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5 Influential Women In the HR Sphere

5 Influential Women In the HR Sphere

Every year, the month of March is dedicated to honoring women’s tremendous contributions to American history and contemporary society. In New York City on March 8, 1857, female textile workers marched in protest of unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women. This pivotal point in the women’s rights movement was the first recorded organized action by working women anywhere in the world. On the same day in 1908, women marched through New York City again, protesting child labor and demanding women’s suffrage. 

America has come a long way since those marches. Today, child labor is prohibited and women have the right to equal pay via the Equal Pay Act. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, the proportion of eligible female adults who vote has even exceeded the proportion of eligible male adults who vote, and this trend has persisted through every presidential election since 1964!

Women in the United States also permeate the HR sphere, making up about 76.5% of human resources managers. Women are planning, coordinating, and directing the administrative functions of an organization, as well as leading compliance initiatives all over the world. In many ways, the efforts made by women in the 19th century are upheld by the influential women in HR today.



5 Influential Women in the HR Sphere

1. Amy Schultz

Amy Schultz is the Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Canva. She leads a team located in Australia, New Zealand, China, the USA, Philippines, UK, and Europe. Under her leadership, Amy’s team doubled Canva’s workforce in 2021. 

Before starting her role at Canva, Amy worked at Hudson, LinkedIn, and Impello, serving in recruitment, talent management, and advising roles. In her career, she has worked at the executive level, leading geographically dispersed teams, allowing her to understand the impact of cultural nuances better. She believes talent, technology, and skills should be considered holistically.  She understands human capital’s role as every business’ number one asset. 

To learn more about Amy and her insights on the future of recruiting, check out her feature on the Transform Your Workplace podcast


2. Melkeya McDuffie 

Melkeya is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Bright Horizons. She has over 25 years of HR leadership experience in healthcare, environmental service, and non-profit sectors.  

Melkeya is committed to driving equity, innovation, and a people-first culture in all her initiatives. Before starting at Bright Horizons, Melkeya held leadership roles at Clean Harbors, Waste Management, Quest Diagnostics, and the Wallace Foundation. 

Additionally, Melkeya enjoys giving back to her community. She has been a guest lecturer at Texas A&M, and sits on the Advisory Board for The SuperGirls Shine Foundation, Dress for Success Houston, Trex, and TALK Houston. She is currently working toward her DBA from Northcentral University. 

Melkeya shares in an interview with Women Inspired World (WIW) that the important thing is to “make sure that along the journey you’re continuing to learn and you’re also having an opportunity to add value.” If both of those buckets are getting filled for you, she states, “then you’re not wasting your time.” She encourages HR leaders to take new opportunities and contribute to their surroundings in a meaningful way. 


3. Meghan Biro

Meghan Biro is the founder and CEO of TalentCulture and founder of the #WorkTrends Community. She is a globally recognized talent management and HR tech brand strategist, analyst, author, and speaker. 

In her career, Meghan has collaborated with hundreds of companies and global brands like Microsoft, IBM, and Google, helping them to recruit and empower exceptional talent.

Meghan is also the host of a successful podcast called #WorkTrends. Her latest episode covered what’s ahead for recruiting with Generative AI. She regularly contributes to Forbes, SHRM, and several other media outlets, where she writes on workplace culture and innovation, career strategy, talent management, HR technology, social business, leadership, and more.

Meghan has been voted one of the Top 50 Most Valuable Social Media Influencers by General Sentiment, Top 100 on Twitter Business, Leadership, and Tech by Huffington Post, Top 100 Social Media Power Influencers in 2015 by StatSocial and Forbes, and Top 25 HR Trendsetters by HR Examiner.


4. Gloria Goins 

Gloria Goins is Cisco Systems's chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer. She is the former head of Health Equity and Business Development for Amazon Pharmacy. In that role, Gloria helped lead Amazon’s expansion in the U.S. Healthcare industry, focusing on improving health outcomes for underserved customers and communities. Based on her role in leading health equity, Gloria was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the top 5 Amazon healthcare executives to know. 

She is also the former chief diversity and inclusion officer at Bon Secours Mercy Health System in Marriottsville, MD. Under her leadership, Bon Secours was recognized as one of the ten best healthcare systems for diversity and inclusion, for three consecutive years. Also, under Gloria’s leadership, Bon Secours achieved the highest employee engagement score in the organization’s history, the 99th percentile.

She is responsible for creating two diversity and inclusion organizations from their inception. She served as the first vice president of diversity at Cingular Wireless and the first chief diversity officer at Home Depot. 

Gloria is a former faculty member at Georgetown University, where she served as the founder and chair of the Georgetown Chief Diversity Officers’ Roundtable. She received a master’s degree in business administration at Mercer University, a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Stanford University.


5. Madeline Mann

Madeline Mann is an HR & recruiting leader who has garnered an audience of millions, and is best known for her award-winning job search YouTube and TikTok Channels, Self Made Millennial. 

Mann’s job search coaching programs have led to thousands of success stories, and her work has been featured on ABC, Bloomberg, New York Times, and other publications. 

Mann is also a LinkedIn Learning Instructor who has been featured on Newsweek, Business Insider, and Forbes. 

Join us at Weekdays with Bernie this April for an opportunity to meet and learn from Gloria Goins and Madeline Mann who are joining us as General Session Speakers. Gloria will speak on DEI, Unconscious Bias in the workplace, and Healthcare Giants. Madeline will share the behind-the-scenes details of how social media platforms are impacting the talent market, and how HR pros can strategize to make the most out of it. You don’t want to miss it! 


Weekdays with Bernie 2024 Registration


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up to date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • Resource Library—essential guides covering a comprehensive list of HR topics
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics
  • Community—the HR Party of One Community forum, a place devoted to HR professionals to ask questions, learn more, and help others


HR Calendar 2024: Key Dates, Deadlines, and More


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