Associate Vice Chancellor and CDO Taffye Benson Clayton was one of 13 individuals and 10 organizations that were honored during the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) Leaders in Diversity Awards luncheon and ceremony on Thursday, September 11. The awards recognized those who demonstrated advocacy for underrepresented groups, had a commitment to inclusion, and infused diversity within their business practices, including multicultural marketing methods. This was the second annual Leaders in Diversity Awards program and took place at the Cotton Room in Durham.
Together with PNC, TBJ seeks to recognize the accomplishments of Triangle businesses, individuals and non-profits with the awards as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry of our community.. At the ceremony, TBJ publisher Bryan Hamilton said that, “our community would benefit from taking note of the progress being made in diversity and…we could all learn from some of the extraordinary work being done through these local champions.”
Clayton, who came to UNC-CH in 2012, is a UNC alumna and serves as the associate vice chancellor for UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and chief diversity officer in the division of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement. In this role, she has the responsibility of advising senior leadership in the University and working with administrators, faculty, staff and students across campus to strengthen Carolina’s long-standing commitment to a diverse, inclusive campus community. Prior to arriving to Carolina, Clayton had served as East Carolina University’s associate provost for equity, diversity and community relations and chief diversity officer.
“I accepted this award,” said Clayton, “not just for myself, but for everyone who works hard to make The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill a more diverse and inclusive campus. My team at UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the campus units and community partners we work with contribute countless hours toward this effort.” Clayton cites the work of affinity centers, students, diversity groups in schools and units, and DMA’s advisory partners as having helped make UNC worthy of being recognized.
Jim Hansen, regional president of PNC, which sponsored the event, stressed that companies are more successful when they fully engage all employees. “Valuing diversity and inclusion helps to create stronger organizations, making us better employers and more responsive corporate citizens,” he said.
Clayton, a native of Fayetteville, NC, earned her bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill; master’s degree from American University; and doctorate in education from East Carolina University. She also completed the Management Development Degree from the Harvard Institute for Higher Education.