When I first spoke with Iesha Berry about my goal - to shine a light onto the experiences and successes of women just like her - she shared one key insight with me. "Everyone has something to say about D&I (diversity and inclusion)." And she was right. Whether it's discussing ways to advance D&I initiatives within a given firm or analyzing the results of those initiatives, people are indeed talking about the topic of D&I now more than ever.
Within her role as the Senior Director and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Microsoft, Iesha has the opportunity to not only say something about, but also to drive change and strategy for Microsoft's global organization. Her work as a leader at Microsoft is heavily based in collaboration and cross-cultural competency, two strengths that are particularly valuable for those looking to make a difference and progress in their careers at large-scale corporations such as Microsoft.
I'm excited to share the insights that Iesha imparted with respect to the importance of learning from and valuing opportunities to engage with leadership and the value of learning new skills at all levels.
Into the Details
Chief Encouragement Officer
What was the first pivotal moment in your professional career? How did that impact your career progression?
As I think about my professional experiences, I can recall the first time that I presented to the leadership team of the division that I was working in at the time. I recall how pivotal that meeting was for me, as the exchange sharpened both my executive presence and my communication skills, both of which are critical in driving success in my current role.
What factors drew you to your current firm? How are those similar to or different from the factors that make you proud to be there today?
The opportunity to learn a new industry and to be challenged through the acquisition of new skills is what drew me to my firm. After almost three years with my current firm, I’m happy to say that the reasons why I joined the team are also the reasons why I've stayed. Every day I am learning!
How are you best able to lift as you climb?
Leading by example, mentoring, coaching and empowering others to use their skills and resources to further their career is how I lift as I climb.
If you had to list one go-to garb item in your work wardrobe, what would it be?
I never leave my home or office without an infinity scarf - they have become my go-to wardrobe accessory.