Meet the Black Woman Promoted by Elon Musk to Lead Diversity at Tesla

Executives leading the charge in diversity and inclusion are leaning more towards the practice of belonging to create more inclusive work environments. Felicia Mayo, vice president of HR & head of diversity at Tesla is one of those leaders. Her journey as a human resources professional spans over two decades with executive HR roles at PwC, Oracle, and Juniper Networks. After working 19 years in Silicon Valley, she was sought out by Tesla and promoted by its founder Elon Musk to lead their HR and diversity initiatives.

It was a simple as a phone call from someone in her network who knew she could add to and elevate the way Tesla handles business when it comes to belonging.

Business Leader Versus Diversity Leader

After getting an inside look into the company and the interviewing process, Mayo decided she wanted to engage in diversity and inclusion holistically by looking at the total business of Tesla and being able to see where she could leverage her tools which include, but aren’t limited to, HR technology, operations, compensation benefits, business strategy, and talent acquisitions.

“Once you see diversity as an add-on or a program, you fail. And that definitely is something that I’ve always tried to stay clear of them, making sure that I am seeing not just seen as this diversity and belonging or inclusive leader that I’m seen as a business leader,” said Mayo.

“Coming in as a business leader versus just as a diversity leader allowed me to have different connections with different leaders as well as it allowed me to really grow my career here at Tesla really quickly. I could be leveraged in many different ways,” says Mayo.

It was just after a year and a half at the company that Musk promoted her from senior HR director and head of diversity and inclusion to VP of the role where she reports directly and works closely with Musk and vice president Kevin Kassekert.

“Allowing Tesla employees, regardless of their demographic, to feel like they belonged to the staff, is the mission of the company, and the strategy of the future of the company is monument. And ultimately means allowing them to bring their whole selves to work every day and feeling like they belong in the workforce.”

Bringing Her ‘Whole Self’ to Work and Confronting Tesla’s Racism Allegations

As a person of color, in some tech spaces, feeling like you belong is a challenge, however, adding the automotive industry to the mix can make things more complex. That is why Mayo practices showing up to work as her authentic self to set the standard.

“I am who I am. I am Felicia. And that does not change when I walked through the door. So when you see me outside of Tesla, I am Felicia. It is refreshing to be able to work within a workforce and a company where belonging is about bringing my whole self to work.”

Despite reports that suggest a number of past black employees faced racism and discrimination at Tesla, Mayo says people within their workforce belong to the mission of contributing to the future of the world; and Tesla takes training its workforce from the top down seriously.

“I’ve even volunteered to dress in my performance wear and have worked in the factory as well as in our delivery locations just to be able to experience and see what is really occurring,” says Mayo who enforces a zero tolerance policy for discrimination.

“Diversity and inclusion is the need to sit down and have those conversations and we’ve had those conversations internally,” she adds.

In addition to being a champion for change, she is invested in creating a pipeline for young people into the tech automotive industry. The Tesla START program gives students at community colleges 12 weeks of technical automotive hands-on experience and the opportunity to be hired by the company.

“It is a way to have a pipeline of individuals regardless of background, regardless of what you know, or your trade. We want to make sure we offer up opportunities to all different types of pipelines to be able to come here to Tesla,” says Mayo.

Mayo’s Advice: Remain Open to New Possibilities

Beyond her daily responsibilities, Mayo believes wellness in the workplace is just as important as belonging and says it starts with self. In fact, meditation is what keeps her firmly rooted.

“I have to be balanced to make just and fair decisions every day. It’s really meditation; being grounded with my friends; staying grounded with my team here; my family most importantly; and being able to share some of the unfiltered fun times with them, and really going hard in those areas that keeps me on my game.”

Mayo’s advice for others to stay on top of their game is to remain open to new possibilities.

“Never be so firm on the plans that you have for yourself. I would’ve never said ‘I’m going to be an executive leader in Silicon Valley.’ I didn’t even know to dream that big. So I just went with where my journey was taking me and it was uncomfortable sometimes. So I also learned to be okay with being uncomfortable because typically if you’re uncomfortable that means that you’re moving in the right direction.”

 

The post Meet the Black Woman Promoted by Elon Musk to Lead Diversity at Tesla appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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SEC hounds Elon Musk after another misleading Tesla tweet

Oops! Elon Musk is in hot water — again. The Securities and Exchange Commission Monday said the billionaire head of electric car maker Tesla needs to prove he’s not in contempt of court tied to a Feb. 19 tweet that misstated the company’s Model 3 sedan production goals. The regulator’s request — demanding that Musk…
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Elon Musk Hopes To Block Ex Grimes & Azealia Banks From Tweet Lawsuit Hearing

Elon Musk during 'Elon Musk Answers Your Questions!' at SXSW

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Elon Musk triggered a fraud investigation and a fine from the Securities Exchange Commission after he fired off a tweet that he was going to take his company Tesla public at $ 420 per share. At the time, the tweet was made with his ex-girlfriend Grimes and Azealia Banks in his presence and investors in a lawsuit against him with to subpoena the women but Musk’s legal team is hoping to block the move.

Bloomberg reports:

“It is readily apparent that this is more of an effort to sensationalize these proceedings than a legitimate attempt to preserve evidence,” attorney Dean Kristy said in a filing Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

The Tesla shareholders say the former girlfriend, Canadian singer Claire Elise Boucher, also known as Grimes, may have first-hand knowledge about what Musk was thinking Aug. 7 when he shocked the world with a tweet: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $ 420. Funding secured.”

The investors claim Musk and Tesla manipulated the company’s share price. They allege Musk lied about funding to push the shares higher and ambush short sellers betting against the company.

The investors cite news media accounts placing Musk in the company of Boucher, and rapper Azealia Banks, around the time of the tweet. They contend it’s not unreasonable to subpoena Boucher and Banks to ensure the preservation of anything in writing that might be relevant to the lawsuit — Twitter and Instagram messages in particular.

Banks responded to news of the filing by Musk’s attorney, writing, “This is going to get extremely ugly” before deleting the post.

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Elon Musk Hits Back At ‘60 Minutes’ On Twitter, Of Course

SAUL LOEB

When he was questioned about his use of Twitter in a 60 Minutes interview this week, Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk said: “I use my tweets to express myself. Some people use their hair. I use Twitter… Twitter’s a war zone. If somebody’s gonna jump in the warzone, it’s, like, ‘Okay, you’re in the arena. Let’s go!’”

So, they can’t say they weren’t warned.

Musk lived up to his word Tuesday morning, when he used Twitter to criticize the show, after CBS edited a clip from its interview with him to make it appear he had stated he didn’t want to be the carmaker’s chairman again.

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Musk: “It’s Possible” Tesla Would Buy Shuttered GM Factories

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a TV interview that “it’s possible” that his company would buy several General Motors factories that the company has slated to close.

Last month, GM announced plans to close five plants in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan and Ontario in 2019. Additionally, the automaker said it would cut its workforce by 15% and discontinue some of its models.

The move was the company’s biggest reorganization since filing for bankruptcy in 2009, which ended in a bailout by U.S. and Canadian taxpayers. Part of that restructuring included more of a focus on electric cars, news that Musk celebrated in the interview with 60 Minutes.

“The whole point of Tesla is to celebrate the advent of electric vehicles and sustainable transport, try to help the environment, we think its the most serious problem that humanity faces,” Musk said.

If Musk makes good on his statement, it wouldn’t be the first time his company has taken over facilities after closures by other companies–nor the first time the company would take over a plant used by GM.

Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif. was previously a Nummi plant, jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors, which at its peak produced more than 350,00 vehicles annually. After GM declared bankruptcy in 2009 and Toyota sold its stake, Tesla bought the plant in 2010 for $ 42 million.

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In true Musk fashion, Boring Company test tunnel opening pushed back a week

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Long criticized for his time management skills, billionaire inventor Elon Musk is once again behind schedule on a major project.

This time it’s the underground Hawthorne test tunnel for The Boring Company’s high-speed transit system underneath Los Angeles. A big public opening experience was scheduled for Tuesday, but a company spokesperson emailed over a new date set for Dec. 18.

Musk tweeted about the delay, expertly spinning it as an improved event that just needs a bit more attention and time to pull off. He promised “more than a tunnel opening” with autonomous transport cars and car elevators. Maybe something like the elevator approved for under a Hawthorne home the company purchased? Guess we’ll find out later this month. Read more…

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Elon Musk says there’s a 70% chance he’s going to move to Mars

elon musk mars

Elon Musk wants humans to make it to Mars. With his company SpaceX at his back, he’s pushed forward with some incredibly bold claims about what is possible for mankind on the Red Planet. He’s shown off concepts for Mars settlements and even called out scientists who say climate engineering on the planet is impossible.

Now, in an interview with HBO’s Axios, Musk doubles down on one of the more off-the-wall claims he’s made during his years in the spotlight. Mars, he says, will be his eventual home, and he estimates his odds of moving to the planet at a generous 70%.

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Elon Musk says there’s a 70% chance he’s going to move to Mars originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 27 Nov 2018 at 00:09:19 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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U.S. judge approves SEC settlement with Tesla, Musk; shares jump

A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved a settlement between a federal regulator, Tesla Inc and its chief executive officer, Elon Musk, over his tweets promising to take the company private, signaling an end to a tumultuous period for investors.


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Elon Musk denies being replaced by James Murdoch as Tesla chairman

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Elon Musk denied he’ll be replaced by James Murdoch as Tesla’s chairman, an alleged shakeup that was the subject of rumors on Wednesday.

Murdoch, who’s due to end his stint as 21st Century Fox’s CEO, was named in a Financial Times report as the lead candidate to succeed Musk, according to two sources who spoke with the newspaper.

Musk remarked simply that the report was “incorrect” on Twitter.

This is incorrect

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 10, 2018

The younger son of media mogul Rupert, Murdoch also serves as a director on Tesla’s board, where he has done so since 2017. Read more…

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