Vanessa Weaver, Ph. D.
Born into a family of African-American entrepreneurs — her father owned a well-respected St. Louis cab company — helping others and “doing her own thing” is part of Dr. Vanessa Weaver’s DNA. Surrounded by a community of successful black role models and business leaders, she and her family considered success an attainable goal. Dr. Weaver recognized the importance and impact of African-American history and the struggle for civil rights on her as an individual, and decided, at a very young age, to make her life about supporting others and giving back.
Dr. Weaver feels extremely fortunate to be a member of the first generation of African Americans to work in large numbers in the private sector, benefitting from the Civil Rights Movement and the sacrifices her parents and others made. Because of them, she was able to walk through doors previously closed to women and people of color.
After earning her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Washington University, and her Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Cincinnati, Dr. Weaver spent 13 years with Procter and Gamble (P&G), one of the corporate world’s pioneers of diversity and inclusion. There she made great strides in the areas of organizational development, human resources, sales, engineering, advertising and promotion, research and development, and information technology, leading a number of successful leadership, culture change, and diversity initiatives.
P&G’s metric focused culture helped Dr. Weaver develop and articulate diversity’s all important value proposition for business. Inspired by the impact of her work and its power to help the company, teams and individuals be more successful, Dr. Weaver sought to combine her many talents and skills, and utilize them to expand her work to reach a larger, global audience. In 1990, she formed Alignment Strategies (ALS) one of the country’s first independent organizations to focus on diversity as a business driver. P&G remains one of her most important clients.
Dr. Weaver is co-author of the book Smart Women, Smart Moves and is a sought after speaker. Her many achievements include the National Council of Negro Women’s “Bethune Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business” and she served as advisor to President Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet in South Africa. Passionate about media and finding new ways to leverage it to continue the diversity and inclusion conversation. She is host and executive producer of Working it Out, on SiriusXM radio and recently launched DITV.
ALS’s business model focuses on people – employees and who they are in their hearts. She and her team offer extensive leadership, diversity and inclusion interventions and training to get at the core of the issues that get in the way of people’s ability to be their authentic selves at work.