Ebony Lawrence works for Kaiser Permanente, where she works in strategy, with a background in HR, operations and administration.
Driven by a desire to increase diversity in the workforce, Ebony has been involved with PWA in a variety of roles and capacities over the years. Currently, she serves on the Equity & Access Committee, and recently, she collaborated with Board Member Keli Van Holde to lead a presentation on “Networking Essentials” for PWA’s Youth Impact Council.
“I am dedicated to building diverse talent pipelines and helping students of color become competitive applicants for a system that wasn’t built for us,” shares Ebony.
Ebony has participated in PWA's Future of Nursing Mentor Program as a volunteer and advocate. She has supported Kaiser's involvement in multiple PWA programs, from the NW Youth Careers Expo to Career Days. She has also shaped PWA programming around mock interviews and career-readiness workshops through her involvement with the Volunteer Committee.
Learn more about Ebony’s work, passions, and goals for the future of PWA below.
Tell us about yourself and what you do for work.
“My name is Ebony Lawrence. Just a little bit about me: I work at Kaiser Permanente. I've been in various roles at Kaiser – everywhere from HR, administration, Chief of Staff for the regional president, and now I'm in strategy. Really my passion is people strategy, so I would say the HR function is really what drives me.”
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
“I have a 10 year old daughter, her name is Giselle, she is really the best part of me, I would say. If there’s a concert, Ebony’s there, for sure. I enjoy trying different restaurants and happy hour spots and my favorite thing to do during the summer is riding horses.”
Why did you get involved with PWA?
“Like a lot of you, it was [PWA Founding Director] Kevin [Jeans-Gail.]. He’s very, very persistent. At that time, I was a manager in HR at Kaiser and had oversight of the pipeline programs including the [KP YEAH!] high school program, internships, early career program and fellowships. I think he set up maybe about five different 30-minute talks with me before he sealed the deal…So that is why I am with you all now.”
What kind of work do you do for PWA and why do you do it?
“I usually work with the mock interview team. This year I switched it up a little bit. I am dedicated to building diverse talent pipelines and helping students of color become competitive applicants for a system that wasn’t built for us. I am extremely passionate about that work and it doesn’t matter what role I take – I’m still advocating for that, and that’s something that is really important to me.”
How do you want to continue strengthening PWA’s mission?
“I really want to figure out how we can reach more diverse students and target programs that support the underrepresented minority students, socially disadvantaged students [and] students with other disparities. I would like to see those students take advantage of mock interviews at the Expo. I want those students to really understand that they belong in those rooms and that they can be prepped as well. I see students visiting different booths, but not taking advantage of the mock interviews and other sessions. I want to make sure that they understand that they’re supposed to be there, and those resources are there for them as well, so that’s something that I would like to improve.”
These remarks, made at the PWA April Board Meeting, have been edited for brevity and clarity.