LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD with Rohini Anand

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The challenges of DEI change in a global organizational context are unique and I have a perfect guest to address them.

Meet Dr. Rohini Anand, a strategic business leader and trusted board member who has successfully transformed cultures and helped build the iconic Sodexo brand. As SVP Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer reporting to the Global CEO of Sodexo, Rohini successfully positioned the company as a global leader in DEI and CR.

Sodexo’s remarkable global culture change, led by diversity and inclusion, is featured in a Harvard Business School case study entitled Shifting the Diversity Climate: the Sodexo Solution.

Today, Rohini is recognized as a pioneer in the DEI field and is a sought- after expert by leaders around the world. Her wonderful new book, Leading Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Systemic Change in Multinational Organizations, has been endorsed by luminaries like Indra Nooyi, former Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo, Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO Chobani and Tent, Michel Landel, Danone S.A Board member and former CEO, Sodexo, amongst others.

Given all her accomplishments and vast experience, I’m thrilled to have Rohini as a guest on the CultureLab podcast. She brought a unique perspective on the critical alignment of the business culture and the triple bottom line to drive exceptional performance to this conversation.

Episode Highlights

Here are a few areas that we cover in this conversation:

  • Rohini’s personal DEI journey.
  • Why cultivating a culture of DEI is not only a moral imperative but it’s actually really good for business.
  • Common barriers that can derail your DEI efforts and how to address them.
  • The importance of localizing your DEI strategy.
  • Being an ally for minority groups.
  • Dealing with resistance to change.
  • Recognizing and facing our own presumptions, biases and missteps and embarking on a personal DE&I journey.

Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured on a future episode.

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Useful definitions

Diversity – a demographic mix of people, including those from marginalized or underrepresented groups.

Equity refers to eliminating systemic barriers that inhibit full participation and equal access to opportunities.

Inclusion – the act of creating a work culture in which individuals can participate fully because systemic barriers have been removed.

More About Rohini Anand

Dr. Rohini Anand is Founder and CEO of Rohini Anand LLC providing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) advisory services to clients in the public and private sectors. She is a strategic business leader and trusted board member who has successfully transformed cultures and built an iconic brand with an enduring reputation, resulting in accelerating new business creation. With expertise that spans executive leadership, human capital, global corporate responsibility, wellness and diversity equity, and inclusion, Rohini brings a unique perspective on the critical alignment of the business culture and the triple bottom line to drive exceptional performance. Rohini is recognized as a pioneer in the DEI field and is a sought-after expert by leaders around the world. Her global experience, cultural dexterity, extensive network, and ability to influence leaders result in a reputation for judgment, integrity, and accountability.

Rohini has been featured in several articles in CNBC, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Rohini has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg, and CNN Money as well on National Public Radio. She is the recipient of many accolades including the Mosaic Woman Leadership Award, the Women’s Foodservice Forum Trailblazer Award, Webster University’s Women of Influence Award, and the Who’s Who in Asian American Communities Award (WWAAC), amongst others.

Dr. Anand received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the boards of several organizations including WomenLift Health a Gates Foundation initiative, Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Initiative, Tent Partnership for Refugees and Galt Foundation. She also serves on the Charter Communications External Diversity and Inclusion Council and chaired the Catalyst Board of Advisors. Rohini is a Senior Fellow with the Conference Board.

Books Mentioned in this Episode

Leading Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Systemic Change in Multinational Organizations by Rohini Anand

Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives by Minal Bopaiah

Additional Resources

CultureBrained Community – a one-of-a-kind virtual community for Heads of People and Culture, founders, and leaders who want to up their culture game.

Scaleup’s Guide to Creating a Culture Playbook

Personal Core Values Discovery Guide

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