Eleven Multi-Cultural Honorees Work to Raise Inclusion to New Heights
Vibrant and successful industries require leaders that inspire cross-cultural dialogue, celebrate diversity of thought and experience, and reach out in mentorship to inspire leadership growth within under-represented groups. The tech industry is no exception, and Tech Diversity Magazine is recognizing eleven of tech’s most notable multi-cultural leaders. These leaders understand how multi-cultural environments can strategically change the direction of an organization and directly contribute to business growth.
The companies for which these multi-cultural leaders work are as diverse as the individuals themselves. There is Thermo-Fisher Scientific, at the forefront of testing science for Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. Senior Vice President and President, Laboratory Products, Frederick Lowery is among Tech Diversity’s honorees. And there are also companies that illuminate the human experience through their work in film production and audio technology. Rhonda Hjort, senior employment and labor counsel, with Lucas Film, as well as Lewis Chew, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Dolby Laboratories are also on the list.
At Adobe Systems, President and CEO Shantanu Narayen, says success can be attributed to a corporate culture that believes, “Great ideas come from everywhere in the company. In today’s ultra-competitive environment, it’s critical to cultivate a strong, diverse workforce who brings their best ideas to work every day. We are committed to making Adobe a great place to work, where everyone can contribute and succeed.”
“Diversity has been around companies for many years,” Cecily Joseph, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer at Symantec told the Net Impact Conference audience in 2014. “And unfortunately I don’t feel we’ve made…the kind of progress that we need to make to be successful and to have an impact…If we adopt diversity as a [corporate social responsibility (CSR)] issue and use the same framework that we use to drive other sustainability issues through our organization, I think we’re going to be a lot more effective.”
Great ideas come from everywhere in the company. In today’s ultra-competitive environment, it’s critical to cultivate a strong, diverse workforce who brings their best ideas to work every day.
A champion for diversity and inclusion, paying it forward and giving back to the community, eBay General Counsel Mari Oh Huber works relentlessly to encourage and promote talented women from entry-level to corporate boardrooms. “Make it about the business imperative and have men, in addition to women, drive closing the gap,” she says.
Leadership sets the tone and articulates the commitment to increasing diversity, honoree Denise Young Smith, Apple Vice President Worldwide Human Resources told Fortune in 2015. The company had just posted a 65% increase in female hires and some 11,000 more women earned a place at Apple’s table.
While the lack of equal representation in business frustrates some, Vijaya Gadde, Twitter General Counsel and Secretary, director of communications says, “All tech companies need women, but I’m a big believer in putting women in these positions only if they deserve them.”
As Head of Global Operations for Airbnb, Varsha Rao interacts with hosts and guests from 191 countries on a daily basis, where she meets in roundtables with women seeking career guidance. “I can ensure that women have equal access to opportunities and mentoring,” she says. “If you are struggling,” she tells them, “you should not be afraid to ask others for help because there is often another woman out there who has experienced the same fears and anxieties and can give you meaningful advice.”
That is why it is imperative to stay informed and educated, Kiwoba Allaire, Executive Director of Rocket Fuel Gives Back, says. “Try to keep an open mind and step outside your shell. Learn as much as you can about other races, languages and cultures. Knowledge is power. Absorb as many perspectives as possible and carefully consider the bias behind each source. Don’t hold it in. Share what you learn with your friends, family and larger community. Learn to teach and teach to learn.”
If you are struggling, you should not be afraid to ask others for help because there is often another woman out there who has experienced the same fears and anxieties and can give you meaningful advice.
When Satya Nadella took the helm as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, he emailed employees saying in part, “I am 46. I’ve been married for 22 years and we have 3 kids. And like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things.”
Following are Tech Diversity Magazine’s Multi-cultural Honorees, who continue to do great and useful things to bring diversity and inclusion to the tech industry.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Senior Employment and General Counsel
Mari Oh Huber
General Counsel and Secretary, Director of Communications
Vice President Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer
Senior Vice President and President, Labaratory Products
President and CEO
Head of Global Operations
Denise Young Smith
Vice President Worldwide Human Resources