Welcome Letter

Monica Ross

Diversity. California. 2012 - I can't think of a better topic to be discussing in a better place at a better time. Social issues, economic concerns, educational challenges, political dynamics and global trends - all point to the sense of urgency and relevancy of D&I as these dynamic factors continue to change the game of American business. Our state is home to the largest veteran community in the country; our colleges and universities are some of the best in the world, educating and preparing thousands of Millennials for future leadership; our Hispanic population is strong and flourishes in our state, influencing academics with the surge of Spanish language programs, architecture and so many other areas that impact California culture; our Asian population is rich in diversity representing a multitude of countries and cultures that influence art, entertainment and business. Where else can you hit the surf and the slopes in the same day? I think we would all agree we live in an amazing place. Having said that, from the housing crisis to the wildfires, we certainly have our share of challenges. Consequently, we have every incentive to see California businesses thrive. Diversity and inclusion is about creating an environment for innovation by eliminating the barriers that silence great minds with brilliant ideas, creating high performing teams with the insatiable drive to outperform their competitors and connecting with consumers with varying lifestyles, needs, cultures, aspirations, and passions - in other words achieving strong financial performance. California is certainly evolving as a business community, as it will continue to do, but at the same time we have so much to give the rest of the country - from our beautiful wineries in the Napa Valley to the dynamic technology industry in Silicon Valley to the world capital of entertainment in Los Angles to academia throughout the state, we have some of the brightest business minds in the world. With a state as diverse as California, our business community offers endless opportunities to share best practices and bring out the best in employees and leaders to create a competitive edge. Yes, diversity is good for business. From a military family with fond memories of growing up in Monterey, the Presidio and Marin county, a product of the UC system and (yes, you guessed it) a die-hard 49er fan, I am honored to be representing the state of California through the National Diversity Council. I look forward to working with you. Monica Ross Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sony Electronics