How to Build the Talent Pipeline for Women of Color - Q & A with Chelsea Williams #Inclusion2020

SHRM's Inclusion 2020 Conference is October 19-21 and will feature several amazing presenters including Chelsea C. Williams who will deliver the live session How to Build the Talent Pipeline for Women of Color.  

Chelsea C. Williams is a national talent strategist & speaker and the proud Founder & CEO of College Code. With 75 percent of the workforce expected to encompass Millennials and GenZ by 2025, College Code supports the development & retention of diverse students & early career talent. Since its inception, College Code has supported dozens of higher education institutions, non-profits & employers in creating more human-centered, inclusive workplaces for the future of work.  

Chelsea is a highly sought contributor for The Muse, the go-to destination for the nextgen workforce to research companies and careers and The National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE).

Prior to College Code, Chelsea spent nearly 10 years on Wall Street managing and leading human capital initiatives across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Chelsea obtained her BA in Economics from Spelman College. She currently resides in New York City where she enjoys indoor cycling, podcasts, live music, and cooking!

Q. Tell us more about your company College Code and why you decided to launch it.

College Code helps organizations develop & retain diverse students and early career pros. We are preparing the next generation of workers and helping organizations center DE&I as a culture imperative. I launched College Code after nearly a decade on Wall Street, starting my time there as a sophomore intern while attending Spelman College. During my time I noticed unique roadblocks historically underrepresented populations experienced navigating roles & workplaces. For students, College Code symbolizes a support resource in maneuvering to and through college into early career with intention. For employers, College Code represents a support resource in developing & retaining diverse professionals for the future of work.

Q. How did your experiences on Wall Street affect your career path?

My time on Wall Street was very rich. I started right after the 2008 financial crisis and truly believe I am able to lead College Code because of the experiences I had managing people at times of significant uncertainty and change, much like what we are experiencing today. While on Wall Street I held almost every role within the employee life-cycle, also working within a global capacity and supporting organizations through mergers, acquisitions, and growth. DE&I was always at the pillar of the work I did in HR, by the mere nature of my experience as a woman of color. Today I have the honor of helping organizations and individuals alike center DE&I as a forethought, rather than an afterthought. It truly feels like my life's work!

Q. What, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge faced by early-career-level women of color in the workplace today?

Although, often the most ambitious, early-career women of color experience a number of challenges. One of the most common challenges they experience stems around receiving direct feedback and obtaining the "first managerial promotion." Without both, the opportunity to advance becomes limited and is reflected in our current data on women in leadership.

Q. What is the 'broken rung' that you'll be talking about in your session?

The broken rung is a phenomenon highlighted in a study by Lean In & Mckinsey. The idea is that the reason we can't propel women into managerial/leadership roles is because of the unique challenges they experience at the early career stage i.e. the first promotion to manager.

Q. Your session will highlight best practices in developing and retaining women of color at the early career level. What is one best practice that you’ll be sharing more about during your session?

Attendees will learn how they can be a part of the solution! They will leave the session with an expanded lens on how to center intersectionality and how to leverage quantitative and qualitative data to make informed decisions and drive action.

5 Steps to Build the Multicultural Talent Pipeline of Women

Monday 10/19/2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


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