At 2U, diversity, equity, and inclusion are among our core values, and we still have a lot to learn and to do to build 2U into a truly diverse and inclusive organization for our employees, for our university partners, and for students. While diversity, equity, and inclusion is the responsibility of every 2Ute—from our executives to our interns—we recognize that meaningful progress requires the guidance and expertise of a dynamic, experienced leader. That’s why we’re proud to welcome Millette Granville to 2U as our first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Millette has spent more than 14 years leading DEI efforts at well-known companies, including Food Lion (Ahold Delhaize), Time Warner, and Wells Fargo. At 2U, she will bring her vast knowledge gained through experience to help us achieve a truly inclusive workplace and integrate diversity and inclusion priorities into the programs we power. Millette will be an incredible asset to us as we continue the important work of fostering a feeling of belonging for all.
Read on to learn more about Millette and what makes her the leader to advance DEI efforts in the workplace and across the business.
After a more than 14-year career in DEI, think back to the start. What inspired your interest and passion for DEI?
Throughout my career, I have learned the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I recognize the importance of having a diverse workforce and understand how it can play a key role in how companies create products and services for diverse customers and attract, retain, develop, and promote talent. I knew it was critically important for me to be part of this work. I have a strong passion for DEI personally and professionally. I have seen how the lack of DEI can impact employees and companies, and I feel it is my calling to serve as a leader in the space of DEI.
How do you define diversity, equity, and inclusion? What do they mean to you?
Diversity is about valuing our uniqueness and appreciating and celebrating our differences. Equity refers to engaging in processes and strategies that ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop regardless of their identity. Inclusion is not just about being included in the conversation or invited into the room, but it is also about feeling valued, respected, and having a sense of belonging.
In your experience managing DEI efforts for several organizations, what have been the most important characteristics to building a strong DEI strategy?
- Visible and strong support from the top but integrated throughout the company
- Adequate resources to reach the goals and support the work
- Leadership accountability
Do you have a leadership philosophy or a belief system that guides your decision-making when making calls on strategy for a complex topic like DEI?
Servant leadership is the kind of leadership that fosters the development of others, putting other people's needs before your own, and working towards a cause greater than yourself. This is the type of leader I strive to be.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader." — John Quincy Adams
What is your superpower?
My superpower is making meaningful connections and being my true authentic self.
John F. Kennedy said "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." Who in your career has taught you the most about leadership?
One of the leaders I have looked up to throughout my career was the head of talent acquisition who hired me at Wachovia. She was highly respected and a visible leader within and outside of the company. She taught me by example to be a leader of compassion and respect. Everyone is unique, and when you are leading a team, you should meet each person where they are. I learned from her how important it is to be able to get the best out of people by tapping into what they are passionate about. I admire her because of her authenticity. She is the same leader today as she was when I worked with her over 16 years ago.
Given everything facing employees today (e.g., a pandemic, remote working, social justice issues), what is one piece of advice you would offer leaders during this time?
To lead with empathy and practice actively listening, be authentic when demonstrating care, strive to be part of the solution, invest in self-care and wellness, and encourage others to do the same.
Why did you choose 2U as the next step in your career?
2U is a global company that values the feeling of belonging, welcomes innovation and creativity, and is fully committed to integrating DEI into every area of the business. I am excited to be a 2Ute and contribute to a company that is helping people to grow, develop, and accelerate their careers through education.
At 2U, our culture is built on strong values that unite us—to each other, to our university partners, and to students. What’s your favorite 2U guiding principle and why?
“Relationships Matter.” I really like all of 2U’s guiding principles, but I feel “Relationships Matter” is key. If we can't create meaningful and authentic relationships, we will not be able to serve our university partners, students, 2Utes, and the communities in which we live.
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.