My DEI Story: Gamble Hayden
Monday, August 24, 2020
By Gamble L. Hayden, WGR DEI Committee Chair and Coordinator, Federal Compliance Services, State and Federal Communications
My DEI Story is that over 50 years ago, a little girl was born in Washington, DC at the Old Freedmen’s Hospital (now Howard University Hospital), and raised in the section of the city known as Anacostia. Growing up with my mother and older brother, along with positive influences from my aunt and uncle, I was taught at a very young age the importance of family, and the value of hard work and dedication.
Along my life’s journey, I have had the honor of attending and graduating from one of the only two United States colleges dedicated to the education of African American Women - one being Bennett College, located in Greensboro, North Carolina [my alma mater] and the other being Spelman College, located in Atlanta, Georgia . From Greensboro, my journey led me to Chicago, Illinois for a brief period of time where I had the opportunity to further strengthen my writing skills with an internship followed by an editorial secretary position with the Chicago Defender Newspaper.
In the fall of 1992, a family illness influenced my decision to return back to Washington, DC, and from then onward, life’s journey has included furthering my studies at the John Hopkins University (JHU) where I obtained a graduate degree in Liberal Arts in 1999. While studying at JHU, I had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program for three weeks at Cambridge University where I took classes focusing on the English Poet John Milton (a complement to my graduate thesis on “The Role of Satan in Paradise Lost”).
Leading up to and since 1999, my life’s journey has included professional opportunities with trade associations, a pharmaceutical company, and now with an ethics and lobbying compliance firm where I have been for the past 5 and 1/2 years. I am fortunate to have always been supported by allies who encourage me to get out of my comfort zone and never be afraid to explore new opportunities! I am also fortunate to have a very diverse group of professional and personal connections, which have also been strengthened by my volunteer service with both the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) and Women in Government Relations (WGR).
I have no idea what the next 50 years will hold, but I can only say that I am ready — what comfort zone?
The WGR “My DEI Story” Blogs are featured monthly, highlighting the story of a DEI Committee Member or supporting ally. These blogs are designed to shine a light on the amazing diversity that exists within our community, and to recognize that EVERYONE has a DEI Story. Interested in having your story featured? Please send an email to email@example.com.