Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2014

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/385684

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Page 49 of 71

TIFFANY DUFU Chief Leadership Offcer, Levo League I n middle school, Tiffany Dufu lost an election for class president. "It was terrifying," she remembers. "But when I showed up at school the next day, I learned the most im- portant lesson: that you can fail, show up the next morning, and the world hasn't fallen apart." That power-on attitude has propelled Dufu to become a renowned expert and speaker on women's and Gen Y leadership. A member of the launch team for Lean In and a former president of the White House Project (a nonproft dedicated to increasing female participation in businesses, institutions, and government), Dufu has been named to Fast Company's League of Extraordinary Women. She now brings her expertise to Levo League, a start-up that provides Gen Y women a supportive community and the career resources they need to achieve success. "Advanc- ing women and girls is my life's work because I believe we need a diversity of voices and perspectives driving the deci- sions that impact all of us," Dufu says. "At the highest levels, women are leading at about 18 percent, despite the fact that we are half of college graduates. I'm motivated to help create institutions where women can bring their full selves to the table, and I want every woman to know that she is the most powerful change agent in her own journey." She believes that requires the right mind-set. "Women are socialized to believe that if they just put their heads down, achieve results, and outperform, they'll be reward- ed," Dufu says. "This works in school, but the workplace is a completely different ecosystem to navigate. At the offce, it's possible to work your butt off and achieve great results but still get passed over for promotion. Levo provides the network, skills, and inspiration women are hungry for, to help them fgure it all out and feel conf- dent about their choices." JOHN A. POWELL Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society; Professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley T o break through the roadblocks to creating an inclu- sive and just society, it's important to understand the underpinnings of those roadblocks. That's part of the mission of the Haas Institute at UC Berkeley, led by john a. powell, an internationally recognized expert on civil rights and liberties who founded the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota, taught law at Harvard University and Columbia University, and has worked around the globe. The Haas Institute harnesses the skills of nearly a hundred researchers—including eight endowed chairs focused on diversity and inclusion—to gain a deep understanding of mar- ginalization. While we may think of "race" as being fxed, for example, powell says that the concept of race dates back only to about the 16th century and is actually quite fuid. "Irish, Armenian, and Italian were racialized categories well into the early 20th century but are now viewed as 'white,'" he explains. "Racial categories, racial boundaries, racial meanings and ste- reotypes, and racial attitudes are subject to change over time." The institute investigates race and other forms of marginal- ization, such as gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. Drawing on its research, it partners with community groups, policy makers, and communicators to reframe public discourse and enact change. It is helping grassroots commu- nity organizations in Richmond, California, better advocate for local policy that will generate more inclusive opportunity, for example. It is even looking at its own university, UC Berkeley, and how its activities affect marginalized communities. As powell says, "Our role in these partnerships is to ensure that marginalized communities have the technical, legal, and research capacity needed to support their full participation in developing and advocating for a vision of greater opportunity." The Academic The Leadership Guru (re)Thinking Diversity 48 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N Fa l l 2 0 1 4 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m

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