William Danzey is a changemaker by nature. From his role as Zoetis Global Process Procure-to-Pay Owner, to his leadership of our Black Colleague Resource Group, the Believers, he drives transformative differences with the goal of making things better. Through his participation in the Zoetis Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, William contributes to conversations and actions to create an inclusive workplace, an important theme as we celebrate Black History Month.
The importance of dignity was fostered in William from an early age. As a child, he watched his father, who grew up in the segregated South, without access to higher education, go to his job as a truck driver each day in a suit and tie because he took such pride in going to work. If you’ve seen William in our Parsippany headquarters, you know he’s a suit-and-tie guy, too. “People tell me I don’t have to do that, but it’s my tribute to my father,” he said. It’s not only William’s dress sense that would make his father proud, William has shown great integrity throughout his career, especially when it’s come to ensuring people are treated with respect.
At a previous employer, William was tasked with implementing a single system for over 100,000 global users. He was working with many countries – some of which had imbalanced privileges for men and women. William initiated the tough conversations to bring equality. “I understand cultural and religious differences, but when it came down to denying women rights that their male counterparts received, that wasn’t going to happen. I saw it as an opportunity for change. And they did.” During this time, William was living in Switzerland, but was traveling almost constantly (over 70 countries in 4 years!), which he said was a beautiful way to learn that while we may all have different cultures, everyone deserves an opportunity to feel a sense of belonging. “I’m passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion because everyone deserves the opportunity to feel respected and be treated equally,” he added.
This ethos comes through in William’s work, too. His manager, Rohit Dhir, Head of Financial Shared Services, said, “William and I have worked together for four years. I would describe him as a dedicated, conscientious and enthusiastic leader who has a great penchant for meeting deadlines. The two qualities I admire most in him are his problem-solving nature and his amazing knack to understand people’s strengths and pushing them to be their best. One of the Zoetis Core Beliefs he lives every day is ‘always do the right thing’.
When asked what Black History Month means to him, William cited the appreciation of those Black figures who have come before, and those who are close to us personally and professionally, whether they have passed on or are still in our lives today. Of course, he said, it’s important to shine a spotlight on it, but celebrating black history shouldn’t be limited to the month of February. Rather it should be the spark for a larger, ongoing conversation about how to incorporate Black history and inclusivity into our cultures. “As a diverse world, everyone should have these conversations about their history because their stories are valuable,” he said.
He’s proud of the efforts Zoetis has made to ensure diversity and equity are paramount to our workplace culture. “Inclusion is woven into the fabric of what Zoetis is. It’s how we’re hiring, how we’re looking at people, and how we’re even trying to understand the reality.” Spoken like a true P2P Owner, he added, “It’s not different than process reengineering when you think about it. We need to understand the problem to fix it.”
Through colleague resource groups and providing continuous education resources on understanding and valuing differences between people, ensuring our colleagues have the opportunity and equal access to what they need to be successful, we at Zoetis are trying to create an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging and can bring their full selves to work every day. Celebrating Black History Month is a springboard that inspires us to continue on this journey toward a more diverse and inclusive Zoetis every day. Our colleagues like William make the difference along the way.