mindy nelson, bli alumni

BLI Alumna Spotlight Mindy Nelson, and Her Inclusion and Diversity Journey

It’s such a joy for our She-Suite Team to take time to connect with Brand Leadership Institute participants, and get to know them on a deeper level. Mindy Nelson, BLI Alumni and Project Leader/Analyst, Global Inclusion & Diversity at Eaton, is no exception to this. 

Mindy’s background is unique in that she was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was eventually adopted from an orphanage by an American family at the age of seven years old. Her brother was four, and it was no small adjustment as the two grew up in a small, Westernized town where they made up 1% of the Asian population through high school. 

Her family was always supportive, and backed her initial dream of working towards becoming a lawyer, which stemmed from the consistent unfairness she observed growing up. Yet eventually her career path shifted, and she started a new adventure with Eaton, an intelligent power management company. 

Today, Mindy’s been with Eaton for over 15 years across a variety of roles, currently sitting as a Project Leader for Global Inclusion & Diversity.

Now, I can see the impact of Inclusion and Diversity as an adult. As I reflect, having discussions of Inclusion & Diversity would have helped me when I was younger. But I have no regrets, as the challenges I faced and overcame have helped mold me into who I am today. 

It was about a year ago that Mindy’s manager at Eaton first nominated Mindy to participate in The Brand Leadership Institute. Quickly, she came to see that this wasn’t just ‘another leadership program.’

As I began the journey into BLI, my impression changed to, “Oh..wow…this is deep”. In my mind I thought the program was “check the box” and you’re done. However, this was a 6-month journey with cohorts, accountability, self-reflection, being vulnerable, open, honest and transparent. I wanted to fully accept the gift that The BLI was willing to share, and that Eaton was giving by nominating me. 

As Mindy worked through the program and experienced the courses, she felt herself grow through being challenged. One big takeaway from the program is to help participants focus on making themselves and their time a priority; something that can be extremely challenging for working women. Another tool within The BLI is the crafting of one’s MVP – Mission, Vision, and Purpose. Mindy cites that taking time to actually get that down on paper helped her to grasp a better understanding of where she was heading, with greater purpose.

Self-reflection is easy to accept if it is all positive, but as I realized there were parts of my behavior I needed to reflect and change, that was a difficult pill to swallow.  

It’s clear that Mindy’s hard work and engagement has paid off, as she was recently promoted to a new position within Eaton. An active member of SOAR (Strengthening our Asian Resources) resource group, Mindy also maintains mentor and mentee relationships, frequently networks across business units, and has gained frequent exposure to different leadership groups from the BLI program, sharing that all of the above helped to set her up for this recent success.

Along with her promotion, Mindy has also recently stepped into the role as the BLI Program Lead for Eaton, helping to usher in and guide the incoming Brand Leadership Institute cohorts. 

I’ve come full circle as a cohort member and now Program Leader for the BLI. I’ve shared my BLI journey with many women and have noticed many women are now excited to be part of the next cohort. As an alumni I am part of a BLI community and I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with other alumni, and growing that bond. I truly love meeting and connecting with new people. 

Like many of us, Mindy has big goals and aspirations for 2023. Yet she also knows the importance of stopping, breathing, and taking it all in. 

From a personal point of view my goal is to “take time and breath”. I want to enjoy the moments with my daughter before she goes to college. She is a Junior in High School and I know in a blink of an eye, she will be out conquering the world. Beyond that, I hope to spend time with my husband as we continue this journey of life together. 

Professionally my goal is to continue to accept new challenges and grow. I know the work I’m doing is making an impact.

I’ve learned that in order to change experiences I need to talk about my experiences. At times, talking about myself at times feels like I’m bragging, and I do not want to come across that way; however I’ve learned no one will know “who” I am if I do not speak up and speak out my experiences. I have more confidence in my voice tone and when I speak. 

We are so thankful for Mindy taking the time to speak up, and share more about herself with us. Her life journey is both inspirational and impressive, and we are proud to call you one of our Brand Leadership Institute Alumni!