Corporate Posse: Never Would Have Made it Without You
There are few things more powerful or more critical in your career than your posse. They may be part of your personal BOD. They are definitely part of your Village. They are your safe space. They are your mirror. They are your sounding board. If you don’t have one, you need to find one. But be discerning. Not everyone is posse material.
About the Guests:
Dina L. Clark
In May 2021, Dina Clark began her role with Skanska USA Building as the company’s first Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. As a member of the senior leadership team, Dina works to develop, implement and align the inclusion strategy for the business.
Dina also served as Covestro LLC’s first Head of Diversity & Inclusion at their North American headquarters based in Pittsburgh. In this role, Dina spearheaded the development and implementation of Covestro’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy across the United States, and in collaboration with Covestro’s office in Mexico. This included leading efforts to engage employees across the business as well as establishing and managing the company’s diversity councils and employee resource groups. Dina also worked in partnership with the company president and executive leadership team to align Covestro’s diversity and inclusion goals with the business goals and served on Covestro’s global diversity and inclusion council, and the global core team, based in Leverkusen, Germany.
Prior to her role with Covestro, Dina served as the Senior Director of Equity & Advocacy with the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, where she ran the YWCA’s Center for Race and Gender Equity. Prior to this position, she served as the first Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative (WPDI). Dina also served as Regional Education Project Director for the Anti-Defamation League, which serves Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
Dina is very involved in the Pittsburgh community. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc (Class XXIII), and she currently serves on several boards and advisory committees. In addition, Dina has also worked as a professional tester for housing discrimination for the Fair Housing Partnership of Pittsburgh and as a diversity/anti-bias trainer for the Anti Defamation League. In 2012, she was selected as a participant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizen’s Academy, Class XIII and served as a board member of the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association for six years. Dina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology/Child & Family Studies from Syracuse University, a Master’s Degree from Duquesne University, with a focus on global leadership and she is currently working on her Doctorate in Education at Point Park University, with a focus on leadership and administration, and in 2019 Dina completed The Advanced Leadership Initiative, Executive Leadership Academy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.
Dr. Aleta Richards
Aleta Richards is the global head of Specialty Films for Covestro. The global business is headquartered in Dormagen, Germany, and includes a team from three regional headquarters, six production sites and six technical centers. Having started her career at Covestro (then part of Bayer) in 1990, Aleta is well acquainted with the organization and has 30 years’ experience in marketing, sales, product management, human resources and general management. She has held various leadership positions throughout the company, including time spent in the Polyurethanes, Plastics and Inorganic Basic Chemicals businesses. Aleta also served as head of the Bayer U.S. HR/Services organization, which provided HR administrative services for roughly 14,000 Bayer employees. Most recently, she served as head of the North American Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties business unit.
As a passionate supporter of DEI, Aleta supports Covestro’s employee resource groups and serves as the executive sponsor of ACCESS ERG. She also co-hosts leadership and cultural exploration sessions for multiple employee groups throughout the global organization.
In 2021, Aleta joined the Board of Directors for Crime Science Technology in Lille, France. In addition and in recognition for her efforts, Aleta has been selected to as a Women of Excellence award recipient by the New Pittsburgh Courier. She has also received the Pittsburgh Most Powerful and Influential Women Award by the National Diversity Council and a Minority Achievers Award from Talk Minority Advocacy Group.
A Pittsburgh native, Aleta received both her bachelor’s degree and M.B.A. in marketing and international business from the University of Pittsburgh. She has also received a Doctorate in Business Administration from Georgia State University. She continues to support the Pittsburgh community and her passion for education as the Vice President of Operations for the PBAN Board of Directors, a group dedicated to ensuring diversity within the PITT Katz Business School MBA program, and as a Board member of Pittsburgh Promise. Aleta also serves on the Board of Distinguished Visitors for Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
Lanier Robertson is a Human Resources Executive with 20+ years of people leadership experience in the chemicals industry. Since joining SABIC in 2019 as the Human Resources Leader of the Americas Region, her responsibilities have most recently grown to include global leadership of Future of Work and New Norm! Lanier is also proud to list among her accomplishments having survived 2 Pittsburgh, PA winters prior to joining SABIC. It was there she served as Vice President of Human Resources at Covestro, LLC where she was primarily responsible for the successful development and integration of the North American regional Human Resources function to support the success of the employees and the business following the carve-out from Bayer. From 2000-2014, Lanier held increasing roles of responsibility and leadership beginning with local, progressing to regional arenas with LANXESS Corporation. She also spent several months at Honeywell Chemicals and Materials in 2015 before joining Bayer in the summer of that same year.
As a people leader, Lanier is passionate around culture, development, diversity, and inclusion. Her career path and experiences at every level, have been seminal in her proven track record of impacting leadership, culture, and change. She is regarded as a trusted advisor, business partner, coach, and mentor to emerging HR professionals and executives across the globe. A true “Texan” born and raised, Lanier holds a BBA with honors, from Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas. The people function is her career passion, she is especially zealous about all things DIE&B!
About the Host:
Laurel Rutledge’s human-centered approach, empathy, and understanding of individual needs make her a top-notch personal advisor and women’s leadership coach.
Her care and compassion have made her an indispensable guide for countless women navigating the next phases of their lives and careers. Add to that her intimate knowledge of the HR landscape, and it becomes clear why her HR clients have had such transformative experiences. Just as Rutledge has helped countless others get out of their rut and off of the ledge, so too can she help you.
After receiving her MBA, Laurel moved from accounting and consulting to human resources, driven by a desire to do good in a business environment. It quickly became apparent that the switch had been a good choice — she flourished professionally and became happier, satisfied with the difference she could make through her work.
After a 30-year career, she left the corporate world, but her passion for HR and helping others has only grown. Now, she works one-on-one with clients, leveraging her experience in leadership and personal development to help them get the most of out their lives and careers.
From her beginnings as a consultant at Deloitte to her time as VP of HR at Covestro, Laurel has seen more sides of the business world than most. She’s achieved technical mastery of HR, with a deep knowledge of the rules and regulations that must be followed.
She’s also a people person, perceptive and outgoing, with a sixth sense for helping others to see the difference between what they want and what they need. The culmination of this is in her personal philosophy: “lead with your heart, act with your head.”
Find out more at: https://laurelrutledge.com
Thanks for listening!
Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.
Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below!
Subscribe to the podcast
If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. You can also subscribe from the podcast app on your mobile device.
Leave us an iTunes review
Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on iTunes, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review on iTunes.