Wednesday, November 28
7:00 am – 8:30 am
Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Constitution A
Alveda Williams, The Dow Chemical Company
Diversity—Why Inclusion Matters
Too often, organizations look at inclusion and diversity through a narrow lens, pursuing workplace diversity for good public relations or to comply with regulations. Inclusion and diversity is so much more than that. Simply put—it is a business imperative. Companies that lead in inclusion and diversity win the war for talent, improve the quality of decision making and innovation and increase customer insight.
At Dow, our inclusion and diversity strategy intentionally leads with inclusion. We recognize the need to have the right people—a diversity of ideas to drive progress forward and accelerate breakthroughs. But we also need the right environment—an inclusive environment—for these ideas to surface.
In this session, Williams will (i) share highlights of her own personal journey and passion for inclusion and diversity, (ii) discuss Dow’s approach to embedding inclusion into its corporate infrastructure, and (iii) share practical examples of what others can do to cultivate a culture of inclusion and drive change in their respective organizations.
About Alveda Williams
Alveda Williams was recently named the Corporate Director of Inclusion at The Dow Chemical Company. She is responsible for development and implementation of the global diversity and inclusion strategy. She serves as an internal D&I consultant across the company’s businesses, functions and geographies, and is also the primary point of contact for key external strategic partnerships.
Alveda Williams discusses her talk with MRS TV.
Williams began her career in 2002 at Dow in Research and Development and then relocated to Freeport, Texas, to Core R&D as an individual contributor and later as a people leader, where she also made contributions to a number of technical projects including the development of VERSIFY™-based peelable seals, ACCELACURE™ pultrusion resin, and toughened epoxy resins for coatings and electrical laminate applications.
In 2008, Williams took a special assignment with the R&D Integration Team for the Rohm and Haas acquisition, where she led the effort to identify $30B in R&D growth synergy opportunities. In 2009, she was named Global Strategic University Leader for Dow’s R&D function. In early 2012, Williams was named Global HR Partner for Core R&D and in late 2013, she accepted the role of Associate HR Director for Dow’s largest integrated site, Texas Operations.
Williams has a passion for identifying talent within the STEM disciplines and is committed to mentoring, coaching and developing this new talent. She is the creator of Dow’s BEST (Building Engineering & Science Talent at Dow) Symposium, which introduces underrepresented minority PhD talent to careers in industrial research. She was awarded the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Golden Torch Award for Corporate Diversity Leadership in 2009, the prestigious Dow Transformation in Action Award in 2012, the Council for Chemical Research Diversity Award in 2013, and was named to the Diversity Journal’s 2014 Women Worth Watching List. Williams earned her BS degree in chemistry from Norfolk State University in 1997, and a PhD degree in materials chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. She holds three patents and is the author of a number of external and internal publications.
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