Black History Month leader spotlight: Antoine Andrews
Our Chief Diversity and Social Impact Officer, Antoine Andrews, gives his thoughts about professional leadership development, historic debates, and the word he invented about the future.
In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring Q&A’s with different Black leaders here at Momentive. I asked each of our leaders the same four questions, but got very different, yet equally inspirational answers.
This interview is with Antoine Andrews, our chief diversity and social impact officer.
What are ways that you believe Momentive supports its Black employees?
For me, it's access to a viable community of Black employees. Our employee resource group for people of color, BUILD, is a great way for me to get to know employees who are Black and those who are allies.
What policies, processes, or practices can executives back to support a better future for Black folks at work?
Professional development programs are a critical aspect of preparing leaders for the future. If you ask any leader, they will always be able to share an experience they've had with a program (i.e., MBA, Leadership Consortium, Accelerator, etc.) that has helped them gain skills and/or see the world differently. I'm a huge believer that the best leaders typically identify who they are as a leader (what type), and then they add critical skills (i.e., EQ, development, mentoring, feedback, empathy, etc.) to complete their approach. Leadership development programs allow you to experience different leadership approaches and meet all types of leaders (good and bad).
Are there Black voices or thought leaders whose work still resonates for you today in shaping the future of Black folks? (e.g. Toni Morrison, bell hooks)
It is not easy to narrow it down to one, because I believe the beauty of thought leaders and especially Black thoughts leaders, is that their messages tend to have the ability to coexist together.
With that being said, James Baldwin is someone I continue to admire for his messages and perspectives. His legendary debate with William F. Buckley at the University of Cambridge has so many messages that still resonate today.
What one word would you use to describe how you feel about the future of Black people?
Cautiously-optimistically-excited (Yeah, I know—but it's my word).