Knowledge Center: Video

Diversity and Inclusion

Leaning into Difficult Conversations: Excerpts from Fortune’s Global Forum panel, The Inclusion Imperative

3/17/2021 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, Vernā Myers, vice president of inclusion strategy at Netflix, speaks to the importance of staying present in this time of urgency, and not slipping back into old habits of comfort. She discusses the leap into discomfort required for truly understanding allyship, and her relief that justice is now central to our conversations about corporate diversity and inclusion, as is understanding the systemic and structural global issues that influence the workplace. She also stresses that companies should not “clump” underrepresented people into one group—that true progress comes from recognizing all the different and intersecting identities each individual might have, whether Black or Asian or LGBTQ, and being able to consider what justice and equity requires for each.

Panelists

Lyndon Taylor (ltaylor@heidrick.com), 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

Moderator

Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor, Fortune; Editor, RaceAhead