May 15, 2021

Leading in Color Newsletter

May 2021

George Floyd And The Business Imperative

Since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis a year ago, we’ve all come face to face with the devastating impact of racial injustice. Corporate America still has an urgent need to level playing fields. This includes a willingness to disrupt typical processes and mindsets. We can’t do what we’ve done and expect better results.

Under-representation of people of color in business will no longer be acceptable at tables where critical decisions are made.  

Leveraging diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) demands a rigorous, honest examination of corporate culture that may be delaying the promotion of qualified, even overqualified, leaders of color. For board recruitment and selection, unleashing DE&I means having a willingness to use diversity of professional experience as a criterion. Also, it means more companies should give extra attention to hiring and promoting people of color into middle management roles, or else the pipeline of people of color to C-Suites and boards will not be filled. And the heightened focus on equity must extend beyond the workplace and support transforming supplier diversity and procurement practices to help grow minority-owned businesses, which create jobs, community wealth and neighborhood revitalization.

For the business community, it’s in our power and best interest to continue addressing these problems with urgency and strategic intent.

Welcome, Jeri Bingham

Our staff is pleased to introduce our new Director of Marketing and Communications, Jeri Bingham. Prior to joining Chicago United, Jeri served as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council after first consulting for the Chicago Minority Business Development Agency Export Center in 2020. She brings extensive marketing, communications and advertising experience from agency work, as well as across the higher education, nonprofit and association management sectors.

2021-2022 Program Guide Now Available

We are proud to announce that the programming guide for 2021 is now available. Download the guide today to view the programs we have planned for the year.

We congratulate Chicago United CEO Council Member Martin Cabrera and CU Board Member Santino Bibbo as they celebrate Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC’s 20th anniversary this year. Thank you for your dedication to our members, and best wishes for your continued success.

Chicago United 2017 Business Leader of Color Robert Rodriguez, PhD, is the author of a new book that’s now available online. “Employee Resource Group Excellence: Grow High Performing ERGS to Enhance Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Business Impact” is Robert’s third book. Robert is the president of Dr. Robert Rodriguez Advisors LLC (DRR Advisors), a diversity consulting firm, and he is a regular contributor to our ERG-related programs.

We’d like to close out Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a final salute and thank you to the leaders we’ve highlighted on our social media channels in May: Chicago United CEO Council Members Shantanoo Govilkar, David Gupta and Vildan Kehr; and Business Leaders of Color Hamilton Chang, Eileen Chin and Tomoko Kizawa.

Diversity Officer Roundtable, featuring Carl H. Davis II, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Corporate Recruitment, Mesirow Financial

Thurs., June 10, 2021

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Virtual program (link provided with registration)

CEO Roundtable Series, featuring Jim Skogsbergh, President and CEO, Advocate Aurora Health

Thurs., June 17, 2021

8:00 - 9:30 AM

Virtual program (link provided with registration)

BLC Author Series featuring Kevin Johnson, North America Growth Enablement Leader, Aon plc

Weds., June 23, 2021

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Virtual program (link provided with registration)

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