Reaching Out Through Development

Advanced technology isn’t the only form of innovation at Toyota.

Billie Jo Johnson, group manager of Enterprise Project Management Office at Toyota Financial Services, is a testament to that through her grassroots development program focused on growing, recognizing and advocating for women of color, with an emphasis on African-American women — Reach.

“With color comes different experiences and dynamics — a cultural upbringing that shapes who we are and creates a unique talent pool of diversity. I wanted to tap into this and help women break through their individual journeys,” says Billie Jo. “I wanted to reach women and provide an avenue for them to reach me through a program that runs in the vein of D+I.”

Since its inception in mid-2018, 60% of Reach participants have experienced career movement, exposure, recognition or connection to support growth and development. They’re going places, together. The number of participants continues to grow, adding new branches of Reach, such as “New to Toyota” women.

 

“Reach has given me a voice to speak up for myself, and the tools and encouragement to grow,” says Reach participant Dionne Smith, Enterprise Compliance Senior Analyst for Toyota Financial Services. (left)

 

Billie Jo has high aspirations for the program, “This year, we’ll see even more positive impact of Reach and how the advancement of women of color has been set into a forward motion.”

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