Sr Manager Treasury Management | Synovus DEI Leadership Board, Birmingham, AL
As we connect with team members throughout the bank, one thing rings true — we’re inspired by the dedication they have to bring their authentic selves to work each day.
For Shantora, that sometimes means leaning into the parts of yourself you’re unfamiliar with or allowing others to challenge your view of yourself.
“God has placed people in my life at certain times to serve as my cheerleaders,” she says. “My husband, coworkers, managers, and mentors — the only reason I have encountered them is God knew what they would impart … that they would show me things that I didn’t see about myself.”
Shantora finds inspiration to continue showing up as her true self from other Black women. Her mother, a pastor, instilled in Shantora and her siblings the importance of putting God first, followed by family, with the expectation that everything else after that falls into place.
Another notable Black woman who encourages others to seek out their purpose is Michele Obama. Her book, "The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times", motivated Shantora to find and continue to be her most authentic self.
When we chatted with Shantora and covered the subject of diversity, she shared with us the importance of having hard conversations.
“With everything happening in our world today, we are very quick to call people out about certain things,” she said. Shantora recommends a TedTalk featuring Loretta J. Ross – Don’t Call People Out, Call Them In.
“Ross’s challenge is to call them in by sitting down, having a conversation with those who may have drastically different perspectives than ourselves.”
For Shantora, diversity, equity, and inclusion reach far beyond Black History Month and create opportunities for learning, allyship, and implementing change.
“I’m privileged to be in the DEI Leadership group and part of a pod group with Treasury for us to regularly talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s proven beneficial because we are so quick to categorize others just by the color of our skin.”
Perhaps we’re more than just that, she proposes. Maybe what makes her different is that she grew up in a one-parent household or was the first to go to college in her family instead of coming from a family of college graduates. Or maybe it’s that she’s part of a nondenominational church while others around her may be members of other faiths.
“All of our backgrounds and lived experiences are what diversity is really about to me.”
Shantora’s final takeaways for us were these three messages of inspiration:
- God is at the center of it all.
- Lean into your faith and your authentic self.
- Have uncomfortable conversations to share life experiences.