Speaker Spotlight: Emily Pitts, Principal, Inclusion & Diversity, Edward Jones


This week's HR Management Institute Canada’s Speaker Spotlight features Emily Pitts, Principal, Inclusion & Diversity at Edward Jones, who will be one of the HR Leaders on a panel discussing “Leveraging Inclusion & Diversity to Drive Business Success”.

We had the chance to catch up with Emily this week to ask her a few questions about her role, her career and her advice for aspiring HR Leaders.  This is what she shared with us:

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced along your career path?  

The biggest obstacle I've faced in my career, are the limitations I have put on myself. What I mean by that is as an African American woman I have not done a good job of speaking up for myself in regards to asking for what I want, or applying for a role because of doubting whether I am truly qualified for the role. This is a common barrier for many women and it can be intensified for women of color.      

What attributes or personal characteristics do you believe are integral to your role?

The personal characteristics that are integral to the role I am in are, 1) having an understanding of the true meaning of inclusion and the ability to articulate and effectively communicate it to the masses, 2) strategic thinking which supports and enables change, and 3) courageous leadership which means not being afraid to talk about and act on things that hinder organizations from addressing gaps and exclusivities. While this last characteristics sounds contradictory to my answer to the last question, the difference is I am very comfortable speaking up and supporting others, but I have not used this strength as effectively for myself.     

What advice would you give to the next generation of professionals aspiring to become an HR Leader?  

My advice to someone moving up the ranks and pursuing an executive career would be to be your authentic self throughout your entire career. We are only at our best when we are true to ourselves and true to others. Trying to be someone you are not will stifle your creativity, your effectiveness and may cause others to question your integrity, and what do you believe in and truly stand for. Know yourself, and be the best self you can be.    

For unparalleled access to and meaningful networking with senior HR Executives, attend the HR Management Institute, November 5th – 7th, 2017 at the JW Marriott Muskoka, ON.

Click here to request your invite.