President Terrence Clark: AAPI Message
“We must take action and live up to our ideals of liberty and justice for all.
Are you with me?”
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, six Asian women and two others were killed in the Atlanta, Georgia suburbs. This tragic event has seemingly become part of a pattern of targeted racial bigotry in this country.
Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has seen a rise in prejudice and racism through hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander community. We as a country must stand up for our Asian American Pacific Islander brothers, sisters, family members, and friends.
Once again, I sit in front of my computer and write to you as a colleague, advisor, and friend with pain, hurt, and anguish filling my spirit. As president and CEO of The Council, one of the northeast region’s largest organizations committed to developing and sustaining diversity, equity, and inclusion for minority business enterprises, I urge everyone to figure out and learn how to coexist with people of color — as equal participants in life in this country — regardless of where we come from or what we look like.
Acknowledging these differences is essential, but we must also take meaningful action to dismantle systemic racism – all of the organizations, operations, and cultures that reinforce oppression.
May the eight (8) victims of these murders rest in peace. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers, and they will also guide our actions as we commit to take meaningful steps to ensure that everyone in this nation is afforded equal protection under the law. We must take action and live up to our ideals of liberty and justice for all.
Are you with me?
2021 Women’s History Month
This Women’s History Month, we celebrate the incredible contributions of women to our communities, nation, and economy. Madame Vice President Harris exemplifies how women continually shatter glass ceilings and demonstrate incredible resilience and dedication. Powerful female leaders show us that anything is possible with courage and dedication, despite unequal pay, unequal contracts, unequal access, stereotypes, and societal expectations.
Women business owners represent one of the most powerful forces in the modern American economy. As we embrace a new day under a new administration, we recognize women-owned businesses’ incredible potential for growth and economic impact. According to the American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, as of 2019, women-owned businesses represented 42% of all businesses and employed 9.4 million workers generating revenues totaling $1.9 trillion. Minority women leaders were at the front of this growth surge, representing 89% of new women-owned businesses from 2018 to 2019. We proudly call many of these minority women- business owners Council members.
This year, however, we must address the new circumstances women-owned businesses face because of the pandemic. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), minority and women-owned businesses disproportionately suffer because of the pandemic. By April 2020, the number of Black-owned businesses fell by 41% and women-owned businesses dropped by 25%. NBER warns that these early losses may portend extended economic inequality, reversing decades of progress for minority- and women-owned businesses.
Where do we go from here? The Council reaffirms our mission to help diverse entrepreneurs create resilient and successful enterprises. We continue to provide educational webinars and connect certified MBEs with each other and our corporate members.
This Women’s History Month and throughout the year, I ask you to match our efforts:
- Never stop learning
- Refine your goals for this new day
- Reach out for help
- Navigate the new administration
- Work with another MBE
- Try something new
Together, we can help to regain lost ground and build a thriving minority business community that uplifts our entire country.
Corporate Spotlight: Bristol Myers Squibb
Rondu Vincent is an Executive Director, Global Supplier Diversity & Sustainability at Bristol Myers Squibb. In this role, he leads an award-winning program that is responsible for all internal & external supplier diversity and small business operations, community outreach and strategy alignment with Bristol Myers Squibb’s inclusive Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Organization. Rondu is also responsible for supporting the company’s procurement sustainability goals, including specific standards for suppliers regarding social responsibility, environmental stewardship, ethical practices and governance.
Rondu Vincent has won many accolades for his work in the industry. Most recently he was recognized by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) as a “We Work For Health Champion” for his work in Bristol Myers Squibb’s COVID-19’s philanthropic response, including working to secure over $1 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers and supporting small and diverse suppliers impacted by the pandemic. He also won the 2020 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year by the Disability:IN organization. His past awards include 2019 Program Manager of the Year Award by Diversity Alliance for Science, 2019 Champion of Change recognized by Accenture, 2019 Hero of Pride, recognized by The Mixx – for 2019 World Pride, 2016 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and 2014 Advocate of The Year Award by The New York and New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council (The Council).
MBE Spotlight: Rangam
Hetal Parikh is famous for carrying out Rangam’s vision of “Employment for Everyone”. These three words continuously inspire her to pave the path for many achievements, on both personal and professional fronts.
Hetal’s overall vision is to create a people-centric workplace within Rangam and in corporations around the globe. For the past 20 years, Rangam has become a high-performing, diverse supplier of workforce solutions utilizing innovative technology and strategic delivery models. Hetal’s out-of-the-box thinking not only inspires everyone at Rangam but also influences others to create a more collaborative workforce.
As a game-changer in the talent acquisition space, the Rangam team, under Hetal’s leadership, has developed SourceAbled™, an end-to-end solution connecting employers, job seekers who are differently abled, and support agencies. Rangam also offers SourceVets™, a career development and employment program for transitioning military service members.
To quote Hetal:
“My team and I have worked together to build a culture of true empathy and inclusion. With this motto instilled within the corporation, we collaborate with our clients and industry experts to overall provide a better quality of life to our candidates of all abilities. That’s our mission each and every day.”
She currently serves on several boards including WPO advisory, DA4S, Fulton Bank and SAPC. She is fully committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at work for all intersectionality. She plays an active role as a Harvard OPM Alumni and DWEN Alumni to advocate for Women in higher education, and STEAM. She leads an organization that has a philosophy of Empathy driven culture to help large organization create a workplace that is inclusive of all intersectionality and people with disabilities and autism.
She was recognized SIA Global powerful 150 Women in Staffing, 2020 WPO Women 2 watch, Accenture Protégé of the year and 2019 WPO Star for innovation and many other accolades from industry partners and affiliates for innovation, sustainability, and excellence.
Over the past few years, Hetal has invested time and effort to greatly increase diverse hiring within corporations around the globe. To learn more about Hetal and how she became a self-made innovator, read the “See Her, Be Her” article published by IWEC here: https://www.iwecfoundation.org/news/2019-webnc-womens-business-stars/