5 Strong African American Leaders In The Workplace
Black History Month is a time to look back and reflect on the amazing African Americans throughout history who have contributed to the civil rights movements, while also recognizing those who continue to move the effort forward.
There are currently many African Americans in the workplace that are great leaders that set a good example. Here are a few:
Candice Morgan has been a leader in helping large companies with diversity and inclusion.
Pinterest hired Morgan in 2016 as their head of inclusion as part of an aggressive effort to enhance inclusiveness at the company. As 2020 started, Pinterest announced that it met and exceeded its hiring goals with respect to diversity and inclusion. The company also improved its overall company culture around diversity and inclusion.
Pinterest has been recognized as LGBTQ-friendly, a top company for millennial women, and as a top innovator in diversity and inclusion, to name a few accolades.
Morgan now works for GV (formerly Google Ventures) as their first equity, diversity & inclusion partner, where she will create inclusive strategies for GV and its portfolio companies.
When Ursula Burns was named CEO of Xerox in 2010, she became the first African-American woman to lead an S&P 500 company.
Burns is credited for taking Xerox, a company known for paper copies, into a more diversified and profitable business, according to Forbes.
Burns was also credited with leading Xerox's acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services and the companies split into two independent companies.
Burns has a background in mechanical engineering and worked her way up at Xerox before taking over as CEO, starting as an intern, working in product development and planning, and moving up to an executive assistant and senior vice president of corporate strategic services.
Burns currently serves as executive chairman of VEON, a telecommunication services company. She currently serves on numerous boards and previously led the White House National STEM program and President's Export Council, after being appointed by President Barack Obama.
Kenneth C. Frazier
Kenneth C. Frazier is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Merck & Co., Inc., an American multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in New Jersey. Frazier made Glassdoor's Top CEO list in 2019.
Fazier has steadily worked his way up the ladder at Merck since joining the company in 1992. Prior to joining Merck, Frazier was a lawyer who taught law students in South Africa and freed an innocent man from death row, according to Time Magazine.
Frazier is credited with leading the charge for Merck to increase its investment in bold and lifesaving treatments.
In Glassdoor reviews, employees describe Frazier as strong and genuine, and Merck gets strong reviews for its focus on diversity and inclusion.Check out the current job openings at Merck.
Reffkin came from humble beginnings, but quickly learned the value of hard work from his mother. Prior to starting Compass, Reffkin worked at Goldman Sachs in private equity and serving as chief of staff to the president and COO. Reffkin was also a White House Fellow in 2005 as special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. Reffkin is involved in several philanthropic efforts as well.
Under his leadership, Compass has raised $775 million in investor capital and has expanded to every major U.S. city. According to an interview with his alma mater Columbia University, Reffkin has always dreamed big and he tells both his clients and employees to dream big.
"Every employee embraces the Compass Culture-encouraging all to Dream Big and to embrace each person with compassion," one Compass employee said on Glassdoor.comCheck out current job openings at Compass.
Dave Steward is the Founder and Chairman of the Board at World Wide Technology, a technology service provider headquartered in Maryland.
Steward got his entrepreneurial spirit from his father, who started and ran a small farm while working several other odd jobs.
After stints at Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and Federal Express, Steward owned a few transportation auditing firms before starting World Wide Technology in 1990.
Under Steward's leadership, World Wide Technology has become a $11.2 billion company and has many prominent customers, including Citi, Verizon, and the federal government, according to Forbes.
World Wide Technology has also been featured on Glassdoor's Best Places To Work list on multiple occasions.
"The company cares about their employees and gives back to the community. The owners are natural born leaders and the company moral is spectacular. Benefits are tops and WWT celebrates diversity," one employee wrote on Glassdoor.Check out current job openings at World Wide Technology.
Does Your Company Deserve Recognition For Great Leadership?
These five leaders are only a small sampling of the great African Americans in the workforce. If you want to recognize someone, feel free to give them a shout out in the comment section of our social posts.
Also, does your company have a great leader that deserves recognition? Check out Work It Daily's Champion Badge Program.
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