To be the first at anything is to trailblaze, and to trailblaze in the world’s largest company in an industry is to influence. In 2017, Randstad’s Audra Jenkins epitomized influence when she became the staffing industry’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer.
“[Being the first] is exciting and daunting at the same time!” she explains. “Exciting because it demonstrates positive movement in the staffing industry … Daunting because I knew failure was never an option if I wanted to … create a path for future [DE&I leaders] in our industry.”
With more than 20 years of HR, diversity and compliance experience, Jenkins leads initiatives both within and outside of Randstad, advancing diversity and inclusion among internal employees and partnering with customers to achieve diversity goals.
In 2021, she helped the company spearhead efforts as it joined the OneTen coalition of leaders working to help primarily diverse individuals without a four-year degree attain access to opportunities to create a more level playing field. “It is important that we impact the communities we work in and serve. It is with a servant leadership mindset that I am incredibly proud of our partnership with OneTen,” Jenkins says.
She also oversaw the company’s internal launch of Transcend, a free eight-week nationwide program to build skills for jobs in account management, financial services, healthcare administration and technology. “Taking action to help those who have been forgotten by society to gain skills, leadership development and job placement opportunities is at the heart of true DE&I work,” Jenkins says. “It is the small continuous steps daily that make a difference. I want my legacy to be that I helped my company to make a transformative difference in the lives of others. I am incredibly grateful for the support of my [leadership] team and colleagues in making a bold vision a reality.”
Going forward, she hopes to lead Randstad’s evolution as it works on its strategic pillars of workplace, marketplace and business. In the workplace, the company is expanding its employee engagement by creating safe spaces to learn, share and thrive together. In the marketplace, it will continue to host its annual equity, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility efforts through events, podcast and publications. In business, it is expanding its integration of DEI&A, corporate social responsibility and operations.
2023 DE&I Influencers List