FINRA Presents: How to Move the Needle for Black Women in Corporate America

FINRA Presents: How to Move the Needle for Black Women in Corporate America

FINRA’s Vice President of Talent Acquisition & Chief Diversity Officer, Audria Pendergrass Lee; FedEx Memphis World Hub’s VP, Crystal R. Oliver; ADP Human Resources Division VP, Tiffany Davis; and The Bowman Foundation for Workplace Equity and Mental Wellness’ Founder, Natasha Bowman, hosted an insightful panel on how Black women can move the needle in corporate America, sponsored by FINRA.

Memphis World Hub’s Oliver dropped gems about producing real change within diversity and inclusion.

“If you’re going to talk about people coming into the workplace that are socially/environmentally conscious and you can’t look around and see people looking like you, more has to be done. You have to be intentional with your efforts.”

She spoke passionately about using high-level and executive power to help others within your company, especially those who look like us.

“You have to make a decision yourself; how am I going to approach this, as a lesson or blessing? You have to know what you’re there for. I’m not here for me; I’m here to help the people behind me.”

FINRA’s Pendergrass Lee talked next about equity and inclusion and what it means to Black people.

“What we understood was equity tells us you have to take care of those who need it right now. The data doesn’t lie; if you have not found ways to understand, you’re missing out on the ability to measure sustained progress. People are more likely to be positive in their jobs because the organization is invested in them.”

Bowman Foundation for Workplace Equity and Mental Wellness’s Bowman spoke on how diversity and inclusion initiatives peaked during 2020–2021, but have now fizzled out.

“After the tragic death of George Floyd, so many DEI roles were created. We felt a sense of hope that we would be working in a more inclusive environment. We not only felt a sense of belonging but a sense of hope that those barriers would be removed to create a safe work environment. But recent studies have informed us that isn’t the case now as we’re seeing layoffs in these areas.”

The panel closed with remarks from each panelist on how we can reverse the dwindling DEI initiatives. The crowd was inspired and motivated to push diversity and inclusivity to the front of every company’s agenda!

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