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Beth Brooke

Beth Brooke-MarciniakMaking a difference, particularly through inclusive leadership, is what drives Purdue alumna Beth Brooke. And what a difference she has made.

In spring 2017, Brooke (BSIM’81, HDR’12) received the Theodore Roosevelt Award from the NCAA, the highest honor bestowed by that organization to an individual. She was also recognized as the 2017 recipient of the Krannert Business Leadership Award, the School of Management’s highest honor.

Indeed, Brooke is so committed to leadership that she considers her “night job” as the global sponsor of EY’s diversity and inclusiveness efforts as important as her “day job” as the company’s global vice chair for public policy.

The former member of the Purdue women’s basketball team has become both advocate and executive at EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, where she has spent more than three decades (excluding a two-year stint working in the Department of the Treasury during the Clinton administration). Along the way, she has been included on Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most powerful women nine times.

With total annual revenues of roughly $29.6 billion and more than 231,000 employees working in more than 700 offices in 152 countries, EY has provided a vast platform for her to champion change. The belief that difference matters and recognition that everyone is different underpin her efforts to foster and reward inclusivity in the workplace and beyond.

“I’m so glad I was mentored by some partners in our firm early who supported that student-athlete in me to challenge the status quo,” she says. “How do we make this better? How can we be better? How do we do this better?”

The notion that female athletes were an untapped pool of leadership talent spurred her to help create the EY Women Athletes Business Network in 2013. The program’s goal?

To prepare young women to make an impact in a new life outside their sport. The initiative includes a mentorship program, launched through a partnership with the International Women’s Forum, which matches 25 elite female athletes with top female business leaders.

“An athlete has the recipe for success built into them,” Brooke says. “That constant quest for perfection and success and various pieces of it translate so naturally into the business world.”

Brooke relishes returning to share the insight she has gained through the years with students at Purdue. She has given back in a litany of ways, ranging from a webinar for student-athletes who have an interest in getting into the MBA program to serving on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Krannert School to speaking to the women’s basketball team before games.

As to what Brooke's legacy will be, the tireless champion of inclusion and diversity has an answer: “I just never want to stop trying to make a difference — that’s what drives me every day.”