Ingersoll Rand Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Nereida “Neddy” Perez, was profiled in a half-hour feature on the Charlotte: A City of International Success Show, which aired on Charlotte public access television in November and throughout December. In the interview, conducted by Maha Gingrich, Perez discussed the role that education played in her journey from a little girl airlifted out of Cuba to her current position.
“The experiences I had as a child helped prepare me to become a specialist in the public relations field, and also in the diversity management field,” she told Gingrich, as she explained her background.
Her Education Opened Doors
During the 1960s, when she was three years old, Perez’s family fled Cuba with little more than the clothes on their backs.. As she grew up and learned English, she became the “family interpreter” which helped the family navigate and adapt to their new home in the United States.
While in high school, Perez wanted to go on to college but since no one had previously graduated from primary school it was a tough sell. She was able to convince her family that college was important and with the help of mentors and scholarships not only got her bachelors in public relations but also went on to to acquire a Master’s Degree in International Business and Human Resources which led to a number of Fortune 500 positions before joining IIn a TV Interview, Ingersoll Rand’s VP of Diversity and Inclusion Describes the Role Education Played in Her Personal Journeyngersoll Rand in May 2011.
The Value of Diversity
Today Perez leads the company’s Progressive, Diverse and Inclusive initiatives , which is part of the enterprise strategy to achieve premier performance by fostering foster a work environment that encourages innovation and dramatic growth.
The role of diversity really goes beyond ethnic and gender representation, Perez told Gingrich, it is “it is about the value that they bring in terms of talents and skills that help to enrich the company.”
Throughout the interview, she stressed the value of education. “Education is a great differentiator,” she said. “The global business environment is constantly changing – with new technology, new knowledge, new products and it is important for everyone to keep learning.”