Sound’s transformation continues in 2018 under the leadership of President & CEO Patrick Evans, perhaps most evident this spring with the recruitment of Charlotte Jones as Sound’s first Chief People & Diversity | Inclusion Officer.
With 32 years in human resources positions at top 100 corporations behind her, Kentucky native Jones was looking for an opportunity to “make others’ lives better,” she says. “Sound was well-established within Seattle in this industry and that was appealing.”
When the chance to make people’s lives better was presented, Jones did not hesitate.
“I’ve always loved Seattle, and when the opportunity to move was offered, my husband and I jumped on it,” she says.
His company relocated him to this area for his career as well.
Jones sees her role at Sound as an “advocate for understanding. Diversity and inclusion is multifaceted — meaning you don’t have to accept everyone, everything, or every belief, but hopefully you can understand them, or at least understand why you can’t get to a point of acceptance.”
Her top priority is “aligning our team members to our client base.” She points out that Sound has an extremely diverse client base (34 percent), but the hiring pool in the industry and in the Seattle population isn’t as diverse.
“This may be the toughest part of my role,” she emphasizes. “I hope we can impact recruitment so that we can align more with our community.”
At the same time, Jones says another top priority is supporting Sound team members and impacting their day-to-day work lives positively. One member of her team is former Chief People Officer Karen Ainley, who wanted a more hands-on role within the organization where she feels she contributes the most.
”Karen is a big part of why we will be successful as a team,” says Jones. “She brings valuable perspective, experience and vision to People Operations.
Jones wants to lead with a focus on trust and transparency.
“I don’t have the memory of an elephant, so it’s just easier to be upfront and honest,” she semi-jokes. “People just want to feel that you genuinely desire to hear them. Since I was a child, I was always curious about people, and no one’s story is the same. Imagine all the stories still left untold.”
Jones says she has a “renewed faith in our society” since coming to work at Sound.
“I didn’t expect to feel this overwhelming sense of compassion for a community so often forgotten about, misunderstood, or mistreated,” she notes “Sound hasn’t lost faith in how we can have an impact on this community. I am constantly reminded here that it just takes one person to make a difference and that hope isn’t lost,” she says. “It is simply refreshing to see something so bright.”