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Margot Phillips, Initiatives Program Manager at Meta, joins Capstone Seminar class.

Dr. Laura Dannels and Won Palisoul’s Capstone Seminar welcomed guest speaker Margot Phillips, the initiatives program manager at Meta, where she focuses on solving tech recruiting challenges with a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) focus. Previously, Phillips worked as the strategy lab director at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, providing leadership coaching, strategic planning, and subject matter expertise for organizations as they develop DEI. Before consulting, the U.S. Naval Academy graduate served as a military legislative assistant for a U.S. senator, as a resident management fellow at the OMB, and as White House liaison officer for the secretary of the Navy.  

A required course in the M.S. in Human Capital Management (HCM) program, the Capstone Seminar tasks students with developing a targeted solution to a real-world HCM problem. The  project allows students to synthesize and theoretically apply core concepts acquired across the program and present their ideas to an assigned partner organization. 

Some excerpts from the discussion: 

On DEI: “Throughout my time in consulting, I’ve developed a passion for DEI and solving enterprise DEI challenges. As a strategy lab director, I’ve trained human capital managers on how to take a strategic approach to DEI within their organization. Many leaders have assumptions about what challenges their businesses face, but through a qualitative and quantitative approach, leaders will fully comprehend the gaps in their recruitment and retention programs.” 

On Trust: “For an HR professional, it is critical to build trust with your stakeholders. There is a lot of evidence that shows diverse organizations make better decisions, have better financial returns, retain employees longer, have more satisfied employees, etc. When organizations are developing DEI programs, it’s important for them to focus on why this is good for the business and how that can be reflected. Change requires the trust of leadership, and only then will change happen.”

The Columbia University M.S. in Human Capital Management program prepares graduates to be world-class HCM strategists able to address changing needs in building and motivating talented, engaged workforces in the private, public, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. The program is available part-time, full-time, on-campus, and online.