American global investment management corporation, BlackRock, Inc. dubbed the world’s largest shadow bank has appointed
award-winning global diversity expert, Michelle Gadsden Williams as its new head of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Founded in 1988, the firm in efforts towards fostering an inclusive culture in its workforce appointed the seasoned diversity practitioner with over 25 years of experience working in the consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries before transitioning to financial services in 2011.
Williams will be succeeding Birgit Boykin,
“The most interesting thing about my role is that it contemplates an important new dimension in our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts,” said Williams in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“Adding ‘equity’ to the diversity and inclusion mission reflects BlackRock’s dedication to fair access to opportunities and advancement for all employees. It signals our conviction that our employee experience is as important to our diversity agenda as representation. I’m excited to stand those initiatives up more formally and move the organization as a whole forward forward across diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Before joining the team at Black Rock, Gadsden Williams also worked as the Global Head of Diversity for Credit Suisse. She was the chief diversity officer for Novartis before starting her management consulting agency after living in Switzerland for 10 years. She also worked in human resources and product development at PhilipsVan Heusen Corporation and Wakefern Food Corporation based in New Jersey, the site reports.
“We have an aggressive agenda that strives to make BlackRock more diverse and more inclusive,” wrote Manish Mehta, chief of Human Resources, in a memo. “For our culture and our business, we believe positive outcomes result from more voices coming from people of varied backgrounds and experiences.”
As far as navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, Gadsden Williams says that the company has become “accustomed to doing business this way for now. COVID doesn’t represent a hindrance for me, but I am looking forward to resuming a more “normal” operating model.”
Michelle’s brilliance has garnered her a multitude of community service awards and accolades for her work as a diversity practitioner. Most recently, she was recognized by the Reverend Al Sharpton as a 2016 honoree at the National Action Network “Woman of Power” Luncheon, an honoree at the Black Institute Awards Gala in NYC and a 2015 Ebony Magazine Power 100 honoree. Throughout her career, Michelle has been profiled in Black Enterprise Magazine, DiversityInc, Diversity Executive, Ebony, Essence, Fortune, History Makers, Heart & Soul, Jet, New Vision, Science Magazine, Sister to Sister, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Target Market News and was recognized as one of 40 Outstanding Executives Under 40 in America in 2006 by the Network Journal, according to Amazon.
Image Credit: Black Enterprise