There’s a fresh face joining the top brass at Major League Baseball — Odyssey Woman Michele Meyer-Shipp, who has been tapped for her standout leadership skills as chief people & culture officer at MLB.
Meyer-Shipp will oversee all of MLB’s human resource endeavors, including talent processing, acquisition programs, workplace culture, diversity and inclusion, and off-field operations.
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr., made the announcement in early August.
In a press release posted on the MLB website, Commissioner Manfred laid out baseball’s urgent need to find the right person for the far-reaching position: “I am very pleased that Michele is joining us to fill this vital role for Major League Baseball. Michele’s outstanding record of accomplishment will be a valuable addition to our senior leadership team, the hiring and development of our employees, and industry initiatives. We are excited for her to get started.”
MLB has chosen a player who knows the field well. Meyer-Shipp joins the team with a roster of accolades that includes her time as KPMG’s chief diversity & inclusion officer. Prior to this, she was chief diversity officer for Prudential Financial.
An accomplished attorney, she spent more than a decade practicing employment law in both the public and private sectors, and she is proud of her work on many task forces, including Twitter’s Diversity Advisory Council, the Working Mother Media’s Multicultural Advisory Board, and the National Organization on Disability.
Odyssey caught up with her recently to get her insight on the new appointment and also to get her take on the hurdles that multicultural women face today more than ever, not only in achieving C-suite objectives, but also leveling the playing field.
“We each have the responsibility of paying it forward to ensure that the next generation of girls and women have the ability, access, and agency to succeed,” she tells Odyssey. “Doing this is as easy as coaching, mentoring, and sponsoring girls and women.”
When asked about what women can do every day in the workplace to effect positive change, she says, helping one another makes all the difference. Meyer-Shipp believes there’s a real need to speak out to right wrongs.
“We must use our voices in our organizations to ensure that they have access to job opportunities, promotions, and stretch assignments,” she says. “This sometimes may mean that we need to speak up when we do not see girls or women on candidate slates for internships or job opportunities, or when there are no females on a promotional list.”
She says the need for mentoring is clear: “We want to coach the girls and women coming up the pipeline about their responsibility to own their careers,” she says, “build solid brands for themselves, ask for feedback, and speak up when there are questions or concerns about their career trajectory.”
She also tells Odyssey it’s up to all of us: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Meyer-Shipp’s announcement comes on the eve of MLB’s centennial celebration of its Negro National League, which formed in the 1920s. Segregated at the time, the Negro National League produced players of superhero stature, and efforts are underway by the organization to highlight and make more prominent the league’s accomplishments. The goal is to help foster an enhanced appreciation for the league and its storied players.
No doubt Meyer-Shipp will hit the ground running to help MLB realize this ambitious objective. She summed it up best: “If we do not advocate for each other, who will?”
Odyssey wishes to offer her our sincere congratulations, and of course we will continue to shout out her many accomplishments along the way.