DeRetta Rhodes, senior vice president and head of human resources for the Atlanta Braves, talked with a Workday Rising audience yesterday about lessons she has learned about career growth as a woman of color, including the importance of perseverance, vulnerability, and authenticity.
“The things you have to do to break barriers, you have to do every single day,” said Rhodes. “It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And when you’re thinking you are not making progress, you’ll be surprised.”
She added that we should appreciate all of our experiences in our careers, both good and bad, because they all lead to growth.
“The tapestry of our experiences, and what we have gone through, is what helps move us along,” she said. “Because the only way we continue to make progress in valuing diversity and inclusion is one person at a time and one situation at a time, and how you, yourself, are able to constantly reflect back on what could have held you back, what tried to hold you back, and who has pushed you forward.”
Rhodes was then joined onstage by Carin Taylor, chief diversity officer at Workday, for a deeper discussion on career success as women of color. Rhodes said her career started to take off when she got more comfortable being vulnerable, and not afraid to show her authentic self.
They also discussed how it’s increasingly important for companies to have diversity across their workforce, which should represent the diversity of the populations they’re building products for. Rhodes shared a conversation she had with a talent recruiter who was having trouble hiring because the company’s workforce did not appear diverse to candidates.
“The whole concept of diversity and inclusion is not going to go away, it’s only going to get larger,” she said. “Those that win around the conversation of diversity and inclusion are the ones who are able to get ahead with the talent initiatives that will move their organizations forward.”