What’s a day in the life like for 3M’s chief diversity officer?
Jul 25, 2019

Adapted from Fairygodboss.com.

Many of us care about elevating diversity and inclusion and promoting acceptance of all people, but few have the good fortune to make it our life’s work. This is the work of Ann Anaya, chief diversity officer and global Diversity & Inclusion strategic lead here at 3M.

Anaya, who comes from a 20-year background as a government trial attorney, joined 3M six years ago within its legal affairs team before being promoted to chief diversity officer. Her experience, she says, has shown her there “is no one path in your career journey; you need to be flexible enough to take advantage of the opportunities presented and make the most of them.”

Anaya recently shared with Fairygodboss – an online community aiming to improve the lives and workplace for women – a day-in-the-life glimpse at how she juggles her various responsibilities, including the most important one: making the world a more inclusive place.

Read the excerpt below on her workday with 3M or head to Fairygodboss.com for her whole day.


Who: Ann Anaya

What: Chief Diversity Officer and Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Lead at 3M; wife and mom of two adult children

Where: St. Paul, Minnesota

9 a.m.

Our HR Manager + D&I Strategist and I met to map out the supervisor Diversity & Inclusion competency project for the CEO Inclusion Council. Most days, we have back-to-back meetings.

10 a.m.

Call with outside counsel to discuss pro-bono case strategy. I have the privilege of serving on the board for the Neighborhood Justice Center in St. Paul. The center provides legal representation to clients who cannot afford lawyers. Four years ago, I started a pro-bono project with one of our outside council firms. We recently finished a trial for one of the pro-bono cases and needed to discuss our strategy for appeal.

11 a.m.

Prepared for the Lunch & Learn Series with the Latino Resource Network. The VP of Learning Engagement & Inclusion and I had the opportunity to share our career journeys with the members of the network.

Before the presentation, I send a text to my daughter to check-in on her day.

12 p.m.

Served as the keynote speaker at a Lunch & Learn series with 50 participants. I provided key insights on how to create their own development plan and map out their career goals. We discussed the importance of utilizing our networks and mentors, seeking honest feedback, and taking on new projects to develop new skills.

While our VP of Learning Engagement and I have many things in common, our career journeys are very different. He started his career in Human Resources in 3M Chile, then worked in 3M Asia before moving to the U.S. Meanwhile, I was a government trial lawyer for 20 years before I came to 3M six years ago. I worked in legal affairs for four years before becoming Chief Diversity Officer in 2017. The takeaway is that there is no one path in your career journey. You need to be flexible enough to take advantage of the opportunities presented and make the most of them.

2:30 p.m.

I met with the Director of Learning & Development to discuss our training needs, timeline, and resource allocation for the CEO Inclusion Council project.

We define diversity broadly to include different backgrounds, perspectives, and thought. In order to best leverage diversity, we work in cross-functional teams.

3:30 p.m.

I spent time reviewing the questions for a new Inclusion Survey to provide feedback to our “PhD” of surveys. We conducted our first Inclusion Survey in 2017 and will conduct our second in September of this year. To ensure progress for diversity and inclusion, it is essential to have a metric for both. 

I also took time to send a text to my son for “proof of life.” As a mom of adult children, I have come to know that texting is the preferred mode of communication.

4:30 p.m.

I drove to Minneapolis to participate in a two-hour panel discussion, “The Gender in the Legal Profession: The Shattered but Unbroken Glass Ceiling” sponsored by a good friend and partner at Cozen O’Conner law firm. We met years ago as members of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Since then, we have had a great working partnership and commitment to the Hispanic community.

The panel also included the new general counsel for Cargill, and a business strategist who was also the previous CEO of YWCA.

Our discussion focused on the National Association of Law Placement data that shows a lack of women and minority lawyers in leadership and senior partner positions. We explored why the inequities persist and encouraged a call for action to make change.

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