Whitney Shelley heard the call to teach, but as it turned out her students weren’t the 5th graders...Read More
Valeria St. Laurent
"At VMware, we know that diversity drives innovation, and innovation drives better business outcomes. VMwomen is a strategic business initiative dedicated to harnessing the power of human difference. At its core, VMwomen is a cultural transformation, not a program that focuses on “fixing” women. We are starting with culture change, driven by business leaders. VMwomen is led by a council of business leaders who have clear accountability to deliver improved results. The council members drive action plans aligned to their business’ representation, hiring, promotion and retention metrics, and regularly report their progress to our executives."
Cecily Joseph is vice president of corporate responsibility and chief diversity officer for Symantec Corporation, a global leader in cybersecurity. As leader of Symantec’s global corporate responsibility efforts, Cecily drives environmental, social and governance program development, integration and alignment. As Chief Diversity Officer, Cecily leads Symantec’s efforts to bring in, grow and keep the best diverse talent.
With more than 15 years of experience building corporate responsibility programs in ethics & compliance, strategic philanthropy and environmental sustainability from the ground up, Cecily acts as an internal and external change agent. She is an ongoing champion for diversity and inclusion and gender equity, working with the company’s Leadership to create a goal to increase the diversity of Symantec’s workforce by 15 percent, empowering female leaders through the Women on Board initiative, and creating a pathway for underrepresented young adults to enter into the cybersecurity field through the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3). She has also spearheaded an increase employee volunteerism by 70 percent through her team’s community investment efforts and the launch of the Symantec Service Corps.
Cecily is often sought to speak on a variety of topics at industry events – including RSA, the world’s largest data security conference, where Cecily has spoken for three consecutive years. She is an active writer on her blog and contributor of opinion editorials for The Huffington Post.
Cecily currently serves on the board of directors for Net Impact and Leadership California. Cecily received the Award for Human Rights from the City of San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, recognition as one of the Multicultural Leaders of California by the National Diversity Council, and recognition as one of the Most Influential People in Business Ethics by the Ethisphere Institute.
Cecily joined Symantec in 2005 after thirteen years with VERITAS Software, where she led the company’s legal affairs and served as executive director of the VERITAS Foundation. She holds a J.D. from Tulane University Law School.
"I think if the will is there in a focused way around retention and advancement, that is not as challenging as we make it out to be. I've seen organizations that move forward very quickly if there is a true will to make that happen. The larger challenge is how wide ranging diversity and inclusion really is in all parts of the ecosystem."
"We have a platform where people come together with no barriers to entry, to feel included and to feel a sense of belonging. The platform is designed to form communities. If that’s what’s inherent in the business, it’s imperative for this company to live up to the promise of inclusion in its own workplace, too. When those two things meet and fuse, when your employees are marching lockstep with the mission of the platform itself, you create something rich.”
Kate Morris leads Adobe’s diversity and inclusion strategy and operating team, with a focus on building the industry pipeline, increasing workforce diversity, and enhancing the employee experience to foster inclusion for all. Impact in this role has included expanding Adobe’s family leave policy, analyzing and publishing pay equality data, earning the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality, and receiving recognition from the SF Department on the Status of Women. Her passion for this work emerged early, and was reinforced through her Human and Organizational Development academic focus at Vanderbilt University. Kate launched her career as a Human Capital Consultant at Deloitte where she guided clients’ large-scale business, process, and organizational transformations through change management and stakeholder engagement. In 2014 she graduated with her MBA from UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, where she served as the Women in Leadership President.
“IBM’s long standing commitment to diversity and inclusion affords us the ability to accelerate our innovation as we unleash the immense talent of all IBMers around the world. Creating an environment of inclusion is not a program, it’s corporate value that has to flow through the DNA of an organization — at IBM it is part of who we are as a company.”
Cisco Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer Shari Slate is responsible for building a strategy that enhances Cisco’s vision to be a world class, benchmark company for inclusion and collaboration, driving exponential value across Cisco, its partners and customers. She is promoting thought leadership across Cisco’s people strategy enabling employee engagement and inclusion outcomes to fuel innovation and market leadership. She is also directing the integration of new models of inclusion and collaboration designed to guide future workplace practices to realize the $19 billion opportunity of the Internet of Everything over the next decade.
In her previous role, Slate served as Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Strategist for Cisco’s Sales Organization. She was responsible for making inclusion relevant in the revenue generating arm of the business and incubating new strategies for fostering full spectrum participation to unleash the power and potential of people.
Slate joined Cisco in 2010. Prior to that, she was Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Global Community Affairs at Sun Microsystems.
Slate has been widely recognized for her visionary leadership and her transformational views on the true value of inclusion. The YWCA recently named her a 2014 “Tribute to Women in Industry” honoree. In 2013, she was named one of Diversity Woman Magazine’s “Stars Who Mean Business”. Previously, she was honored by the California Diversity Council as one of the “Most Influential Women in California” and a “Woman Worth Watching” by Diversity Journal Magazine. She received the National Coalition of 100 Black Women 2010 Corporate Leader Award and The Network Journal's "40 Under Forty" Achievement Award. Slate serves on numerous charitable and community organizational initiatives and advisory boards.
Cal Jackson is the Diversity & Inclusion leader at Tech Data Corporation and a certified NTL Diversity Practitioner. Cal is most known in the Diversity and Inclusion community for his design, development and delivery of engaging and thought-provoking cultural competence workshops. Topics include generations, gender, lookism, self-awareness, discrimination, bias, classism and enhancing the cultural competence of managers.
He has received various accolades for his work from Centers for Disease Control, FL Blue, The Florida Diversity Council, the Conference Board, Jacksonville Business Journal, Indo-USA Chamber of Commerce (Jacksonville, FL), and the First Coast Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
Cal Jackson has been an advocate for social justice through his many associations which include the Hispanic Institute for Life & Learning, OneJax’ Project Breakthrough, Blueprint for Prosperity, Jacksonville Diversity Council, Northeast FL Leadership Council, FL Black Expo Advisory Board, Northeast FL United Negro College Fund Advisory Board, and Community Hospice of Northeast FL Board of Directors.
Cynthia Marshall, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer-Human Resources, develops and directs HR programs for AT&T’s 240K employees. Her organization implements and administers HR practices to support AT&T’s business strategy and diversity programs. This includes defining and implementing workforce strategies talent management, employee engagement, employee relations, compensation design and implementation, etc.
Previously, Cynthia served as President, AT&T North Carolina, where she was directly responsible for the company’s regulatory, legislative and community affairs activities in the state. In this role she proudly served as the first African American chair of the North Carolina State Chamber of Commerce.
She has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, joining Pacific Bell in July 1981. Since then she has held a variety of management positions in operations, human resources, network engineering and planning, and regulatory/external affairs. She was named to her current position in December 2012.
Cynthia is a passionate advocate for education as the key to unlocking future economic and personal opportunities for all students. As President, AT&T North Carolina, she served as a co-chair of the General Assembly’s Committee on Dropout Prevention and was named a “Friend of Education” by the State Board of Education in recognition of her untiring efforts on behalf of North Carolina’s students and schools. She is also a passionate an active board member of CASA, advocating for the well-being of children in need.
David Julius King III
Airbnb, based in San Francisco, CA sprang to action due to the reports of discrimination and racism, hiring former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help craft an anti-discrimination policy that would reduce the bias especially inherent in lodging services. That policy has now been released in a 32 page report that strengthens Airbnb’s regulations above federal nondiscrimination laws. Among many changes, those who were discriminated against in the previous system will find the obvious barriers being tackled, namely user photos – which will be reduced – and instant bookings – which will be increased.
In a letter to Airbnb users, CEO Brian Chesky laid out, “At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong… Discrimination is the opposite of belonging, and its existence on our platform jeopardizes this core mission. Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them.”
Leading at the intersection of people, workplace culture, and innovation, Jennifer is the Talent & Inclusion lead, part of Google's Global Diversity & Inclusion team. She and her team ground in research to pilot and scale innovative solutions around culture, diversity, and inclusion.
Prior to Google, she was a Director at Catalyst, the leading non-profit focused on advancing women in business. As a member of Catalyst's Advisory Services practice, she consulted with Fortune 500 companies on diversity and inclusion challenges, co-authored critical research on sponsorship, led the Work-Life Issue Specialty team, and was a member of the Catalyst Awards Evaluation Committee.
She spent two years in Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, and also served as a case manager for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Outside of Google, she co-chairs the Committee to Connect Research, Policy, and Practice, part of the Work & Family Researchers Network.
Ms. Kohler received her MA in Social-Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was named a Merrill Presidential Scholar.
Lafawn Bailey Davis
“We are committed to advancing, cultivating and preserving a culture of inclusion and diversity because it makes us a stronger, more successful company, and because it is the right thing to do. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of our culture and our values. I am proud of the steps we’re taking to engage both women and men in the conversation."
Margenett Moore Roberts
At Yahoo, we rely on the diversity of ideas and perspectives to drive innovation, and we strive to turn the workplace into a community where our employees feel welcomed and inspired. We are continuing to formulate our strategy and initiatives but believe diversity is key to our business success in the future. We believe in diversity as a competitive differentiator and are approaching our initiatives holistically. We want to encourage and empower every Yahoo to contribute to cultivating an environment that is professionally- challenging, opportunity-rich and fully inclusive. We are actively looking for opportunities to increase representation across both ethnic and racial groups.
Tarsha is one of the longest-tenured members of ThoughtWorks, having joined the company in January of 1999 as a Recruiting Specialist when the company was a small startup with a group of less than 100.
Over the years Tarsha has been instrumental in helping to build, grow, and lead various aspects of ThoughtWorks, including recruiting, benefits, HR operations, and talent management. Since moving into the Head of Diversity and Inclusion role in January 2015, Tarsha is responsible for driving the strategic thinking and work related to making ThoughtWorks more diverse and inclusive, and advocating for change in the technology industry.
After earning a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois State University, Tarsha worked in the social services industry for 4 year before making a transition into human resources, which married her love of people, law, and education. In addition to her 18 years of human resources experience, she holds an MBA with a focus on Human Resources Management.
"We don't want to force people to become engaged. We have so many people that are really passionate about this already. Whether you're a woman or a person of color, that doesn't mean that you have to be actively as engaged in these opportunities. But I do want those people to understand, as well as everyone at the organization, that what we're doing is trying to benefit the entire workplace, and the richness that comes from diversity in conversations and in solving really complex problems is something to be desired."
Danielle Mastrangel Brown
"Diversity and inclusion are key to Intel’s evolution and driving forces for our continued relevancy and growth. That is why in January 2015, Intel set an ambitious goal to be the first high technology company to reach full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in its U.S. workforce by 2020. Intel invested $300M in the Diversity in Technology Initiative to support this goal and our broader goal of improving diversity in the entire technology industry.
We will expand a new program called GROW—an enterprise-wide movement that promotes a growth mindset and inclusion. All employees around the world were introduced to a set of actionable, neuroscience-based resources, tools, and habits that can have a tremendous impact on how they relate to each other and rally together to drive innovation in our industry. GROW includes supplemental modules for people managers and U.S.-based diverse employees, so that managers are better equipped to support their diverse employees and grow their careers."
Ms. Mayo is currently serving as the vice president, global talent acquisition and authenticity and inclusion for Juniper Networks in Sunnyvale, CA. This position gives Mayo the unique opportunity to work with employees, leaders and the marketplace globally, while transforming the approach to talent for Juniper Networks and in the industry. She started her career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a benefits research analyst, where she had the opportunity to lean into her leadership capabilities by leading one of the largest outsourced defined contributions accounts. PWC set the foundation for continued career growth in hi –tech Silicon Valley. Mayo also worked with Siebel Systems for over five years, where she embraced technology and even in HR. She crossed boundaries in the development of technology with product marketing and IT, as an HR professional and provided HR support. In 2006, Siebel Systems was acquired by Oracle, where she spent two years successfully supporting Oracle University. Mayo is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Rho Delta Omega Chapter located in Palo Alto, Ca. She has served as vice president, committee leader and mentor to undergraduates at Stanford University. Mayo earned a a B.A. in political science from North Carolina State University.
“If we’re not actively creating structures to undermine unconscious biases, creating a culture where people feel comfortable calling out those biases, reminding ourselves of our triggers for biases and then having strategies to combat them, we will fall into them. It’s not enough to educate ourselves that unconscious bias exists and this is what happens, it’s something we have to be proactive about all the time. I think we need to point out the behaviors when we see it."
Lesley Slaton Brown
"At HP, diversity and inclusion helps drive new business, fuel innovation, and attract and attain the best employees. From HP’s earliest days, the company recognized that the more points of view it can draw on, the better its products and company as a whole will be. Every HP innovation comes from a team of individuals, each contributing their unique perspective, knowledge and experience, to advance the way the world works and lives.
HP is re-inventing the standard for diversity in Silicon Valley and global tech. HP has the most diverse Board of Directors of any technology company in the US and plans to continue to grow its diverse representation at all levels of the company. We’re also in the process of appointing business and site-based diversity leads across the company to provide guidance and sponsorship. Diversity is embedded into everything we do; everyone at every level is accountable for our diverse and inclusive culture."
"Diversity is central to Facebook’s mission of creating a more open and connected world: it’s good for our products and for our business. Cognitive diversity, or diversity of thought, matters because we are building a platform that currently serves 1.4 billion people around the world. It’s vital for us to have a broad range of perspectives, including people of different genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, characteristics and points of view. Having a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do for our business.
Our work is producing some positive but modest change and our new hire numbers are trending up. In addition to best practice programs we have been running in recruitment and retention, we are always trying creative approaches that tailor solutions to the challenge of increasing the diversity of our population."
Thelá is currently the Vice President of Diversity for Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) where she is responsible for the creation and implementation of diversity and HR strategy implementation designed to serve a global population of 10,000 plus employees. In addition, Thelá serves as chair of the Diversity Taskforce which she was instrumental establishing within LNE. Thelá is also founder and owner of Management Resource Solutions dba MRS HR, LLC which she created in 2010. She has worked with various Fortune 500 organizations such as UPS, Devro, ADC, Paychex, Cablevision, Cosby Productions, and Fox Television. Her role has consisted of auditing business practices, developing policy and procedures and managing benefits while advising and coaching owners and executives.
Thelá R. Thatch, MBA, PHR has over 20 years of business experience. Currently residing in Southern California, Thelá is originally from East Orange, New Jersey. She attended undergraduate school at Kean University in New Jersey and received a BA in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism where she graduating magna cum laude, Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, and was inducted as a member of the Epsilon Epsilon Omega honor society. She received her PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification and her New Jersey Life, Accident and Health license in 2005. She completed her MBA with a concentration in Human Resources at North Greenville University in 2011.