Ruthie Harris

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Manager. Leader. Advocate.

I am a passionate advocate of talent development, leadership, women’s empowerment, corporate responsibility, diversity and inclusion. As a manager, I am able to maximize and multiply others’ strengths, which is the most gratifying part of my job.

What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?

Difference and diversity. As a manager, I am a strong champion of building a culture around diverse perspectives. Difference is vital to the success of Bernstein. I am proud to have been part of a wide range of teams at Bernstein and to have worked with colleagues from different backgrounds who all had different skills and capabilities. Diversity both complements and challenges teams, ultimately leading to their success. I have employed this mindset in my current managerial role to build our diverse team. When building a team, my focus is on the candidate’s values, interests, skills, previous experience and, most importantly, potential. I look for candidates who want the opportunities that working at Bernstein can provide, and who understand, and believe in, the values that both the firm and I hold dear. Diversity of thought, innovation, intellectual curiosity and relentless ingenuity create our inclusive culture, which rewards hard work and bolsters people to become their best selves.

What passions do you pursue outside of work?

I love to travel. My experiences in exploring different cultures and places began early on. Growing up, I was fortunate to have parents who were also passionate about exploration in terms of new experiences, countries and people. To this day, travel helps me to gain a difference perspective and change my existing viewpoints. I’ve become a better person by embracing the saying, “Life beings at the end of your comfort zone.” By the time my husband and I moved from the UK to the US after college, I was lucky enough to have visited over 50 different countries. Today, we enjoy traveling around the US and aim to visit every state and national park. Travel, experiencing different ways of life and interacting with people and values that are new helps widen my outlook on life. There is always much more to learn and see—you just have to keep an open mind in order to do it. Differences and interactions should be celebrated not feared, which is an attitude I take to managing as well.

Which book had the most profound impact on you and why?

The Harry Potter series has been a big part of my life since I read the first book in 1997. To quote one of the characters, Albus Dumbledore, “Words are…our most inexhaustible source of magic....” I got hooked on that magic and have never looked back. The books are how I learned to read and taught me about things that have transformed me into a better person. I jumped at the opportunity to delve further into this magical world when I enrolled in a college course called, “Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion.” The class placed the novels in a wider social and cultural context and examined themes such as prejudice, friendship and leadership. The last theme and another Albus Dumbledore quote have stayed with me over the years: “It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” I carry this quote to my current role. I am here to create leaders who evoke action and an environment in which those leaders can be effective, lead others and make great choices.