– Bella, tell us about yourself and your background.
– I’m a daughter, wife, mother, sister, colleague and friend. I’m American born with Indian heritage. I’ve spent most of my life in Georgia, including my college years at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. I met my husband in business school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and we have two daughters, ages 7 and 4. I’ve always worked in HR and have loved finding ways where people strategy impacts business strategy in a positive way.
I’ve spent 11 years at GE with various businesses … mostly in global roles, and always client-support. I broke that pattern this year when I took my current role as HR leader for our FieldCore North America region, and now the Diversity work. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family (and large extended family), cooking (and of course eating!), traveling, or taking a Peloton class.
– How do you define your position as Chief Diversity Officer of FieldCore? Why was this position created, and why now?
– I strongly believe that everyone comes to work each day ready to contribute and do good work. A key facet of my role is to enable and encourage our employees to think about things from different perspectives, to keep open minds, and engage in dialogue. We are all capable of doing this, but we need to unlock this potential by bringing awareness to it and making it a part of our “normal” mode of operating. I&D has always been important to me personally, but 2020 has pushed me to be an even bigger believer. We’re amid a global pandemic…we’ve seen tragic natural disasters in all part of the world…we’ve seen racial and political tension in many parts of the world. Each of us have had to dig deep to stay resilient personally. Companies will also have to be resilient not only to survive, but to emerge from this time and thrive. Companies that have inclusive cultures tend to be more resilient. This role was created now to help us all come together to overcome obstacles.
– It must be exciting to be the first person in this new role for FieldCore! What does it mean to you, and what are you most excited about?
– It’s so exciting and completely humbling! 2020 has tested me in so many ways, but it’s also inspired me to do more in this space and I’m so honored to be able to do that within FieldCore, a company I helped bring to life in 2017. I’m most excited to hear personal stories from employees. People have shared their stories with me, the experiences they’ve had with bias, their suggestions, and their appreciation for the I&D efforts. These notes and phone calls mean so much and make the busy days well worth it.
– Does the current Covid-19 pandemic impact the I&D strategy, as people continue to work remotely in many places around the world?
– A vast majority of our organization is always remote – our field teams. We will always battle against finding the right ways to engage and connect employees who are constantly on the move, but I think we’re learning to adapt to working remotely and finding ways to connect virtually. The global pandemic does have me thinking about so many other facets of inclusion and how we make sure we’re not only acknowledging the issues that employees are dealing with as a result of COVID, but also supporting them through it. For example, how can we support our working parents during this time when childcare may not be an option, and schools may be virtual? How do we ensure our people leaders are talking about this and providing flexibility where appropriate? All these are very timely topics related to I&D.
– How does this new focus on I&D make FieldCore a better company?
– We spend a lot of time at work … sometimes we spend more time with our work family than our actual family, particularly our field teams who are traveling regularly to support our customers. When we focus on making FieldCore a place where ALL employees can participate and thrive, we’re strengthening relationships across our organization and hopefully as a result, making the time we spend with our work family more enjoyable, more rewarding, and more fulfilling. At the same time, when employees feel a strong sense of inclusion, research shows that business results improve from increases in performance against goals, to greater retention, to lifts in discretionary efforts. Let’s all do our part to talk about and strengthen inclusion.