Rosanna M. Durruthy
Head of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging | LinkedIn
Diversity and inclusion are central to Rosanna M. Durruthy’s career. Since her first job in human resources at Citibank in 1985, Durruthy’s goal has been to create valuable things out of people’s differences, and as the head of global diversity, inclusion, and belonging at LinkedIn, she has the opportunity to further that goal like never before.
“Excited is an accurate description of how I feel about joining LinkedIn,” she says. “LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, and its mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and more successful. Developing the global strategy to connect diverse talent with opportunity and contributing to a culture that seeks to create an experience of belonging for all of employees are definitely on my short list.”
Getting to a place in her career where her goals align so well with the mission of her company was no easy feat, though. Durruthy overcame many obstacles to get to this place.
At age sixteen, while she was attending Harvard University, Durruthy’s parents’ marriage began to fall apart. This family tragedy even left her homeless for some time, but she persevered.
“Learning and change have always been important to me,” she says. “I understood that challenge is a natural element in life. My parents raised me with a strong work ethic, freeing me from any sense of entitlement. I’m particularly thankful that my mom always believed in me, and her own resilience has been a great example of courage in the face of adversity.”
Durruthy has brought that same resilience and work ethic with her to leadership roles at Merrill Lynch, Blockbuster, Vivendi, Aequus Group, CIGNA, and now LinkedIn. And as she moves forward, learning and change will continue to be a focus.
“I am perpetually curious, and I challenge myself to learn and do new things and build new relationships all of the time,” she says. “I get uncomfortable with being too comfortable.”
The Next Generation of Leaders
Outside of her work at LinkedIn, Rosanna M. Durruthy is involved in a number of organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in other ways. One such organization is the PhD Project, which helps African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans attain business PhDs and become the business professors to mentor the next generation of leaders.
“When the PhD Project launched in 1994, there were fewer than three hundred Black, Latino, and Native American business professors teaching in universities across the US,” Durruthy says. “It was obvious to me that the lack of diversity in university business faculty made it difficult for minority students to have access to role models and faculty mentors who could relate to their experiences and provide inspiration to pursue careers in a broad array of business disciplines.”
Since then, the PhD project has helped increase that number to more than one thousand minority professors who have earned doctoral degrees in business disciplines. Additionally, Durruthy is involved with other organizations with similar missions, such as Prospanica.