Behind each of our names is power and a story—one that is authentic, unique, and divinely you. My name, Melanie Greene, and my pronouns, she/her/hers, reflect a story of how my ancestors—through the sacrifices they made and the paths they paved—allowed me to be where I am today. As a bi-racial woman of Italian and Guyanese descent, born and raised in New York City, one of the most diverse cities in the world, I saw firsthand the power of diversity. My family, my friends, and my community had and continue to have a profound impact on me and my values. My mother ingrained in my sister and me the power of empathy and diversity, teaching us that you never know what someone is going through and how crucial and necessary it is to listen to people and learn from them. One of our favorite Maya Angelou quotes—which I have engraved on a necklace—is "…in diversity there is beauty and there is strength."
Ever since I was little, I understood the value of diversity and how imperative it is to live a fulfilling and enriched life. As I grew up, I discovered my burning passion for being an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion(DEI)—which I believe is ingrained in my DNA. I was also amazed to learn about the experiences that my family faced that impacted us: from my parents being a bi-racial couple in the 1980s, to my Papa, Nonna, and Uncle, moving from Italy to America, and my Grandpa, Grandma, dad, aunts, and uncles moving from Guyana to America - to name a few. While learning the stories of my family and seeking to learn from others' experiences, they continue to expand my worldview and enlighten me.
When it was time for me to choose an area of study for my bachelor's degree at Pace University, I was drawn to technology because I saw the impact technology has on our lives and how technology can help people with disabilities. Technology has enabled us to be connected across physical spaces, create communities, and give us access to information at any time at our fingertips. Providing the ability to learn and relearn parts of our history told from different perspectives - with technology, we can seek truth and have the ability to connect and learn from people of different perspectives. We have seen the power of what we can do as a society, like developing vaccines for COVID-19 in under a year, through technological advancements and innovation. One of the scientists at the forefront is Kizzmekia Corbett, an African American woman, and one of the National Institutes of Health's leading scientists in creating the Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine. Truly a brilliant example of an incredible person showing the power of diversity and representation in science and technology. That is why everyone needs a seat at the table, and why we need to examine decisions and actions from different perspectives. As Shirley Chisholm said, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair."
I am inspired by leaders who dare to do what is right, advocate for diversity, and fight to create a society by embracing and celebrating our uniqueness and authenticity, inspire me. Diversity acknowledges everyone's authenticity in race, ethnicity, social-economic status, gender identity, religion, language, experience, abilities, perspective, thought, etc. Across everyone's authenticity, equity lays the foundation for ensuring that everyone is given the same treatment and opportunities. Inclusion is an action, making people from all backgrounds and walks of life feel heard, valued, and respected—while leading to the feeling of belonging. We all play a role and responsibility in each of these core parts. According to Forbes, the BCG (Boston Consulting Group) surveyed 1,700 companies to understand the link between diversity, innovation, and performance. They saw that increased diversity fosters better financial performance, innovation, and the community.
At Veritas, I am proud of our collaborative culture. Working at a company that values DEI and encourages collaboration among its employees to solve problems is an important value for me and my fellow BLEVE members (Black Employees at Veritas Empowered). That's why I chose to work at Veritas—I'm collaborating with highly-experienced professionals where I have the opportunity to learn and grow as a marketer working on cutting-edge technologies and products. I believe we all have a responsibility, and opportunity, to continue the work of all those who came before us by fostering and strengthening a more diverse, equitable, and just world. As a woman of color in tech, and an advocate for DEI, I strive to do my part.
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