Michelle Gadsden Williams
Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity Equity and Inclusion Black Rock
Michelle GadsdenWilliams is the former CoFounder and Chief Executive Officer of Ceiling Breakers, LLC, a multifaceted business focused on media driven women’s empowerment initiatives, diverse entertainment investments, and management consulting services specializing in: diversity & inclusion, executive coaching, leadership & organizational development, and multicultural marketing for Fortune 500 companies.
Michelle is a seasoned and highly sought after diversity practitioner with over 20 years of experience. She has held positions of global responsibility in the diversity management arena by living in Switzerland for close to 10 years of her corporate career and managed staffing functions for large Multinational corporations such as Credit Suisse, Novartis and Merck & Co, Inc.
An exemplary role model and advocate for equality and social justice, Michelle has worked tirelessly at refining processes, policies and programs that support an inclusive work environment. Examples include the design and deployment of global diversity strategies, the re-constitution of global diversity councils, the creation of innovative marketing strategies that target diverse consumers, the design and deployment of global diversity training curriculums and the creation of over 50 employee resource groups around the world. Her work has been cited in several research periodicals and trade publications over the years.
Michelle has acquired a multitude of community service awards and accolades for her work as a diversity practitioner. Most recently, she was recognized by the Reverend Al Sharpton as a 2016 honoree at the National Action Network “Woman of Power” Luncheon, an honoree at the Black Institute Awards Gala in NYC and a 2015 Ebony Magazine Power 100 honoree.
Other notable accolades include being awarded in 2008 Harvard Black Men’s Forum Businesswoman of the Year Award, accepting the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Bridge Builder Award by the honourable Reverend Jesse L Jackson and as well as receiving an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Kean University for her outstanding accomplishments in the field of diversity and inclusion. In 2013, Michelle was appointed as a member of the Global Advisory Council on Gender Parity for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Michelle earned a B.S. in Marketing, a B.A. in Communications from Kean College of New Jersey and an M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and the Executive Leadership Council.
She and her husband, David Jamal Williams, are staunch philanthropists and live in New York City.