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Spotlighting talent management practices for the social sector. Looking for more resources? Visit Nonprofit HR online!

Aug 4, 2023

In this episode, Lisa sits down with Leslie Mays, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for the Gates Foundation, to deliver thoughts and insights about organizational culture, experimenting with a hybrid, globally distributed workforce struck by the pandemic, and navigating your employees and their welfare — first and foremost — to pull them back into an organizational environment!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • What the organization’s solid, philosophical approach to return to the workplace looks like, which starts with a commitment to greater equity and inclusiveness through their DEI Framework.

  • Considerations to arrive at a hybrid “return to the workplace” model that included research, engaging with employees, and creating and revising organizational guidelines and structure. 

  • How Leslie ensures that when taking their policies and processes outside of the United States and supplanting them elsewhere, they are mindful of the context and cultures in which they operate.

  • Creating timed spaces and opportunities for people to come together and collaborate.

About the Gates Foundation:

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. The Gates Foundation operates in 144 countries around the world. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees. Learn more about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on their website

About Leslie

Leslie Mays has led significant culture transformation efforts for more than 30 years across industries and sectors. She established and led the creation of innovative diversity and inclusion strategies for some of the world’s largest firms, including Avon Products, Kimberly Clark, Pfizer, Inc, Royal Dutch Shell and General Mills. She currently serves as Chief DEI officer and is responsible for ensuring and integrating the impact of DEI across all areas of the Gates Foundation, including culture, talent, grantmaking and ultimately, program outcomes. Prior to joining the foundation Leslie was a partner at Mercer Consulting based in New York City. Read more about Leslie.

About Lisa

Driven to serve the often-overlooked people management needs for the social impact sector, Lisa set out to build a market where one didn’t exist. She founded Nonprofit HR, the leading talent management firm in the country that works exclusively with the nonprofit sector. Read Lisa’s full bio.

About Switch

The Switch offers access to Nonprofit HR’s talent management knowledge presented by our expert consultants, media partners, and guests from across the social impact sector. For over 20 years, Nonprofit HR has produced content that illuminates critical, timely and insightful knowledge for leaders of social impact organizations. Insights from this podcast shine light on the full talent management lifecycle, from employee attraction to organizational culture, engagement, performance management and retention.