Knowledge Center: Video

Diversity and Inclusion

Every Facet of the Way We Do Business: Excerpts from Fortune’s Global Forum panel, The Inclusion Imperative

3/24/2021 Heidrick & Struggles

Heidrick & Struggles was a proud partner of the 2020 Fortune Global Forum, which took place virtually from October 26–27, 2020. The annual forum brought together the leaders of the world’s biggest corporations—the Fortune Global 500—with innovators, builders, and other selected experts to explore the key issues shaping global business.

This year, Heidrick & Struggles hosted a panel titled “The Inclusion Imperative.” Lyndon Taylor, managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles’ Diversity & Inclusion Practice and a member of the firm’s CEO & Board and Financial Services practices, joined the discussion as a distinguished panelist.

In this excerpt from the panel, Nzinga Shaw, former global chief inclusion & diversity officer at Starbucks, talks about how starting at Starbucks right before COVID-19 hit Seattle forced her to immediately lean into being valuable, helping other company leaders understand how they could leverage diversity as an asset through the crisis. She discusses the importance of effective internal mechanisms for communication to detail why changes are made and to get the entire organization on board with those changes, of not operating under the “illusion of inclusion,” which she describes as having a couple people at the table who perhaps look different but are not fully able to contribute to and make business decisions, and of recognizing that though good data and analysis is vital, it cannot capture the holistic human experience and should be only one lens though which we measure progress.


Lyndon Taylor (, Managing Partner of the Diversity & Inclusion Practice, Heidrick & Struggles

Ken Barrett, Global Chief Diversity Officer, General Motors

Vernā Myers, Vice President of Inclusion Strategy, Netflix

Nzinga Shaw, former Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Starbucks

Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, Partner and Chief Human Resources Officer, TPG


Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor, Fortune; Editor, RaceAhead