I owe my success to several mentors and teachers. But my heroes—the people who made the greatest impact on my path to success—are my parents. Since I can remember, my parents said there were no limits to what I could do. No surprise, my father was the only black in his graduating class at Harvard Business School in 1948. My parents’ perseverance and encouragement inspired me to achieve my dreams and never seek second-best.
Throughout my legal career, I have gravitated towards challenges. I seek out challenges as they often bring about opportunities for growth and advancement. While diversity can bring challenges to an organization, it is also a powerful agent of change.
I believe that a company can only be successful if it fully embraces diversity and inclusion. Motorola’s customers circle the globe, representing every imaginable demographic background. We’ve learned that when the benefits of diversity are championed within the company, we are successful in the global marketplace. I am extremely proud of the diversity within the law department and my own team, which crosses many cultures and ethnicities.
In my job, I have put teams together across the globe. I’ve traveled around the world, and brokered deals with people whose cultures are very different from mine. You have to communicate effectively and work to find common ground, critical skills for a lawyer and a manager. Working with people from different backgrounds has enriched my life, driving me to be a better member of the communities to which I belong.
At Motorola, I’m co-chair of the company’s black business Council—just one of many employee diversity councils across the company. The council provides a channel for employees to share work experiences and learn from others. We also work to support charities and community organizations that promote diversity.
Outside of the office, my husband and I regularly volunteer to engage at-risk youth and young adults. We recently hosted a seminar at our home for more than 40 high school students from the inner-city. We talk with kids about overcoming obstacles, staying in school, and making good decisions. Sharing time with these promising students has been an immeasurably rewarding experience. I truly believe that with every bit of my success is an obligation to inspire the next generation to greatness.