Uva Coles has garnered over 25 years of experience developing inclusive workforce solutions to address organizational needs in an ever-evolving global landscape. As a former higher education senior administrator and non-profit executive leader, Uva leverages her diverse background in building local-to-global partnerships (including collaborations with North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe), workforce development strategies, and multicultural community engagement to develop business solutions fully contextualized with best practices in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Uva has partnered with leaders interested in more fully understanding, supporting, and leveraging their workforce diversity to align with and accelerate strategic priorities. To this end, she leads a team that focuses on transformational solutions like the Journey to Inclusion which uses a Diversity Diagnostic to unearth representational, operational, and behavioral gaps. The results of this process inform the design of comprehensive solutions—from governance structures to talent management interventions and inclusive policies, programs, people and procurement practices. Immersives (experiential trainings) complement strategic solutions by helping teams develop a shared understanding of diversity-based language, heightened self-awareness, and strengthening of anti-bias competencies.
Uva’s most recent honors and awards include the 2019 Al Dia News Hispanic Heritage Award in Education, the 2018 Urban Affairs Coalition Friend Award, and the 2018 Social Innovations Award for her leadership in leveraging education as a poverty disruptor in underserved communities. Her current board work includes serving on the City of Philadelphia’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, the board of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, the board of Believe in Students, and the Philadelphia Award. Previous service includes board membership with the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia where she participated in the Workforce Equity initiative and co-chaired the 2018 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange. Uva also co-chaired the education sub-committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Roadmap for Growth Steering Committee. Additionally, she was appointed to Mayor Kenney’s first international workforce delegation to Germany and to Philadelphia’s Citywide Workforce Strategy Committee. Uva’s work has been featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal, The Inquirer, Al Dia News, Telemundo, and other news outlets.
Uva is a graduate of Claflin University (BA) and Wilmington University (MSM, OL). A native of the Republic of Panama and an orgullosa (proud) Afro-Panamanian immigrant, she lives in Delaware with her husband and their two sons.
Uva’s goal is to help organizations get into inclusive “good trouble” by building bridges of connection across differences.