Corporate Diversity Director • Toyota Motor North America Inc. • New York City • Age: 35
As corporate diversity director at Toyota Motors North America Inc., T. Hudson Williams coordinates and manages the firm’s diversity programs, policies and initiatives. Previously, she was supplier diversity manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America. Under her direction, TMMNA reached its highest level of annual purchasing from diverse suppliers, spending more than $1 billion with such suppliers. Accolades for her work at Toyota include recognition in 2005 as “advocate of the year” by the South Central Ohio Minority Business Development Council.
Williams attributes much of her success to the example set by her mother, Carolyn Hudson James. “My mother is dedicated, trustworthy, loving, committed, selfless; she made several sacrifices for my brother and I,” Williams says. She also acknowledges the role of her supervisors in her career. “I have been fortunate to have great mentors at Toyota as supervisors. They have allowed me to work as an intrapreneur in shaping the diversity model at Toyota Motor North America,” she says.
Born and raised in Chicago, Williams earned a B.Sc. in electrical engineering, from Southern Illinois University, and an M.B.A. in marketing from Xavier University. She is currently working toward certification as a diversity professional at Cornell University.
Her main challenge, says Williams, is to build the right legacy for herself and to help bring about positive social change. “I would like to be able to use my influence to have a constructive impact and make a contribution to society,” she says. It is in this spirit that she gives back to her community in the form of mentoring and serving on the boards of charitable organizations. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council’s Next Generation Network, an executive board member of the National Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the liaison board of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.