When Joelle A. Murchison graduated from high school, she was convinced she would someday be the U.S. Secretary of Education. Although she never achieved that position, her career has involved a number of important – and highly successful – educational efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
Murchison earned a bachelor’s degree in public policy and American institutions and educational studies from Brown University; a master’s degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University; and a master’s degree in communication management from Syracuse University.
Murchinson joined The Travelers Companies in 2007. In her current position, she leads Travelers’ company-wide diversity initiative, which has involved the creation of Diversity Speaks, the Appreciating Differences training program, and Diversity Networks, employee resource groups – the first in the company’s history.
Her excellent communication skills and facility in building relationships helps her connect individuals with the resources they need to develop their careers. Moreover, these traits enable Murchison to manage internal and external strategic relationships that drive and enhance Travelers’ culture and attain business objectives.
Murchison not only demonstrates outstanding leadership in her career, but she takes that trait into the community by serving as moderator of the church body at Faith Congregational Church, UCC. “I’ve taken some skills from the corporate sector and applied them to my volunteer work in the church,” she said.
A. Lee Martin, vice chair of the church’s trustee board, nominated Murchison for a 2013 Women of FIRE Award.
“Joelle is a bright, intelligent, talented young lady, who possesses outstanding charisma,” Martin said. “She has exemplified the importance of remaining in school, setting achievable goals and working hard to be a productive individual in her career choices and personal life.”
A change-master at her core, Murchison emphasized that the world desperately needs new perspectives. “Women are great at emulating what they see from men and other women, but we all have unique skills and can bring new ideas to the table. For women, particularly in corporate America, we should not be afraid to challenge the status quo,” she said. “Be authentic, adaptable and courageous.”