empowering young professionals of color

E47 – Tim Ewing, Ph.D. | Chief Diversity Officer | BayState Health

Name: Tim Ewing, Ph.D.

Title: Chief Diversity Officer, 

Contact: LinkedIn

Company: Baystate Health in Springfield, MA (New since recorded show; formerly President of BreakThrough Dynamics International)

What They Do: President of BreakThrough Dynamics International.  A global, diversity, international change firm. His day-to-day world depends whether he is working from his office or outside with clients, but primarily he is working with senior leaders and groups around organizational change and leveraging the differences that make a change for organizations, realizing the value that people of the global majority bring.  And realizing also that there is a great deal of knowledge, wisdom and expertise that we bring just from our lived experiences, and organizations can benefit from that. He calls his work “healing work”, because it empowers and allows us to be our best selves.

Originally From: Cleveland, OH

College:

Undergrad: Denison University, OH.

MIIM: School for International Training

Doctorate: Case Western Reserve University

Field of Study: 

Undergrad: Speech Communications/Mass Media Research

MIIM: International and Intercultural Management

Doctorate: Organizational Behavior

Recommended Books: Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce by Dani Monroe.


Listen to the interview:


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A Few Notes From the Show:

  • Tim mentions that not even in his wildest dreams he imagined that his life was going to take the path it has taken, sitting in the place and time he is at right now. He also mentioned he has been very fortunate.
  • When it comes to defining his career trajectory and looking at his educational choices, he says it is all around where did he get energy and life, where did he get inspiration, where did he seek and want to use his skills to pursue the next path.
  • When he graduated from Dennison University, he thought he would go work for a big add agency and do the corporate track, but what he ended up doing was realizing at a gut level that it wasn’t a good fit for him. At that time if you didn’t have a power red tie or the corporate uniform you didn’t fit the mold.
  • He ended up traveling in an international educational group to help people, which he describes as a beautiful experience.  He traveled with 120 people from 20 different countries and they were global ambassadors. They traveled in a 2 hour musical show; that was their vehicle. He did community service as well and stayed in people’s homes. It’s when he realized he had an interest and the ability to connect with people.
  • He was hired to continue doing the job he did at international educational for another year, and he continued traveling as an admissions representative and then moved on to become the manager of international domestic student recruitment. So he was working with admissions representatives and recruiters with any given timezone from three to four different continents so he was instantly propelled into this global arena, dealing with different languages and different cultures.
  • From there, he stayed in Arizona to pursue an MFA in acting, but during his second year of studies while shooting a beer commercial he realized he wasn’t even a beer drinker, and he was using his body for someone else’s message and he was uncomfortable with that.  He was also working in the Upward Bound program at the school and realized he was helping his students acclimate to the University but he was wondering what the university was doing to acclimate to his students. Same thought for corporations.  
  • Tim explains that the best part as a change agent is that he brings different experiences and the change work that he does is to an individual level, team level or organization level. How it shows up in his organization life, is that he feels that he gets paid to speak the unspoken and his authenticity is his calling card.
  • “In many ways it has been a wonderful career”
  • When he decided that he wanted to pursue career consulting he was actually volunteering at the  Red Cross in Seattle, Washington.
  • He had been consulting for about five or six years when he decided to pursue his Ph.D
  • He firmly believes that the work that he is doing is about how do you tap into the richness that people are bringing into the work place. This is not just something like a “feel good” component, it’s really about leverage the business, marketing and branding and market share.
  • Advice for those who wants to follow in his footsteps, he suggest to follow your passion, mainly because there are so many external forces that tell us that we have to become a lawyer, doctor or engineer. But in his case, he never knew before that people would pay to consult their organizations and he had a background in where his mother and father worked for a company of General Motors.  So talking to people outside his comfort zone and social network, being able to connect with people helped him a lot and started building more opportunities for him. The academic path that we study doesn’t necessarily leads to the career we have to pursue.
  • Talk to parents of college friends to learn more about their careers. 
  • Find what you love, learn the most from it, but the critical thing about education was gaining the critical thinking skills that can translate across industries.
  • There was so much anxiety needing to do what was right and wanting to earn more money. Also seeking a level of prestige from those around him, the pursue of financial security, and always trying to think and stay current about what’s relevant today.
  • “Millennials are changing the work place”.
  • Self talk can be either positive or negative, so he listens to it and talks to it.

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