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Belonging Transforms: A fireside chat with Siemens leaders Nichelle Grant and Kendra Settles


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Belonging Transforms: A fireside chat with Siemens leaders Nichelle Grant and Kendra Settles

What We Know, What We’re Learning

A sense of belonging is critical to our life satisfaction, happiness, mental and physical health, and even longevity. It gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. Humans have an instinctive need to belong. In evolution, cooperation and group relationships led to higher levels of survival.

Nichelle Grant

Bridget Finkeldey

Nichelle Grant is Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Siemens USA, where she guides the company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a catalyst for growth and innovation. In her role, Grant is helping to shape a company culture in which all employees are empowered to achieve their full potential.

Grant has 31 years of industry experience, with 23+ years at Siemens, and first got involved with DEI on a volunteer basis, leading the company’s employee resource groups and diversity councils. Her experience developing go-to-market strategies, focusing on the customer experience, and driving operational excellence, combined with her passion and commitment to the mission of DEI, positions the company exceptionally well with stakeholders across the country.

Grant’s leadership of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion extends far beyond Human Resources and has a much broader reach into topics that drive change and make impact to our workforce, our workplace and the marketplace. Grant drives a holistic approach to building and leveraging a workforce that mirrors the diversity of our customer base, suppliers, partners and society.

Under Grant’s leadership, Siemens USA has received numerous accolades that speak to our workplace culture and commitment to diversity. Siemens has appeared on Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Diversity list. The corporate academic alliance Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) has also named Siemens a Top Supporter for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In addition, Siemens has earned a 100-percent rating for multiple years on the Corporate Equality Index, supporting the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ community and the Disability Equality Index, which is a national benchmarking of businesses to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion.

Grant is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in Zoology and a Master’s degree from Roosevelt University. Nichelle is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE). She resides in the Northern suburbs of Atlanta, with her husband Ulyses.

Kendra Settles

Bridget Finkeldey

Kendra Settles is the eMobility DC Product Care Engineering Manager for Siemens Industry in Wendell, NC. She has 16+ years of continuous engineering experience in a variety of engineering roles, 10 of which are in Power Distribution.

She earned her BS in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University and her MS in Engineering Management from Gannon University. She has over 10 years of mentoring experience where she enjoys encouraging her mentees to find their passion, overcome fears, and to be their authentic self.

Kendra is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she serves as Treasurer for her local chapter, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) where she serves as a Co-Lead for STEM Outreach on the African American Affinity Group and is a Founding Board of Directors Member and outgoing DEI Director of WEN (Women’s Energy Network) Carolinas. She also is a member of Clemson University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering External Board of Advocates where she serves as a counsel to the ECE department regarding industry priorities, course suggestions, and addresses concerns in the context of the department’s research and education goals.

Her passions include STEM outreach to encourage/engage youth to strive for careers in STEM and finding ways to make it fun, diversity & inclusion in engineering, cooking/baking, reading, yoga, plants, time with family/friends, and traveling.

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