November 21, 2018

5 Inclusive Leaders We’re Grateful For



When millennials are applying and searching for jobs, salary and other company benefits are factors that they consider. However, more young professionals are also taking into consideration company culture, professional development opportunities, and inclusion. According to a Deloitte report, 80 percent of millennials indicate that inclusion is important for them when choosing an employer.


In order to stay competitive in the job force, more employers are feeling the pressure to create more diverse and inclusive environments in their company. Being inclusive not only helps young professionals maintain an interest in the company, but it also leads to an increase in work performance. While many employers are aware that inclusive leaders are needed in their company, not all know how to be one.


What separates an exceptional inclusive leader from the others? Resilience and humility.


Inclusive leaders care deeply about the work they do on a day-to-day basis. They are the type of leaders that are ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way in order to achieve their goal. Without passion for the work they are doing, it can easily lead to getting discouraged about making any type of change.


Meet just a few of the top inclusive leaders we admire here at Forefront who are changing their industries. Thank you for being our inspiration.

Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and Vice-Chair of Starbucks

Mellody is well-known for her TEDTalk, Color Blind or Color Brave?, where she discusses the transformative power of openly discussing race in the workplace. Mellody now oversees strategic planning for Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based firm that is also the largest African American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the United States.

Mellody remains vocal about the importance of corporate America taking steps to create a diverse workforce.

Miguel Castro, Sr. Director, Lead for Culture & Identity, Global Diversity & Inclusion Office at SAP Spain

We’re evermore thankful to engage with Miguel Castro on a regular basis as one of our key collaborators at SAP. With a 16+ year tenure at the global company, Miguel is dedicated to empowering the many voices at SAP who inspire its innovation, regardless of race, religion, culture, gender identity, or sexual orientation. His mission is to create a greater sense of community. He has overall responsibility for issues concerning culture and ethnicity at SAP, as well as all topics related to the LGBT community. He works directly with SAP’s 80+ Employee Network Groups to ensure their success.

Carolina Jannicelli, Head of the Law Firm Group, Market Manager, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Carolina is the Head of the Private Bank's Law Firm Group at J.P. Morgan. Carolina was featured on Fortune's 2017 and 2018 Top 50 Most Powerful Latina's list and is trilingual in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. She is one of Forefront's very own advisors and is committed to fostering a better workplace and a better world whether it is through arts or mentoring immigrant girls through SPEAK Mentorship.

Bob Rivers, Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank

Eastern Bank is America’s oldest and largest mutual bank. As a passionate and visionary leader, Bob believes that doing what’s right is also smart and that building a strong business is accomplished by doing the things that help people prosper. Under his leadership, Eastern Bank has helped develop robust advocacy platforms for various social justices issues in Boston. Bob Rivers joined us as a guest speaker at the Forefront Summit.

Colette Phillips, CEO of Colette Phillips Communications & Founder of Get Konnected!

Named “Boston’s Great Connector” by Boston Magazine, Colette Phillips is an inclusive force to be reckoned with. She’s a values-driven change agent, a seasoned PR & marketing guru and a well-respected D&I leader who uses her talents and influence to bring the Boston business community together. Colette is the Founder of Get Konnected!, a social impact venture and premier inclusive business networking event that brings together professionals, business and civic leaders and entrepreneurs from all cultures and across industries and sectors. Her mission is to make Boston a more welcoming and inclusive city. She was recently honored with the 2018 Co-Existence Award by AJC New England. She’s also the CEO of Colette Phillips Communications, her own strategic PR & multicultural marketing.


An inclusive leader truly believes at their core, that all people are equal and deserve to be included in all company dialogue. They also acknowledge the type of power they currently hold. Self-awareness helps inclusive leaders understand where they stand in their company and how they can continue to support those in different positions.

We are grateful for these inclusive leaders as well as the many others not mentioned who are taking bold initiative to push their companies in the right direction.


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