As a woman of color (WOC) and first-born daughter of immigrants, my life has always had its set of challenges. My parents didn’t go to college—instead they each immigrated to America, from different countries, to pursue the “American Dream.” Growing up, my parents and I were learning a new language, culture, and lifestyle together.

Ronda McPherson
Ronda McPherson
Sr. Project Manager

I went through many firsts and unknowns, and after a certain age, my parents couldn’t really help me anymore. Whether it was applying for colleges, filling out financial aid applications, or getting a corporate job, I had to figure it out on my own. I can say that financial aid applications—with zero understanding of taxes, at 17 years old—was terrifying. But, like most things, I figured it out and made it happen.

My father always taught me that education was key. If I wanted to be successful, I had to be the best. There was no room for error or opportunities for mistakes. He deeply rooted in me that, as a minority, excellence was the only way to be successful in the US. The greatest lesson I learned is one of resilience—being unafraid to ask the questions needed to position myself for success. It’s allowed me to excel in unfamiliar circumstances.

One of the main reasons I joined PRA is the company’s worldwide footprint. Working at a global company feels like home because I grew up in a community of immigrants from different countries. As a Project Manager, I’m a firm believer that in order for a team to be successful, we must embrace each other’s differences, strengths, and weaknesses. Working on global studies, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work with people from even more diverse backgrounds.

Diversity in the workplace is crucial to maintaining a successful and inclusive business, especially when it comes to employee engagement. Workplace diversity encourages collaboration and innovation—every team member brings their own unique backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the table. In order to promote diversity within all ranks at PRA, we must promote a safe space for employees to feel heard and included.

Given our HI*PRA values, we are truly in the mindset to focus on the human-centricity component and are doing just that. Efforts such as chartering the company’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee are steps in the right direction. I proudly serve on the committee, and I can honestly say that although we are early in the DE&I stages, PRA leadership is very supportive of our efforts. They all truly want to encourage positive change within our organization.

As an industry, not only do we need to expand efforts within our respective companies, but we also need to be vocal about our progress externally. I’m a firm believer that you attract what you are. If we continue building a diverse, equal, and inclusive industry, then we will manifest, inspire, and attract diverse and inclusive talent.

Learn more about PRA’s core values

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