Kim Nelson, who has served on the Tate & Lyle Board since 2019, has been recognized by Board Prospects as a Top 25 Black Board Member in the United States in the February 2023 edition of Board Recruitment magazine for her work as a board member to multiple companies and advancing Black leaders and Women of Colour in boardroom service.
To celebrate, we caught up with Kim to congratulate her for being selected as one of the most influential Black corporate directors in the United States and learn about how the value of diverse perspectives and knowledge helps companies navigate the growth imperative in a disrupted world.
Aligning purpose and passion
“The recognition by Board Recruitment is both a tremendous honor and a reminder of the responsibility I feel to make a meaningful contribution on the boards I am privileged to serve,” said Kim. Like many of her fellow Tate & Lyle board members, Kim was attracted to join the board by the company’s purpose - Transforming Lives through the Science of Food - aligning to her personal passions and her strong belief in the growth potential of the business. Tate & Lyle is at the forefront of changing consumer trends and uses science to create solutions that benefit society, firmly placing it at the centre of the future of food. “I saw Tate & Lyle as particularly well positioned in the food ingredient solutions space and felt I would be able make a positive difference as the company transforms to capture this opportunity,” Kim explained.
Broader experiences, greater contributions
As the board of directors provides oversight to the company's financial performance, governance practices and innovation strategies, it draws from the collective experiences of each member to help the company navigate an exponentially complex external environment. Kim noted, “Decision-making in any business is better when informed by a broad range of experiences representing the customers and the marketplaces it serves. The broader the range of experiences, the greater the contribution.”
“Diversity is the lifeblood of innovation, and innovation is the lifeblood of companies like Tate & Lyle.” - Kim Nelson
Kim expanded on her perspective, “Great ideas can come from anyone and anywhere. We live in a diverse society. Businesses that reflect the diversity of the broader society will be better able to understand and capitalize on emerging growth opportunities by leveraging an equally diverse workforce from within the company.” This is why talent and culture underpin our business strategy and we’re embracing equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) as a business-wide priority. This approach brings more openness to testing new ideas, taking calculated risks, and doing things differently to solve the complex problems we face in the world today.
Turning inspiration into action
Kim’s experience has motivated her to help diverse populations, particularly Women of Color, pursue corporate board service. She highlighted, “I have had the privilege of building a ‘Women of Color Pipeline Initiative’ with the Minnesota Chapter of Women Corporate Directors in the United States to assist diverse, C-suite level women, who have relevant experience and skills to offer and an interest in board service, figure out how to navigate the search journey.”
Her passion for action is driven by her belief that each of us has a role to play in creating an inclusive environment where all of us can thrive. “We all have a vested interest in the success of the company and harnessing and unleashing the full power of a diverse workforce will be a critical enabler of Tate & Lyle's future growth. Our teams, our company, our society and our world will achieve their highest success when all are able to participate fully.”
For a better future…
As we forge forward, Kim left us with this advice: “Tate & Lyle must continue creating a culture in which all employees feel empowered to be their authentic selves and motivated to contribute their highest and best every day. Talents are distributed randomly throughout our global population. To tap these gifts, we must become indifferent to the package it comes in. People are the heartbeat of the company and progressing equity, diversity and inclusion for all is foundational to delivering sustained business growth over time.”