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 52 of 71

(re)Thinking Diversity The CEO The Hiring Manager DOUG SHIPMAN CEO, National Center for Civil and Human Rights I n 2005, Doug Shipman was asked by former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin to begin research to create an institution that would celebrate the bravery of civil and human rights activists and inspire younger generations to get engaged. He leapt at the chance. "I have long held a personal interest in civil and human rights issues, having studied them during my undergraduate years at Emory University and again at the Harvard Divinity School," says Shipman, who is also a parent with his Indian American wife. "I'm drawn to situations where I can contribute a new perspective to an important topic." He began by engaging in conversations with key mem- bers of the Atlanta, civil rights, and human rights commu- nities. Shipman ultimately left his position at a top global consulting frm to launch the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, a sprawling 43,000-square-foot facility that uses communal storytelling to help visitors gain a deeper understanding of the world. The innovative center features thought-provoking exhibitions, from an interactive human rights exhibit to personal papers and items that belonged to Martin Luther King Jr. The exhibits spark some heartfelt discus- sions. "One day, I watched a grandmother share stories she had never told, with her grandchildren," Shipman says. "Young folks have these 'aha' moments when they sit at our lunch-counter simulators and experience what it was like to be a sit-in protester in the 1960s. Individuals realize that purchasing fowers may be hurting human rights in another country. Each day, these small 'discov- eries' happen at the center. When visitors say they see themselves and the world differently, I'm excited to know that I helped create that moment." MAGGIE LEUNG Director of Content, NerdWallet.com A t a time when some of the top companies in Silicon Valley are coming under the microscope for their lack of diversity, NerdWallet stands as a shin- ing example of what's possible. The start-up—which helps millions of consumers make smart fnancial decisions— has been expanding its staff of journalists to refect the diversity of its users, an effort led by Maggie Leung. Leung's career has taken her from freelancing as a teenager for her hometown newspaper on Guam to stints at CNN, the Washington Post, and The Wall Street Jour- nal. To bring the best talent to NerdWallet, the company casts its net nationwide, hiring many people who've never worked in Silicon Valley or even in tech. "We're a start-up in Silicon Valley, yet our leadership team is more than 50 percent women," Leung says. "We have 20-somethings and 60-somethings working side by side; we have telecom- muters across the country—in cities and rural settings; we have everyone from recent grads with loads of college debt to established professionals who've achieved fnancial security. We're a company of about 95 people at this point, and yet we've already achieved the diversity that other companies aim for." Leung recently had a moment of joyful refection when she took a new hire to lunch in NerdWallet's San Francisco neighborhood, which is bursting with start-ups. "He's a white man with a hearing aid and a bum knee in his 60s," she says. "I'm an Asian American woman in my 40s. I noticed we were so unlike the throngs of techies who were out having lunch—many white men in their 20s and 30s. During another new-hire lunch, it was me and a 40-something African American woman. Again, we stood out. Those contrasts always remind me how differ- ently we hire at NerdWallet versus other start-ups." DW d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 4 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 51

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