During the 2020 DiversityInc Women of Color and Their Allies virtual event, DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson recognized several leaders as “Validated Allies.” Johnson explained these Validated Allies have all demonstrated a dedication to using their influence to uplift women of color and other marginalized communities by advocating for them — whether they’re in the room or not.
“Allies are an essential resource for women of color, both in the workplace and in society as a whole,” Johnson said. “They lend support, share in our struggle and help to make our voices heard. Change cannot come about without their assistance in our fight.”
It is also important to remember that allies of women of color need not be exclusively white men or women. “An ally is anyone who uses their influence to uplift others,” Johnson explained.
Know an ally or advocate you would validate and recommend for consideration at one of our future events? We’d love to hear about them! To submit your recommendation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allies recognized at the Nov. 4 event are:
Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International (No. 1 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020)
Arne Sorenson began his career at Marriott International in 1996 and has since worked his way up from vice president and associate general counsel to CEO. Today, Sorenson strives to lead Marriott with a human-centric approach. He interacts with team members on a personal, one-on-one basis and is committed to helping them successfully navigate their careers through mentoring and sponsorship. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic’s brutal impact on the travel industry, Sorenson spoke about the importance of being transparent and leading his team through the crisis, prioritizing their health and personal needs above all else. His allyship is genuine and organic and stems from connecting with everyone, from hotel associates to industry leaders.
Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO of Dow (No. 22 in 2020)
Jim Fitterling became the CEO of chemical company Dow in 2018. As the first openly gay CEO of a large industrial company, Fitterling sets a powerful example of authenticity and acceptance for his workforce. In addition to his leadership role within the company, he is also the executive sponsor of the company’s African American employee resource group (ERG) and requires everyone on the executive leadership team to be an executive sponsor of an ERG to ensure all groups have allies. When Dow spun off from DowDuPont in April 2019, Fitterling helped rebuild the leadership team to be more equally representative of women. An ardent ally to all communities, he is outspoken in his commitment to advancing others’ careers.
Bruce Broussard, President and CEO of Humana (No. 25 in 2020)
Bruce Broussard has worked in the health services industry for more than two decades and has led Humana for nearly eight years. In this role as president and CEO, Broussard demonstrates a top-down commitment to diversity and inclusion within his organization. As part of that commitment, Broussard leads Humana’s Executive Inclusive and Diversity Council, which works to ensure the company upholds its mission to champion diversity and inclusion for the sake of improving the health of all communities. He also mentors young, professional women in the organization through the company’s 18-month mentorship program. Through Broussard’s leadership, Humana has made significant efforts to build capacity for women in leadership roles with a special emphasis on Black and Hispanic/Latinx leadership development.
David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Workforce Strategies at CVS Health (No. 24 in 2020)
David Casey took over as chief diversity officer and vice president of workforce strategies at CVS Health in 2010. Prior to CVS Health, Casey was the vice president of workplace culture and chief diversity officer at the health services company, WellPoint. Through Casey’s diversity leadership, CVS Health has achieved record numbers and spend with minority, veteran, women and disability-owned suppliers. Casey and CVS Health are also dedicated to investing in the career development of Black women through the company’s Strategies for Success Multicultural Women’s Program, a virtual leadership program for women of color. Throughout his tenure, Casey’s allyship and leadership have greatly expanded opportunities for women of color at the company, which in turn has contributed to a world where healthcare is more accessible and equitable for all.
Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast NBCUniversal (No. 7 in 2020)
As chief sustainability officer, Susan Jin Davis is responsible for implementing Comcast NBCUniversal’s sustainability program across the company. Jin Davis is an ally within her organization and the community of nearly 32 million subscribers. She was integral in the 2011 launch of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has connected millions of households to affordable high-speed internet. That same year, she negotiated a historic Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast and the Asian American community as part of the company’s merger with NBCUniversal. Her actions paved the way for groundbreaking commitments in the areas of programming, supplier and employment diversity and community investment. She serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is a liaison to the Comcast and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She is also an executive sponsor of Asian Pacific Americans at Comcast’s employee resource group.
Corie Pauling, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at TIAA (No. 9 in 2020)
In 2018, TIAA promoted Corie Pauling to the senior vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer, where her efforts reach nearly 18,000 employees. Previously, Pauling was the senior director and associate general counsel of the employment, benefits and labor law group where she was a legal and business human resources advisor. In addition to her corporate role, Pauling is also a vocal ally in her community, where she has served in several civic leadership positions. As it became clear that the coronavirus epidemic was disproportionately affecting Black and brown communities, Pauling led a panel at TIAA where Black doctors discussed the effects of the virus and shared knowledge about how to keep our communities safe. She has shared her expertise and experiences with us at a number of DiversityInc events, speaking passionately on topics like code-switching. Her undying commitment and numerous inclusion efforts have set a powerful example of authenticity for other young Black woman professionals.
Clint Wallace, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Sanofi North America (No. 28 in 2020)
Clint Wallace’s HR leadership drives collaboration and innovation within Sanofi. Wallace has championed allyship at the company by starting the Men Advocating for Real Change (MARC) program focused on further engaging men in the role of being mentors to women at Sanofi. He prioritizes being a mentor to others as a way to pay it forward to those who have helped him. Wallace also served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and retired in 2008.
Leah Smiley, President & CEO, Society for Diversity Inc. & Institute for Diversity Certification
Leah Smiley brings more than 15 years of experience in diversity and inclusion and more than 25 years of training and organizational management to the Society for Diversity Inc. and Institute for Diversity Certification. As someone who has dedicated her career to championing diversity and inclusion, Smiley’s goal has been to help reshape our future, using mistakes from the past to inform the needed steps toward progress. An advocate who speaks out about diversity and believes inclusion is more than just “political correctness,” Smiley continues to use her platform to constantly uplift and celebrate underrepresented groups.
Corey Anthony, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T (DiversityInc Hall of Fame company)
Corey Anthony has worked at AT&T for more than 25 years as a true leader in the diversity space. Anthony has worked tirelessly to ensure leadership within the company is always invested in championing diversity, inclusion and talent development throughout different communities. Anthony’s approach to AT&T’s diversity initiatives is rooted in the rejection of binary thinking. Instead, he encourages individuals to connect with each other through their differences, celebrating all that makes us unique and special. Through his ongoing efforts and programs, Anthony’s allyship has shaped AT&T into one of the most prominent leaders in the world of diversity, inclusion and representation.
Karyn Twaronite, Global D&I Officer, Partner, Global Vice Chair of Diversity & Inclusiveness at EY (DiversityInc Hall of Fame)
In addition to her role leading diversity and inclusiveness at EY, Karyn Twaronite is also a prominent leader throughout the diversity space, lending her expertise to outlets like The Economist and the Financial Times through her insights and commentary. Twaronite, a frequent speaker at DiversityInc Best Practices webinars, is fiercely committed to being an intentional ally to women of color; through her sponsorships, advocacy and influence, she is able to lift up others who don’t normally have someone to vouch for them — especially by giving them praise when they’re not in the room. Twaronite says she does not advocate for others for praise or recognition, but rather to help ensure fairness and opportunity for all.
Luke Visconti, Founder and Chairman of DiversityInc
Luke Visconti launched DiversityInc as a website in 1997. Through his tireless efforts and commitment to diversity and inclusion, he played an instrumental role in helping the site grow exponentially, expanding its reach and readership and turning it into the gold standard of “diversity” publications. Visconti has dedicated his life to improving diversity and inclusion in order to offer opportunities for everyone in the corporate space. In addition to his editorial efforts, he also serves on the boards of a number of organizations including the Rutgers Foundation and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Foundation. Prior to founding DI, Visconti served the U.S. honorably as a naval aviator and holds an honorary degree from Bennett College. He has been a mentor, a sponsor and a friend and has used his influence to speak frankly and honestly about injustice with the goal of creating sustainable, systemic change. His allyship has helped shape not only our organization but also the corporate landscape across the United States.