This past spring, Alexis Kerr, the head of multicultural marketing at Cadillac, a division of General Motors (GM), was first introduced to SMASH when GM asked if she would be willing to emcee SMASH’s movie premiere of I AM. With an undergraduate degree in IT and engineering and an MBA in marketing, Kerr was thrilled to accept the invitation.
Kerr’s background in STEM has definitely helped her to excel in her career. She attributes her ability to creatively problem solve, think strategically, and connect dots to her engineering and IT degrees. Because she’s able to think outside of the box, she’s been able to be agile and nimble as she leads her team in developing the marketing content targeted to diverse audiences.
Kerr believes that it is essential to be thoughtful and authentic in the work that she does. First, she must truly understand how her audience is feeling and what motivates them, Then, she must create messaging that is authentic to the Cadillac brand, as well as being authentic to her targeted demographics, which includes, Black Americans, Latinx, Asians, and the LGBTQ+ communities. During this dual pandemic, covid-19 and anti-black racism, Kerr has been able to use her position to help lead change and to build up our underrepresented communities. Kerr acknowledges that there is still a definite lack of diversity in STEM and room must be made at the table for diverse voices.
What I’ve found, when you are an expert in your craft, people can respect that, they might not respect you, but they will respect your expertise.
– Alexis Kerr
This is why advises she our SMASH scholars to:
- Continue to be curious: If you aren’t continually learning, you will become “old news.”
- Establish strong relationships: Go beyond the Midwest, we are a global world and you can create a network of individuals beyond your region.
- Hone your craft : It is important that you are good at something and that you continue to develop in that area.
SMASH is grateful that Alexis is an ambassador for SMASH and proud to have GM as a partner. GM has a long history of diverse agencies and supporting the underserved. Together, we are able to close gaps, open doors, and SMASH barriers.