Customer success manager for Diverst, Toki Toguri is front and center for some of the company’s most prolific and forward-thinking clients, delivering implementations tailored to meet their unique needs, on time and on budget. Toguri has worked in leadership positions with some of biggest global brands. This experience gives her a keen understanding of what works from a people-centric perspective. Her experiences as a woman, a visible minority and a parent give her a sensibility that bridges the divide of misunderstanding and creates the kind of trust necessary for collaboration.

Toguri operates at the cutting edge of diversity-and-inclusion technology at Diverst, expanding employee onboarding, inclusion, belonging and engagement. Her efforts and insight enable technology enhanced processes to deliver on the company’s diversity and inclusion promise. She says her greatest professional achievement to date was “leaving a secure position to join a start-up focused on making diversity and inclusion work in a real way.”

Toguri says that learning not to be intimidated by those who expected her to fail was a challenge early on. “I came to understand that my new ideas and different approach were perceived as a threat. Through persistence and measurable results, I proved I could exceed expectations.

“Diversity means recognizing that what makes us unique and different is an integral part of who we are,” says Toguri. “Inclusion means that we accept each other for who we are and that our personal cultures, beliefs and experiences are valued. Combined, this power to bond a culture with innovation is limitless.” She continues, “Corporate commitment to build a culture of diversity and inclusion is key for any business. Besides being the right thing to do, there is mounting empirical data confirming the value of D&I to an organization’s overall success and financial performance.”

Toguri offers this advice to women on their way up, “Be authentic, be strong, be grateful and be supportive of others. Ask for help when you need it and take responsibility when the going gets tough. Always feel secure that we have each other’s backs.”