In late 2021, CEO Rozbrewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance sat with The Harvard Business Review to have a conversation. The thrust of the interview? Empowering employees, importance of learning the inner-workings of business, and the problems we still face in diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI).
Brewer is a Black female CEO — one of two in the Fortune 500s — and has an impressive career stretching from drive-thru work at Starbucks to trucking for Walmart and, most recently, helming one of the biggest health and wellness companies in the country.
Her experiences are a goldmine for entrepreneurs, according to the HBR interview. It reveals the most embarrassing DEI ruptures still dividing the workforce.
Perhaps most insightful was this excerpt from the back-and-forth with HBR, notably the last line:
“… [this is] the history that we know in the United States: give someone their start and then they take it to the next level. …[But w]e don’t have enough time to think about what happens to someone’s life when they’re single-parenting more than one child. It’s not just about cost; it’s also about self-esteem. So we started to ask ourselves questions like: How do you feel about your self? And how can we encourage that feeling in others? “
For many with ladder-climbing ambitions in the business world, the focus is on efficiency and productivity practices at the beginning of the journey: How do you position yourself to be a successful leader? How do you get to the top rung