20 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Executives Making Strides in 2022
Willard Powell: Talent Acquisition & Executive Search
Published Feb 24, 2022
Fostering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) within the workplace is not a numerical goal with a deadline. As leaders and influencers, it is our responsibility to create equal experiences and opportunities for those around us, as well as to educate teams on the power of diverse voices. The African proverb “it takes a village,” can be applied in professional communities. Diverse teams form comprehensive views of the world and lead organizations to higher levels of growth and understanding. Engaging with new communities leads people to make better decisions and move towards more innovative ways of thinking and acting.
All organizations have the ability to foster change– and it must start from the top. Ultimately, transformation is best learned from the influence of others and leading by their example. These up and coming DE&I executives are bringing power, innovation, and experience to corporate America in 2022 and beyond– let’s all learn from them as we strive to build a better world.
Brian Miller, Chief Talent, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Adobe
As Adobe’s Chief Talent, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Brian Miller is responsible for driving Adobe’s global talent and diversity & inclusion strategy, as well as Adobe’s overall talent development and acquisition programs. In his previous role as Chief People Officer for Impossible Foods, Brian led the creation of the ‘thriving wage’ initiative for all employees. Prior to Impossible Foods, he spent a decade at Gilead Sciences, where he was Vice President of Talent, Development, and Inclusion.
Dionne Wallace Oakley, SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, Freddie Mac
As head of HR, Dionne Wallace Oakley is responsible for Freddie Mac’s human capital strategy and employee engagement. She also leads the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy to attract, engage and develop employees, as well as Minority-Women-and Disabled-Owned Businesses and other diverse suppliers. In addition, she oversees Freddie Mac’s community engagement program. Dionne brings over 20 years of HR experience to the company, most recently as Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Strategy at Erie Insurance. Prior to Erie, Dionne spent more than two decades at State Farm Insurance.
Kerryann Benjamin, Managing Director, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Talent Development, KKR
Kerryann Benjamin is KKR’s Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Talent Management, driving the company’s DEI and global talent development strategies. Prior to joining KKR, she spent nearly two decades at Goldman Sachs & Co. in various roles across the business, including as Head of Human Capital Management for their Consumer and Wealth Management business. In addition, Kerryanne held leadership roles in Global Leadership and Diversity, and served as Head of Firmwide Programming and Digital Learning at Goldman.
Mark Welch, Chief People & Diversity Officer, Farmers Insurance
As Chief People & Diversity Officer for Farmers Group Inc., Mark Welch leads the HR team and drives the organization’s people, culture, and corporate structure strategies, as well as oversees all DE&I initiatives. Previously, Mark served in a number of leadership roles during his 22 years at Northern Trust, most recently as Chief HR Officer for its North America region. During his tenure at Northern Trust, Mark also served as Chief HR Officer for the APAC region, Global Chief Talent Officer, and Chief DE&I Officer. In 2021, he was recognized as a Top 50 HR Professional by the National Diversity & Leadership Conference.
Candi Castleberry, VP of Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Amazon.com Inc
Candi Castleberry is Amazon’s VP of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where she is helping the company achieve its DE&I goals. These include doubling the number of Black leaders at the company and increasing women in senior tech roles by 30 percent. Previously, Candi was a Vice President at Twitter after a decades-long career in business and academia. She is currently is a board member of Ms. Foundation for Women, and an executive committee member of the Human Rights Campaign.
Rashada Whitehead, National Managing Director of Culture, Immersion & Inclusion, Grant Thornton LLP
Rashada Whitehead is responsible for Grant Thornton’s National Leadership Team DE&I task force, and she serves as head of Colleague Experience, People & Community. Rashada oversees the firm’s ‘culture journey,” which includes: candidate care and onboarding, DE&I initiatives, mobility and immigration, and alumni relations. In 2020, she spearheaded the creation of Grant Thornton’s inaugural DE&I report. Rashada has more than 15 years of experience as a senior leader across various organizations.
Leslie Patterson, EY Americas and US Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness Leader, Ernst & Young LLP
As EY Americas & US Diversity, Equity & Inclusiveness Leader, Leslie Patterson is responsible for driving the DE&I strategy at the firm. Initiatives include maximizing the diversity of professionals across the Americas by enhancing the inclusive culture at EY, as well as embedding equitable talent and business practices to create consistent experiences for all. Leslie serves as a member of the EY US Executive Committee and co-chairs the EY Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council. She also oversees the US firm’s Anti-Racism efforts as Task Force Leader.
Dr. Brian Gingrich, Vice President Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, USAA
Dr. Brian Gingrich is using his past experience to lead USAA’s DE&I team in creating a workplace culture where all are valued and can perform to their full potential. Prior to joining USAA, Dr. Gingrich worked at Wells Fargo for 15 years, most recently serving as SVP, Domestic and Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Manager. Before his career at Wells Fargo, Dr. Gingrich held various DE&I roles within Sodexo, Nextel Communications, and the Memphis Diversity Institute. He has a Doctorate in Cognitive Psychology with a specialty in stereotyping, prejudice and bias from the University of Memphis.
Pamela Wheeler, SVP, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, NFP
Pamela Wheeler is the Chief D&I Officer for NFP, where she is responsible for enhancing the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) strategy and leading initiatives to advance the company’s goals. Pamela also serves on NFP’s executive committee. Previously, Wheeler led the Women’s National Basketball Players Association for 15 years, helping accelerate the association’s DEIB efforts. She has nearly three decades of experience improving DE&I outcomes for people within a variety of organizations. Recently, she consulted with NFL Operations on their DEIB efforts, as well as their executive leadership development.
Supriya Jha, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, SAP
SAP brought on Supriya Jha as its Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in November of 2021. Prior to joining SAP, Supriya worked as the Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Nasdaq for almost five years, where she was responsible for leading the development of the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. Jha’s role is crucial in ensuring that all employees feel welcome as their most authentic selves, as employees are from more than 150 countries.
Dr. Robert Smith, VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Amentum
Dr. Robert Smith is responsible for leading Amentum’s diversity, equity and inclusion vision and strategy through program and initiative implementation, working to advance business objectives and reinforce the organization’s culture. He previously led the Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Acquisition functions for BAE Systems’ Intelligence and Security Sector. Prior to BAE, Dr. Smith served as the Director of National Recruitment for Customs and Border Protection where he led the planning and direction of the agency’s strategic human capital recruitment programs and related initiatives. He served for 28 years on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard and retired at the rank of captain.
Pamela Fisher, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb
As Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pamela Fisher drives the organization’s Global D&I business strategy and operating plans. This includes connecting the D&I commitments to business performance, innovation, and patient outcomes. Through her work, Pamela continues to strengthen and shape the diverse and inclusive culture at BMS. Pamela brings over 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, along with expertise in global strategy, partnerships, philanthropy, government relations and business growth. In her previous role at Johnson & Johnson, she led the launch of an innovative D&I strategy that helped grow the business by reaching diverse and multicultural patients and consumers.
Eric Jackson, VP of Agency Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, New York Life
As VP of Agency DE&I at New York Life, Eric Jackson is leading efforts focused on equity and inclusion, talent. He oversees the company’s social justice efforts within New York Life’s agent force of over 12,000 financial professionals. Eric has been a key leader in shaping New York Life’s social justice efforts and in advancing the partnership between the company’s agency field force and the company’s DE&I Center. Prior to holding this role, Eric most recently oversaw the overall market strategy for New York Life’s African American Market Unit.
Carolyn Tandy, SVP, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Humana Inc.
As Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer at Humana, Carolyn Tandy elevates and enhances the company’s inclusion and diversity efforts to continue to attract top diverse talent. In her role, Carolyn also spearheads initiatives to infuse cultural competency across the company and foster greater equity in the communities it serves. In her previous role at Texas Roadhouse, Carolyn served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, leading the company’s national diversity and inclusion strategy for more than 70,000 employees across 58 markets.
Sabrin Chowdhury, Executive VP and Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Pacific Investment Management Co.
Sabrin Chowdhury is the Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pacific Investment Management Co. Here, she is responsible for driving the design and implementation of HR programs, policies and strategies to foster greater inclusion, representation and equity across PIMCO’s businesses globally. Previously, Sabrin was an Associate Partner in the Organization Practice at McKinsey & Company, where she counseled clients in organizational transformations and talent strategy. In particular, she led McKinsey’s performance management research and designed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies and capability building programs. Sabrin also helped build McKinsey Academy, the Firm’s digital platform for capability building at scale. As part of the process, she designed custom leadership programs and strengthened the Firm’s women’s leadership program.
William Rolack Sr., Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Kroll
William Rolack Sr. has over 20 years of experience leading diversity & inclusion strategies, human capital management, and mobility management. In his role as Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer at Kroll, he works closely alongside the firm’s leadership team and other stakeholders to accelerate inclusion and diversity in the workplace, focusing on commercial impact and economic value. Prior to Kroll, William led the Global Diversity & Inclusion strategy at Workforce Logiq, strengthening the company’s culture of belonging and advising clients looking to develop and improve a diverse workforce.
Catherine Council, VP and Head of DE&I Center, New York Life
As Vice President, Talent Management and DE&I, Catherine Council heads New York Life’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Center for Awareness & Advocacy (DE&I Center). She is responsible for leading the company’s efforts in launching a formalized career advocacy and support program for diverse talent and continuing to expand awareness initiatives. Previously, Catherine was the company’s CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellow. In that role, she worked with other CEO Action signatory companies to identify, develop, and promote sustainable policies and corporate best practices to address systemic racism and social injustice.
Gina Coleman, Chief Diversity Officer, PNC Bank
As Chief Diversity Officer at PNC Bank, Gina Coleman helps to develop strategies and programs that allow PNC to build and sustain a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce. She also co-chairs the PNC Corporate Diversity Council which focuses on embedding inclusion into every aspect of the organization. Gina has previously held roles within PNC, most recently as the Client and Community Relations Director in the Detroit regional president’s office. In that role, Gina was responsible for managing PNC’s local PNC Foundation giving, corporate initiatives, marketing, client relations, and community outreach.
Terry Pierce, Director Diversity & Inclusion, Fidelity Investments
Terry Pierce is an experienced Human Resource, Recruitment, and DE&I professional, with a passion for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts and Programs. As Director, Diversity & Inclusion at Fidelity Investments, he brings a strong knowledge of Human Resource Management, talent acquisition, employee relations, as well as developing campus & experienced hire recruiting programs. In his previous role at Moss Adams, Pierce was a Recruiting Senior Manager, leading the Diversity Ambassador recruiting team. In 2019, he received Moss Adams Inclusion and Diversity Award, and was named a 2020 “Black Leader Worth Watching” by Diversity Journal.
Helena Haynes-Carter, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, KeyCorp
Helena Haynes-Carter is KeyCorp’s Chief DE&I Officer, where she is leading the strategy and tactics to improve the acquisition, development and retention of diverse talent and suppliers. She joins Key with experience spanning the healthcare, financial services, energy and public sector industries. Most recently, she served as Senior Director, Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for UnitedHealth Group. Previously, Haynes-Carter has also worked at U.S. Bancorp, the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, Xcel Energy, and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
Willard Powell has a diverse network of clients and executives who advise us on important emerging gender and cultural issues. In particular, we seek perspective from Executive Advisors Laurena Mitchell and Carmen Pena, who inspire others to better care for everyone with their “maternal” view on the world. Through such advisory, our team works diligently to influence cultural transformation across client organizations. We work with talent acquisition teams and hiring managers to build diverse talent pipelines by taking a systematic and unbiased approach to talent research. To improve diversity and inclusion, we work with our clients to determine diversity strategies, provide open feedback, train on inclusive culture development, implement unbiased talent acquisition processes, set interview guidelines that ensure consistency in candidate assessments, and in hiring diverse teams. For more information on our diversity program and talent acquisition systems, connect with David McInnis.