SHRM Foundation Launches Inaugural Tharseō Awards to Recognize Leaders Who Are Boldly Changing the Workplace
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ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The SHRM Foundation announced today that it will recognize pioneering business leaders who are boldly changing the workplace—and the world—with its inaugural Tharseō Awards. Tharseō (thar-seh'-ō)—derived from the Greek word meaning "courageous, confident and bold"—highlights leaders who are on the forefront of creating and strengthening the vital connection between employees and company purpose. Recipients will be honored at Gotham Hall in New York on Oct. 4, 2021, as the SHRM Foundation hosts its first celebration in honor of leaders who serve as visionaries, innovators and change agents.

"To reshape the future of work, leaders must be at the forefront of the evolving issues facing our workforce today," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). "The Tharseō Awards recognize leaders who have the vision and courage to transform the workplace while simultaneously strengthening the important connections between employees and overall company purpose."

The recipients are:

Ram Charan HR Innovator of the Year: Gloria Chen, chief people officer and executive vice president, employee experience, Adobe

Chen leads all aspects of people strategy and operations for Adobe, and is charged with creating an exceptional employee experience for more than 23,000 employees across 75 locations around the globe. In her more than 20 years with Adobe, including most recently as Chief Strategy Officer, Gloria has helped usher the company through some of its boldest, most transformational changes, from shaping its business strategy, managing significant acquisitions and integrations, and successfully navigating the company through its COVID-19 response.

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CEO of the Year: Ajay Banga, executive chairman and former chief executive officer, Mastercard

Banga is chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, a founding trustee of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations and chairman emeritus of the American India Foundation. He is also a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, a member of the World Economic Forum's EDISON Alliance, and a member of the Weill Cornell Medicine board of fellows.

Policy Transformer of the Year: Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., U.S. Congressman

Rep. Scott has represented Virginia's third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. Prior to his service in Congress, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the Senate of Virginia from 1983 to 1993. He has successfully sponsored laws critical to Virginians in education, employment, health care, social services, economic development, crime prevention and consumer protection.

"Tharseō recognizes leaders who refuse to wait for the workplace to evolve—they are the change makers," said Wendi Safstrom, SHRM Foundation executive director. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor these exemplary leaders as our first-ever Tharseō Award winners as we look to their vision and innovation for inspiration."

Candidates for the Tharseō Awards were evaluated through multistage qualitative and quantitative measurements. Criteria for the awards included innovation, implementation, and overall impact on both the company and global workforce.

To learn more about the Tharseō Awards, please visit tharseo.shrm.org. Tickets to attend the Tharseō Awards are available through Ellen Christman at ellen.christman@shrm.org. All proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation, which is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change.

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Tharseō Awards Jurors:
  • David C. Novak, founder and CEO, David Novak Leadership; co-founder, retired chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands
  • Ilene Gordon, presiding director, International Paper; director, International Flavors & Fragrances; director, Lockheed Martin; retired chairman, president and CEO, Ingredion Inc.
  • Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick (Retired), Ph.D., NAE, Ginkgo Bioworks Senior Advisor, board member, CSX, Fidelity, Perma-Fix, HireVue, and American Corporate Partners
  • Maggie Wilderotter, board chair, DocuSign; board member, Costco Wholesale Corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lyft and Sana Biotechnology; private board member, Tanium; TripActions, Legends Hospitality and Sonoma Biotherapeutics; senior advisor, Blackstone Group, TSSP, Atairos Otka, Accenture, Bank of America
  • Peter Cappelli, director of human resources, The Wharton School; professor of management, The Wharton School; research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge; fellow, National Academy of Human Resources
  • Vineet Nayar, founder and chairman, Sampark Foundation; former vice chairman and CEO, HCL Technologies; senior advisor PWC India, ChrysCapital, McKinsey Leadership Institute and Government of Uttarakhand, India
  • Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, founder and CEO, Pace; chairman of the board, American Red Cross

About the SHRM Foundation

Founded in 1966 as the philanthropic affiliate of SHRM, the SHRM Foundation elevates and empowers HR to lead positive social change impacting work, workers and the workplace, contributing to a world of work that works for all. The SHRM Foundation's robust and relevant evidence-based programming inspires HR professionals hire and retain diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond.
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