By Terry Shropshire
Mikeisha Anderson Jones has become a connoisseur of inclusion. She has studied and observed how diversity enhances and beautifies the corporate culture. There is empirical and hard data that proves authentic inclusion improves the bottom line of a corporation. Furthermore, inclusion raises morale in the workplace when all demographics are given authentic opportunities for upward mobility in the workplace.
“Companies that want to do better and be better, they have to embrace diversity and inclusion,” said Anderson Jones, the vice president for global diversity at American Express. “That’s not just by race. But (also) gender, ethnicity, ability, talent, experience and depth and all those things put together that will push your bottom line, performance and overall happiness, joy, sufficiency, satisfaction and all those good things.”
Anderson Jones, who procured her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University School of Law, spoke while attending the 2019 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in Las Vegas. She was accompanied by a team of 10 women and noted that they “happen to be fearless leaders. We are learning. We are rejuvenated.”
She took a moment to give advice to the up-and-coming “fearless leaders” who are trying to find their place in the American marketplace.
“What would I tell my younger self or young leaders: Be authentic, be empowered. Surround yourself with strong allies who will help to lift you and not suck the oxygen out of you. And then, just go. Lean in and go.”
Anderson Jones added that women who are on the rise in corporate America must press the pause button at regular intervals in order to get centered and rejuvenated for the next set of business challenges.
“I go to church,” she said about how she maintains a work-life balance. “I do yoga or pilates. I should exercise more, but I do meditate and I go on vacation as often as I can.”