Sommer Thomas '03 helps build trust and effect cultural change at the Federal Reserve Bank
Sommer Thomas '03 works at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, using her organizational agility and behavioral management expertise to help build better teams through trust. “Team building is more important than ever given the increase in working from home, the decline in civil discourse in society at large, and ongoing tensions exacerbated by 2020’s racial reckoning.”
The Fed’s mission: “to promote a strong, resilient, and inclusive economy and financial system for New England,” resonates strongly with Sommer, who sees her work equipping teams as contributing to this worthy goal. “People want to make change but they don’t always have the right tools or networks to be strategic and effective.” That’s where Sommer thrives, “I’m mission driven and I’m a good storyteller.”
Sommer also focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion. These last two years she has chaired an employee resource group whose goal is to support black employee development and educate others about racism and the black experience. Some of these educational events include bringing in some star speakers of the black community. The president of Boston’s NAACP chapter, Tanisha Sullivan, addressed police violence and education; Topper Carew, architect and co-founder of the show “Martin” spoke on creating educational programs that bring Black youth into STEM spaces; and David A. Thomas, 12th President of Morehouse College – who happens to be Sommer’s dad, as well as a former Shady Hill Trustee – spoke on the importance of corporate management of inclusion.
As challenging as it can be to build trust and effect cultural change in huge, established organizations, Sommer is undaunted. She sees “a thirst for education” at the Bank and is thrilled to provide it. #ShadyHillSchool#Changemaker