Many of us care about elevating diversity and inclusion and promoting acceptance of all people, but few have the good fortune to make it our life’s work. This is the work of Ann Anaya, Chief Diversity Officer and Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Lead at 3M—an innovation-focused global company that operates across the fields of consumer goods, industrial, electrical, safety, transportation, electronics and health care.
Anaya, who comes from a 20-year background as a government trial attorney, joined the 3M family six years ago within its legal affairs team before being promoted to Chief Diversity Officer. Her experience, she says, has shown her there “is no one path in your career journey; you need to be flexible enough to take advantage of the opportunities presented and make the most of them.”
Anaya recently shared with Fairygodboss a day-in-the-life glimpse of how she juggles her various responsibilities, including the most important one: making the world a more inclusive place.
Who: Ann Anaya
What: Chief Diversity Officer and Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Lead at 3M; wife and mom of two adult children
Where: St. Paul, Minnesota
Although I am not a morning person, I start my day early because many of my most creative ideas and solutions occur to me in the morning. I try to jot them down before I forget them and eventually start my daily to-do list.
Once I’ve had my cup of coffee, I start reading the news online. First, I read the local news and check my horoscope – not that I believe it’s a future predictor, but find it entertaining. Then, I move on to reading The New York Times and Washington Post for national news. I search for stories related to D&I best practices, current events related to diversity in the community, and industry-wide trends.
A topic du jour: We, as a nation, are better than locking children in cages at the border. I see the faces of these little children and think of my own. I think of how afraid, traumatized, and disrespected they are as humans. I can’t imagine how anyone could justify treating children worse than we would treat our own pets. This behavior is deplorable and beneath the dignity of the nation our forefathers fought and died for. I am grateful for my role as a Chief Diversity Officer where we can focus on acceptance, dignity, and respect for all.
Next, I move on to reading emails and phone calls related to general business. As an influencer, I stay connected to my colleagues around the globe so that we maintain a consistent strategic approach and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives remain a priority.
After reading the news and my many emails, I have breakfast with my husband and chat about our schedules and make evening plans together. After breakfast, I get ready for work and pick out a wardrobe based on how I’m feeling that morning. I’m perplexed by professionals that have an outfit prepared for each day of the week. My dress has to represent my mood and the events of the day.
I live in an old river town 30 minutes away from work and drive to campus. Despite that we have a 400-acre campus, I find myself battling for a parking spot each morning.
Our HR Manager + D&I Strategist and I met to map out the supervisor Diversity & Inclusion competency project for the CEO Inclusion Council. Most days, we have back-to-back meetings.
Call with outside counsel to discuss pro-bono case strategy. I have the privilege of serving on the board for the Neighborhood Justice Center in St. Paul. The center provides legal representation to clients who cannot afford lawyers. Four years ago, I started a pro-bono project with one of our outside council firms. We recently finished a trial for one of the pro-bono cases and needed to discuss our strategy for appeal.
Prepared for the Lunch & Learn Series with the Latino Resource Network. The VP of Learning Engagement & Inclusion and I had the opportunity to share our career journeys with the members of the network.
Before the presentation, I send a text to my daughter to check-in on her day.
Served as the keynote speaker at a Lunch & Learn series with 50 participants. I provided key insights on how to create their own development plan and map out their career goals. We discussed the importance of utilizing our networks and mentors, seeking honest feedback, and taking on new projects to develop new skills.
While our VP of Learning Engagement and I have many things in common, our career journeys are very different. He started his career in Human Resources in 3M Chile, then worked in 3M Asia before moving to the U.S. Meanwhile, I was a government trial lawyer for 20 years before I came to 3M six years ago. I worked in legal affairs for four years before becoming Chief Diversity Officer in 2017. The takeaway is that there is no one path in your career journey. You need to be flexible enough to take advantage of the opportunities presented and make the most of them.
I met with the Director of Learning & Development to discuss our training needs, timeline, and resource allocation for the CEO Inclusion Council project.
We define diversity broadly to include different backgrounds, perspectives, and thought. In order to best leverage diversity, we work in cross-functional teams.
I spent time reviewing the questions for a new Inclusion Survey to provide feedback to our “PhD” of surveys. We conducted our first Inclusion Survey in 2017 and will conduct our second in September of this year. To ensure progress for diversity and inclusion, it is essential to have a metric for both.
I also took time to send a text to my son for “proof of life.” As a mom of adult children, I have come to know that texting is the preferred mode of communication.
I drove to Minneapolis to participate in a two-hour panel discussion, “The Gender in the Legal Profession: The Shattered but Unbroken Glass Ceiling” sponsored by a good friend and partner at Cozen O’Conner law firm. We met years ago as members of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Since then, we have had a great working partnership and commitment to the Hispanic community.
The panel also included the new general counsel for Cargill, and a business strategist who was also the previous CEO of YWCA.
Our discussion focused on the National Association of Law Placement data that shows a lack of women and minority lawyers in leadership and senior partner positions. We explored why the inequities persist and encouraged a call for action to make change.
I arrived at home to have dinner with my husband, review emails, and go over my schedule for the next day.
After dinner I played with our dog, Ruby, and she “earned” her dog treat. I ended my night with a call to my mom, checking in on her, before calling it a day.
I appreciated sharing a day in my life with all of you. Join in the work and progress, Diversity and Inclusion is an everybody responsibility!
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