Everyday Conversations on Race with Charmaine McClarie and David Casey
African-Americans in the Executive Suite
Guests: Charmaine McClarie, senior executive coach and David Casey, Chief Diversity Officer of Fortune 30 pharmaceutical innovation company
Charmaine McClarie and David Casey share their experience in meeting the challenge of racism and bias as African- American as well as provide sage advice to other African-Americans and everyone else who wants to reach the highest levels of success.
Conversation topics include:
- Why the history of slavery is not something African-American people need to “get over.”
How slavery and the history of slavery courses through the veins and DNA of people whose ancestors were slaves. The history and trauma of slavery and it’s aftermath can never be ignored and must be addressed to move forward as a nation.
- Why Charmaine McClarie says “Essential to one’s success is the ability to own your own narrative and know your value. If you don’t define yourself, other people will and their definition will be inadequate, Once you have your own narrative you define yourself and you can be yourself.”
Charmaine shares her experience feeling the power of going to Africa and seeing her original heritage.
“People need to know their heritage and their identity.”
Being African-American and meeting the challenges of advancing to higher levels
Both Charmaine and David spoke about not being comfortable in their own skin early on their career journeys. They were worried about how they would be seen because they both experienced usually being the only Black persons in the room. David said he wondered, ”Will they think I represent all Black people, and what assumptions do they have?”
Their advice today to African-American and other people of color who aspire to success is “Don’t waste your time getting comfortable. Be comfortable now. Own your narrative and identity.”
Hear how both Charmaine McClarie and David Casey took charge of their careers, began speaking out and taking risks, and having conversations on race with people who don’t look like them.
Listen to this episode of “Everyday Conversations on Race,” to learn how to advance through barriers, racial bias, and embrace your identity no matter who you are.
Was case then and cast now and be the only one
More power when you walk in the room and see other people who look like you.
Who do you ask
Ask people who look like you
What do you need to know
What is the barrier
What are assumptons people might make- so people can make introducitons
Knew early on and she needed to be ready to embrace her blackness or she was walking into room with a deficit
What are the contributions that Black people have made
Where did I get my narrative- my grandparents lived a good life and perservered
Didn’t have her first name on card so wouldn’t make assumption
What are you looking for- you’re comfortable or not
People underestimate based on assumptions- sure it happens-
Before linkedin- “didn’t realize you were Black or African American” I’d be a billionaire
Taught you have to outperform your peers
Back to “articulate”
As person moving up, she says that people who are not Black are coindescending- they don’t see her as who she is
When that happens ask why HR instead of CFO
What experiences do you want me to have?
How will we partner together do
Getting people to support you
Get witnesses so people know what you’re doing
Who are your advocates
If someone has a limited view of who you are, are you willing to see me differently?
Who have been your advocates?
What kind of support have you had?
CDO of 2 Fortune 30 companies so he met the CEO
Spoke that the organizations were serious about diversity
Ability to meet with the CEO
Spent time in interview process building trust
Sponsors and champions
Be as equal as middle management where everything tends to converge
Often POC looking for mentors- but just 5% are people of color so good chance a mentor will not be a person of color.
People make their own assumptions
No one gets it right all the time
We all make mistakes and we can learn
Every time we take a risk, we can learn
Why did you think that- teaching moment
Your narrative is your power
Who you are
David has served as a Chief Diversity Officer for two Fortune 30 corporations, positioning them both as top companies in the country for strategic diversity management.
Active in the community, David has served and/or currently serves in an advisory and board of director capacity for several national and local organizations, including the American Lung Association, the American Society on Aging, Disability:IN, Advisory the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Skills for Rhode Island‘s Future, Year Up, the Urban League. He also serves on the advisory boards for the Human Capital Executive Research Board, the i4CP Chief Diversity Officer Board and the National Association of African Americans in HR.
David has been published or cited in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Atlantic, Diversity Inc. Magazine, Drug Store News, Profiles in Diversity Journal, Diversity Global and Diversity Executive, and has appeared on the television series, American Profiles.
David holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps,here he served for 8 years, including Operation Desert Storm.
Charmaine McClarie is a C-suite advisor, keynote speaker, executive coach and executive presence authority who helps leaders have their best year ever. She has worked with leaders in 27 industries across five continents. Her clients include top executives from Coca-Cola, Gilead Sciences, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard, Starbucks and T-Mobile.
For more than two decades, 98% of Charmaine’s clients are promoted within 18 months. For CEOs, that might mean a promotion to corporate directorship. For other senior leaders, that might mean a promotion from SVP to EVP or even CEO.
Charmaine works predominately with C-suite leaders and executives with demonstrated readiness to be in the C-suite, coaching them on leadership acumen, communications ability and executive presence.
Charmaine and her work have been profiled in People, Forbes, Harvard Management Update, The London Times and The New York Times.
She is on the faculty as a leadership and communications expert at the University of Missouri Kansas City Bloch School of Management, EMBA program, and is a visiting lecturer at the Smith College Executive Education program.
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