom connections and toilet paper. Here’s what I know for sure: This has happened before (okay, maybe not Zoom), and it will happen again. It’s the circular nature of life. Even the word pandemic isn’t being used for the first time, so why not believe it will be used again? Oh, and the last thing I know, we will prevail. At times like this, when so much is out of our control, I am reminded why I wrote the book, 58 Little Things That Have a Big Impact: What’s Your MicroTrigger®?
It’s because little things do indeed matter. MicroTriggers are small, subtle communications that are transmitted by words, signals, tone, and body language. The messages may have been sent intentionally or unintentionally. Sometimes we think we know the intent. And sometimes we’re wrong. While we often assume that these subtle messages are universally understood, they are actually quite personal. The ones that matter to an individual are his or her MicroTriggers. A friend of mine shared that she now takes daily runs to relieve stress and anxiety. She is wearing a face mask, which she said alters her breathing while running, but she is getting used to it. The runners are generally doing a good job of social
distancing. But here’s the problem: The runners stopped saying hello to each other. “It’s so weird,” she said. “It’s as if they think that social distancing means not speaking. And it’s really depressing.” So that small act of no longer saying hello is a message to her, more than wearing face masks while running, that she is living alone and feeling isolated during a pandemic. Alone while being in groups of people, around others but not connected and included. Also, a new flavor of authenticity is starting to show up. Maybe it’s because you can’t get your hair done, so heck, you are finally showing your coworkers your natural hair texture during the daily staff video chats. Maybe you have more
children than caregivers at home, so the kids you never talked about much at work are now running past the screen while you’re conducting a video conference meeting. Maybe you’re too stressed to keep putting on a happy face, so suddenly you are talking more about your personal life with your colleagues. A client shared that now every conversation starts differently. No more jumping right into business. Always a quick, “How are you doing?” “How was your weekend?” In fact, when someone does not ask, they seem heartless, out of touch, even unprofessional. WOW, what a change. But a small change that is making a huge impact. I have met more children, pets, and roommates of my colleagues and clients in the last four weeks than I have met in the last four years. That’s the upside of a new normal authenticity. Seemingly small things, but impactful. Those relationships will be different going forward. I’ve been included in their lives. The downside is that now, more than ever, we are revealing our preferences and unconscious biases in unintended ways. Consider how many MicroTriggers show up in a conference call or Zoom meeting—restating your words for you, interrupting you, acknowledging your idea only after someone else says it, or sighing when you ask a question. Subtle messages impact inclusion even more now with high stress and anxiety. If the subtle messages have more impact, if they mean more, it’s because the stories being told about them are more exaggerated. We always knew MicroTriggers mattered, but we had to learn that for each person’s trigger, it was the stories they told themselves about the trigger that revealed the impact on them. Imagine sending subtle, small messages, completely unaware of the impact you were having on someone else; unintentional, unconscious messages that left that person feeling www.diversityjournal.com
excluded and devalued? If these things are subtle, if I don’t know I’m doing them, and every person I encounter can react differently, am I responsible? How can I be responsible? Are you responsible? Yes. You’re responsible because you care about the relationships you have with people. You understand they have value. You are responsible beyond your intentions. You are responsible for the impact you have. We all are. Especially now. I felt that there was something missing in the diversity and inclusion discussion. There was a healthy conversation occurring around unconscious bias, almost implying that bad behavior isn’t anyone’s fault because we all have unconscious preferences and biases. We also know that unconscious bias is often revealed via subtle behaviors. The challenge is that we far too often ascribe a negative intent on the part of the sender of the behaviors (i.e., microaggressions). But how can we really know intent? We also find ourselves being exclusionary in assuming that the senders are straight white men and the receivers are women, people of color, and LGBTQ. Remember that the whole point of unconscious bias is that we all have them. So, we also are all senders and receivers of MicroTriggers. Furthermore, if we want to advance inclusion, we have to acknowledge that many of the behaviors are so subtle and neutral that it’s only by observation and comparison we are able to ascribe someone’s intentions. For example, when a person is a habitual interrupter, you don’t see the inequity until you witness that person waiting until his or her boss finishes speaking. I’m not naïve, I understand the harm of microaggressions. The harm isn’t only in the message, it’s in the sender’s decision-making too. Do you interrupt everyone, or do you patiently wait
until your boss finishes speaking? I wanted to connect the ideas of unconscious bias, the subtle behaviors, assumptions of intent, and an inclusive approach to who senders and receivers can be, and the critical role of observers and bystanders. Once I understood the connections, MicroTriggers were born. Imagine knowing how your subtle behaviors impact others. Imagine having relationships where people can put a voice to feeling excluded without assuming the worst of the people that made them feel that way. Imagine knowing what to do when you observe these situations and feeling confident enough to take an action. MicroTriggers are the pathway to that place. We’ve identified 58 MicroTriggers, and clarified specific roles and responsibilities for senders, receivers, and observers or bystanders. In classrooms and online, we then captured years and years of data where people voted, telling us what triggered them and why it mattered. We have these results by demographic, industry, and sector. In these unique times, wouldn’t you like to know better, so you can do better? Faced with big challenges, high anxiety, and uncertainty, let’s pause and take the time to focus on the little things, to treat each other well. PDJ
Janet Crenshaw Smith and Gary A. Smith Sr. are the cofounders of Ivy Planning Group, a 30-year-old consulting and training firm. Ivy won the 2018 Profiles in Diversity Journal Innovations in Diversity Award. Profiles in Diversity Journal has also named Gary and Janet Diversity Pioneers and Diversity Leaders.
The Inclusion Production Function
How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Programming and Policy
By: Amanda J Felkey, Ph.D.
housands of companies in the U.S. and around the world are trying to make their workplaces more inclusive. Evidence that a sense of belonging can bolster effective teamwork, fuel innovation and boost profits has prompted many companies to devote resources to enhancing inclusion. The majority of Fortune 100 companies have created a position in their C-suite, Chief Diversity Office (CDO), indicating they are committed to making change in DEI in their organizations.
Reportedly, eight billion dollars annually are directed at “producing” inclusion. CDOs, task forces, and directors are charged with making inclusive environments. They identify and encourage inputs in such a way that the production process creates inclusion as an output. Figure 1 illustrates how producing inclusion might happen and demonstrates that the “producers” of inclusion change policies, offer programs, or even reconsider company values to make their organizational culture more inclusive. Notably, companies tend to focus
most of their efforts on programming (trainings, speakers and workshops) as it is a cost-effective way to convey information to many.
Figure 1. Inclusion Production With all the effort and money targeted at making workplaces more inclusive, it is important we think critically about what the inclusion production function looks like. Understanding how organizations become inclusive will help us more effectively create a sense of belonging in every workplace.
potential to have too many cooks in the kitchen and more people actually decreases production, box D. You are waiting in line to use the oven and bumping into your dinner party guests while trying to prep food. What can be done? You need a bigger kitchen—you have to increase another input because adding more people will not make more dinner.
Figure 1. Inclusion Production
Figure 2. The Making Dinner Production Function
Figure 2. The Making Dinner Production Function
Production Functions and The Law of Diminishing Returns Production functions universally have the same shape, illustrated in figure 2. Whether we are considering project management, product development, or other business endeavors, production functions increase but at a decreasing rate. Consider a production example with which we can all relate— making dinner. Figure 2 demonstrates that as there are more people in the kitchen making dinner (measured on the horizontal
axis), more dinner will be made (measured on the vertical access). But let’s take a closer look at how production behaves. In box A, you make dinner yourself and you can see adding one person makes a certain amount of dinner (identified by the size of the box). If you ask a friend to make dinner with you, adding that friend’s labor will yield less than twice as much dinner, likely because you were catching up about your week and a little less productive than when by yourself. With several friends at a dinner party, box C, the last friend you invite yields even less additional dinner. There is even the
This dinner-making example demonstrates what economists call the law of diminishing returns. Since the mid-1700’s economists have identified that production, of any kind, will exhibit diminishing returns. That is, when you increase one factor of production, leaving the others constant, each additional input unit will yield less production than the previous. It makes sense the inclusion production function exhibits diminishing returns. Consider the most utilized input, programming. When individuals attend their first training, they learn a lot of new information, are inspired to act more empathetically, and may even feel invigorated about equity. In their second program people learn a few new useful facts, and are reminded that inclusion is important. A few programs down the road and people are not learning anything new, and their attendance at programs and workshops could adversely affect inclusion by crowding out individual effort, amplifying overconfidence, and even generating annoyance.
Inputs to Inclusion Production When analyzing the inclusion production function, it is useful to map the instruments we use to make changes to the elements that matter to generating inclusion. That is, instead of thinking about policy versus programming, we should consider what these instruments yield that actually leads to inclusion. A better categorization is depicted in figure 3. The actual inputs to inclusion production are awareness, action, and behavior. While programming generally promotes only awareness, there could be programs that also instigate action. Such programs would then be a different input into inclusion production.
Figure 3. Inputs for Inclusion
Figure 3. Inputs for Inclusion To date, most inclusion efforts have been focused on awareness, yet myriad research tells us that these are the least effective at generating an inclusive environment. The most successful programs are those that require action. A 2016 study by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev considered diversity efforts at 829 large and midsize U.S. firms and found the most impactful initiatives were mentoring and employing a diversity task force, both strategies associated with action. By moving beyond awareness-based programing, employing other inputs, or even finding new ones, like those that induce action and behavior change, companies can create inclusion production that goes beyond the limits of the diminishing returns of awareness. As demonstrated in figure 4, when an 104
Figure 4. Combing New Inputs
organization reaches the limits of awareness-based inputs, they can couple those with strategies focused on action to enhance inclusion. Moving beyond action into behavior change can catapult inclusion production even more.
Figure 4. Combing New Inputs As you can see, there are new frontiers when organizations strategically alter complementary inputs. There may still be benefits from programming, but only if programming is coupled with other inputs that focus on ac-
tion and behavior. Focusing on awareness alone is like having one kitchen, including action initiatives is like having two kitchens, and adding behavior change as an input in your inclusion production function will be like having three kitchens. Behavior change is the only way to produce a genuinely inclusive environment. The problem is, behavior change is hard, especially when it comes to inclusion. Even if someone has the desire and necessary ability to act more inclusively, behavior change may still be difficult. Behavioral
scientists would warn us that time inconsistent preferences and unconscious biases can thwart our efforts to behave more inclusively. Even though behavior change initiatives may take substantial time and effort, they are worth the resources. New behaviors of inclusion are necessary to push the boundaries of inclusion.
Going Beyond the Limits of Programming Some organizations are beginning to shift their focus to
behavior-based inputs as they “produce” an inclusive environment. For example, Belonging at Cornell, a new initiative launched on the Ithaca campus last fall, provides a framework that goes beyond programming. While Belonging at Cornell is impressive in many ways, most remarkable is its aim to go beyond programming. Angela Winfield, Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Workforce Diversity, says “the Belonging at Cornell framework [is a] shift from awareness to awareness coupled with individual action and behavior change.” This is exactly the shift that is making www.diversityjournal.com
inclusion a reality at Cornell. A few months ago, The Inclusion Habit (published in the Fall 2019 edition of this journal), an evidence-based solution designed to make behavior more inclusive, was launched at a Fortune 100 financial services firm. The Inclusion Habit uses a platform called ProHabits to provide daily small commitments aimed at understanding biases and their sources, dispersing with the negativity associated with unconscious biases, practicing thinking more deliberately, reprogramming
incorrect intuitions about others, and becoming more empathetic. Despite the COVID-19 transition to remote work during this pilot study, a qualitative analysis of participant comments and stories reveals they feel more connected. In surveys, 70% of participants report practicing more inclusive behavior. Participants also indicated they were reflective and mindful.
Conclusion While inclusion programming may be a cost-effective way to raise awareness about diversi-
ty issues in the workplace, the change it creates in actual inclusiveness is minimal. Programming has limited returns and creates false confidence. In fact, its ineffectiveness and byproducts may even adversely affect the organization’s culture—too many DEI programs is like too many cooks in the kitchen. Only by moving beyond mere programming and focusing on individual action and behavior can organizations truly make meaningful strides toward a genuinely inclusive environment. PDJ
Dr. Amanda J Felkey has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Economics from Cornell University and a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from eCornell. She has authored award winning publications, is actively researching unconscious bias, has 20 years of experience in decision-making research and 15 years of experience in curriculum design. Felkey currently teaches at Lake Forest College where she is Chair of the Department of Economics, Business and Finance and Chair of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.
Will Diversity and Inclusion Fall Prey to COVID-19? By Angela Peacock, CEO of worldwide diversity and inclusion training consultancy PDT Global
ith whole workforces being furloughed or made redundant—and companies clamping down on anything they see as nonessential spending—will diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace join the list of coronavirus casualties? After all, far too many organizations view creating an inclusive environment—where everyone with the capability to succeed can do so— as discretionary.
In fact, the culprit posing a potential threat to D&I is more likely to be the recession that follows the current pandemic. A climate of fear and loss of revenue, bonuses, prestige, and so on is likely to lead to an increase in affinity bias—the unconscious tendency to get along with others who are like us. An inclusive environment is then in danger of becoming a distant dream. So how can D&I reinvent itself to prepare for the rocky road
ahead? And what practical steps can organizations take to rise to the challenge? The key to success will be recognizing inclusion as a strategic driver. Having an inclusive workplace will be essential as we emerge into the post-lockdown world. D&I leaders need to dissect what their business will need in the months and years ahead. That might be new ways of thinking, new products, alternative routes to market, a clear post-lockdown switch
strategy, or more digital expertise. Build a case for each one in a simple sentence that speaks to what the outcome will be if you have an inclusive environment—and what might happen if you don’t. Remember, inclusion creates the environment where diversity can thrive. Diversity alone cannot impact business outcomes. These two together can. Expect everyone in the organization to buy into different aspects of your communications. For example, sales teams will care if the companies they are pitching to make stronger demands on their diversity numbers before awarding deals. Without inclusion, after a redundancy situation, you will find it more challenging to keep your minorities. In the post-pandemic recession, the natural tendency to keep people you have unconscious trust in will be rife. Minorities lose out at times like this. Having clearly laid out the business case, D&I professionals need to insist on criteria being adhered to when considering who is or isn’t retained. That criteria must speak to a broader caste of people—not crafted for the two guys in accounts who have been there longest. Ensure a team decides who needs to leave. Shoring up your employee resource groups is also vital. But make sure they align their work to creating inclusion during and after the recession. Think about how they can they add value to the business—from sales to design and clients. If you are in a company that has corporate clients, reach out
Having an inclusive workplace will be essential as we emerge into the post-lockdown world.
to offer discussions and help with their D&I work. Many will have lost their internal teams and may welcome your (free) input. It’s another way you can potentially add value to your own organization’s business results. You may have realized that I don’t mention anything about this all being the “right thing to do.” It’s not that I don’t think it is. It’s just that I have seen post-recessional behavior before—and the fear driver it brings means those conversations are rarely useful.
However, making your D&I work relevant to community groups is powerful—and useful to the groups. Offering to have your managers mentor individuals provides cross-mentoring, so that they realize how others feel—and see the world from a different perspective. That helps you, at a time when you probably have no D&I training budget, as it does that work for you. And, of course, it also benefits the community, which will be invaluable in the post-pandemic world. PDJ
Social Pinging—the Next Stage in Achieving Meaningful Inclusion
Silence is Golden, unless You’re PINGING! By Barbara Hockfield, Executive Managing Director, Insight Education Systems
go, combined with good intentions, causes people to relax the reins in their quest to achieve Diversity Champion status. Good intentions are often substituted for truly effective inclusive behavior. They may think, “If my intentions are good, then my actions must reflect my well-meaning vision, right?” Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case. To be clear, good intentions are just that—good. But using good intentions as the measure of one’s
impact is not terribly different from a child taught by a caring, well-intentioned teacher whose knowledge transfer skills are less than stellar. In managing unconscious bias, one’s good intentions may generate a feeling of comfort in others, but fail to achieve the elusive equity D&I must achieve to have a meaningful impact.
Parroting the Platitudes When speaking with leaders at companies doing business across the
globe, I often ask what they personally do that makes them diversity champions. Although the faces, titles, and companies change, the responses are often indistinguishable. A dozen or so responses generally describe what they do in terms of their outbound actions. They elaborate on specific behaviors that they believe make them effective. They can map out wellhoned techniques that demonstrate evidence of the champion behaviors learned. It’s all quite nice, but it’s
primarily focused on outbound aspects of communication. The platitudes we learn to deliver are perfect—and frankly, we’ve heard them all before: • Let’s see, they told me to greet everyone pleasantly. Done! • Ask people’s opinions in meetings. Done! • Occasionally, go to lunch with those not in my inner circle. Done! • Divvy up projects to ensure an equitable balance of responsibilities. Done! And the list of outbound actions goes on. Once completed, we say to ourselves, “I did what they told me to do, so put me on that Diversity Champions list!” Diversity training has taught us
What are the origins of pinging? This concept is metaphorically rooted in the sonar used in submarines. A sonar ping is sent out and the operator listens for the echoreturn response. The single sonic ping at 20 kHz radiates out, bounces off surrounding objects and returns to identify where the submarine is positioned in relation to surrounding objects. These behemoths, otherwise operating virtually blind underwater, know exactly where they are based on the pinged response received. Notably, the outbound ping is easily audible. Yet, the bounce-back echolocation response is inaudible to the human ear. It is, however, the essential component for identifying where they stand. So too do social pings tell us where we stand.
was not simply heard but respected and appreciated. These messages of affirmation (pings) said, “I not only hear you but want to affirm there was value in your message and it moved me,” thus closing the loop. At sporting events, fans call out in the thousands their cheers and support of a team, not unlike the congregation’s Call & Response, say, “I see you, I appreciate you, and I’m moved by your message,” or, in this case, “your actions.” Stage performers receive rounds of applause, bravos, and standing ovations in appreciation of a job well done. Even when the outbound performance falls flat, the audience offers a response acknowledging the effort. One of the most extreme examples of Call & Response, or pinging, is clearly present in the dynamics of the State of the Union address delivered
There can be virtually no conversation or expression of an idea, feeling, observation, or any outbound message for which a response ping isn’t valued. how to be inclusive, sending all the prescribed messages. Yet, focusing only on the outbound messages does little for the response side of the communications loop, causing an unintentional short circuit in the process. Breaking that communication loop by omitting the response side all but guarantees a failure to achieve equity. A more effective approach is to complete the loop, stepping beyond platitudes and prescribed outbound statements, and moving into a new arena that masters social pinging.
Social Pinging Closes the Communication Loop In pursuit of inclusion, social pinging is the conduit that completes the loop and enables D&I to rise to a new level of impact.
It’s Said that Silence is Golden—but not When it Comes to Social Pinging In fact, forms of social pinging are pervasive throughout history. The African American church has a well-established Call & Response exchange. This emerged from a critical psychological need for respect. The roots of the practice grew out of the need for this culture to be recognized and heard. In the post-slavery era, the opinions of black leaders were not acknowledged or respected by the white power structure. Since they did not receive messages of respect from the white community, these congregations felt motivated to let their spiritual leaders know that their guidance and religious direction
by any U.S. President. Newscasters’ recaps of these events always tally and report the number of times the President was interrupted by applause, as well as the number of standing ovations received. Remarkably, this adulation is not necessarily based on the content of the message, but rather, whether the respondents share the same political affiliation. There can be virtually no conversation or expression of an idea, feeling, observation, or any outbound message for which a response ping isn’t valued. The responsibility falls on both parties—the sender and the receiver—to complete the communication loop. In the workplace, as with every human communication, our outbound messages require a similar ping response to close the loop
and identify where we stand. Like the sonar ping, the social ping response is virtually undetectable without the right cipher to read our relative positions. Remarkably, we instinctively send pings in response to outbound messages only when it is clear that the sender will receive it. Even the mediocre performer gets a ping of applause to acknowledge a somewhat obligatory expression of appreciation. However, in a movie theater, a powerful, on-screen performance would rarely receive that ping of applause and certainly would not receive a standing ovation. Our response pings tend to be instinctive. We don’t consciously turn the corners of our mouths upward to smile or furrow our brows when confused. We tend not to focus on nodding in agreement or sighing when bored. But we send these and an endless variety of other pings
• “Ok, I understand, that’s a good point.” • “It would have been more effective if I had done it that way.” • “Thanks for letting me know. Any other thoughts?” The first social pings convey a feeling of being offended and criticized, as well as the desire to put the episode aside and move forward. They lack an expression of value and true absorption of the feedback. The second social pings convey a feeling of acknowledgment and appreciation of the feedback far more effectively. This doesn’t mean that one has to agree with the feedback. Social pinging may also express a challenge to or disagreement with what was said, but is delivered in a way that suggests a willingness to engage constructively. The world of social media is fueled by the need for pings. People post messages, memes, or photos, and
valuable, when delivered with substance, reason, logic, and respect. On social media platforms, awaiting the ping response is a conscious effort. In the workplace, there are no Likes—just empty fields for comments. Failure to fill in those comment fields leaves the speaker suspended in a void of uncertainty—feeling out of the communication loop and not knowing exactly why. As social pinging is so inextricably aligned with unconscious bias and micro-inequities, we reached out to Mary Rowe, adjunct professor at MIT and the originator of the concept of micro-inequities. She recognized social pinging as an effective fine-tuning of unconscious bias management. Dr. Rowe noted an interesting alignment with child psychology. Children who have been ignored over time may act out in destructive or violent ways in an unconscious attempt to receive atten-
It’s where the new fork in the D&I road now splits and true diversity champions emerge, leaving the platitudes behind. every day. The powerful relationship this has to Diversity & Inclusion involves how different pings are sent and returned, based on our beliefs about someone’s value. It’s where the new fork in the D&I road now splits and true diversity champions emerge, leaving the platitudes behind. During a typical exchange in which one colleague may be offering constructive feedback to another, it wouldn’t be unusual for the recipient to respond with a cursory or defensive response such as one of the following: • “Fine, Ok.” • “I got it.” • “Maybe, I suppose so.” Or, with a higher-level ping response, such as one of these:
derive a great sense of satisfaction from the Likes (pings) their posts generate. Conversely, there is great disappointment when a post goes un-pinged. These responses are at the very core of what makes social media so appealing to so many. In fact, simple Likes are no longer enough. Now, seven reaction options are available to express an even more finely tuned range of ping responses, stretching from love to fury. These emoticons are the social pings that speak volumes, conveying respect or disapproval in their silence. Social media platforms would likely fall by the wayside without these mechanisms that express acknowledgment of one’s outbound messages. Notably, the responses do not need to be positive—they just need to be. Although sometimes deflating, even the negative messages can prove
tion. Sadly, it may not matter that the attention received is a scolding or an expression of anger. It is still better than receiving no attention at all. In the workplace, invisibility is masked by platitudes of obligatory acknowledgment. Effective pinging is a process that must be monitored and infused into all our workplace communications. It should not occur by happenstance—it should be done by design. We need more than an obligatory, “I heard you.” We need to also hear what you think about what you hear. A simple Like, or its equivalent, just doesn’t cut it when you’re striving to be a diversity champion and make others feel engaged and respected. Such obligatory responses can be just a stone’s throw away from invisibility. Let’s break it down. Social pinging falls into four general categories of
response: Disdain, Passivity, Neutrality, and Engagement.
Disdain These social pings devalue another’s contribution. They tend to be brief and convey distain or unworthiness, and are conveyed by expressions or remarks, such as these: • Smirk • Sigh • Absence of eye contact • Vacant looks • Head shaking • Slow eye blink • “I don’t get it”
Passivity These social pings, perhaps the most damaging, represent the lack of any response at all. This lack of response actually falls below zerolevel, as it often does more damage than sending messages of outright disdain. When one is met with a passive response, there is nothing one can say.
Neutrality These are social pings that convey indifference. Neutrality conveys a sense of obligation and cursory acknowledgment. This category is where much of the self-deception of diversity championship resides. It’s easy to feel as though acknowledgement is adequate. The respondent feels good about his or her polite response and the contributor has nothing substantive to complain about when a contribution is met with one of the following: • “Fine” • “OK” • “I see” • “Thank you” • “If you say so” • “All right” www.diversityjournal.com
Engagement These are the social pings that inspire engagement and demonstrate respect. Engagement pings do not necessarily agree with or support the sender’s position. They tend to express appreciation coupled with a detailed acknowledgment of a message received. A key characteristic for pings of engagement is the incorporation of inquiry. When the respondent poses a question, it is eminently clear that they are fully engaged in the exchange with responses and questions that clarify understanding, such as these: • “How can we make that work?” • “What alternatives have you considered?” • “I think you’re on to something” • “Can you explain how that wouldn’t conflict with our master plan?” These pings of engagement incorporate the concepts of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and mirroring. NLP teaches us that language and behaviors are structures that can be modeled or copied into a reproducible form that draws in the other party. Mirroring is the process of parroting back the last few words of what a person says to demonstrate that the listener has been engaged and understands one’s message. Although somewhat effective, these two processes are weak substitutes for a more comprehensive approach to social pinging. Rather than isolating or repeating a word, or in NLP-style, modeling the other party’s speaking and gesturing, social pinging requires that the respondent carefully filter the central theme of the received message and then offer a comprehensive response, series of analytical details, or expressions of agreement or disagreement. An easy method to meter your ping is to ask yourself if this is how you would respond to a comment expressed by your teacher, doctor,
religious leader, or anyone with whom you would be more conscious of respectfully communicating. Ask yourself, “Did my ping do that?” This filtering process makes the social ping the most sustainable and active tool we can use to alter behavior for everyone in the workplace. It is vital that we bring more focus to the response, or in-bound, side of message management. In other words, merely asking someone his or her opinion, although good, is not good enough. The diversity champion actively processes the response the recipient offers.
Non-Confrontational Disagreement More often than not, people lean toward avoiding conflict, unless they have strong opinions about an issue. It is more uncomfortable to challenge, debate, or offend someone, than it is to simply nod and move on. Unfortunately, along with that unspoken compliance comes a mild sense of resentment. There is a sense of being muzzled and not expressing what one truly thinks. This is manifested as some version of, “Ok, that’s another way of thinking about it,” and then politely moving on. The pinging master never allows this to happen. Whether, as the sender of a message or the observer of the behaviors of others, he or she has the ability to recognize the elephant in the room and bring that uncomfortable issue into focus for discussion. Great leadership is never achieved through indifference, compliance, or conflict avoidance. It is always better to seek and uncover an uncomfortable truth than to keep feathers unruffled. Social pinging recognizes and gets to the authenticity of how respect is demonstrated. Not by cursory platitudes, but by full engagement in closing the communication loop. Most important, it does not occur by happenstance, but instead, is done by conscious design. PDJ www.womenworthwatching.com
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Diversity Journal Spring 2020 Magazine, Women Worth Watching in STEM and the first ever Diversity Team Awards. A powerful publication promot...
Published on Jun 17, 2020
Diversity Journal Spring 2020 Magazine, Women Worth Watching in STEM and the first ever Diversity Team Awards. A powerful publication promot...