Earlier this month, The American Lawyer named Tyson’s Chief Administrative Officer, Amy Tu, its 2022 “Champion of Diversity.” I was fortunate to join several of my Tyson Foods colleagues in attending the American Lawyer Industry Awards and accept the award on Amy’s behalf. The Champion of Diversity award – given to only one recipient each year – recognizes Amy’s tireless work to “move the needle for underrepresented groups in the legal industry.”
For those like myself who have worked or interacted with Amy, the news she was awarded this distinction comes as no surprise. Her conviction and dedication to the power of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce resonates in all she does.
We see it in her work with Tyson team members, we see it in her messages to future generations of lawyers, and we see it in the countless hours she commits to various DEI-centric organizations, including as Executive Sponsor of Tyson’s Asians & Allies Business Resources Group (BRG). Amy’s message has been consistent – each of us has a role to play in advocating for, and showing the positive power of, a diverse workforce and inclusive environment.
Having a C-suite leader who amplifies voices and creates opportunities for meaningful change helps move the needle for all Tyson team members within the organization. Case in point is the Global Governance and Corporate Affairs multi-pillar DEI strategy. From that, the DEI Council was created – a grassroots committee of which I am a member. In the short 17 months since its inception, the DEI Council has made great strides advancing its mission – due in large part because of the intentionality displayed by Amy and our senior leaders who help foster a culture of inclusivity, belonging, and empowerment.
In June 2021, when the DEI Council was first established, Amy shared her various platforms with the DEI Council members to give credibility to, and highlight, our efforts. Since then, she has consistently met with the DEI Council monthly to offer insights, provide feedback, and give guidance.
She also shares valuable time during her quarterly team meetings with nearly 5,000 team members to amplify the DEI Council’s efforts. Most recently, she graciously shared the limelight at the American Lawyer Industry Awards and asked me to serve as a representative for the entire DEI Council and accept the award on her behalf – because, as she noted, we are all “partner[s] in furthering the effort to always be better.”
It’s been said (by author Robin Sharma) that “[l]eadership is not about a title or designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration.” Amy’s use of her influence to create a platform for her team members to advocate for an inclusive and accepting workplace culture is an inspiration.
She has proven time and time again she is determined to do more than just speak about the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Studies have shown that, to establish a workplace culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the work must start from the top down. I am proud to work for a company with inclusive leaders who champion DEI&B advancements. And, as long as we continue to have C-suite leaders who authentically embrace DEI&B advancements within the workplace, we all stand to win.