Sharda Mohammed

As director of diversity at Michelin, I am able to leverage all of the incredible talent working for us to not only achieve business results, but also to enhance the corporate culture of our 120-year-old company. At the end of the day, a company’s diversity, when nurtured and embraced, will help set it apart from its competitors. The Michelin tagline is “a better way forward,” and on a daily basis, we encourage employees to challenge themselves and each other.

What technology (apps and software) do you use on a daily basis?
I could not function without the array of applications on my iPhone. I rely on it to stay looped in with LinkedIn’s Diversity groups, to be prepared in case it happen to snow in our area, and of course, to stay connected to my networks on Facebook. At my desk: Microsoft Office dominates my desktop. You can always expect to find me building a presentation in PowerPoint, preparing a document in Word, or monitoring the influx of emails through LotusNotes.

What is your favorite gadget or technology?
At Michelin, we use IBM’s Sametime for real-time, instant messaging communication. People become consumed and inundated with emails throughout the day, so a quick instant message is an effective way to connect with a colleague, ask a question, or even just send a goofy emoticon. The best part is that this form of communication is accepted and used throughout the entire world, making colleagues in foreign countries and senior management accessible.

Describe your workspace:
Michelin’s North American headquarters recently went through a renovation to brighten and open up workspaces in order to encourage collaboration, interaction, and engagement among employees. Long gone is the isolation from high cubicle walls and my workspace, at the intersection of human resources and communications groups, is an inviting space where I welcome casual conversations, laughter and a pleasant interface with my fellow employees.

How do you save time at work?
Staying organized and planning for the tasks ahead helps me be more efficient. Being adaptable and flexible to the changing pace of the workday is also important, since every day is different with different needs. I make it a point to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and I am lucky Michelin supports that. I also separate tasks that must be done at work from those I can do at home.

How do you manage boredom/ stress while at work?
Working for Michelin is far from boring. The diversity in our business projects and our employee base ensures that my job is always filled with exciting and fresh opportunities. Although stress can creep in from time to time, I find myself most able to manage through it by staying focused, being determined, and keeping things in perspective. It also helps to use my colleagues as a sounding board.

What does an average lunch break consist of?
I use my lunch breaks to network with friends and colleagues. I try and learn something new about my coworkers and their respective work responsibilities every chance I get.

Do you listen to music at work?
Listening to music at work is difficult for me as I tend to enjoy losing myself in the lyrics and melodies—I’m not sure my neighbors would appreciate hearing my version of ’80s classics.

Describe a perfect work day?
My perfect workday starts after getting a good night’s sleep and time in the morning with my children—getting them ready for school and prepared for their day. As we leave the house, we tell each other, “Only you have the power to make today great— now go have a great day!” One key to my perfect work day is arriving early in order to get through emails and tasks that might have lingered from the previous day. Without those looming over me, I a able to be fully engaged and prepared for my day’s work. I dislike having to be overly concerned with administrative tasks. Instead, I prefer to make a difference by providing my full attention to the project at hand. Of course, no perfect day is complete unless it is filled with conversation and laughter. I live by a motto I would like to share with everyone: Be the best your unique self has to offer!