Feb 1, 2023 7 min read

DEI at the Intersection of Business and Community - with Michelin

Photo of Tiffane Davis + q

Episode 40, 28 min listen  

We again examine diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the intersection of business and community. In today's episode, we speak with Tiffane Davis, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, for Michelin North America. Tiffane brings a perspective from inside a company where DEI has been a way of life for decades. Where the approach to DEI is an outgrowth of the company values and where they are also intentional about reaching out into the community. Let's hear how equity and inclusion comes to life at Michelin.  


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Learn more about Michelin N.A. and shop for tires.

Listen to an earlier related episode: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Intersection of Community and Business - With Dr. Nika White


Tiffane Thompson Davis is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Michelin North America, which encompasses approximately 22,500 employees across Canada and the United States. In this role, Tiffane provides strategic and programmatic leadership for diversity and inclusion initiatives, leveraging internal and external resources and best practices.

Tiffane is no stranger to strategy and execution, having spent 20 years as a marketing specialist and leader at a diverse range of companies including 3M, Gartner, Newell Rubbermaid, Tempur-Pedic and Michelin.  She has a track record of collaborating and building teams to develop, launch and grow customer-centric products and services by leveraging insights to build go-to-market plans.

Tiffane is passionate about helping others build their self-image and confidence to unlock their potential. With her husband Charles, Tiffane recently co-authored a children’s book and launched a men’s accessories store. Both endeavors are meant to instill confidence in men and boys, leveraging fashion to express themselves and build their personal brands.

Committed to helping people thrive and be their authentic selves, Tiffane is excited to be a part of the community ready to do the work of inclusion.

Tiffane holds degrees from North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned a degree in Business Management, and the University of Georgia, where she earned her MBA. Follow Tiffane on LinkedIn to learn more about her thoughts on leadership for diversity and inclusion, and building personal brands.



We definitely believe it’s beneficial. As we again think about diversity, it absolutely plays a part in how successful we are as a company and how successful I think the community is. So again, we’re doing whatever it is that we can do to help support that, in that community. I talked about our challenge education program earlier for developing the community. Of course, those are young people, who then grow up to be a part of the community as adults, as they’re growing older. We also have programs like our youth apprenticeship program and our tech scholar program for high school as well as college-aged students to help them develop, I would say skills that can be leveraged in the community as they become adults.

-Benefits to DEI for Corporation and Community

Ame Sanders  19:08

What are some of the benefits that you see to Michelin when a community is more successful in becoming equitable and inclusive across the community?

Tiffane Davis  19:18

I think, again, that if the community is successful, then it creates a thriving environment for which our employees live in every day. It also provides us employable people who can become even part of Michelin and help us solve problems, develop products and solutions, and continue to give back to that community. So, it really is about the sustainability of the entire community.

Ame Sanders  19:49

From my experience, it seems that a lot of companies like Michelin have roles maybe not exactly like yours but have been at this for a while. Most good companies have a DEI role of sorts, have engaged their managers, have resources for their employees to feel more welcome and included. But I’m not sure I see that always out in the communities in terms of the governmental and public entities.

Do you have any thoughts about your role in a corporation versus what you see happening in some of the communities where your factories might be either in the city, or county or maybe even like the Chamber of Commerce and other roles that reach a broader population across the community? I know, these are a lot of community questions for you and you’re a corporate person, but I know that you have a particular role at Michelin where you guys reach out into the community, so I felt like you’d be the right person to answer some of these.

-Role of DEI Executive

Tiffane Davis  20:51

Absolutely. I would say, as a company, and even in this role, personally, from a DEI perspective, I have the opportunity to engage with, as you said, others in the role. I’ve engaged with many other diversity officers at other companies. I’ve engaged with people, maybe not diversity officers specifically, but people who are in some way involved in the work of the DEI. What I’ve learned is, we’re all tackling the same problem, right? So, I find it beneficial to engage and work with my counterparts, whether they’re at other companies locally here or nationwide, for that matter, as well as those with within the community. It’s a great way to talk about some challenges that we may be facing or that we see on the horizon and get different perspectives of how other companies are addressing those issues.

Everyone really is at a different point on the journey. The more that we can collaborate, I think the better off that we’ll be. Locally, we do work with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber of Commerce is working to bring companies into the conversation and really have the conversations that we’re talking about and share best practices.

-Corporation's Role in the Community

Ame Sanders  22:22

You know, it’s been encouraging to me to see Michelin across the community here locally. I know that’s where the North American headquarters is, so there’s probably a lot more activity. But everything from some of your employees being active and vocal at county council meetings, when they were addressing things that might affect our LGBTQ+ community, whether it is sponsoring events that the broader community can participate in, those are all things that are encouraging to me to see one of our larger companies reaching out into the community actively, both from an employee standpoint, but also from a corporate standpoint. So, I just want to thank you for that in our community. I think it makes a big difference.

Tiffane Davis  23:08

Absolutely. I agree. I think more and more of companies like ours come together. One in particular that comes to mind is Pride Month. And as you said, we are a sponsor and a part of Pride Month as well as other local large companies here as well as one example.  

Ame Sanders  23:32

So, do you have any parting thoughts for our audience about either DEI, from a corporate standpoint, or at the intersection of business and community?

-DEI Within and Beyond Walls of the Company

Tiffane Davis  23:43

I would really go back to what I said earlier, Ame, in that we are employees of our company Michelin, but we are also employees of our community. The more that we can work together to create an inclusive environment, in the walls of the company and beyond out into society, into our community, the more impactful we’ll be, the more successful we will be as employees as well as citizens of the community.

Ame Sanders  24:15

Well thank you so much for joining us today.

Tiffane Davis  24:20

Thank you.


Ame Sanders  24:22

Okay, I’ll admit it. For my episodes, this was a short interview. Still, it was jam packed with learning for all of us. Whether we’re working on inclusion and equity at our company, or in the community, or like Tiffane, both. At Michelin, Tiffane told us, DEI is strategic and driven by three pillars:

(1) enriching their team;

(2) creating a culture of belonging; and

(3) impacting society.

You know, I love that right off the bat that they included society and community in their strategic orientation for their DEI work. The fact that these three pillars and their overall DEI work has also grown out of a core company value, respect for people. Now that’s a strong foundation to build on.

Grounded in values and with a strategic orientation for their work, Tiffane and Michelin get down to business through what she called their Office of DEI and by putting their employees front and center through training and initiatives. But you know, also through lasting structures such as their 11 business resource groups, or BRGs, as she called them, and their 13 diversity and inclusion councils. Tiffane told us how these structures serve as a platform for continuous improvement and listening to employees, as well as driving engagement reach and impact throughout the company, all the way down to the shop floor.

Also, we heard Tiffane describe that individuals who are part of these groups intentionally reach out into the community and give back to their community in many different ways. You know, this part of the discussion really made me think about what similar and lasting structures might be needed to help drive community equity and inclusion. While Tiffane shared many of the things that are going well, and contributing to progress in DEI, she also didn’t hesitate to share opportunities for their continuous improvement. Their corporate value of respect for facts means that they are working to improve their data around DEI, and also looking not just for data around results, but for leading indicators that will help them drive change and progress going forward.

You know, this is another area that made me sit up and think about how this looks at a broader community level and what kind of data might be needed there. The best part of this conversation for me was that it reminded me again, of the wonderful alignment and synergy that exists between community efforts on inclusion and equity and the DEI efforts that many of our larger employers have. In many of these larger employers over the years they have already provided training to thousands of employees. They work every day to keep inclusion and equity front and center and top of mind across the company.

They’ve also reached outside their four walls of their company in many different ways, including supplier diversity and in community involvement. Clearly, the leadership at Michelin sees diversity, inclusion, and belonging as worth the investment and critical for their business success. But as we heard Tiffane tell us they also see themselves and their DEI work as benefiting from and contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society, across the communities in which they operate.

This has been the State of Inclusion Podcast. Join us again next time. And if you enjoyed this episode, the best compliment for our work is your willingness to share these ideas with others. Leave us a review. We’d love your comments. Thanks so much for listening.


Guest: Tiffane Davis

Host: Ame Sanders

Social Media and Marketing Coordinator: Kayla Nelson

Podcast Coordinator: Emma Winiski

Sound: FAROUT Media

Ame Sanders
Founder of State of Inclusion. A seasoned leader & change-maker, she is focused on positive change within communities.
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