Knowledge Center: Video

Diversity and Inclusion

Stretching the Organization: Excerpts from Fortune’s Global Forum panel, The Inclusion Imperative

3/10/2021 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, Ken Barrett, the global chief diversity office of General Motors, discusses the ways GM’s leaders are using the global focus on diversity and inclusion to stretch the organization, to have the kinds of racial equity conversations that are needed for substantive, positive changes. He also speaks about the early moments of the COVID-19 pandemic and the conversations around race and inclusion that became the foundation of the work he is doing now, how important it is for senior leaders to connect with employees in order to hear their needs and perspectives firsthand, and how to help leaders who may not be fluent in the language of diversity and inclusion get up to speed.


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