Growing up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, Wanda Bryant Hope was heavily influenced by her mother, Tillie Bing Bryant, a paralegal and civil rights activist. Tillie would attend marches and protests, which caused her to be arrested on a number of occasions.
Although Tillie’s brave protests inspired Wanda in a number of ways, she shared with Diversity Inc that one of her mother’s most memorable stories involved toilet paper. One occasion, when Tillie was arrested, she took a toilet roll from her jail cell and wrote her story, as well as the need for equal rights and fairness.
To this day – even though 50 years have passed – the toilet paper is still intact with Tillie’s story written across the squares.
Becoming the pioneering figure she is today
Tillie’s inspirational story helped motivate Wanda to become the accomplished business executive that she is today. Currently serving as the current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Johnson & Johnson, Wanda has significant experience in general management, marketing, sales, commercial operations, and human resources.
Through this role, Wanda is responsible for globally advancing the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) outcomes, strengthening DEI capabilities, and driving growth through innovation.
Although Wanda is based in the US where she lives with her husband and son, she helps to push Johnson & Johnson’s global DEI efforts through many key markets, including Brazil, China, Japan and India.
Prior to this role, Wanda held a variety of leadership positions across Johnson & Johnson including Vice President, Sales & Marketing; Vice President, Commercial Analytics, Development & Operations; and Vice President, Global Performance & Development.
Wanda has thrived throughout her time at Johnson & Johnson and has been recognised for her ability to exceed business results, deliver innovative solutions to complex challenges and drive diversity and inclusion global outcomes.
But Johnson & Johnson isn’t the only organisation to recognise Wanda’s efforts, as she has also received many accolades, including the Penn State Smeal Diversity Award, the Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise Magazine, and Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Rising Star Award, to name a few.