President and CEO of Catalyst, a global nonprofit leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women.
If the pandemic and movement for social justice have taught us anything, it’s that policies and promises are no longer enough. Companies and leaders must take bold, meaningful actions to create equitable workplaces where everyone has a voice and an opportunity to succeed.
A sought-after speaker on diversity and inclusion-related topics, Lorraine is a trusted business leader who has guided diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies around the globe, including in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.
Lorraine has helped employers and companies across the globe to implement tangible solutions for working women and parents — like flex work and leave for all, innovative models of childcare, investment in at-home technology, and modeling inclusive and flexible policies from the top.
Lorraine’s extensive career includes senior-level positions in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur and executive. She began her career at IBM, has served in the Obama administration at the Department of State, and developed the Global STEM Alliance at the NY Academy of Sciences. She has been involved in women’s leadership initiatives throughout her career, serving on the boards of UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change, the Stanford Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Forum for Entrepreneurs and Executives.
RBG once said – “Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation”.
I believe this means casting aside the need for women to seek permission to be ambitious, to achieve, and to lead. This need to seek ‘permission’ has impeded our progress for far too long. As women, we should be able to talk about what some may see as their “unreasonable dreams”.
It may be 2021, but these conversations are still muted – diversity, equity, and inclusion refer to more than the number of women being promoted or ‘shattering glass ceilings.’ This is not enough. We must be seen and heard as a matter of course.
Finally, as a leader, I believe in the power of inspiration and conversation. They lead to ideas and action, and this is what I ultimately want to achieve for women everywhere. But this requires all of us – especially the men, who are an integral partner in this process and change.
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It has been a challenging year for women, particularly women of color. The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the workplace—with millions of people now working from home, unemployed, or putting their lives at risk every day as essential workers. Many women are struggling to deal with the dual responsibilities of work and child- or eldercare. And women of color are especially experiencing disproportionate rates of job loss. Systemic inequities, stereotypes, and bias all contribute to the disproportionate negative impact of the pandemic on women’s lives and careers.
If your resolution is to create a gender-inclusive workplace, what do you need to do to succeed? In 2020, this question has a special urgency. With breakthrough technologies, social movements, globalization, polarizing politics, and the #MeToo movement, diverse and inclusive workplace cultures are more important than ever. Lorraine provides a roadmap to drive innovation, competition and financial performance.
Eliminating bias in the workplace is THE critical issue for businesses globally. Lorraine coaches male-dominates C-suite execs on how to advocate the acceleration of women, and women of color, in the workplace.
Lorraine sheds light on how gender and racial biases can be inadvertently baked into the machines of the future and how to avoid this predicament.
Lorraine led in launching the GDKA Coalition, Catalyst’s own Inclusion Assessment and Vital Signs offering. Lorraine speaks to focusing on measuring what matters.