3M has created a new leadership role to accelerate our efforts to advance diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice inside and outside 3M.
James Momon will join 3M on Dec. 15 as vice president, Equity & Community and Chief Equity Officer. In this new role, James will bring together our teams and strategies on workforce diversity and inclusion, social justice and 3Mgives to progress equity in our workplaces, business practices and communities globally. He will become a member of the executive conference and will work closely with 3M leaders across the company and externally to continue advancing our equity agenda.
“As countries around the world grapple with issues of equity, this is a pivotal moment. 3M wants to be part of creating systemic long-term change,” said Kristen Ludgate, senior vice president, Human Resources. “I’m thrilled that James will help guide 3M on this journey. He has a proven track record of developing innovative diversity, equity and inclusion programs, experience with supplier diversity, deep human resources expertise, and leadership in coalition building.”
Get to know James Momon
Here, James shares more about his professional background and aspirations for a more equitable future.
What drew you to the vice president and Chief Equity Officer role?
This is truly a unique role. The ability to have so many levers to pull in creating a more equitable environment for our employees, communities and consumers is truly special. Very few philanthropy leaders have the ability to integrate the power of D&I and likewise very few D&I leaders have the ability to integrate the impact of corporate philanthropy and volunteerism. The combination of these critical strategic pillars in addition to the work we’re doing on racial justice is a truly unique opportunity. On top of that, I get to do it at an organization that felt right for me – as I went through the interview process with leaders in the organization, I just felt comfortable. I worked at General Mills for almost 20 years so this was a big decision for me but Kristen Ludgate, Mike Roman and the leadership of the organization really made me feel like this was the easiest big decision I’ve made in a while.
Tell us more about your professional background and where innovation has played a role in your success.
I am an HR professional by trade – I’ve spent most of my career in a variety of HR leadership positions that have allowed me to really understand how a business operates. Working alongside leaders across all functions and disciplines has allowed me to understand what it takes to bring together diverse perspectives and coalesce around one common objective.
When it comes to innovation, I think the work we do in D&I is so critical. I have always wanted to ensure that every voice can feel heard, every idea can find some oxygen and every colleague feels valued. I tend to be a big thinker and dreamer and practice the “go big or go home” motto. While that doesn’t mean I take foolish risks, I think it does require pushing the status quo and challenging norms that get in the way of progress and impact.
What role can companies – including 3M – play in supporting equity in the community?
We’re already off to a great start. First you have to acknowledge we have a problem and, based on the public comments from Mike and 3M’s leadership, there is full acknowledgement that things need to change. Once you have a clarity of purpose it is all about identifying solutions that drive impact, securing the resources to support those solutions, and listening to the voices of community members who experience the disparities and injustices that exist in our communities.
For companies like 3M, I believe public/private partnership is important and mutually beneficial – we have a responsibility to leverage our voice and resources to help solve these problems because we have a vested interest in making sure that our employees can thrive in a just, equitable and safe environment when they leave our offices and facilities each and every day.
What impact would you like to make in this role?
My role is to help the organization formulate a strategic vision and path forward for making progress in our DEI and community impact ambitions. We’ve got some great people and amazing resources – I’m excited to bring that together in an integrated and thoughtful way to drive impact for our employees and communities. I’d like to enable our employees to be capable champions of this work and equip our leaders and managers with the tools to advance this work with their teams. I don’t think one person or one department can do this work alone – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a team sport and we have to get everyone in the organization rowing in the same direction. My job is to help chart the course.