Richard Rodney

Richard Rodney
Senior Director, Head of Content Systems Development

Education: Bachelor’s degree, computer & systems engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Company Name: S&P Global
Industry: Ratings, Commodities, Data Analytics, Technology
Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson
Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York
Number of Employees: 23,000 globally
Words you live by: The biggest room is the room for improvement. Team work makes the dream work
What book are you reading? Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
What was your first job: Database Engineer @ S&P Global. This is my first company as a working adult.
Favorite charity: Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF)
Interests: Spinning, traveling, listening to books, mentoring, and gardening
Family: Married 4 Years; no kids

Necessary Sacrifice

As we look back at the tracks that we have traveled to pave the path for our success, there are numerous examples of luck and hard work, but most important, the people who assisted us. It is rare to hear that someone who accomplished something did so by him or herself. Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, attributes his success to the upbringing his parents provided. LeBron James had countless team members and coaches in high school who played a role in his accomplishments. As we look back on our careers, it’s imperative that we pay it forward by being beacons of light for those around us. Supporting the next generation of Black business leaders does not start after we have hired them; it starts at the grassroots, back to where they build their foundation.

Often we hear companies complain that they aren’t able to find enough Black leaders. However, I think one of their failures is the lack of investment in the pipeline, thus they do not have enough candidates to draw from in a competitive technology landscape. There is a necessary sacrifice that’s needed, and it starts by investing in programs that give the younger generation exposure to what’s possible.

I live this by volunteering at institutions that create an environment where our youth are exposed to diverse experiences that they wouldn’t have normally gotten in the classroom. At the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), I participate in career discussion panels, and communication and writing workshops. This allows the students to interact with leaders who look like them, and opens their eyes to the plethora of career options available.

Another example is my work with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) robotics competition in New York City, where I volunteer as a Lead Team Queuer. Here, students from inner-city schools build 120-pound robots over six weeks and compete against other schools. The program allows us to lend support by creating a space for students to express their creativity and learn the importance of teamwork.

The activities mentioned above wouldn’t have been possible without great organizations like S&P Global. Through their various corporate responsibilities initiatives, the company sponsors FIRST robotics teams at schools in NYC and Denver. But most important, S&P Global allows its employees to volunteer their time, using GIVE BACK DAYS. When all is said and done, the most important component in making a difference is time. Time allows us to create impactful experiences for our successors. If organizations provide time to help define, build, grow, and support the grassroots programs and initiatives that our young Black youth participate in, we will see an abundance of Black leaders ready to lead around the world.