Deidre Eason makes her move

Deidre Eason was quietly enjoying her vacation when a colleague texted to say her dream job—as a diversity and inclusion consultant—had just posted on Capital Group’s intranet. Deidre recalls the fateful moment: “My first thought was, ‘Really? I just left for vacation and now have no way to complete the application without my laptop!’”

At this point, Deidre had been working as a Human Resources (HR) consultant in Hampton Roads, Virginia, for almost 10 years. Virginia was her lifelong home—it was comfortable and familiar, and she was surrounded by friends and family. “I always said, ‘There’s only one job that could move me away from here, and it doesn’t even exist,’” she remembers telling her colleagues at the time.

Stepping up to challenges

Deidre had been envisioning this non-existent job after discovering her passion for working with Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programs at Capital. Feeling D&I was crucially important, she created her own opportunities—all while holding down her daily HR responsibilities. Deidre was a leading member of Capital’s Indianapolis office D&I council, one of Capital’s early formalized D&I efforts, and helped establish several of Capital’s first community groups.“I learned I didn’t need an official job title to contribute meaningfully at Capital,” Deidre recounts.

Inspired by her “shero”

Others took notice. Barb Soria, HR senior manager, observed Deidre’s diligence toward the Indianapolis D&I council initiative. “Barb showed an interest in getting to know me personally,” recalls Deidre. “It’s just her style, and she became my mentor. Barb’s my ‘shero.’”

Barb, a sponsoring member of the initiative, worked with Deidre during her frequent trips to Indianapolis to present project updates. Barb noticed that Deidre was a “trans-formative change agent” who didn’t always openly express her thoughts and ideas. Deidre reflects, “Barb told me, ‘There’s a part of you that’s more expressive outside of Capital, and I don’t see her here. I want to see more of that Deidre.’”

When you work with great people every day and everyone feels comfortable—the sky’s the limit.

Deidre Eason

Deidre felt something shift. “My contributions at Capital changed when I began bringing more of myself to work. Barb made me feel safe doing that.”

Flexing her newfound muscles of self-expression, Deidre talked about her dream of a full-time D&I position at Capital with fellow associates. She set up meetings with John Renfro, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Jim Evans, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.

“I thought stepping into a dedicated D&I position was a long shot, and didn’t know if it would happen,” says Deidre. “But I needed to follow my life’s mantra, which is a famous quote from Walt Disney: ‘Dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.’”

Then came the call

Deidre pressed “submit” on her dream-job application the minute she returned from her vacation. “I was thrilled and scared at the same time,” she recalls. “I hadn’t interviewed in years; plus, I knew that if I got the job I’d be uprooting my life to move across the country.”

Deidre brushed up on her interview skills using the tools and resources she found on Capital’s internal learning and development website, Learning Central. She also focused on being her “authentic self” throughout the interview process. “I just wanted them to see me for who I am, so we could both know if the job was the right fit,” explains Deidre. “I took the interview process seriously and never assumed I had the job.”

When Jim called to tell Deidre her dream had come true, all Deidre could say was, “Wow, I can’t believe this is happening!”

The move to California came shortly after, and Deidre found many Los Angeles associates she’d worked with remotely were now eagerly embracing her arrival. “There was a feeling of community before I even got here,” she exclaims. “Many associates were supportive and interested in helping me transition to my new role and life in L.A.”

After being in her dream job for about a year, Deidre reflects, “It was absolutely a great decision. I have no regrets; I only wish it had happened sooner!

“I want to create an environment where all associates feel the way I do,” Deidre emphasizes. “That is, when you work with great people every day and everyone feels comfortable—the sky’s the limit.”

Career development tips from Deidre

  • Create your own opportunities. You don’t need an official job title to contribute!
  • Bring more of your true self to work.
  • Set up informational interviews pro-actively.
  • Take the interview process seriously.