Time for a coffee break? Take a few minutes to get to know Natalie C. McGrady, Director of Supplier Diversity at Cargill, including her best career advice, advice for women entrepreneurs, and what women inspire her.

What piece of advice would you give to women entrepreneurs that want to do business with your corporation?

If you are looking to do business with Cargill, I think you need to understand the company at least at a basic level. Be ready to tell us why you would be a good fit and how you can help us move our mission of Nourishing The World forward. Look at our website, read articles, look at our social media pages and identify a fit.

What drove you to a career in diversity and inclusion?

This career wasn’t my choice, but others saw it in me. I have always been an advocate for diversity in the workplace. Both of my parents were Civil Rights Pioneers in my hometown of Corning, NY. They organized the first B-Racial Social Club in the early 60s and were strong advocates for those marginalized members of our community. This is a passion that I carry forward with me.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Never be the issue. If there is a problem or concern with something connected to you or your team, make sure you are looking for ways to solve the issue. Stay away from the blame game, stay above the fray. That way leaders are discussing your positive behavior and problem-solving skills verses not. That is advice that has served me well.

What women inspire you?

I am the youngest of six girls. I say all my sisters inspire me in some way shape or form along with our mother, Odessa McGrady. My sisters and I grew up in a middle-class household. We all attended and graduated college and most have advanced degrees. We saw how hard our mother worked to provide for our family. She was college educated but never made more than my father who was not. She pushed us to pursue our dreams and to out work anyone. When she retired from Ingersoll-Rand in 1985, she went on to pursue a career with Cooperative Extension. She didn’t think she would get the position but her motto for us is, “Nothing beats a try but a failure.”

What’s the best way to start your day?

Exercise! I start most days now at OrangeTheory Fitness, I used to only power-walk for fitness. I think getting up early gets me going and keeps me motivated for the day. I have been at OrangeTheory for a few years now. I love everything about how it pushes me and the burst of energy I get throughout the day.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up I always thought I would be a secretary at Corning Glass Works, now Corning, Inc. I saw secretaries, now administrative assistants, as a key role. My dad’s admin always knew where he was, what he needed to do and kept us all on our toes depending on the event or activity. I thought that is a cool job.

Fill in the Blank

When I face a challenge, I… sit back and think about my approach before reacting. It helps me to go through various approaches and scenarios in my head.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… don’t let anyone take your shine.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family. It is big and loud; it gives me life.
Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … I grew up watching my parents care for the rights of others. My father, Charles, was the Director of Community Relations for Corning, Inc. He went to work every day to fight for the rights of others. It rubbed off on me.

CARGILL

Nourishing the world.

Our team of 160,000 professionals in 70 countries draws together the worlds of food, agriculture, nutrition and risk management. For more than 150 years, we have helped farmers grow more, connecting them to broader markets. We are continuously developing products that give consumers just what they’re seeking, advancing nutrition, food safety and sustainability. And we help all of our partners innovate and manage risk, so they can nourish the world again tomorrow.

Learn more at cargill.com

Author

Natalie C. McGrady
Director of Supplier Diversity at Cargill

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