Alcoa Executive Dedicated to Developing Talent
As a member of the senior leadership team at Alcoa, Vas Nair brings a wealth of global talent expertise from a variety of sectors around the world.
In looking at talent scenarios, she draws on her extensive HR experience in Asia, Australia and the United States, which has spanned the pharmaceutical, financial services and consumer products sectors. Nair joined Alcoa last year as its Chief Talent and Diversity Officer, and shortly thereafter she was promoted to Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability.
She’s made it a priority to innovate and transform the HR landscape, launching technology as a tool for bringing talent best practices to Alcoa’s leaders. For example, Nair piloted a mobile coaching app with the executive team, and has re-galvanized Alcoa’s employee resource groups as another way to promote inclusion and develop diverse talent across the company.
In her first year at Alcoa, Nair quickly mobilized Alcoa’s HR professionals worldwide around talent development as a key business driver. Building on Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld’s exhortation to drive high performance teams, the HR professionals on Nair’s team are now keenly focused on enhancing employees’ career experience.
Nair extends her passion for nurturing talent outside of her role at Alcoa, too. In 2016, she was honored with the Red Cross Quinn Award for her support of the Red Cross Mission. She has served on the board of the American Red Cross New Jersey Chapter since 2008, and leads pro bono workshops on leadership, coaching, emotional intelligence, team building, and communication skills. She also serves on the board of Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States.
An advocate for women in the workplace, Nair emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and self-confidence in women leaders. “Remember, you have earned a seat at the table. Know your strengths and leverage them. And also know your gaps, while surrounding yourself with experts,” she said. Ultimately, though, “be the captain of your own ship. Bosses come and go, so don’t purely rely on them to advance your career,” she added. Nair holds an MBA in Strategic Human Resources, University of New England, Australia; and a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Management Studies, Wollongong University, Australia.