VP, Diversity, Inclusion & Wellness ESPN
Monica Diaz is the Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness at ESPN (part of The Walt Disney Company). She joined the company in 2012, with extensive experience in the Human Resources field, in the areas of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Management and Organizational Development. Her areas of expertise include corporate culture transformation, development of high performing teams and leadership in multi-cultural and matrix environments.
In her role at ESPN, Monica is the chief architect of the company’s Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness strategy. She leads ESPN’s strategy to fully leverage the contributions of diverse constituencies in alignment with business priorities. She is also responsible for driving the continuous evolution of a healthy and vibrant work environment that enables employees to contribute to their fullest potential.
Before joining ESPN and The Walt Disney Company, Monica developed a solid career within globally recognized companies, such as Microsoft, Merck & Co and Sara Lee Corporation.
As Global Diversity & Inclusion Director at Microsoft from 2009 to 2012, Monica led the development and execution of their global diversity and inclusion strategy. She established a consistent and streamlined process for diversity and inclusion annual planning and execution for over 45,000 employees; developed an integrated learning and development strategy and redesigned their D&I employee engagement model (Employee Resource Groups). During her tenure with the company, she also maximized Microsoft’s investments with external partners.
Before joining Microsoft, Monica worked for eleven years at Merck & Co. During this time, she had roles of increasing responsibility, as Director of their Global Constituency Groups, Diversity, Inclusion and Work-life Director for the US Sales & Marketing Business, Global Director of Talent Management, HR Business Partner and Organizational Development Director for Latin America, Head of HR for their Caribbean Sales & Marketing subsidiary. Some of her accomplishments with Merck include the design, development and launch of a global diversity and inclusion strategy, including the launch of Global Constituency teams. She also led the development and implementation of global talent management strategies across the company, creating succession- planning process with greater focus on increasing diversity at Merck’s most senior levels of management. All along, she established clear metrics and recognitions for best practices on diversity and inclusion. On the compensation area, she led development of salary structures and compensation plans for all Merck sales operations in Latin America, managed total compensation process for more than 8,000 employees in three divisions of the company and directed regional HR operations for 12 countries.
During her five year tenure as Sr. HR Manager at Sara Lee Corp’s textile manufacturing operations, she managed all HR processes and initiatives and led for development and implementation of self-directed production teams, including the development of training programs for employees in three countries.
Monica’s breadth of knowledge is frequently sought after by practitioners from different industries and professional organizations. She engages in public speaking forums, such as the Tri-State Diversity Council; Advertising Women of New York (AWNY); Harvard University – Latinas Development Conference; Executive Development Institute; The Conference Board and the State Farm D&I Conference. She has been recognized as one of one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable TV(CableFax – 2015), honored with the Multicultural Leadership Award (Tri-State Diversity Council – 2015), as one of the Top 10 Lideres by Hispanic Executive Magazine (2014), selected by Hispanic Business Magazine’s as part of their Top 50 Influentials (2013) and 100 Influentials (2011), as well as the Worldwide Who’s Who among Executives and Professionals in 2007, 2008 and 2012. Her work with professional and non-profit organizations involves roles as National Advisory Board Member of Madrinas, Linkage, One Love Foundation, member of the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA), Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), Women in Sports and Events (WISE) and member of the Corporate Executive Council of the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility (HACR).
Monica’s qualifications include specialized certifications and training in Change Execution, Six-Sigma, Personal Styles and Preferences, and Employee Benefits Law. She has a multi-cultural background, is bilingual-biliterate in English and Spanish, with proficiency in Portuguese. She holds a MA in Industrial / Organizational Psychology and BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and recently completed the WISE Executive Leadership Institute from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.