Black History Month Spotlight: Eboni Taylor
In honor of Black History Month, Bristow is shining the spotlight on the company's diverse workforce that delivers safe, efficient and reliable services every day. This interview features Human Resources Director, Corporate Eboni Taylor from our Houston headquarters.
Talk about your role at Bristow and what are you currently working on?
I am the Director, HR Corporate, which means I support and partner with all corporate functions on both day-to-day and strategic initiatives. Aside from working with the corporate functions, I will also support Diversity and Inclusion, talent management and compliance initiatives. I joined Bristow in this role on December 28, so at the moment, I am getting up to speed on everything and working with the functions on upcoming projects, initiatives and focus areas.
What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?
Being selected for this role!
What are the opportunities and challenges that are unique to your area?
Being new to Bristow brings many opportunities for me to learn more about how the company operates and utilize my expertise to help make the Human Resources function even stronger. The main challenge right now is getting acclimated to Bristow as quickly as possible. Everyone I've worked with so far has been very helpful and has made my onboarding process a positive experience.
What was the greatest lesson you learned from a colleague?
How impactful teamwork can be when we keep an open mind to the experiences, knowledge and diversity of thought others bring to the team. One of the most diverse teams I worked on to date was my first role after college. The team included three generations and four different industry backgrounds. The five of us worked together on a project to put together a global training strategy for both university hires and experienced employees within the function. We worked together to create a program that utilized technology to appeal to the university hires and a variety of training delivery methods to appeal to all types of learning to be sure employees had options to select the most effective training opportunities. Our various generations and past experiences helped during brainstorming to think about different aspects of training that we likely would not have included if we were not working together.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the significant contributions of Black people to society. Not only is there a lot to be proud of from the past, but history is continuing to be made every day. Last month (January 18, 2021), we recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. and the dream he had for a world where all ethnicities could come together peacefully and enjoy the many opportunities the world has to offer in an equal way. I encourage everyone to actively seek to learn about other historic figures beyond Dr. King, events and initiatives in the Black community and get involved in activities that promote diversity and inclusion. Although February is the dedicated month, contributions of not only Black people, but all ethnicities should be celebrated year-round.
What Black role models inspire you and why?
The Black role models who inspire me most are those who made (and are making) strides to break color barriers by not being afraid to be the first, go against status quo or take risks for change. There is such a rich history, I could go all the way back to the 1700s, where we saw many firsts for Black people, including published author Jupiter Hammon, clockmaker Peter Hill and public office holder Wentworth Cheswell.
More recently, I have been inspired by people who have shed light on the continued fight for equality in this country. Although controversial at the time, Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protest through kneeling on the sidelines to bring attention to racial injustice reenergized a movement to keep taking steps towards equality and fair treatment for all. Since then, changes have been intentional across many industries, including entertainment (more diversity required in casting, recognition and directing), sports (diverse coaches, owners and referees, as well as players breaking records) and legislation (changes to laws in effort to reverse systemic racism).
Finally, I want to acknowledge the leadership across corporations, including Bristow, towards taking a closer look at diversity, equity and inclusion programs and practices to move from being something that must be tracked to the natural culture and way of operating going forward.
What significant events in Black history stand out to you personally? Why?
Two major significant events in Black history that particularly stand out to me are the elections of President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris. Those events are so significant to me personally because the roles of President and Vice President are the highest, most prestigious positions in the United States. To be able to witness not only the first Black man to hold the office of President and the first not only woman, but woman of Black and Asian heritage hold the office of Vice President has been amazing. Their accomplishments not only pay homage to those from the past who dedicated their lives to the fight for equality for all, but also provide a continued hope in a future of endless possibilities!
Do you have a traditional family recipe you'd like to share?
My Great Aunt Gladys made the best sweet potato pies! This is a southern treat that's sure to be a hit! Every Thanksgiving, the dessert table was not complete without a minimum of four sweet potato pies because everyone definitely wanted a slice. We especially had to keep an eye on my uncle who was known for hiding a pie or two on occasion. Thankfully my aunt passed her recipe on to my mom who is now on pie duty for the holidays.