More and more companies in the U.S. are taking steps to improve diversity at the workplace while others are committing funding in underserved communities to boost black business ownership. The commitment in corporate America to improve black representation has become more pronounced following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Recently, JP Morgan named Thasunda Duckett as the first black woman on its Operating Committee. Google also committed $2.3 million to fund black-owned tech companies in Atlanta, Georgia. Facebook also launched a small business grants program for black-owned businesses which will see the social media giant commit $100 million this year in black communities.
In North Carolina, Bojangles recently hired Monica Sauls on its leadership team. She became the first African American to join the popular food chain’s leadership team in the company’s 43-year history. Monica will lead the human resources department as the Chief People Officer as well as focus on company culture and diversity and inclusion efforts at the popular fast-food chain, a press statement from the company in September said.
The move comes as Bojangles looks to hire more than 30,000 new employees due to expected growth and demand over the next 12 months, the company’s CEO Jose Armario said in the release. It is also part of the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at its branches in 11 states in America.
Sauls brings 20 years of experience in human resources. She holds a Master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Before joining Bojangles, she served on the HR team of Duke Energy’s Fossil Hydro and Nuclear divisions. She also served as a senior executive and development strategist at Boeing Company and later held leadership, talent management and human resources at pharmacy retail giant Walgreens and Ingersoll-Rand.
“I’m excited to join the Bojangles family and look forward to serving as a key strategic partner to Jose and his leadership team. As the Chief People Officer, I will focus on building and maintaining a people-centred culture where everyone at Bojangles can do their best work and help the company succeed,” Sauls said.
Sauls is a proven leader and an achiever who supports individuals through career development, progression, and transitions. Capitalizing on her passion, she launched St. Louis’ first interactive television program dedicated to helping people through career transitions in 2006. The show tackled career-change, growth and development with its viewers.
She also co-founded The Center for Career and Life Transitions (CCLT) in 2013. The CCLT is a learning and coaching organization that helps people in transition leave their Anxiety behind, establish Balance, and move forward with newfound Confidence.
Founded in 1977 in Charlotte, N.C., Bojangles, Inc. is a highly differentiated and growing restaurant operator and franchisor dedicated to serving customers high-quality, craveable food made from our Southern recipes, including breakfast served All Day, Every Day, according to its website. With approximately 750 system-wide restaurants in 11 states, Bojangles serves menu items such as made-from-scratch biscuit breakfast sandwiches, delicious hand-breaded bone-in chicken, flavorful fixin’s (sides) and Legendary Iced Tea®.