Reuben E. is an associate from Ghana who lives, and works, with purpose. One of the first things you’ll notice about Reuben is his easy smile. It’s something he shares just as easily as his time—lifting up those around him and helping anyone in need. Marnie Harte, VP in our Enterprise Supplier Management (ESM) Tech department, describes the Sr. Contracts Manager this way:
“Reuben pulls people together. He models inclusivity in the workplace by living it every day.”
Reuben knows what it’s like to feel different. At 18, he moved to the U.S. to attend college in western Pennsylvania. Getting used to American food, frigid cold and being on his own for the first time was difficult, but he also struggled with the lack of diversity at his school and in his new city. When he joined Capital One in 2011, he was glad to see our company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. “It provides a platform and environment where you can bring your whole self to work and feel like you belong,” says Reuben.
Be the Change
Reuben leads Capital One's Contracts team for several categories, the Supplier Diversity program and the Procurement and Supplier Chain track of the Management Rotational Program. Reuben wanted to do more to increase diversity on his team, so Marnie Harte empowered him to do just that. Reuben partners with our recruiting division—working towards the goal of having at least one candidate from an under-represented group interviewed for open roles on the team. Reuben says it’s a lot of work, but he sees creating change as a personal responsibility. “If not me, then who, and if not now, then when?”
Paying It Forward
A powerhouse of positivity who values humility as much as caring for others, Reuben has spent his life paying it forward. As a child, he would dip into his family’s rice supply and give it to families in need. At work, he leads his team’s volunteer efforts and co-leads a program called Building Bridges, where associates gather to learn about each other’s stories, histories and cultures and to discuss topics of inclusion.
Recently, Reuben’s garage looked like a storage facility, with piles and piles of books— 5,000 in all—lining the walls. He collected the books (many donated by Capital One associates) to ship and distribute to village schools in Ghana.
So, what advice does Reuben have for others? “Help, even if just in small ways. Sometimes, it only takes one person to bring about change or to put a smile on someone's face.”
When asked what he wants his legacy to be, Reuben says: “To make a difference, to make others smile, be the best father that I can be, inspire others and be about more than just myself.”