By: Girl Scout Senior + Lime Green Giraffe writer, Zora F.

The 2019 Changing the World Awardee, Soon Mee Kim is the Executive Vice President and Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader for Porter Novelli, an international public relations consultancy. A fellow Girl Scout, Kim welcomed a group of girls to tour her office space and for a sit down with some women of leadership in her organization.
Touring Porter Novelli was really exciting. The office space was really nice and very welcoming. It wasn’t like any ordinary cubicle office were the workers just typed away at their computers all day. All the employees looked really happy and that they enjoyed their work environment. While we were touring, a special week was going on called, “WOW Week.”  During this week employees were matched with someone, similar to secret Santa. The task was to be able to “wow” them for the whole week. We all thought it was really cool and fun!
The all-female Porter Novelli panel shared some of their favorite memories as a Girl Scouts and how women are taking the lead in the workforce. The panelist were Executive Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Soon Mee Kim, Executive Vice President, Ayanna Robinson and Vice President, Demeika Wheaton
 I felt the panel was impactful because they talked about how women are advancing by being their authentic selves and how it was for them growing up and finding success in college. Being able to see behind the scenes of Porter Novelli and ask questions to the panelist will always be remembered.

While sitting down with Soon Mee Kim for a one-on-one interview I was able to ask some questions that I find to be pretty important to all of us girls. 

Lime Green Giraffe: What impact will diversity and inclusion have on girls and women who will became leaders in the future?

Soon Mee Kim: Well right now all the studies show that women are actually getting more degrees and are higher educated then some of our male counterparts. We have actually regressed or we are at a standstill in terms of our progression up the corporate ladder which is very sad thing.
The why behind the importance of diversity and inclusion of women is really important. Because we right now don’t have pay parody. We don’t accelerate our careers and get the promotions early on and all I can say to that is there must be something that's beyond the things that we traditionally think of that's holding us back. That's called implicit bias. We want to level the playing field so great incredible women have the opportunity to lead, participate and be a part of creating innovative solutions for the better.

Lime Green Giraffe: How did you get started in your field?

Soon Mee Kim: I got started in my field actually out of failure. My major in college was Political Science. Studying in college was pretty easy for me. I made good grades and had a good understanding of the subject matter.
But when I went to college I faced some adversity when my dad past away. I love the fact that right now people are really focused on mental health and that they’re really taking care of themselves. Back then when I was growing up that wasn’t really a thing. We were expected to just bounce back no matter what came your way. After my dad’s death, I wasn’t getting up to go to any of my classes. I wasn’t really dealing with my grief in the best way. I wasn’t really making the grades to get into a good law school, so I had to change my plans. I think if I knew back then what I know now I would have taken the time to take better care of myself.
I needed to look at different options and I didn't really know a lot about careers. I really got started by looking in the areas of my strengths which were in communication. When I got out of school it took me into the field of public communications.

Lime Green Giraffe: Who inspires you? 

Soon Mee Kim: I’m inspired by people who are really curious. I’m inspired by people who take a chance on things and get out of their comfort zone. When I was growing up that really wasn’t me because I felt like there were things that I was just naturally good at, so I gravitated towards just doing those things. For me I think it was really important to get outside of that of the idea that I could only try things I was good at doing. When other people are really courageous about trying things that makes me really courageous about trying things too.

Lime Green Giraffe: What do you do when you are drained or need to reboot?

Soon Mee Kim: I like being by myself! I just like to binge watch a show and I will get really into it. I think that just really helps me to relax.

Lime Green Giraffe: What college did you attend? What was your major?

Soon Mee Kim: I went to Emory University. I was a Political Science major but I also minored in a lot of different things. I minored in Women Studies, Sociology and Psychology.

Lime Green Giraffe: What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie and why?

Soon Mee Kim: My two favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Samoas and Thin Mints! It’s purely a taste thing, I like coconut and caramel it's a great combination. Thin Mints just go with everything!

I think, the 2019 Changing the World Awardee,  Soon Mee Kim, has lived up to the Girl Scout mission by being a girl of courage, confidence, and character, who makes the world a better place. We at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta are honored to have had the opportunity to have meet you!

Signing off ~ your Lime Green Giraffe reporter, Zora F. 
Lime Green Giraffe -- written by Girls for Girls.

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