By Karla Amador
Hunt Valley, MD — Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) and Talent Management COE at McCormick & Company Nereida (Neddy) Perez charged up about the future and ready to lead the diversity strategy refresh at McCormick. Perez makes it her mission to level the playing field within the organizations that she has worked for. “One of the goals for Diversity and Inclusion, especially in today’s marketplace is to attract and retain top talent,” she explains.
Since joining McCormick in February 2019, Neddy’s first priority was to connect with senior leaders to understand the corporate culture of the five-billion dollar flavor and spice company. “The company had already established a number of D&I initiatives and talent goals externally. As a matter of fact, McCormick has publically shared its goals for two key focus areas: gender and ethnic diversity in senior leadership. By 2025, 25 percent of senior leadership positions will be by ethnically-diverse talent and 50 percent of those positions will be held by women,” she says.
Perez’s passion to create a level playing field was instrumental in the development and launch of STEMconnector.org, a central clearinghouse of information on STEM initiatives. Additionally, Perez contributed to the launch of the Global Women’s Leadership Program developed by the National Association of Manufacturing where she served as chair of the STEP Ahead national program.
“Top diverse talent is available but companies need to rethink how they find and grow it. Going to professional association conferences is no longer the only approach. Companies need to think about developing and implementing apprenticeship programs, leveraging technology, hiring gig and virtual workers, as well as looking internally to retool existing talent,” says Perez.