President and COO, KeyCorp (will become Chairman and CEO on May 1, 2011, the first woman CEO of a top 20 U.S. bank)
Corporate Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio
Primary Business: Financial Services
Revenues: $4.4 billion
Employees: Approx. 15,500
2011 CEO in Action
On May 1, 2011, I am slated to become the first woman CEO of a Top 20 U.S. bank when I assume the roles of Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp. That milestone speaks volumes about Key and its approach to diversity and inclusion.
One of the major reasons I came to Key was our CEO Henry Meyer’s intense commitment to diversity and the tone he set for the company as a result. Hiring and supporting me was clear evidence of the bank’s commitment and his diversity leadership. He has set a remarkable precedent.
Inclusion does not happen by philosophy, although commitment certainly begins there. Instead, it happens by example, by actions that embody conviction and bring that conviction to life. I am proud to say that Key’s steps to embed diversity into its cultural DNA are being recognized locally and nationally. Honors include multiple awards for a supplier diversity ratio nearly three times the national average for corporations; four consecutive annual citations from the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality; and four recognitions from DiversityInc as a Top 50 Company for Diversity.
This is personally deeply important to me, and over time, I intend to lead the enterprise in creating plans and programs that will take us to the next level. We have a solid foundation, but – because diversity and inclusion are a journey, not a finish line – there is always more work to do.
Two areas of inclusion strike me as particularly important. First is the importance of measurement in fostering a culture of inclusion. Key rigorously measures diversity in its workforce, policies and practices, and holds managers accountable for the results.
Second, it’s critical that we stay mindful of how we are defining inclusion. It’s more obvious, and usually easier to communicate, when the marker is for ethnicity, physical ability or gender, for example. It’s more subtle, and sometimes more challenging to embrace, when we need to build diversity of approach, thinking style or experience.
But embrace it we must. Diverse workforces and workplaces reflect our changing society and communities. They bring a richer and deeper perspective to bear on business decisions and customer service, and they help any enterprise make better decisions. Diversity is not just the right thing to do: it’s a measure of our success.
Education: BA, University of Texas; MBA, Southern Methodist University
First Job: Republic Bank of Texas/First Republic
What I’m Reading: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
My Philosophy: Be your best. Be of service. Be grateful.
Best Advice: Life is either too long or too short not to be happy at home and at work.
Family: I am blessed with my family and a wide circle of friends.
Interests: Events with half-times and intermissions
Favorite Charity: United Way