Nilka Thomas Named VP of Talent at Lyft

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Nilka Thomas, VP of Talent, Lyft

Nilka Thomas is the new VP of talent at Lyft. In this role, she will be in charge of recruitment, inclusion, diversity and employee relations, and is officially the highest-ranking person on staff in the diversity & inclusion division.

Prior to this, Thomas worked in recruitment and business growth at Google, and according to a post of Lyft’s website, she also oversaw Google’s underrepresented community engagement efforts, and worked with Alphabet portfolio companies to integrate a strong focus on inclusion and diversity at an early stage.

Before Thomas joined the team, Tariq Meyers served as the company’s first-ever diversity and inclusion hire in 2016. During his tenure there, Lyft released its first diversity report. In a 2017 Tech Crunch article, it was reported that Meyers remarked, “We want to make sure we’re being intentional about structuring interview loops without tokenizing someone’s experience, which is the fine line we have to tow. How can you provide a reflection of someone’s experience so that they can have a real glimpse into what it’s like to be black at Lyft — because that’s what I wanted to know when I was joining the team. I wanted to know what it was like to be a brother here.”

In the same article, it was reported that Lyft had incorporated the Rooney Rule into its hiring practices: at least one minority and woman are to be in the final interview stage for any position that is director level or above.