Diversity director gives job-search advice

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Moffitt Cancer Center leader empowers others to find their path

“Take the time to assess your current skillset and keep an open mind about jobs and careers you may not have considered in the past,’’ said Cathy Grant, senior director of Diversity at Moffitt Cancer Center.

SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Cathy Grant serves as senior director of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Diversity team and has led the diversity and inclusion efforts for the nationally recognized institute since 2006.

Grant’s characteristic open mind is one of her greatest strengths and a hallmark of her approach to cultivating her team at Moffitt.

“It’s important not to simply look at the person as they appear before you,” she said. “Look at the whole person. Are their skills transferrable? I’ve transformed myself many times.”

Her current role allows her to draw on a culmination of her experiences and variety of work settings through the years. “It’s all been part of a path.”

Having called London, the South American country of Guyana, and Brooklyn home by the age of 8, her first childhood ambition was to become a flight attendant and travel the globe, but a bad case of flight nerves forced her to consider another career path.

On hiring women

In her role leading Moffitt Diversity, Grant said she prefers to hire people with varied skills that can be applied for personal and team success.

“It’s important to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, to know that they are smarter and be okay with that.”

While Grant had no shortage of strong women to look up to throughout her life, she said most “were not people you’d view as professionally successful. Their strengths were a depth of commonsense and wise decisions, what they needed to survive.’’

She added, “In business, you need a woman of color in that leadership role; someone who shares and understands your background. It lets others know that professional advancement is possible for them as well.”

‘Market yourself’

Grant’s ethos and diversity efforts extend to Moffitt team members, patients, hospital suppliers and the surrounding Tampa Bay area community.

Diversity and inclusion focus on educating team members about health disparities and strategies to foster a respectful work environment. Her community outreach team, M-POWER, provides education on cancer prevention to underserved and low-income Tampa Bay area communities, particularly those impacted by health disparities.

While Grant and her team are passionate regarding the health needs of our community members, they are additionally committed to offering support as the country navigates the societal impact of COVID-19. She acknowledges that this is a difficult time for many, but encourages people to remain hopeful, especially those furloughed and/or looking for a job.

“Prepare to market yourself and focus on professional development items such as résumé updating. Take the time to assess your current skillset and keep an open mind about jobs and careers you may not have considered in the past,’’ she said.

Supporting others

She also recommends tapping into your existing network and think about the friends, family, church members or colleagues with whom you have relationships.

“Ask them about people that could help with their job search and about insight regarding existing job opportunities. If appropriate, request for them to make an introduction or give a recommendation.”

Whether it involves making the time to mentor a young woman or working with her team to support the community during a global pandemic, Grant remains devoted to stepping up, helping pave the path and providing support to those who need it the most.

Grant earned a Master of Public Administration from City of New York University’s Bernard M. Baruch College Marxe School of Public & International Affairs. She also holds a Certificate in Diversity Management in Health Care (CDM) from Georgetown University and the Institute for Diversity in Health Management.

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