Pamay Bassey is Chief Learning and Diversity Officer for the Kraft Heinz Company.
Prior to Kraft Heinz, Pamay served as the Global Head of Learning Platform and Professional Development for BlackRock. Before that, she was president of The Pamay Group, an e-learning design and strategy company. Her career began in Accenture's Media Technologies Group.
Pamay is also Chief Experience Officer of the My 52 Weeks of Worship Project, through which she facilitates courageous conversations about cultural and interfaith diversity, inclusion, and understanding. Her 2018 TEDx talk, Navigating Sacred Spaces, is based on her project work and her book: My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey.
Pamay is Chair of the National Advisory Board of The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the board of Houlihan Lokey and of the M&G Etomi Foundation, serving the people of the Niger Delta region in Southern Nigeria.
Pamay earned a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford, with an Artificial Intelligence concentration, and a M.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern. She is also a graduate of the Second City Conservatory program in Chicago, an advanced study of improvisational comedy and theater.
Pamay’s Book: My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey
WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER IN THIS EPISODE:
- How stand-up comedy and improv inform Pamay’s leadership style and why "laughter is a superpower".
- Why Pamay pursued a major in Symbolic Systems with an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence at Stanford, and how not majoring in business impacted her career path.
- The future of artificial intelligence at work.
- How delivering a TEDx talk has become the "gift that keeps on giving”.
- Situations where it’s important to rely on emotional intelligence.
- Where Pamay grew up and her interesting path to the C-Suite.
- Advice for business owners considering going back into corporate and for corporate leaders starting their own company.
- Insights for leaders considering whether they should join an external board.
- Why Kraft Heinz merged the Chief Learning Officer and a Chief Diversity Officer into one executive position.
- The challenge of measuring bottom-line impact for learning, development, and diversity programs.
- The key attributes of the most effective presentations.
- The common pitfalls of bad presentations.
- The advice she would give her younger self.
- Why it matters if you use your first or last name when you talk to yourself.
- The one trait she’d like to instill in every employee.
- How to present your idea to the C-Suite.
- How an unexpected career twist led to her success down the road.
Advice for business owners who are thinking of going to back into corporate and corporate leaders who are thinking of starting their own business:
- Examine your self-perception.
- Deal with other people’s perception.
- Find a way to share your creative narrative in a way everyone would understand.
Advice on how to communicate big ideas:
- Simplicity is the key.
- Ask questions.
- Be patient.
“Everything is better with laughter."
“As an executive having a sense of humor always comes in handy.”
“When things get hard, look for the laughter within it.”
"Diversity is a talent acquisition challenge. Inclusion and belonging are learning challenges."
"It's powerful when a leader makes a commitment to being inclusive and making people feel like they belong."
A leader should be asking, "How do I respectively engage with someone different than me?"
“When you’re talking about something at work that people have strong feelings about, you must tap into your emotional intelligence.”
When working to measure the impact of training on the bottom line..."Just because it's difficult, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try."
When it comes to the best training experiences, "It should be entertaining , relevant, engaging, and interactive".
For presenting to the C-Suite..."Simplicity wins"