Carol Fulp is the Founder and CEO of FulpDiversity LLC, where she engages with CEOs to advance diversity and inclusion within their organizations. She previously served as President & CEO of The Partnership Inc., the nationally recognized professional services firm that assists corporations in attracting, developing, and retaining executives and professionals of color. She is also the author of Success Through Diversity: Why The Most Inclusive Companies Will Win.
Given Fulp’s leadership in business and public service, President Obama appointed Fulp as a Representative of the United States of America to the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. She also serves on the Eastern Bank Board of Trustees, American Student Assistance Corporation Board of Directors, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Board of Trustees, and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation Board of Directors.
Paying It Forward
Carol has been engaged in diversity and inclusion for her entire life. When she was a child she marched on Washington with her parents. As a result of the Civil Rights movement, she saw doors open in education, industries, and neighborhoods that were previously closed to blacks. Yet she is so cognizant of the systematic racial discrimination that still exists today as evidenced by police brutality, the disproportionate rate of COVID-19, unemployment, the staggering wealth gap, and more. As such it is important for her to continue to work towards equity and to partner with others of color and women who seek a just and equitable society.
You Cannot Be A Leader In Business Unless You Are A Leader In the Community
Carol’s family comes from the Virgin Islands. She truly valued the mentorship of her Aunt Gertrude, who was an incredible businesswoman and community leader. Her aunt taught Carol that you cannot be a leader in business unless you are a leader in the community. Carol took these words to heart in her career and focused on corporate philanthropy, corporate responsibility, marketing, and human resources. And she always ensured business executives in the corporations where she worked, became fully engaged in the community.
The World Is Primarily Black, Brown, and Yellow
Her appointment by President Obama as the US Representative to the 65th General Assembly was a life-changing experience. This was a post held by Eleanor Roosevelt as well as Coretta Scott King. She found working with the ambassadors around the globe on peace and equity transformational.
When Carol and her husband walked through the doors of the USUN to be sworn into her post, she viewed a significant photo display on the glistening walls. She saw the large photograph of President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. She stopped, she stared and she cried.
For her, these portraits of the United States government’s highest officials reflected the rich diversity of America in ethnicity, gender, and age. She sees that rich diversity reflected in those marching today calling to end racism and calling for America to live up to its full potential.
And at the United Nations General Assembly, as Carol stood at the iconic podium delivering a speech, she looked out at the sea of ambassadors from around the globe. The visceral view of the faces of 173 ambassadors was profound. They reflected that the majority of the world was primarily black and brown and yellow. Reinforcing this fact, was that 25% of the UN Member States represented Africa.
Can You Afford to Win the Race, If You Are Only Running On One Leg?
And it was during a lunch with the Ambassador from Nigeria that Carol took away a key statement on diversity. As they discussed the subject, the Ambassador stated, “You have to think of it this way: “Can you afford to win the race, if you are only running on one leg?” In his view, if you are only hiring one type of person, you are handicapping yourself. You are missing out on at least half the talent available to you. And you won’t be able to win the race. Others who are hiring the best talent of all kinds are bound to win.
Moved by the experiences of the United Nations, when Carol returned to Boston, she wanted to work to help Boston be more reflective of the United Nations, this is what led her to The Partnership, Inc. For nearly 35 years, the organization has developed more than 5000 individuals of color. It has helped multi-cultural advance in their organizations as helped position them to lead Boston’s community. At The Partnership, Carol increased programming, funding and it’s geographic reach.
As she concluded seven years with The Partnership, she began writing her book, Success Through Diversity: Why the Most Inclusive Companies Will Win. The book focuses on the advantages that diversity brings organizations and has been praised by Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
She now consults with CEOs across the country and provides diversity forums based on the book. In these times of racial unrest, she feels it is important that businesses listen to those who have been marginalized throughout their lives. It is an important time to understand the unconscious biases that exist in everyone. Now more than ever, it is important to operate equitably and objectively to create organizational cultures to attract and retain the best talent of all kinds. This is the only way we can succeed in this new era we are embarking on.