2016 Diversity & Inclusion Awards: Diversity & Inclusion Leaders

Winner: Teresa White, Aflac

It was unlikely for a woman with Teresa White’s background to beat the odds. Having grown up in low-income housing and raised by a single parent, the statistics that haunt the African American community were already working against her. But White did overcome the obstacles that keep so many from achieving their dreams. Today she is a profoundly successful executive serving as president of the U.S. operations for Aflac. White launched a LinkedIn Pulse campaign to share an account of her personal and professional struggles via long-form posts to inspire young people, teaching them that success is within reach no matter the cards life has dealt. White also believes in her duty to help executives from other large companies understand how important diversity is to the health and overall success of a team.

An audit of White’s followers and connections revealed a variety of management thought leaders, female executives and African-American professionals among other desirable demographics, making her voice the ideal megaphone for the discussion about the workplace. Additionally, White's compelling “rags-to-riches” story, combined with her personal commitment to give back made her online persona both relatable and heroic, drawing a positive connection to Aflac and encouraging more engagement with her posted content. White's 12 LinkedIn posts have since gained almost 20,000 views, generated more than 2,000 likes and 105 comments. Many comments expressed an appreciation for White, and many shared the post with others in their network.