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Leaders in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series – Nichelle Grant

Leaders in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Leaders in diversity and inclusion speak about their goals, challenges, and careers

About this Event

In the ever-changing workplace, leaders with expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion are now more important than ever. Join Berkeley Global and the Women in Technology Initiative at the University of California for our speaker series featuring corporate leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion roles who will share their journeys and insights gained while advocating for diversity and inclusion in major corporations.

For this event, we speak with Nichelle Grant, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Siemens, USA.

Moderators Ramu Nagappan, Assistant Dean, UC Berkeley Extension, and Jill Finlayson, Director of the Women in Technology Initiative at UC, will explore with Grant her career progression, key diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at Siemens, USA, as well as lessons learned she can pass on to other companies.


  • 9:00–9:05 am: Welcome remarks by Jill Finlayson
  • 9:05–9:50 am: Fireside chat with Nichelle Grant and moderators Finlayson and Nagappan
  • 9:50–10:10 am: Q&A with the audience
  • 10:10–10:15 am: Final remarks by Ramu Nagappan

About our speaker:

Nichelle Grant

Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Siemens, USA

Nichelle Grant guides Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. Her 20+ years within the Siemens business includes developing go-to market strategies, focusing on the customer experience, and driving operational excellence. This, combined with her passion and commitment to the cause, will position the company exceptionally well with stakeholders across the country.

Grant has been involved with Diversity & Inclusion at Siemens for over 10 years, which has included voluntarily leading employee resource groups and diversity councils for Siemens USA. Most recently, she has played an integral role working with supply chain and procurement teams to increase supplier diversity efforts. For many customers, this is core to doing business with Siemens.

Grant’s leadership in Diversity & Inclusion extends far beyond Human Resources and has a much broader reach into topics that drive change and impact the workforce, workplace and marketplace. Grant will drive a more holistic approach to building and leveraging a workforce that mirrors the diversity of our customer base, suppliers, partners and society. She strives to help Siemens continue to drive an inclusive work environment that actively involves every employee’s ideas, knowledge, perspectives, approaches, and styles to maximize business success. And, she will systemically address, through data and analytics, customer diversity requirements that are now prerequisites and conditions for both routine and complex contracts.

Grant is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in Zoology and a Master’s degree from Roosevelt University. She is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE).

About our moderators:

Jill Finlayson

Director, Women in Technology Initiative, University of California

Jill Finlayson is Director of the Women in Technology Initiative at UC, co-sponsored by CITRIS and the Berkeley Engineering at UC Berkeley, which supports research and initiatives to promote the equitable participation of women in technology fields. Prior to Berkeley, she led mentorship and developed incubator and accelerator programs for Singularity University Ventures, whose mission is to increase the number of impact-focused tech startups. Finlayson ran the Toys category for five years at eBay and authored the book Fundraising on eBay. She managed a community of social entrepreneurs at the Skoll Foundation, led marketing at various startups, and consulted for the World Bank, Gates Foundation and Ford Foundation. Finlayson also judges and coaches founders of global startups for several startup competitions. She has mentored for TechWomen.org for the past nine years, also participating in delegation trips. Finlayson is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Ramu Nagappan

Assistant Dean, Berkeley Global

Ramu has enjoyed a 20-year career in higher education, focusing on professional and undergraduate programs. He holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He is the author of Speaking Havoc: Social Suffering and Social Asian Narratives.