Up Close with Ronald Reeves
AIG's Chief Diversity Officer discusses how mentors shaped his career.
Ronald Reeves became AIG’s Chief Diversity Officer last September. He is focused on advancing and attracting diverse talent and leading important conversations about race, advancement and equity at AIG. “I want AIG to be known for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We can do this if we are intentional in our efforts.”
It’s the culmination of a 21-year AIG career that has been shaped by strong leaders who modeled inclusive behaviors.
In particular, Ronald credits a close friendship with a white, former AIG senior executive who became his mentor. During flights to overseas and U.S. offices, the two shared candid conversations about race and faith that shaped Ronald’s vision of his own career. In one trip to Dallas when Ronald was the Global Head of Leadership Development, the leader noticed Ronald was nodding toward Black people who he saw and asked him about it.
“I shared that we were raised that way, that when you see another Black person you make eye contact, nod and acknowledge them.” This practice was instilled in him by his mother, who said it was an unspoken way to say: “I see you.”
Several glimpses into Ronald’s worldview led his executive mentor to encourage him to abandon his goal of becoming a chief learning officer and instead to pursue an area where he was more passionate – leading AIG’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Americas region.
Ronald wants to create similar experiences for underrepresented talent in the organization. He believes that starts with leaders being willing to step out of their comfort zones to forge relationships with people who don’t look like them, to understand them, and to serve as their allies.
“When that happens, we’ll know we’ve created an inclusive culture. And when I look around, I’ll start to see a lot more people who look like me.”
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