Impact Stories

Renée Russell Sees Powerful Potential in Forté’s Pipeline of MBA Women

What is it about Forté’s mission that you think is so important?
Chevron is committed to advancing women in business, and we offer many programs to help women and other underrepresented groups succeed. Forté is at the forefront of advancing women, an objective that Chevron shares. Chevron has a rich history of having 40% female representation on our Board and 33% female representation among professionals. We want to build on this success, so collaborating with Forté is a natural partnership.

Each year companies make decisions about where to invest their time and money. Chevron has been a partner since 2006. Why has Chevron continued saying “yes” each year to renewing the partnership?

When I joined Chevron in 2019, I met with colleagues to discuss each of our recruiting events. When Forté was mentioned, my colleagues said that we absolutely had to continue our partnership. The word that kept coming up when we discussed the women in the Forté pipeline – specifically the Forté Fellows – was “exceptional.” They are beyond prepared, they take initiative, and they take advantage of Forté’s offerings to be successful.

Forté attracts women of very high caliber, and companies that want to boost their diversity representation should take note.

Sometimes these types of partnerships provide something unexpected. To what extent have you or Chevron experienced something beyond what you expected from Forté?
A recent example is an invitation I received from Forté for a call with other Partner Advisory Council members to talk about best practices for COVID-19 (coronavirus) planning and the ongoing challenges associated with it. It was very proactive and made me realize that Forté is a community that goes beyond just “see you at the conference” – it is about helping us deal with challenges and opportunities in a changing world.

If you were chatting with an executive working at a non-Forté partner, what would you say to convince him or her to consider Forté as a diversity resource?
I mentioned exceptional earlier – I think the women Forté attracts are of a very high caliber, and companies that want to boost their diversity representation should take note.

How does Forté support your goals and priorities?
Representation of women in MBA programs is personally important to me. When I went to law school, the gender ratios were about 50/50, and women ahead of me paved the way. In 2016, the American Bar Association reported that women at law schools surpassed men for the first time. I have two daughters, and we have discussed the possibility of that happening for women in business school. It would be exciting to achieve full representation in MBA programs – I would love to be a part of it, and hopefully it happens when I am at Chevron.

Want to support Renée and other women like her? Make a gift to support More Women Leading.

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