The spirit of community support was evident for the Girls on the Run of Atlanta 5k event, with over 100 Assurant employees who assembled to motivate, support and celebrate young runners, walkers, movers and shakers both on and off the track.
LaShonda Oglesbee, Vice President, Global Head of Strategic Enablement & Change at Assurant, was recently named one of Savoy Magazine’s 2022 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. Savoy is a leading African American business and lifestyle magazine and this recognition showcases individuals who’ve been recognized for their executive and business leadership in national and global-leading corporations.
With about two decades worth of strategic consulting experience, LaShonda supports significant transformation initiatives and employee engagement efforts across the globe at Assurant. She also leads in the development and implementation of strategies to drive employee engagement, leveraging insights from the voices of close to 16,000 employees and an extensive network of global Engagement Champion Teams (ECTs) to elevate the employee experience.
LaShonda was selected from of over 500 prospective candidates across corporate sector influence, scholastic achievement, career growth, community outreach and recognition. In light of her distinction from Savoy, LaShonda shared insights about her own career path and shares advice for others:
Congratulations on being recognized as one of 2022’s Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. What was your first reaction when you found out about this recognition?
I felt extremely honored just to be considered when I received the request to meet with the selection committee. When I found out that I was actually selected, I was thrilled to be listed and recognized for the work I have done in the community and at Assurant. Also, I felt thankful for all the support and encouragement I received from my family and colleagues over the years who have challenged and stretched me to take risks, dream big and help others as I pursue my goals.
As Assurant’s VP and Global Head of Strategic Enablement and Change, you keep employees and employee experience top of mind. How do you think your career with Assurant (or in general) positioned you for this recognition?
I joined the consulting industry directly after graduating from Spelman College. Early on in my consulting career, I was introduced to change management, which is centered around helping people prepare for and adapt to changes. By specializing in change management, I gained a greater appreciation for listening to employees and developing plans to help people understand and prepare for transformational changes. This foundation prepared me for the role I have today, which is focused on developing and implementing strategies to drive employee engagement, leveraging insights from the voices of 16,000 employees globally to enhance the employee experience, partnering with people across Assurant to ensure changes are executed successfully and overseeing HR due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
Tell us about a specific experience or person who inspired you to where you are today.
That is a difficult question to answer because I would say multiple experiences and people have influenced and inspired me. When I think about where I am today, it’s truly an outcome of:
I am where I am today because of a combination of all my experiences and all the many people that invested in me personally and professionally.
If you could go back in time, what advice – career or personal – would you give to yourself just starting out in your career?
I would tell myself:
This year, Assurant’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives include a prioritization in Strategic Partnerships across underrepresented communities. Many of these partnerships aim to support Black men and women in the workplace. What advice might you give to Corporate America to support Black employees looking to make a difference in business leadership?
What advice would you give to junior or midlevel Black employees who aspire to progress their careers in Corporate America now?
In addition to her work with Assurant, LaShonda serves as a Board member with the Nicholas House, an Atlanta shelter that provides housing to homeless families. She’s also a former president of the Buckhead Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America. In addition, LaShonda is an alumna of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation: Inspire Atlanta Program and was selected as Mentor of the Year by Pathbuilders, a professional mentoring and leadership development company dedicated to supporting women in their careers.
Click here to read more about LaShonda and her recognition.