Lottie Holland, 44
Director of diversity, inclusion, engagement and EEO compliance, Stellantis
Lottie Holland says the social justice movement following George Floyd's death in police custody last year taught Stellantis North America executives an important lesson: It's not just a car company.
"All of our leaders really stepped up to hold themselves accountable to driving change not only within our organization, but within the external environment within our communities," Holland said. "I think all of us learned that it's incumbent upon all of us to take a role in advancing diversity within the company, and for us to use our voice to be more than just a car company.
"We are a source of economic empowerment for others and for those who have been disadvantaged," she said.
Holland was named the automaker's director of diversity, inclusion, engagement and EEO compliance just weeks before Floyd's May 2020 death.
The ensuing crusade for equality influenced some of the world's biggest corporations to look within and reevaluate themselves. Holland said these events put a microscope on her role and how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was delivering on diversity.
"I used it as the catalyst for us to get going. It was an awakening for all of us," Holland said. "I didn't look at it as if it made my job harder because everyone was asking the questions. I was happy that we were asking the questions. Why aren't we seeing this level of representation? Why aren't we seeing specific actions take place to remedy any disparities that we've seen in some of our processes?"
FCA long had a head of diversity, but Holland is the first to report directly to the COO. Holland said North America COO Mark Stewart has been a huge supporter of diversity initiatives. The two have a standing meeting each month, but Holland says they usually talk every few days. Holland said Stewart empowered her to start holding diversity and inclusion town halls, which the company had never done previously.
Holland launched a new platform within the company last year called "Courageous Conversations" that encourages leaders to have discussions with their team members around topics such as race, politics and religion.
In addition, she has spearheaded a four-year diversity strategy at Stellantis called People & Education, Accountability and Community & Economic Empowerment, or P.E.A.C.E. There are close to 1,000 "P.E.A.C.E. Makers" who use their influence to drive transformational change throughout the organization.
"I'm really proud of how the company has embraced our strategy," Holland said.
— Vince Bond Jr.