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ANDREA JOY STEPHENS

Joy StephensAndrea Joy Stephens is an equity expert and the owner and chief consultant for New Heights Academic & Leadership Consulting, an independent firm offering diversity, equity, and inclusion training and workshops to clients in K-12 and higher education, corporations, community organizations, and the nonprofit sector. Ms. Stephens holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Spelman College and a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, graduating magna cum laude in 1996. She earned her Master of Business Administration from Webster University in 2010 and has pursued extensive continuing education throughout her career, becoming board-certified in coaching by the Center for Credentialing & Education and the Institute for Life Coach Training. In 2021, Ms. Stephens completed a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace from the University of South Florida.

Ms. Stephens began her career in 1996 as a systems engineer and quality assurance manager for Procter & Gamble. At Procter & Gamble, she worked directly with technicians on the manufacturing floor, and often coached them on leadership and career development, offering resume reviews and advice on how to rise through the company ranks. She left Procter & Gamble in 2000 to begin a nearly 20-year career with Kimberly-Clark, starting as a research and development scientist. Two years later, she transitioned into a market manager role, rising to become a senior market manager in 2009. Between 2011 and 2013, Ms. Stephens was a capability development manager for Kimberly-Clark, serving additionally as an inside sales team leader through 2013. She was named a district manager in 2014, a position she held until leaving the company to pursue independent consulting in 2018.

Since 2018, Ms. Stephens has focused on her work with New Heights Academic & Leadership Consulting, including two years as the firm’s director of business development. New Heights Academic & Leadership Consulting’s offerings include workshops and content on the LGBTQ community, disability and neurodivergence, race and ethnicity, and religion, among others, as well as executive and mid-level management coaching. In addition to running New Heights Academic & Leadership Consulting, Ms. Stephens is a course facilitator for The Training Edge LLC and a career management coach for Right Management. In 2020, she became the senior diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitator and coach at Loeb Leadership and helped found Strategic Diversity Partners, where she remains head of learning and development.

Ms. Stephens describes her career in diversity, equity, and inclusion as a process of “building empathy in people and helping others see humanity in other human beings.” She attributes her success to her emotional connection to others and ability to build rapport, and she hopes to help change corporate and social culture to increase opportunities for all stakeholders, regardless of background or differences. Throughout her career, Ms. Stephens has facilitated workshops for more than 10,000 participants around the globe, and her recent pivot to digital and remote offerings has allowed her to expand her reach to international companies based in Denmark, Germany, the U.K., Japan and India. She is particularly proud of her work with a U.K.-based client whom she helped develop a Black, Asian, and minority ethnic program to empower minority employees as future industry leaders.

Ms. Stephens is the former vice president and current president of the board of directors of One to One Women Coaching Women and is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and Delta Sigma Theta. In the coming years, she plans to expand her reach as a consultant by continuing to develop virtual offerings for small businesses and individuals unable to afford in-person consulting or a full-time diversity, equity, and inclusion team. She has plans to launch a second company, Cultural Temperature Check, dedicated to administering and developing workplace surveys and assessments to help clients evaluate their existing diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and more effectively plan for the future. When she is not working, Ms. Stephens enjoys reading genre fiction, especially mystery and romance, and is a dedicated PlayStation gamer.

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