“It is my honor to uphold a rich legacy of diversity, equity and inclusion that respects, engages and values every member of our team,” says Janice Bryant “JBH” Howroyd, who, as founder and CEO of the ActOne Group, bears the distinction of being the first African American woman to found and own a billion-dollar business. Founded by Howroyd in 1978, the ActOne Group has a global footprint of over 17,000 clients.
The company’s commitment to DE&I is reflected in its own employee population, which, across more than 32 countries, comprises over 70% women and 60% representing minority groups, filling many leadership positions. The company’s temporary worker population mirrors these numbers, with over 60% women and 62% minority workers.
Howroyd and her team champion DE&I at the client level as well. “If you want real buy-in and not just lip service, you engage in tough conversations,” Howroyd says. “Most importantly, your efforts must yield an outcome. This is where I work. This is how I work. This is why I work.”
Recognizing the power of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as one of the key equalizers of the 21st century, Howroyd founded AllSTEM Connections to guide the career progression of STEM professionals and to support the advancement of women and minorities in the field.
Providing equitable access to resources and opportunities is Howroyd’s life’s work, and her efforts go well beyond her own front door. Howroyd serves on Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Board, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the board of directors for the Women Presidents’ Organization, the board of advisors for Girls in Tech, and the board of trustees for North Carolina A&T State University, her alma mater. She personally supports scholarships at Ivy League universities, diverse-serving organizations, HBCUs and community colleges. In this way, she continues to follow the edict of her childhood, “Education is freedom … freedom to be oneself while contributing to the world.”
2021 DE&I Influencers List