“How do we leverage the knowledge and expertise we have and couple it with philanthropic dollars?”
As the president of the GE Foundation and the Chief Diversity Officer of GE, Deborah Elam is responsible for answering this question for one of the largest companies in the world. In her 30 years of work at GE, she identified an overlap between her efforts to provide employees with equal opportunity and the foundation’s philanthropic areas of focus.
One of the oldest philanthropic organizations today, the GE Foundation has developed a longstanding reputation for its programs in health, education, developing skills, and public policy. Deborah’s dual role works to empower both GE employees and the beneficiaries of the foundation to contribute to society and achieve their dreams. Under her direction, corporate responsibility goes far beyond the contribution of dollars and becomes an effective strategy other organizations can mirror to engage their employees in meaningful work.
Previously a Leadership Council member of the 2016 Collaborative + Classy Awards, Deborah recently joined us again to discuss corporate responsibility, her unique role at GE, and her personal leadership experience.
In this episode of the Classy Podcast, Deborah discusses:
- Her personal principles and core values as a leader
- The importance of diversity in both philanthropy and the workplace
- How GE leverages their knowledge and expertise to maximize impact and engage employees
- The importance of a “fail fast” mantra
- The shape of her 30-year career at GE
- The foundation’s long history of volunteerism
- How GE uses internal communication vehicles to field and respond to employee feedback