Josie Thomas

Josie Thomas
EVP and Chief Diversity Officer, CBS Corporation


My greatest strength is approaching challenges creatively—that is, I look at a range of traditional and nontraditional solutions to find the best ones. As the first person in my organization to be named chief diversity officer, it is critical that I continue to develop strategies that incorporate the unique qualities of CBS Corporation and its divisions with overall business goals that are an important component of our ongoing diversity commitment.


I am inspired by the humanity and graciousness of my mother, as well as the focus and determination of my father. The qualities that they exemplify motivate me to strive to make a difference and positively impact the lives of the many people I encounter at work and in my community.


I motivate others by getting them invested in positive outcomes. By seeking out and valuing input, you are far more likely to get full engagement and commitment. It is also important to delegate since that says to those you work with that you know they can contribute significantly to the bottom line.


The most important lesson I have learned in the course of my career is that you must be flexible in your approach to meeting a challenge or achieving a result. It is often not the first strategy that is effective, but the second or even the third. So you must remain focused on the desired outcome rather than a specific approach.


The advice I would give someone at the beginning of his or her career would be to stay true to your core. You must understand what is important to you in terms of your beliefs, values, and life philosophy. And check in with yourself regularly to confirm that you have not strayed from those important personal principles.