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Diversity Awards 2021

by devnym

The Moves Magazine team is excited to introduce our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Event nominees, expanding our already impressive group of female mentors and diversity leaders; powerful and successful individuals who give back; leaders who encourage and augment the upward progress of young women in today’s world.

Aisha Thomas-Petit

Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer​

Charged with building on and advancing the company’s DEI goals and foundation she is a key member of the senior leadership team reporting directly to President & CEO, Josh Sapan, She is responsible for setting the strategy, roadmap and measures of success to develop, bolster, and retain a diverse and inclusive community both within the company’s workforce, as well as in front of and behind the camera across AMC Networks’ portfolio of entertainment brands.

Should mentoring be company-wide?
The spirit of mentoring and mentorship should be a practice embedded in how you operate as an organization and an important part of your culture. While it doesn’t have to be a requirement, nor does it always have to be formal, mentorship should be a part of a company’s culture. Anyone at any point in their career can be a mentor or a mentee. There’s always more to learn from someone else. At AMC Networks, we have programs with executives serving as mentors to employees at every level and we also have programs where some of our most senior leaders are mentored by early career employees on areas and skills they want to know more about.

Lt Col Kimberly Barr

Commander, 318th Recruiting Squadron, USAF,

As the commander, she leads a highly skilled team of 79 recruiters and support personnel tasked with inspiring, engaging and recruit doctors nurses, dentists, allied health and line officers to meet annual Air Force requirements. Her zone covers 1.2-million-square-mile area of responsibility.

What makes a good mentor?
Sometimes, people have a path and they have the things that they did and the way they saw success, and they think that that is the way. That may not be the way for the person that you’re talking to! The things that are important to you, that set your course, that set your path, may not be the same things that are important to the person you are mentoring, so I think being a person that is genuinely caring about making their spaces better and caring about the people that they mentor and understanding that imparting what they’re learning can help others, but then also being open to learning themselves, makes a great mentor.

Col (ret.) Mary Westmoreland

President, Association of the United States Army*

A decorated combat veteran (serving in two branches of Military Service: US Coast Guard and US Army) she currently serves as the NYC Area Chair and NY State Vice Chair of the Department of Defense Employer Support to Guard and Reserve. She is President of the Association of the United States Army, *Greater New York City Statue of Liberty Chapter.

Should mentoring be a company-wide practice?
Should mentoring be a company-wide practice? Training should be available to all new employees on a one on one or group affair. Today much of it is on-line, however the Trainer should be available for questions and exchanges. Mentoring one on one, entails a more discrete handling, and further add to the challenge of fitting in. Both require listeners. A policy encouraging senior employees to support efforts such as mentoring juniors when the opportunity arises is very helpful. Mandated mentoring including those not equipped to be a mentor, can prove to be a negative experience.

Rosa Nunez

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Foley Hoag

She is responsible for developing, implementing, leading and championing proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs, in alignment with Foley Hoag’s overall strategic plans. Rosa is also co-chair the firm’s Diversity , Equity & Inclusion Committee.

How does mentoring benefit the mentor?
In my opinion, mentoring benefits the mentor across multiple levels, professionally, intellectually, spiritually, and socially. Being able to help someone achieve their goals by leaving a positive mark on their journey is highly fulfilling. Knowing that my advice, efforts (big or small) influenced someone’s future gives me purpose and fulfills my soul. I also believe mentoring is a two-way street; just as I mentor my mentees, they get to mentor me. We learn from one another, and they help me continue to develop as a leader.

Emily Graham

Chief Equity & Impact Officer, Omnicom

She leads the OPEN Leadership Team, a group of Diversity & Inclusion strategists dedicated full-time to providing structure, support, counsel and visibility to DE&I initiatives and policies throughout Omnicom’s 1,500 agencies, helping the group leverage its expertise to advise clients and internal teams globally on DE&I matters.

What makes a mentor?
First of all you have to be experienced deeply in life. There must be things that you are willing to be vulnerable about in sharing and be free about allowing those experiences to be somebody else’s guide. And all people aren’t comfortable doing that. For mentorship comes from a deep place of their vulnerability, I think, and an invested interest in a person’s navigation and success. I think one of the only ways you can truly mentor is by not being selfish with sharing your experiences.

Djuana Beamon

Chief Diversity Officer, Peoples United Bank

As a seasoned diversity practitioner with more than 20 years experience in various business capacities, she is experienced in leading D&I strategies for organizations to find new ways to enhance their cultures and celebrate our unique differences and collective similarities.

How does diversity play into mentorship?
I would say that mentorship plays a huge role in increasing diversity. When you have leaders and allies who are willing to take on the role of mentors, especially for someone of a different gender, racial/ethnic group, sexual orientation, ability, etc., that can help to level the playing field and identify talent that might normally get lost in the organization.

Dawn Frazier-Bohnert

EVP, Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Dawn is responsible for leading the design, development and implementation of Liberty Mutual’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and programs. This includes enhancing employees’ DE&I capability and skills, internal and external communications, metrics and measurements, benchmarking, external partnerships and the development of employee resource groups.

Should mentoring be part of the corporate plan?
Absolutely. A corporate mentorship program can create a strong and diverse workforce, which can lead a business to new stages of growth and stability. This is because it impacts the development of new leaders, can increase diversity, and effects employee retention, which all ultimately influence bottom lines. It is a worthy investment that should be considered by every company that wants to create a strong brand. At Liberty Mutual, we have multiple mentorship opportunities for performance and development. All of our programs are shared with the board annually.

Nicole Leon

Director, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, ConEdison

She is entrusted with providing leadership and support in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, and affirmative action, as well as ensuring compliance with anti-discrimination laws and EEO policies. She is also responsible for the development and mobilization of the corporate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy.

What is the number one action we can take to empower women?
What is the number one action we can take to empower women? It’s about us speaking up for ourselves and on behalf of other women. It’s about us supporting each other as women at work where we’re not in competition, we’re not here to tear each other down. There’s a quote I saw the other day and it says “surround yourself with a group of women who would mention your name in a room full of opportunity”. And for me that’s the price of admission as a female leader. As a woman, if I see another woman, I need to affirm you and uplift you and say hey you look great or simply good morning or how are you today – is there anything you need. So it starts with us supporting each other working together to change those things that we may see as barriers.

Deeanne King

EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, T-Mobile

As the top people person, she not only recruits the best and the brightest talent, but makes sure employees flourish in T-Mobile’s famous Uncarrier culture. Bringing more than 32 years of experience in senior leadership roles across multiple functions, she is a strong advocate for employee learning and development.

Can mentoring significantly effect equality and diversity in the workplace?
Yes! Strong mentors can boost their mentees within a company by teaching, coaching, and by introducing them to others, recommending them for projects and such. I believe that female leaders have a moral responsibility to grow more female leaders – and they are selfish if they don’t. I take this very seriously myself. As we talk about in our company values, we must do it the right way, always.

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