Last fall, Leslie Adkins and other members of BLACK @ MH, an employee resource group focused on providing professional development and advancement opportunities for Black employees at McGraw Hill, were considering the group’s 2023 priorities. Allyship topped the list. While the concept wasn’t brand-new to the company—the Women’s Leadership Initiative employee resource group, for example, had established a sponsorship program a few years ago—Adkins, a senior national achievement specialist, and her colleagues were eager to turn talk into action.
As it turns out, so was Heather Wollerman, who came on board in September as vice president, talent management and chief DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) officer. In addition to maximizing the company’s DEI efforts, she’s also been focused on raising awareness, ramping up educational opportunities and nurturing a culture where allyship could thrive.
We recently sat down with Adkins and Wollerman to learn how allyship is being cultivated at McGraw Hill, why allies need to take the initiative in educating themselves and how an inclusive culture ultimately benefits learners.