Featuring a broad cross-section of women who have distinguished themselves across a rich variety of careers, our Portraits of Power series is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Black Enterprise, and of black women. It’s a place for today’s businesswomen to share their own favorite images and their own stories, in their own words. Today’s portrait is diversity and inclusion thought leader, strategist, and consultant Michele Meyer-Shipp.
Michele C. Meyer-Shipp
Partner, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, KPMG
Nickname Momma Shipp
My first job was working as a private investigator for a security firm. I was undercover at an electronics store trying to sniff out a thief. Didn’t last long. I made friends with everyone and had trouble sticking to my fake identity details.
My big break came when I was called into a meeting one day and asked to consider leaving my job as an in-house employment attorney to take a new role leading the global diversity and inclusion efforts at my then employer.
I’ve had to work the hardest at learning to say “no” and learning not to take everything personally.
I never imagined I would be a “partner” and C-suite leader who has had the privilege of traveling all over the world and meeting all types of amazing people.
I wish I had learned sooner how to navigate corporate politics and build strategic relationships. I learned the hard way, and fumbled some along the way.
The risk I regret not taking is passing on an awesome job opportunity that would have required me to pick up my family and move across the country.
If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent at a spa situated on the ocean with lots of windows, boat views, and open air areas. I would begin the day having a light brunch with my mom and two sisters. We would head off to yoga on a breezy terrace, then to have a 90-minute body massage, a back facial, and traditional facial. Finally, some sauna time, followed by an early dinner and relax time at the spa pool overlooking the ocean. Aaaahhh! That’s the life.
Very little keeps me up at night. I generally sleep like a baby but when I am up at night, it is because I am worrying about one of my three young adult sons.
When I’m struggling, I say to myself, leave it in God’s hands. He has a plan and He will show us the way.
I am unapologetically about family time and my personal quiet time! If both are not first priority, I am no good to anybody.
Portraits of Power is a yearlong series of candid insights from exceptional women leaders. It is brought to you by ADP.
Michele Meyer-Shipp will be a speaker at the 2020 Women of Power Summit, March 5-8 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Register here to join us!