For those working in the diversity and inclusion space, 2020 has been a transformative year.
We’re facing a global pandemic that constantly brings challenges including budget cuts, redundancies, DEI strategies being turned upside down, and in some cases DEI leaders being asked to take on new responsibilities within their organization.
Increased momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement, we saw calls for organizations to commit to dismantling systemic barriers and becoming anti-racist. This has meant that there’s a surge in the work of diversity and inclusion departments, budgets being replenished, and a spotlight on the need for diversity leaders in the C-suite.
The work of DEI leaders has been catapulted into the spotlight, and in many cases, already lean DEI teams have been placed under additional pressure to do more with less.
Nevertheless, the work of DEI leaders has never been more valued and more important.
We’d like to take a moment to salute each and every one of you and celebrate the innovative and important work you’ve been doing not only this year but for years previously to help us create long-lasting change and a more equitable world.
After all, what we learn at work we take back to the dinner table.
At Hive Learning, we are firm believers that tapping into the power and wisdom of our peers helps us all make progress faster. That’s why we are delighted to share this list of the Most Influential DEI Leaders in North America for 2020.
These are those people you should follow on LinkedIn, keep an eye out for in panel sessions, and soak up every nugget of wisdom you can from.
The list that we’ve curated is in no way exhaustive and includes just some of the DEI leaders whose work has inspired us in the past year.
We plan to continuously expand this list and keep it current so if you have any suggestions for those all-important ‘ones to watch’, we’d love to hear from you!
Check out our list below (in alphabetic order) to learn more about the most influential DEI leaders you should follow in 2020.
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Adelmise is Senior Director, Global Employee Relations for Apple and is a cultivator of Diverse and Inclusive Workforces. They strongly believe that being inclusive is good for morale, and can strengthen a company’s bottom line.
Adelmise’s journey from Haiti at the age of 16 when they went from learning English for the first time to being the Vice President, Global D&I at Pandora and now the Senior Director, Global Employee relations at Apple is nothing short of aspirational.
Adelmise worked closely with the D&I team at Pandora to meet their aggressive diversity goals to increase the percentage of its US employees of color from 35% to 45% and aimed to achieve gender, racial, and ethnic promotion parity by the year 2020. Adelmise is also a 2019 Eisenhower Fellow and has a deep background in labor and employment law. Read more about Adelmise in this career contessa interview. You can also listen to their interview on the Inclusion Works podcast where Adelmise talks on the importance of putting employees first here.
Angela is the current Chief Diversity Officer for Riot Games and is in charge of developing and implementing initiatives to drive inclusion and cultural growth.
Angela has been instrumental in driving inclusivity at Riot Games, leading the recruiting team and helping create the hiring and talent processes. Angela is passionate about creating a culture that embraces every ‘Rioter’s’ uniqueness. Previous to Riot Games, Angela was the Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Dropbox and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at T.Rowe Price, where they led a five-year strategy that helped to create a more inclusive work environment.
Angela has received a number of awards for work in the diversity and inclusion space. Angela was recognized in the Black Enterprise 150 Diversity Executive, The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business, and 50 Out Front for Women’s Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion.
Ashlee is the current Vice President, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Manager of AllianceBernstein’s Nashville headquarters. Ashlee is in charge of cultivating an inclusive environment, attracting diverse talent and building up community partnerships.
Ashlee is a key player in creating and implementing effective and measurable diversity and inclusion action plans at the headquarters. Ashlee is also passionate about building partnerships with the community of Nashville. Before joining AllianceBernstein, Ashlee served for more than six years in the Obama Administration, designing a campaign focused on LGBT individuals in rural America, sharing resources with those individuals. Ashlee was also the Global Lead for External Affairs and Strategic Partnerships within the Global Inclusion & diversity team at Cargill, Inc.
Aubrey is the current Director of Equitable Design & Impact at Culture Amp and was previously the Global Head of Diversity & Belonging at Atlassian. Aubrey worked with teams across Atlassian to create a culture that welcomes everyone to do the best work of their lives. Through all their work, Aubrey seeks to question, reimagine, and redesign the systems and practices that surround us to ensure that all people can access equitable opportunities and build a better world. Aubrey relies heavily on empirical social science in her work and has developed an industry-leading, team-level paradigm for external diversity reporting. Aubrey is also an advisor to SheStarts, a Sydney-based accelerator focused exclusively on supporting female founders and Joonko.
On Aubrey’s first day at Atlassian, the company was hiring roughly 10% women into its technical workforce. Under Aubrey’s leadership, Atlassian boosted its female technical hires by 80%. Aubrey’s work spans the talent lifecycle from increasing access to technical education for underrepresented minorities through recruiting, retention, and advancement of all Atlassians. Aubrey invented the ‘Balanced Teams’ approach to building proportional representation and belonging in the workplace, and is also one of the pioneers behind Atlassian’s influential State of Diversity report.
Listen to her interview with Inclusion Works where Aubrey talks about the negative impact of “culture fit” and the theory behind her Balanced Teams approach.
Candice guides business executives to build inclusive talent strategies that drive diverse recruitment, retention and product customization. Candice is currently an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at GV leading inclusive strategies for both GV and their portfolio companies. Previously Candice was the Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pinterest, leading strategy and programs to enhance a diverse and inclusive company. Candice also spent a decade honing their expertise in diversity strategy and practice at Catalyst, based on Wall Street and in Zurich, Switzerland.
Awarded Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and The Root’s 100 Most Influential African-Americans of 2017. Candice is passionate about creating diverse career pathways in Tech.
Cara is the current Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging at Ultimate Kronos Group and leads on the diversity, equity and belonging initiatives.
Cara has been a key member of the Ultimate Kronos Group leading on a number of initiatives throughout the years that have helped with leadership and diversity, equity and belonging. Before taking on the role as Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Belonging, Cara led on the learning and development strategy, helping develop a leadership development program for all employees at the organization. Cara is a passionate leader who actively wants to develop people and leaders that lead from their hearts and create an inclusive environment at Ultimate Kronos Group.
Caroline A. Wanga is the current interim Chief Executive Officer of Essence which is a media, technology and commerce company that is dedicated to Black women inspiring people through diverse storytelling. Caroline was the former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at the Target Corporation. Leading Target’s strategic intent to champion an inclusive society with accountability for inclusive guest experiences, a diverse and inclusive work environment, and societal impact. As a cultural catalyst, they fueled Target’s business objectives through the company’s first-ever performance-based D&I goals.
Because of their “innovative shared-accountability approach to driving business results” as featured in “The Innovation Mentality” by Glenn Llopis, “Our Search For Belonging” by Howard Ross, and “The Multiplier Effect of Inclusion” by Dr. Tony Byers. All well worth a read.
Cecile is the Co-Founder of Supermajority, a community designed to educate and train women to further women’s political agenda for the 2020 elections. Cecile was a former president turned lifelong supporter of Planned Parenthood and was part of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World (2012).
Cecile received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Cecile is a nationally respected leader in women’s health and reproductive rights and has grown advocacy efforts to fight for expanded access to health care, and has led innumerable nationwide campaigns to preserve patients’ access to preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers through federal programs.
Corey is the current Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Groupon leading and supporting the employees of Groupon to create a culture of inclusion, integrity and respect.
Corey is passionate about bringing the conversation to life when it comes to diversity and inclusion. At Groupon, they have helped create spaces around the world to have those conversations so that people can learn from each other. Previous to Groupon, Corey was the Vice President, Associate Director, Global Talent Development at FCB Global contributing to the strategic vision, planning and implementation of the global diversity and inclusion initiative.
If you want to hear more from Corey about allyship then listen to The Inclusion Works Podcast, where Corey shares thoughts on how we can listen to the lived experiences of marginalized groups to further diversity and inclusion.
Corie is the current Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at TIAA, leading on the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy.
Corie has worked at TIAA for the past 14 years and has been instrumental in moving the organization forward with their diversity and inclusion strategies. Corie ensures that all employees are together on the diversity and inclusion journey. Deploying a new and innovative approach to enable inclusive leadership and great cross-cultural understanding all whilst driving positive business outcomes.
Cynthia Bowman joined Bank of America in 2007 and is currently their Chief Diversity and Inclusion and Talent Acquisition Officer. Prior to Bank of America, Cynthia served as learning and leadership development, and diversity and inclusion executive, for the bank’s global wealth and investment management organization. After graduating from Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Bowman went on to earn a bachelor of industrial engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Cynthia has been recognized by the Georgia National Diversity Council as one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women 2013,” and by Diversity MBA Magazine as one of the top “50 Senior Executives Under 50.” She was also awarded a “2014 Trailblazer Award” by re:gender and in 2016, she was recognized by Black Enterprise as a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity.
Cynthia is Charles Schwab’s Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, and partners with its business leaders, employee resource groups and the human resources team to drive Schwab’s approach to enhance their corporate culture of diversity, inclusion and equality, and power better business results.
Cynthia is the Founder of Breaking Glass Forums, a movement dedicated to accelerating more diverse leaders and more inclusive organizations. Cynthia has established and led diversity and inclusion initiatives for nearly 15 years in organizations both large and small and is known for integrating a diversity and inclusion lens into all aspects of the business, from talent management to product development.
Damien Hooper-Campbell is the current Chief Diversity Officer at Zoom Video communications leading the way by creating a more equitable organization by amplifying Black voices. Damien was also eBay’s first Chief Diversity Officer and has deep expertise as an agent of change within the technology and finance industries, the non-profit sector and academia. Damien was responsible for leading the design and implementation of eBay’s strategy for embedding diversity and inclusion across its global workforce, workplace and marketplace. Prior to eBay, Damien served as Uber’s first Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion helping to set the company’s foundational Diversity and Inclusion strategy and led its community engagement efforts with the City of Oakland, CA.
Damien believes in practical action: an open discussion between people as the key to fostering a company culture that values everyone.
David is the Head of Employee Experience, Diversity and Belonging at Shopify. David is the catalyst for a number of diversity and inclusion-related strategies, awareness campaigns, improvements and initiatives impacting complex global organizations and a wide array of individuals.
David believes in consistently nurturing an open, flexible and inclusive environment, encouraging both positive and sceptical input in order to reach consensus and create best practices.
Desiree is the First Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion at Wells Fargo Advisors and leads on the diversity and inclusion strategy.
Since joining Wells Fargo Advisors, Desiree has been instrumental in moving the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts forward. Desiree is responsible for establishing and co-facilitating the organization’s diversity and inclusion council which helps senior leaders to promote inclusion.
Desiree’s work in Wells Fargo Advisors before promoting to VP Diversity and Inclusion was focused on community relations and looking after the organizations charitable budget. Desiree has also led major gifts fundraising for the African-American affinity group whilst working at the United Way of Great St. Louis.
DK is the current Chief Diversity Officer at Moody’s leading on the global diversity team and strategy.
DK joined Moody’s in 2019 and since then has been working with the executive team and global D&I councils to ensure that all employees of Moody’s feel like they have a sense of belonging and have clear inclusion practices. Before joining Moody’s, DK Was the Senior Vice President, Head of Diversity and Talent Acquisition at Dentsu Aegis Network. During their time there, DK led on incorporating diversity and inclusion into all the brands within the network, partnering with external partners to focus on initiatives surrounding talent acquisitions, organizational development and human resources, and leading the strategic plan for multiculturalism as a business strategy.
Eric has recently joined Universal Music Group as the new Chief People & Inclusion Officer with the aim of building its culture on real diversity and inclusion.
Previously the Chief Human Resources Officer for the National Basketball Association, Eric managed a team that drives the NBA’s global workforce strategy built on a commitment to attracting, retaining, developing and engaging top talent for the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League.
A transformation leader and motivational speaker who created a career development training program, “Say Yes to Success”, Eric has spent their career helping people help themselves. Eric instituted the Great Place to Work Survey to gather analytics around employee engagement and satisfaction and has worked with their team to develop action plans to translate those insights into a direct, positive impact on the organization.
Fields Jackson is an influential Diversity and Inclusion advocate and expert who publishes Racing Toward Diversity magazine. Fields advocates that job seekers conduct their due diligence in finding diverse workplace opportunities through research, networking and asking the right questions.
Fields was recognized by Diversity Best Practices as one of the Top Diversity Thought Leaders on Twitter. Fields has also been identified by Onalytica, London, England, who helps run inﬂuencer programs for some of the largest brands in the world as #13 of the top 100 global inﬂuencers focusing on Gender Equality and Diversity.
Fields also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.
Greg is a Service-Disabled Veteran who loves serving as a dedicated and passionate diversity & inclusion consultant, trainer, facilitator, and mentor. Greg is a life-long learner in diversity, inclusion, leadership and culture, and cares about helping people and organizations learn and grow in order to become higher-performing.
Greg was recognized by Onalytica, London, England, as #5 of the top 100 global inﬂuencers focusing on Gender Equality and Diversity.
Greg also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.
Iris, the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, is the Academic Dean of Harvard Kennedy School. Iris is a behavioral economist, combining insights from economics and psychology to improve decision-making in organizations and society, often with a gender or cross-cultural perspective. Iris’s most recent research examines behavioral design to de-bias how we live, learn and work. Iris is the author of the award-winning book What Works: Gender Equality by Design.
Iris was named one of the Most Influential People in Gender Policy by apolitical in 2018 and 2019, a Leading Thinker of Victoria, Australia, 2016-2019. We love the action-oriented approach to inclusion which focuses on redesigning organizational processes to circumvent bias with consistent, concerted action.
Jackie Glenn is a pioneering Diversity and Inclusion expert who lives by the mantra, “It’s better to be respected than liked.” Jackie’s groundbreaking initiatives have reshaped organizational policies, unified a multidimensional corporate culture, and generated international interest and intrigue. Jackie holds a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Management from Leslie University, Cambridge, MA and a bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College, Boston.
Jackie was cited as one of Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color (Get Konnected!), one of the Top 10 Influential Women in Diversity (Diversity Global Magazine), and given the 2018 Mosaic Award by MassTLC among other honors. In Jackie’s book, “Lift As I Climb ~An Immigrant Girl’s Journey Through Corporate America” Jackie encourages the importance of mentorship in an organization.
Listen to our interview with Jackie on the Inclusion Works podcast where Jackie shares four secret weapons for creating inclusion programs with impact.
James is the current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Yum! Brands and is responsible for advancing its diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and practices across the portfolio of brands.
James is a leader when it comes to diversity and inclusion at Yum! Brands, leading the way since 2011. James has been focused on increasing diverse representation at the organization as well as focusing on inclusive leadership and anti-racism training. During James’ time at Yum! Brands, they have elevated their public commitments to diversity and inclusion by joining a number of initiatives including the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion.
Jennifer is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, diversity and inclusion consultant and author. As the successful founder, president, and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting, headquartered in New York City, Jennifer is responsible for designing workplace strategies that have been implemented by some of the biggest companies and nonprofits in the world. Jennifer has harnessed more than 14 years of experience as a world-renowned diversity and inclusion expert through consulting work, keynoting and thought leadership.
Jennifer was recognized as “Woman of the Year” by Pace University in 2017. As a certified woman- and LGBT-owned strategic leadership and diversity consulting firm, Jennifer understands how important it is to empower leaders to drive positive organizational change and the future of work in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.
Jennifer also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.
Jennifer is a principal consultant at Sentient Strategy delivering guidance on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging strategy.
Jennifer is on the frontline helping out those leaders who are influencers within their organizations. Jennifer helps them through training with their diversity, inclusion, equity and inclusion strategies as well as with their resilience and emotional intelligence.
Jennifer has been key in helping organizations through the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, providing them with actionable steps to help their Black employees.
Jerrell was quick to respond to the events in the US back in March and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement by focusing on those employees that have been most affected by systemic racism. Opening up conversations by hosting discussions that centered on personal stories of employees.
Jerrell is very much a leader in diversity and inclusion having previously held roles at Burger King, TWC and Nike where roles were focused on bringing diversity and inclusion to all employees across a number of locations. Before joining Assurant, Jerrell founded their own consultancy firm in 2013 which focuses on helping companies to allow their employees to bring their whole selves to work which in turn helps to reach personal goals but also organizational goals.
Joe is a keynote speaker, author and consultant bringing greater clarity and new practices to diversity and inclusion work. Joe brings their unique perspectives and trademark energy to keynote at conferences nationwide.
A renowned keynote speaker and inclusion strategist, Joe helps leaders design and deliver a more inclusive employee experience at their workplace.
Joelle partners with the leaders of some of the world’s most innovative companies to consult and advise on diversity and inclusion strategies. Joelle has written extensively about diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias, and their work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and on the cover of The Atlantic.
A women’s rights employment lawyer, Joelle is the Founder and CEO of Paradigm, a strategy firm that partners with leading technology startups and Fortune 500 companies to build stronger, more inclusive organizations. Joelle was named as one of the 100 most influential people in business by Recode and as one of Marie Claire’s “New Guard” list of 50 women changing the world in 2017.
Karen is the Founder and Managing Director of Bridge Arrow a consultancy that links diversity and inclusion to business solutions to make leaders more effective.
As well as Karen’s work at Bridge Arrow, they are an author, having featured in the Harvard Business Review for their article, To Retain Employees, Focus on Inclusion – Not Just Diversity. Karen is also a public speaker focusing on topics surrounding inclusion, making people count and cultivating great leaders. Previous to their work at Bridge Arrow, Karen held roles as Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at law firm Baker & McKenzie, Monsanto and Baxter.
As former VP of People & Culture and current strategic advisor at Reddit, Katelin is passionate about building scalable, inclusive institutional cultures. First introduced to the notion of intentional cultural development at Pixar Animation Studios, Katelin studied the storytellers that would ultimately change the course of their career. From film to tech (and a few interesting layovers in between), the one common denominator remains: enabling people through belonging to create beautiful, innovative products.
A keynote speaker and culture creator, Katelin was recognized in 2019 as “Top 50 Leaders in Learning & Development” by Corinium as well as one of the “10 Top People Leaders to Learn From” by Culture Amp. Engagedly also recognized Katelin as the “Top 100 HR influencers” in 2018.
Kathleen is the current Head of Talent Management and Chief Diversity Officer at New York Life leading on the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy and programs as well as heading up the company’s Executive Talent and Diversity Council.
Kathleen has been at New York Life since 1994 and since then held a number of roles that have helped to increase female representation at the organization. This included strategic planning to increase the company’s presence in the women’s and Hispanic markets as well as co-leading The Women’s Initiatives, an employee resource group that focuses on helping women take their place at the corporate table. During Kathleen’s current role, Katheleen has developed a number of programs including #Inclusion Matters an internal campaign to help raise diversity and inclusion within the organization and educate all employees on important issues.
Katheleen sat down with us to talk more about how New York Life are helping their employees with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement by providing safe spaces to have candid conversations. Check out the interview here.
Kimberly is the Founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts.
Kimberly has been awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service for their work to support communities in the Bay Area, named by Business Insider on its list of “The 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology”, and named to The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100 lists in 2013. Kimberly has been named one of FastCompany’s Most Creative People as well as at the White House as a Champion of Change for work in tech inclusion and for focusing on bridging the digital divide for girls of color and received an Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian Institute.
Leanne launched include.io, a mentoring and recruiting platform to fight bias in technology by scaling access to direct referrals for underrepresented candidates; and the Tech Jobs Tour, which traveled through 25 cities in 2017 to connect diverse and non-traditional talent to over 600,000 open jobs.
Leanne is the entrepreneur and founder behind Lesbians Who Tech, the largest LGBTQ community of technologists in the world — committed to visibility, intersectionality, and changing the face of technology with 40,000 non-binary, LGBTQ women, queer women of color (and our allies) in tech and over 40+ city chapters worldwide.
Lenora Billings-Harris is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), diversity strategist and author. Lenora aims to help individuals and organizations understand “we are all connected, thus we can all achieve more significant results when we learn how to build relationships with all people regardless of their packaging”.
Lenora has been included as one of 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and was named one of the top twenty influential diversity leaders in the US by Diversity Woman Magazine.
Lisa passionately tackles real-world problems with innovative and impactful solutions. After several years in the financial services industry, Lisa gained extensive entrepreneurial experience holding key positions on the founding teams of funded and acquired technology startups.
Lisa has been recognized for their commitment to the community and the impact of their efforts focused on mentorship, education and creating opportunities for women. In 2016, Lisa was recognized at the Worthy Women inaugural awards ceremony honoring 100 select #WomenOfWorth who exemplify what it means to lead and live in integrity.
Lisa also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.
Lori is the current Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at The Coca-Cola Company and leads on the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategies that enable an inclusive culture to grow.
Lori is passionate about diversity and inclusion and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation as the Vice-Chair, Leadership Atlanta, ColorComm, Arete-Executive Women of Influence and the NAACP Foundation. Lori has also been recognized through a number of awards including the Inaugural Bravo! Award for Diversity and Inclusion from the Hispanic Relations Association.
Lukeisha is the current Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion U.S at GroupM and is responsible for creating a more fair, inclusive and collaborative work community.
Lukeisha is passionate about bringing more diversity and inclusion into the advertising industry sitting on the Advertising Club of New York’s steering committee for diversity and inclusion, as well as a board member of the 4As. Lukeisha has also brought in a number of initiatives to help with this at GroupM, including programs that provide greater opportunities for underrepresented groups and efforts to increase diverse candidate pipelines.
Lukeisha sat down with us to talk more about how GroupM are harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change, highlighting the importance of looking at the long term fix, not just being reactionary. Check out the pulse report out here.
Lybra is the current Chief Diversity Officer at Twillio Inc. Previously the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at PayPal, Lybra is responsible for managing diversity initiatives for the company, including diversity talent analytics, engagement, and recruitment. Lybra is also a director at Makers, a media brand that accelerates the women’s movement through stories of real-life experiences that ignite passion and action. Before PayPal, Lybra held key roles with Morgan Stanley, the Brunswick Group, and American Express.
In June 2018, the California Diversity Council announced that Lybra was one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology” a list of female executives, influencers and achievers impacting the technology industry. Lybra was also recognized by the Feminist Press as one of “40 Women Leaders Under 40.”
Max Masure is a Gender Inclusion Strategist and Co-Founder of Argo Collective, a trans nonbinary queer-owned mission-driven organization that educates through collaborative workshop sessions that empower teams to combat gender-bias.
Max was vice president of the Paris-based organization Girlz in Web, promoting women in STEM and currently works with diversity and inclusion teams to improve safety and support for all identities, using Design Thinking methodologies.
Maxine Williams is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Facebook. Maxine and her team work towards increasing the cognitive diversity of all teams across Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Maxine served as the Director of Diversity for a global law firm. Maxine graduated from Yale University before receiving a law degree with first-class honors from Oxford University, where they were a Rhodes Scholar.
Under Maxine’s leadership, the number of women at Facebook has increased 5X and the number of women in technical roles has increased over 7X. They have also nearly doubled the number of women graduates hired in software engineering from 16% to 30%. This is despite the fact that the number of women undergraduates in the U.S. doing computer science has remained flat at 18%.
Michelle supports teams and leaders to develop inclusive leadership skills through their venture, Awaken, with top-notch experiential diversity, inclusion, and equity workshops. Awaken creates experiential journeys to spark personal and organizational change. Through compassionate, engaging, and personal experiences, we empower individuals to create more inclusive organizations.
Michelle was recognized under “21 Diversity & Inclusion Influencers You should Know” by Culture Amp as well as under “99 Women that Forbes Missed” in 2019 by BAM Communications. Michelle is a Medium Top Writer in Diversity and a D&I advocate and speaker.
Michelle also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.
Michele has recently become the Chief People and Culture Officer at Major League Baseball leading the organization’s talent processes and programs, workplace culture, and diversity and inclusion.
Before joining the Major League Baseball Michele was the Principal, Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer at the accounting firm KPMG. There Michele was responsible for creating and deploying the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategies and ensuring that diversity was reflected in all its external and internal policies, work and practices. Michele has also served on a number of boards including Twitter’s diversity Advisory Council, Working Mother Media’s Multicultural Advisory Board and the National Organization on Disability.
Mita is a passionate corporate change-maker with a track record of disruption to transform businesses and culture. Mita’s pioneering work in diversity and inclusion is focused on unlocking the power of diversity to transform brands, specializing in beauty brands.
A disruptive business leader and keynote speaker who was recognized by Diversity Global Magazine as one of the Top Ten Champions of Global Diversity in 2018. Mita also co-created a first of its kind cultural immersions series to increase the cultural competency of marketers, training over 3,000 marketers to date.
Listen to our interview with Mita on the Inclusion Works podcast where they share their work to help Unilever achieve a gender-balanced workforce.
As Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at L Brands, Nichole is a highly motivated, results-oriented Inclusion and Diversity Executive skilled in leadership, program management and talent acquisition. Previously, Nichole was the driving force behind diversity and inclusion strategy at Aon, the world’s largest provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and HR solutions.
Nichole’s proactive solutions have impacted 66,000 Aon employees in more than 120 countries, and their voice has inspired many more. Nichole was responsible for the development of best-in-class employee volunteerism and community outreach program at AON as well.
Paulette is the current Chief Inclusion Officer at BMO Financial group leading the team responsible for implementing diversity and inclusion strategy and growing a culture of inclusion.
Paulette has a proven track record of developing and deploying initiatives that create inclusive leaders with their prior role as the Head of Talent Management, Inclusion and Learning. Paulette also sits on a number of boards including Co-Chair of the ADA 25 Advancing Leadership board aimed at bringing great disability inclusion to tables of power.
A Global Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Leader, Rachel is known for the strategic planning and execution of cultural transformation in areas of employee and leadership engagement, learning and development and the advancement of women.
Rachel is highly effective in taking the initiative to create, champion, build and inspire the engagement of senior leaders and employees at all levels to deliver organizational business goals tied to the diversity and inclusion strategy.
Reshma Saujani is the author of three books, including the International Bestseller Brave, Not Perfect, Women Who Don’t Wait In Line and the New York Times Bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma’s goal: one million women in computer science by 2020.
Reshma is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology while teaching girls confidence and bravery through coding. A lifelong activist, Saujani was the first Indian American woman to run for US Congress.
Robert is the current Director of Diversity and Inclusion at KPMG ensuring that all colleagues feel respected and valued.
Robert is a veteran that moved into the corporate world. Before joining KPMG Robert was the Diversity and Inclusion leader at Marsh & McLennan where they provided thought leadership on diversity and inclusion trends and organizational culture. Robert also ensured that all employees were able to action desired inclusive behaviors to promote and maintain an inclusive work environment ensuring a sense of belonging.
Rohini is the CEO of Rohini Anand LLC, focusing on strategic global diversity, equity and inclusion thought leadership. Rohini was previously the Global Chief Diversity Officer for Sodexo, responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of Sodexo’s integrated global diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as Sodexo’s corporate social responsibility and wellness strategies.
Under Rohini’s leadership, Sodexo received the prestigious 2012 Catalyst Award and has ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive years on the DiversityInc business index of Top Companies for Diversity and Inclusion.
Ronald is the current Vice President of Field Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern Mutual leading on developing diversity and inclusion strategies.
Ronald has been key in bringing diversity and inclusion to the forefront of Northwestern Mutual’s objectives building programs to expand diversity and inclusion across the organization. Ronald has also been responsible for developing leaders to have real conversations with their employees and create real impact.
We sat down with Ronald to talk about the work Northwestern Mutual is doing to harness the power of the Black Lives Matter movement and create lasting change by providing leaders with the tools to help them talk about what’s happening. Check out the interview here.
Ruchi is the current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at BAE Systems providing enterprise-wide strategies that bring out sustainable shifts in workplace culture.
Ruchi is a leader in the diversity and inclusion space and has brought BAE systems to the forefront through a number of external awards including being recognized as an employer of choice on the Disability Equality Index and Corporate Equality Index. Previous to joining BAE Systems, Ruchi held roles at Blackberry, Altegrity and Sodexo.
We sat down with Ruchi to talk about how BAE Systems is harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change by understanding what the issues of systemic racism are inside the company. Check out the interview here.
Ruchika through their company, Candour, advises companies on diversity & inclusion strategy and communications. Ruchika writes regularly for publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes and The Seattle Times. Ruchika’s articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Time and Bloomberg. Ruchika is also the inaugural Distinguished Professional-in-Residence for the Communication Department at Seattle University. Ruchika serves on the founding editorial team of women-run-and-funded media website, The Establishment.
Ruchika is an award-winning inclusion strategist and keynote speaker. In 2019, Ruchika was named to the Thinkers50 “On the Radar” list, a global community of influential management thinkers to watch.
Shannon is the current Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion programs at Cyient and leads on developing diversity and inclusion best practices across the organization.
Shannon inspires the team on a daily basis helping to create a culture of inclusion at Cyient. Shannon leads the management of Cyient’s Inclusion Ambassador program which allows anyone within the organization who is passionate about breaking down barriers of inclusion to shine. This program has proved to be successful throughout Covid-19 and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Shannon sat down with us for our latest pulse report to talk about how Cyient is harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change.
As Dow Jones’ first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Smita was responsible for designing and implementing global D&I strategy, overseeing diversity and inclusion efforts across talent management, leadership accountability and corporate culture leading to better business results. Smita joined Dow Jones in June 2018 from Prudential Financial, where they served as Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion. Smita is now the Global Vice President, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Zendesk.
Smita has received several awards including the NY MOVES Mentor Award, Leadership Excellence Award from the Tri-State Diversity and Leadership Conference, Diversity MBA Top 100 Under 50 for their outstanding achievements in community, leadership, and education and for their commitment to fostering equality and demonstrating exceptional leadership skills. An accomplished public speaker, Smita is a sought after thought leader on modern diversity and inclusion at various forums like the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, W.I.N Forum, Rutgers University, UnLonely Coalition, Outsell Annual Forum, WSJ Women In conference, WSJ CEO Council, Latina Style, HACR, Diversity Council, Conference Board and Working Mother Media.
We love Smita’s holistic approach to diversity and inclusion, which seeks to create a climate of inclusion and belonging that helps innovation thrive.
With a law degree from Hugh Wooding Law School, Sonja served as an attorney for over nine years before Yahoo’s legal team, then Yahoo’s Global Policy Counsel. In 2014, Sonja was tapped to be the Global Diversity Program Manager of Facebook. In late 2015, Sonja was appointed Asana’s first-ever Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
Sonja received the 2019 4ALL Leadership Award for Innovator of the Year by Great Place to Work.
Listen to their interview with Inclusion Works where Sonja shares insights on why changing your values won’t change your culture.
Stacia is a researcher and thought leader on talent management, leadership, diversity and inclusion, people analytics, and HR technology. Stacia co-founded RedThread Research in 2018, after leading talent and workforce research for eight years at Bersin by Deloitte. Before Bersin, Stacia spent nearly five years conducting research and creating learning content for the Corporate Leadership Council, part of CEB/Gartner. Stacia has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Stacia is a thought leader, speaker, and writer, whose work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal as well as in numerous HR trade publications.
Suzanne is the Chief Diversity Officer at software innovator Splunk, having joined the company from IBM.
Suzanne believes that future organizations will only be successful if they are able to include, harness and unleash the power of diverse teams.
“Including everyone in technology is not only the right thing to do, it makes great business sense – our future depends on it”.
We love Splunk’s ‘A Million Data Points’ campaign which highlights all the aspects of diversity that makeup who we are.
Listen to Suzanne’s interview with Inclusion Works where Suzanne shares insights on why changing your values won’t change your culture.
Sylvia is the current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Winston & Strawn and is in charge of developing and implementing a metrics-driven strategy to enhance the firm’s diversity and inclusion programs and performance.
Sylvia works with key stakeholders to develop and implement the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy, working with the talent management team to help promote diversity within their processes. Previous to Winston & Strawn, Sylvia was the Diversity Counsel at Baker Botts where they helped the firm be recognized as one of the top law firms for diversity. Sylvia is also a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professional and is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.
As former Global Head of Belonging, Inclusion, & Experience at Coinbase, Tariq believes that individuals should not be defined by their life circumstances, but empowered to defy them. With experience in community organizing, coalition and relationship building, Tariq strives each day toward a more equitable world. Previously, Tariq was the Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Lyft.
Tariq was recognized under “The #Root100 Most Influential African Americans of 2018” as well in Forbes 2017 list of #30Under30.
As Engagement & Inclusion Director, Tiffany supports diversity and inclusion at Droga5. Tiffany is committed to raising awareness of the benefits of diversity in the workplace growing the next generation of advertising, marketing and media professionals.
Tifanny was awarded the 2018 Female Frontier Award – Championing Change – honoring those who are constantly pushing the boundaries of culture and making dynamic and brave changes within their workplace or industry.
We sat down with Tiffany for The Inclusion Works Podcast to learn how the power of digital learning can create lasting change when it comes to inclusion.
As Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group, Tiffany leads the strategy that enhances the Omnicom vision to be a world-class, benchmark company for sustainable diversity and inclusion and aligning this critical practice with the company’s business objectives and clients’ results. Tiffany oversees a team focused on Omnicom-wide change efforts for the advancement and retention of top-performing talent inclusive of women, people of color and LGBT professionals in an inclusive work culture.
Recognized as a leader in the field of diversity, Tiffany is a talent strategist with 20+ years of championing diverse professionals in the creative industries.
As Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Tina Gilbert is responsible for defining and driving the company’s L&D strategy and building the frameworks for L&D programs and policies. Tina identifies opportunities to build diverse talent pipelines for promotions and hiring needs. Prior to joining Accolade, Tina was the Inclusion and Diversity Leader for Teva Pharmaceuticals.
As the first L&D leader at Teva, Tina guided the organization’s evolution from diversity compliance management to recognizing its value as a business imperative. Tina’s progress was recognized in 2017 by Diversityinc Magazine.
As the Chief Equality and Recruiting Officer of Salesforce, Tony works to build a workplace that reflects the diverse communities Salesforce serves and further Equality for All. Tony is a board member of College Track. Previously at Microsoft — Tony was Corporate Vice President (CVP) Windows and Search Marketing — Relevant Brands included Windows, Bing, MSN and Cortana.
Tony’s work has been widely recognized — including by appointment to the National Academy of Sciences Board on Energy and the Environment; in China through the prestigious Three Gorges Award as well as the Magnolia Silver Award; and by the Booz Allen Professional Excellence Award.
Vernā is the current Vice President of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix helping to devise and implement strategies that bring diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of the organization.
Vernā has been in the diversity and inclusion space for over 20 years founding her own consultancy, The Vernā Myers Company, where they have consulted major organizations on how to dismantle barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other differences. As well as Vernā’s work at Netflix and with other major organizations, Vernā is the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People.
Vernā sat down to talk about the work Netflix is doing to harness the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change highlighting the willingness of employees at Netflix to do good. Check out the interview here.
As Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson & Johnson, Wanda is responsible for globally advancing J&J’s diversity and inclusion strategy, strengthening D&I capabilities, improving reputation, and driving innovation and growth for future success. During her career, Wanda has held a variety of leadership positions including National Sales Director, Global Marketing Leader, Franchise Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Vice President of Commercial Analytics, Development & Operations.
Wanda has been recognized for her ability to exceed business results, deliver innovative solutions to complex challenges, lead global change, develop people for optimal results, and drive diversity and inclusion. Wanda has received several awards including the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Rising Star Award, the YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry Award, and the National Sales Network Community Service award.
Wayne Sutton is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Change Catalyst and its Tech Inclusion programs. Change Catalyst builds inclusive tech ecosystems through strategic advising, startup programs and resources, and a series of events around the globe. Wayne’s experience includes years of establishing partnerships with large brands to early-stage startups.
As a leading voice in diversity and inclusion in tech, Wayne shares thoughts on solutions and culture in various media outlets where Wayne has been featured in TechCrunch, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition to mentoring and advising early-stage startups, Wayne’s life goal is to educate entrepreneurs who are passionate about using technology to change the world.
As Chief Diversity Officer, Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for Women- and Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and managing the Comptroller Office’s internal supplier diversity initiative, as well as other diversity-related projects across all bureaus of the agency.
As The Wing’s senior manager of culture and diversity and the founder of theGIRLMOB, a collective that promotes itself as “the digital sisterhood for women of color,” Yari builds spaces where marginalized folks get to have a voice and be a part of important conversations.
Yari works to bridge the empathy gap between people of different backgrounds.
Listen to Yari’s interview with Inclusion Works where Yari shares insights into how the privileged among us can foster innovation in our communities by simply passing the mic
Have you checked our “Interviews” section where we share stories from the leading movers, shakers and change-makers who are shaping the inclusion debate? Check them out now!
At Hive Learning, we are firm believers that tapping into the power and wisdom of our peers helps us all make progress faster. That’s why we are delighted to share this list of the Most Influential DEI Leaders in North America for 2020.
More from this collection:
North America’s Most Influential D&I Leaders – 2020
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The vast majority of people are well-intentioned and want to be inclusive - but various factors hold them back from stepping up to be an ally