Ebony J. (Travis) Tichenor, MBA, is a strategic leader and Subject Matter Expert in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, compliance, legal, and Human Resource policies. She is currently the Director, Global HR & EEO Policy, Programs & Audit at Boston Scientific, where she has worked for over 24 years.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History month means pride.
As a Black Hispanic woman, Black History Month means celebrating and articulating a sense of pride in what it means to be a Black individual. It is an opportunity to explore my own history that is often not spoken of or just forgotten, dismissed. It is an opportunity to learn more about my culture and the academic excellence of Black people. It is a time of reflection and appreciation, not just for a list of “firsts” but for all that we have achieved, the barriers we broke, and so much more we still have to accomplish.
Why did you choose to work in healthcare?
I think it choose me. I mean, I was looking for an opportunity in Corporate America. Before I knew it, I am almost 25 years here in October 2022. I like to tell people I started at 13. But seriously, I continue to love what I do and being at Boston Scientific. Many will say to you the work is interesting and fast-paced, and this, in essence, is what most people search for, a career where they will be challenged to think of what has not been considered before and where your very ideas can shape the way we look to prolong life or treat illness. We save lives; I couldn’t imagine a better place to be or work at.
When you reflect on your career, what moment are you most proud of?
Wow, that is a great question. There are so many moments I am proud of, but to be honest, it’s not a moment, but rather the many times my mother, who I am a caregiver to, says to me how proud she continues to be of all my continued career achievements, especially in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) space and now here in the Global HR & EEO Policy world where I have the pleasure of continuing my passion of DEI, but doing it a bit differently by focusing on our Affirmative Action Program while still supporting many of our initiatives at Boston Scientific.
Having Black leaders such as yourself in healthcare is incredibly important. Where do you draw inspiration from?
I love this question, for I draw inspiration from the purpose of what we do at Boston Scientific in the medical device field; it’s about the patients, it’s about saving lives. I honestly also believe my inspiration comes from the people at Boston Scientific. I get energized with my work and the people I work with every day, and they give me purpose and the reason to do all that I do. People are what matter most.
You have done a lot of fantastic work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. How do you view that work connecting to Black History Month, and what does it mean to you?
Thank you, I view the DEI work done in connection with Black History Month as an opportunity to celebrate and continue to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion and promote these practices yearlong. The month can spotlight these values, but the efforts should extend into other seasons. We should never take our foot off the gas when it comes to achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially as we celebrate Black History Month.
Let me end with a favorite quote “When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.” —Ava DuVernay, filmmaker and culture-shifter