Episode 63

Opportunities for Employees with Past Criminal Records

This week on Advancing All Women, we’re discussing how your organization can create opportunities for employees with past criminal records. Guests Dawn Gilmore, Head of Talent Acquisition, Kroger; Jeffrey Korzenik, Chief Economist of one of the country’s largest commercial banks; and Jelahn Stewart, Vice President and Special Counsel, Global Ethics and Compliance, Walmart, joined us to deep dive into the unique considerations of recruiting within this underserved candidate demographic. Learn how to find a candidate who will be a great fit, the factors that prevent many previously incarcerated persons from re-entering the workforce, and best practices for bolstering recruiting within your own organization.

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dawn gilmore

Dawn M. Gilmore

Head of Talent Acquisition at Kroger

Dawn Gilmore is in her thirteenth year of working in the Corporate Human Resources department for The Kroger Co. In her current role, Dawn oversees the Talent Acquisition Center of Excellence that implements talent attraction and recruitment strategies for our more than 2,700 stores, offices and administrative staff, 34 manufacturing plants, 44 distribution centers and our automated e-Commerce Fulfilment centers as they begin to open across the U.S. Kroger’s Talent Acquisition strategy is responsible for attracting, sourcing and providing a positive candidate experience for over ~260,000 new hires annually.

She is a member of Next Up. She is a graduate of the Urban League’s African-American Leadership Development Program and the YWCA Rising Star program. She serves on the Board of Trustee for Public Media Connect (PMC) and on the HR Advisory Group for
Bethany House. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and is serving on the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association Heart Ball. She recently served as a Co-Chair for Women’s EDGE from 2016 – 2021. She was also recognized by Progressive Grocer as a Top Woman in Grocery in 2013 (Rising Star) and in 2021 (Sr. Executive).

Jelahn Stewart

Jelahn Stewart

Vice President and Special Counsel, Global Ethics and Compliance, Walmart

I currently serve as Vice President and Special Counsel and am the Global Ethics Officer for the Company. In this role, I listen to the concerns of associates and try to find solutions and oversee the management of allegations of misconduct for the entire enterprise. I also lead the company’s Criminal Justice Shared Value Network, where we engage stakeholders on our policies and initiatives involving the criminal justice system. I joined Walmart in May 2018, as a Senior Associate Counsel in Legal Investigations where I managed global investigations of allegations of misconduct both within and impacting the Company. Additionally, I oversaw regulatory litigation that significantly impacted the Company and interfaced with federal and state agencies, including the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In 2019, I was promoted to Senior Director II on the Remediation Team in Global Ethics and Compliance, where I identified and remediated regulatory risks impacting the Company. I have received numerous Making the Difference Awards since joining the Company.


Jeffrey D. Korzenik

Chief Economist

Jeff Korzenik is Chief Economist for one of the nation’s largest commercial banks and a prominent advocate of Fair Chance/Second Chance hiring.  A regular guest on CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg TV, his perspective on the economy, markets, manufacturing and the workforce are frequently cited in the financial and business press. His writings on economics and public policy have been published in Newsweek, The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Hill and other outlets.

Jeff is the author of the groundbreaking book, “Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community” (HarperCollins Leadership, April 2021), which shares the business case and best practices for hiring people with criminal records.  In recognition of his work on the interaction of the criminal justice system and the labor markets, Jeff was elected to membership in the Council of Criminal Justice.

Jeff is a graduate of Princeton University, with an A.B. in Economics and a Certificate of Proficiency in Near Eastern Studies.

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