Tuesday, May 7

11:00 am - 11:35 am

La’Wana Harris

Director, Global Leadership Development
Sanofi US

We do not leave our biases at the door when we enter the workplace. The assumptions we hold about those different from us, whether unconscious or not, are present in all of our experiences and interactions. Many organizations provide unconscious bias training, but few understand how to take unconscious bias training out of the classroom and make it both actionable and sustainable.

In this session, you will explore next generation diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging approaches to developing people, learn a new inclusion-based model for coaching individuals and teams, and practice applying that model. You will also learn how to address the stages of preparation, implementation, and “self-work” necessary to help leaders and teams move beyond lip service to effectively embody inclusive practices across the board.

You will learn how to:

  • Ask powerful questions to uncover root causes for resistance and apathy relative to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Build a framework for a coaching culture that empowers leaders to feel more confident addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Apply a coaching model and additional tools to cultivate a culture that supports and encourages standing up and speaking out.

About La’Wana Harris

An inspirational leader and dynamic facilitator, La’Wana Harris is a Certified Diversity Executive, an ICF Certified Coach, and a global leadership development professional who has dedicated her career to aligning performance with business strategy. She has demonstrated success strategizing a range of corporate functions including global leadership and organizational development, diversity and inclusion, people leadership, and project management. In addition, as a community activist she has created diversity and inclusion awareness programs, built culture programs, and designed overall integrated management solutions.

A native of North Carolina, La’Wana earned a B.S. in biology from Greensboro College. Her industry experience since then has ranged from diversity and inclusion to global leadership development. La’Wana has received numerous industry and community awards. Most recently, La’Wana was recognized as one of 2018’s 100 Most Inspiring People in the life-sciences industry by PharmaVOICE magazine.  She also received the Women in Leadership award from the National Black MBA Association and was invited to join the Forbes Coaches Council as a contributor and thought leader.

Since becoming a certified professional coach, she has focused her practice on empowering people of color, and transformation for individuals, teams and organizations.

As a tireless community activist, she has spent the past twenty-six years facilitating civic engagement and collective action at community and non-profit organizations around the country, as an alumna of the Leadership Greensboro and the Other Voices program in Greensboro, North Carolina, to serving as a diversity ambassador at Johnson & Johnson and now as a Certified Diversity Executive.

La’Wana’s extensive community-based efforts extend to her current employment with the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, where she has served as a leader for their diversity employee resource group (ERG). Since 2008, she has implemented a range of activities and assessments at Sanofi to ensure successful diversity and inclusion within the company.

La’Wana and her husband have three adult children and one adorable grandson.


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