2018 is a year where it feels like we are taking both huge leaps forward and many steps backward. We are talking about robotics, AI, augmented reality, blockchain and virtual reality in the same breath as we address difficult discussions around racism, diversity, equity and women’s rights — in society as a whole, and equally so in the workplace.
In all regards, it is clear we are at a precipice where the unanswered questions of humanity and elusive practices that guide life and work must be explored genuinely. There is a call to action for less theory and more actionable steps. At the forefront of these revolutions stand women who are daring to lead the way in their respective fields, despite them being male-dominated.
Technology, the world of work and society are blending more like watercolors on a canvas. A shift toward women leading the way may well be the perspective needed to foster innovation and create an ecosystem where everyone has the ability to thrive.
It is for that reason that I was excited to have a candid discussion with Candice Morgan, head of inclusion and diversity at Pinterest, and Harsha Jalihal, vice president of HR at Unilever, around how they are fostering diverse, equitable and inclusive workforces in their respective companies. We discussed the challenges of those who choose to work as D&I professionals in an increasingly contentious racial climate here in the U.S. and globally. These dynamic women graciously shared how they are moving their organizations past the mere idea of a harmonious workforce to encouraging individuals to show up as themselves — with their teammates and work ecosystems rising up to welcome them where they stand.
As a woman of color, it was important to me to sit down with women like myself to illuminate the unique perspectives we have and the challenges we face that are often overlooked in corporate environments across the globe. I’m extremely proud of the discussion that came out of our meeting at UNLEASH America in Las Vegas. I sincerely hope it inspires women and men globally to have candid conversations like this in their organizations, as well.