The recent observance of Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday reminds us of the continuing attempts by our world, our country, and every business in it to finally, fully become equitable for people of all origins and identities. DE&I policies are expected to be in place and functioning now across the land, and more and more companies are releasing full Diversity Reports that make the related numbers plain.
Despite efforts, not every company has been as fleet-footed as the businesses that employ the inspiring D&I leaders on this list. There are few more cutting-edge positions in corporate America right now than an exec working on DE&I initiatives. Issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are present across every sector and at every level of an organization. A Chief Diversity Officer, for instance, works across the organization optimizing culture, aligning diversity and inclusion goals with business outcomes, and needs to respond to changes that occur outside of the organization but that affect organizational culture.
But beyond the basic job description, they also can often be counted on to develop existing diversity programs, identify new ones, deal with related employee complaints, and know enough about issues facing individual demographic groups to be able to target helping them more specifically.
So the heat is on, and much is riding on the outcome, but the people on the list below are leading the way. There are many great DE&I leaders out there, and these 50 leaders are only a sample of the talent who are making a difference in 2021.
Carla Grant PickensGlobal Chief D&I Officer
Carla Grant-Pickens serves as the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for IBM, where she leads a global team dedicated to creating an inclusive culture and a workforce that reflects the world while responding to societal issues that impact IBM employees and the communities they live and work in.
LaQuenta JacobsChief Diversity Officer
LaQuenta Jacobs provides leadership and advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cultural development of XPO’s workplace. She initially joined the company as head of human resources for the last mile business unit. Ms. Jacobs has more than two decades of experience leading organizational development initiatives for global public companies and has championed inclusivity in senior HR roles with Delta Air Lines, Inc., The Home Depot, Inc., Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., and Georgia-Pacific Corporation, among others.
Christina FloresManaging Director - Global Talent and Inclusion & Diversity
Christina Flores is an experienced executive with demonstrated success leveraging human capital knowledge, business acumen, and technical expertise to translate strategic vision into executable, impactful actions in a number of different industries, including transportation, retail, tech, and financial services.
Ivan H. LeeChair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Recruiting and Retention Committee
Ivan H. Lee, Chair of Recruiting and Retention Committee, Legal Diversity Taskforce for T-Mobile, is an experienced leader, program manager, and training facilitator who helps people and organizations find and fulfill their purpose so they can thrive. He creates environments where people bring their best selves to work. Notable accomplishments include a decade of initiating and managing complex projects at Apple, including driving Apple’s ESG leadership in environmental and diversity, equity & inclusion performance; and leading an integration project on the successful T-Mobile/Sprint merger focused on building a strong combined people culture with an emphasis on ethical behavior.
T-Mobile employees rated their overall culture an A+.
Nzinga “Zing” ShawGlobal Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer
Nzinga “Zing” Shaw is currently the global chief inclusion & diversity officer for Starbucks Coffee Company. She leads the inclusion & diversity (I&D) organization and concurrently serves as a member of the Americas leadership team reporting to the chief operating officer. Zing provides strategic guidance across the enterprise to promote inclusive practices in every facet of the business.
Starbucks employees rated their diversity an A-.
Tinisha AgramonteChief Diversity Officer
Tinisha Agramonte is Chief Diversity Officer for Motoroola Solutions. Prior to her role at Motorola Solutions, she served as Director, Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Commerce. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with an MA in Human Relations.
Stacia Marie JonesVice President, Global Head of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA)
Stacia Marie Jones is Vice President, Global Head of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action for Lululemon Athletica. Jones is a forward-thinking executive with success designing and leading global employee and labor relations, human resources, compliance, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives.
Orly LynnHead of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Commvault
Orly Lynn, Head of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Commvault, is an award-winning diversity professional, a thought leader committed to changing the way organizations drive and deliver diversity and inclusion. She can also be found advocating D&I efforts as a speaker, moderator, panelist, and podcast guest. Orly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hunter College, where she majored in Sociology, and is a Master’s Degree candidate at Harvard University, majoring in Management and Organizational Behavior.
Miriam MahfouzSVP Global Talent & Diversity
Miriam Mahfouz is SVP Global Talent & Diversity for Delta Dental of California. Prior to her role at Delta Dental, she was Global Head of Talent Acquisition for American Express, GBT. Before that, she worked for several years as Sr. Director, Talent Acquisition for ADP.
Delta Dental of California employees rated their diversity an A+.
Nicole MarshallChief D&I Officer
Nichole Barnes Marshall serves as Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for L Brands, the world-renowned retailer of iconic brands specializing in lingerie, personal care and beauty products, apparel, and accessories. In this role, she leads the development and implementation of inclusion and diversity strategies for L Brands’ 88,000 associates worldwide. Nichole has a robust background with 20 years of expertise in Diversity and Inclusion leadership, Talent Acquisition, and Community Relations.
L Brands employees rated their diversity an A.
Suzanne McGovernChief Diversity Officer
Suzanne McGovern is the Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Talent at Splunk with expertise leveraging high performing global teams to deliver world-class HR and talent strategies at scale to shift to higher value. Leveraging global HR processes, systems, data, and AI to drive business outcomes and lead in the industry. Developing talent & culture to hire, develop and reward the best, growing globally diverse cultures driving innovation and belonging.
Arrastene (EJ) Henry IIHead of US Inclusion & Diversity
Arrastene (EJ) Henry II is Head of US Inclusion and Diversity for AstraZeneca. He is a change practitioner and thought leader with experience in deploying inclusion strategies into the fabric of an organization coupled with LMS systems, HRIS systems, executive development, and learning programs that drive high performance and ROI.
Mikeisha Anderson Jones, Esq.Vice President, Global Inclusion & Diversity
Mikeisha Anderson Jones, Esq. is a Vice President of Global Inclusion and Diversity at American Express. In this role within the company’s Colleague Experience Group, she develops strategies around attracting, pipelining, and engaging underrepresented (BIPOC) senior leaders globally. Specifically, Mikeisha advises both business leaders and colleagues in Talent, Recruitment, and Learning and Development on sustainable ways to increase representation across executive and experienced roles. She provides thought leadership and provides safe spaces to discuss authenticity and brand, allyship and advocacy, inclusion, belonging, and unconscious bias.
Stephen GoldenHead of Diversity and Inclusion
Stephen Golden, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for YouTube, is responsible for the diversity and inclusion strategy of YouTube. Golden works directly with senior leadership and Employee Resource Groups to ensure YouTube is the most inclusive company to work for. He was previously with Goldman Sachs for 23 years, with his last role there as the head of diversity in the Asia Pacific region.
Barbara WhyeChief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Barbara Whye is the chief diversity and inclusion officer and corporate vice president of social impact and human resources at Intel Corporation. She leads Intel’s $300M Diversity in Technology initiative, which resulted in reaching full representation in Intel’s U.S. workforce in October 2018. She is also responsible for Intel’s investments and programs that deliver positive global impact and enrich lives globally. This includes the advancement of Intel’s leadership in corporate responsibility and integration of inclusive, accessible, and sustainable practices in operations, supply chain, and product innovation.
Nereida (Neddy) PerezGlobal Head of Diversity & Inclusion
Nereida (Neddy) Perez, global head of diversity and inclusion at McCormick & Company, has more than 20 years of experience in developing and implementing diversity, recruiting, and talent development programs. She has led global initiatives in multiple industries for several Fortune 50 and 100 companies including Shell, KPMG, Sodexo, UPS, Ingersoll Rand, and TIAA. Neddy has served as an advisor and coach to many CHROs and CDOs in the nonprofit, academic, corporate, and U.S. military sectors.
Dr. Jennifer FarmerVice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion
Dr. Jennifer Farmer leads Thermo Fisher’s global diversity & inclusion (D&I) strategy, working closely with company leaders and key stakeholders to advance the company’s strategy and help embed D&I into the business and organizational culture. She and her team are focused on driving sustainable change, helping remove barriers to inclusion throughout the colleague lifecycle.
Michael HyterChief Diversity Officer
Michael Hyter is the Chief Diversity Officer for Korn Ferry, based in our Washington, DC office. Mr. Hyter is an accomplished senior executive, leadership consultant, and thought leader specializing in the development of enterprise leaders and their next-generation successors. Mr. Hyter joined Korn Ferry in 2012, after the acquisition of Global Novations, where he served as President and Managing Partner.
Kalyn WilsonDirector of Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging & Equity
Kalyn Wilson is the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity for Zapier. She describes herself as “Detroit-grown, Chicago-sharpened, and New York City-polished. Detroit taught me the beauty of humble beginnings. Chicago showed me how to convert those beginnings into a game plan through inspired action and ingenuity. New York City instilled the finesse to gracefully work my plan to win.”
Lori George BillingsleyGlobal Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Lori George Billingsley has 17-years of leadership experience with Coca-Cola. In her current role, she leads the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence, along with the Diversity, Inclusion, and Workplace Fairness teams for North America. Prior to assuming this role in October 2018, Billingsley served as Vice President of Community and Stakeholder Relations for Coca-Cola North America, where she led community giving and engagement, stakeholder relations, employee volunteerism, community board placements, disaster relief, and the company’s 5by20 initiative in North America.
Melissa Thomas-HuntGlobal Head of Diversity and Belonging
As Head of Global Diversity and Belonging at Airbnb, Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt leads the strategy and execution of our global internal diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging programs. An expert on building inclusive, global teams, Thomas-Hunt joined Airbnb from Vanderbilt University, where she served as Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.
Sandy HoffmanVP, Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
As senior director, global diversity, inclusion, and belonging for ServiceNow, Sandy Hoffman is “patient zero” for the workplace revolutions that have quietly been creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces for several decades now. Working with Fortune 500 companies including Apple and LinkedIn, Hoffman has crafted diversity plans for some of the biggest and most productive brands in the world, opening doors for women and minorities who may never have gotten a start without the crack in the armor Hoffman and others like her have widened through their own work.
ServiceNow employees rated their overall culture an A.
LJ LouisVice President, Leadership Talent, Inclusion & Diversity
LJ Louis is the global head of talent acquisition, inclusion & diversity at WeWork. Since joining the company in 2019, she has established its Office of Inclusion and designed the company’s global inclusion & diversity strategy.
Kim WeaverGlobal Diversity & Inclusion Business Partner
In her role at Uber, Kim Weaver is responsible for partnering with and strategically influencing global senior leadership and other organizational stakeholders to analyze demographic data, detect trends, identify barriers, and seize opportunities to integrate diversity and inclusion into the talent management life cycle, and into day to day business operations and decision making to create and maintain a diverse workforce, foster inclusive workplaces, and impact diverse communities around the world.
Uber employees rated their diversity an A-.
Dianne GreeneVice President Diversity & Inclusion, Strategy & Operations
Dianne Greene (pron: “Dee-Ann”) currently serves as Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Strategy and Operations. In this role, Dianne leads associate, client, and talent market activation strategy. She extends D&I thought leadership to ADP products, clients, and partners. As a member of the D&I senior leadership team, Dianne is helping design and operationalize a five-year vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion globally.
ADP employees rated their diversity an A.
Lisa Smith-StrotherVice President, Global Head of Employer | Diversity Branding
In her role at Relx, Smith-Strother leads the evaluation, design, and implementation of global Employer Branding and Diversity TA Branding. She drives candidate attraction, university relations, and internal/external employer branding engagement across 4 global businesses (Elsevier, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and Reed Exhibitions) in the RELX group. Her scope also includes Employee Engagement and TD/Digital Learning Branding.
Jodi DavidsonVice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion
Jodi Davidson possesses a vast knowledge and understanding of the critical function Diversity & Inclusion play in today’s increasingly competitive business environment. With twenty years of experience at Sodexo, Davidson has a proven track record in leading their comprehensive portfolio of D&I talent development and engagement programming to include learning, mentoring, and sponsorship.
Duane La BomChief Diversity Officer
Duane La Bom is the Chief Diversity Officer for Cornerstone. He is responsible for driving the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy and cultivating an inclusive workplace environment that ensures the entire global Cornerstone team is contributing to lasting, cultural change. Duane is an experienced business leader with a passion for leveraging HR to continually improve business performance. He has led successful DEI programs at both emerging high-growth organizations and established Fortune 100 companies, building high-performance, inclusive cultures that drive continued business growth.
Cornerstone OnDemand employees rated their overall culture an A-.
Elizabeth A. MorrisonChief Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer
With more than 20 years of experience creating work cultures that value diverse perspectives and empower employees to be their authentic selves, Elizabeth A. Morrison is responsible for ensuring that Levi Strauss has the right practices in place to attract and retain a workforce that is as diverse as the communities where we all live and work.
Ines Montes-StewartVice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion
In her role at Wells Fargo, Montes-Stewart works to develop, communicate, and provide consultation to executive leadership to drive the implementation of enterprise DE&I strategy, ensuring accountability and successful alignment to business goals; she partners with Recruiting, HR, Communications, and other key stakeholders to influence leadership ownership of D&I strategies and foster partnership to deliver D&I solutions; and she provides advanced consultation while tracking and transparently analyzing and reporting progress.
Audra JenkinsChief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
As chief diversity and inclusion officer, Audra spearheads initiatives both within and outside of Randstad. She not only advances diversity and inclusion among internal employees, but she also partners with customers as they work to achieve their own diversity goals. Audra firmly believes that diversity and inclusion must be woven into every aspect of the talent life cycle to attract quality candidates, enhance employee engagement and drive performance.
Kimberly Robinson WilliamsVice President, Diversity & Inclusion
Kimberly Williams is Stanley Black & Decker’s first Global Diversity & Inclusion Program Director. Working within the Integrated Talent Management Team and partnering across the business units, she provides the center of excellence for the Stanley Black & Decker global D&I community through the development and implementation of best practice, knowledge management, leadership development, and metrics that can be deployed by the local talent & affinity teams within each region.
Stanley Black & Decker employees rated their diversity an A-.
Marie NormanDirector of Global Diversity Talent Acquisition at Adobe
Marie Norman is the Director of Global Diversity Talent Acquisition at Adobe. She has been building and scaling talent acquisition teams for over 20 years in software, technology, cloud networking, financial services, and management consulting.
Adobe employees rated their diversity an A+.
Melissa MarshallVP, People & Organization at Banfield Pet Hospital
Melissa Marshall is vice president of People & Organization (P&O) at Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest general veterinary practice in the U.S. Melissa began her career at Banfield helping to reimagine how Banfield supports its people across the practice’s more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide, including recruitment and increasing doctor retention and engagement. Before Banfield, she worked at other Mars organizations including Wrigley Canada and Mars Pet Nutrition.
Rhonda CrichlowSenior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer
Rhonda Nesmith Crichlow joined Charter Communications as Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer in 2016. Ms. Crichlow is responsible for the overall strategic development and implementation of Charter’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Ms. Crichlow also oversees Charter’s Community Impact function, focused on strategic philanthropic investments and employee volunteerism initiatives.
Dalila Wilson-ScottEVP, Chief Diversity Officer & President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation at Comcast
Dalila Wilson-Scott serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. In this role, Dalila oversees all Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives and philanthropic strategy for the corporation, including the company’s $100 million commitment to advance social justice and equality.
Jontelle Leyson-SmithDirector of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Wizards of the Coast
Jontelle Leyson-Smith is Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Wizards of the Coast. Prior to this role, Leyson-Smith served for six years as Diversity Program Manager, Global Product and Software Engineering Recruiting at Facebook. She has a BBA in Marketing from Trine University.
Ash ColemanHead of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Credit Karma
Ash Coleman, Credit Karma’s Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, focuses her efforts within technology on bringing awareness to inclusion of women and people of color, especially in the Context-Driven Testing and Agile communities. Though technology and inclusion have her heart today, engineering was not her first love. A former chef, Ash crafted her software approach through the learnings of hospitality.
Credit Karma employees rated their diversity an A-.
Shelley WilliamsonGlobal Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Shelley Williamson is the Global Head of Diversity & Belonging at Atlassian. Prior to joining Atlassian in July 2020, Shelly was a DEI Consultant and before that, she was the Inclusion and Diversity Lead of Square.
Atlassian employees rated their overall culture an A.
Lindsay-Rae McIntyreChief Diversity Officer
As Chief Diversity Officer at Microsoft, McIntyre leads Microsoft’s diversity and inclusion commitments at the center of the company’s cultural transformation and critical to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
With more than 20 years’ experience as a human resources executive for the technology sector, McIntyre is passionate about driving business growth through innovative and inclusive people strategies.
Microsoft employees rated their diversity an A-.
Melonie ParkerChief Diversity OfficerMelonie Parker is the Chief Diversity Officer at Google. Melonie has an extensive HR background spanning 20 years. In her years at Google, she has been a People Partner and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Prior to joining Google served as the Vice President of Human Resources & Communications at Sandia National Laboratories and also spent 17 years in a variety of Lockheed Martin business areas, locations, and progressive leadership roles that touched on employee relations, staffing, EEO/Affirmative Action, diversity programs, compensation, benefits, and K-12 outreach initiatives.
Google employees rated their diversity an A.
Maxine WilliamsChief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Maxine Williams is the Global Chief Diversity Officer at Facebook. In this role, she and a team of Diversity and Inclusions specialists develop strategies to attract, retain and support the growth of underrepresented people at the company. Maxine’s team works towards increasing the cognitive diversity—different ways of thinking based on people having different backgrounds, experiences, and information—of all teams across Facebook.
Facebook employees rated their diversity an A.
David L. CaseySVP, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer
David L. Casey is Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer for CVS Health, the nation’s largest pharmacy innovation company. In this leadership role, Casey is accountable for strategic diversity management, EEO/affirmative action, and workforce initiatives. He also serves as the president of the CVS Health Employee Relief Fund, a public charity designed to help CVS Health employees during unanticipated and unavoidable financial hardships and emergencies.
Vijay PendakurChief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
Dr. Vijay Pendakur builds end-to-end organizational strategy to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. A collaborator at heart, Pendakur does this by leading teams, cultivating passionate allies, and creating clear, measurable ROI for DEI investments. With over 15 years of multi-sector experience, his focus is on how organizations can promote equity through evidence-based, data-driven tactics.
Zynga employees rated their diversity an A+.
Keyra Lynn JohnsonChief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Keyra Lynn Johnson is a diversity, inclusion, and equity champion by nature… a diversity, inclusion, and equity advocate fueled by passion… and a diversity, inclusion, and equity professional by choice. Currently, she serves as the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Delta Air Lines. In this role, she is charged with leading the company in modeling a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy with supporting programs, initiatives, and action plans that will have a significant impact on Delta people, its customers and the communities we serve.
Delta Air Lines employees rated their diversity an A.
James FrippChief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
James Fripp is responsible for leading Yum! Brands’ diversity and inclusion strategies for community relations, corporate culture, workforce, minority and women’s business development, and the multicultural marketplace. Fripp works with the Company’s businesses around the globe to leverage diversity initiatives in order to strengthen the recruitment and retention of top talent and expand franchise and supplier opportunities.
Yum! Brands employees rated their diversity an A+.
Kim DrumgoChief Diversity Officer
Kim Drumgo is a well-recognized leader with deep knowledge of diversity, inclusion, and belonging best practices. She provides expertise in understanding various dimensions of diversity including ethnicity/race, generation, gender, abilities, and LGBTQ. She has successfully led the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies, D&I councils, and various tools and programs (ERGs) that foster an inclusive work environment.
Valerie JacksonChief Diversity Officer
Culture builder, Gallup-trained coach, and former finance lawyer working at the intersection of inclusion and the subscription economy as CDO at Zuora. Jackson leverages over 15 years of experience of building from the ground up, devising and implementing human capital solutions with a track record of growing revenue YOY, expanding customer relationships, increasing brand recognition, and improving employee engagement.
Jarvis SamVice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion
Jarvis Sam is the Director, Diversity Sourcing & Programs COE at Nike Inc. In that role, he oversees the recruiting, partnerships, and programmatic infrastructure for the companies various D&I initiatives for both business and technical capacities related to Talent Acquisition.
Tanisha WickerSenior VP, Human Resources
Tanisha Wicker is a dynamic and strategic Human Resources executive with a track record of creating and leading HR initiatives that effectively support business operations and organizational goals. She has 21 years’ experience in HR, beginning in the telecommunications and retail grocery industries, starting as a recruiter progressively earning positions of greater responsibility.
Smile Brands employees rated their diversity an A.
Bob LockettChief Diversity and Talent Officer
Bob is the Chief Diversity and Talent Officer at ADP. In this role, Bob is accountable for the Diversity, Corporate Social Responsibility and Talent Strategy. This includes incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into ADP’s talent practices. These talent practices include senior executive hiring, succession planning, leadership development, performance management, associate engagement, organization design, executive coaching, assessments and accelerating the organization’s performance.
ADP employees rated their diversity an A.