Four Kyndryl employees celebrate the importance of mentorship and shaping the future

In February, we celebrate the contributions, resilience and achievements made by the Black community. Throughout history, Black Americans have demonstrated exceptional creativity and served as the architects of hope in pursuit of equality, wellness and leadership in the tech community and beyond.

To honor Black History Month, four Kyndryl employees share how creativity and mentorship are helping to shape a more inclusive future for all.

Gwen St. Julian
Associate Director, Project Management - US Transformation at Kyndryl

“In life, the echoes of ‘no’ will always outweigh the harmony of ‘yes.’ Never let that taper your strides. What is destined for you, will find its way.”

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My guiding light

My father illuminated the way for my earned success. He climbed the corporate ladder at a time when it was viewed impossible for a person of color to succeed, and he taught me the importance of diligence and resilience. He walked so I could run.

Better together

Our company’s Black Enterprise Kyndryl Inclusion Network, known as BeKIN, provides a place of refuge for individuals who have faced similar experiences. Thanks to BeKIN, I always have someone that I can navigate challenges with. I no longer feel alone in my journey.

Work-life balance and mentorship

Outside of work, I spend time uplifting and mentoring the younger community, helping them find opportunities to land a role in the tech industry. At Kyndryl, I have the fortune of leading the U.S internship program, which directly helps recognize and nurture rising Black talent.

Daniel Hunter
Partner Consulting - Federal Government at Kyndryl

“We always remember those who made us feel our best in our weakest moments, and that’s what great leaders do.”

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Tapping into my creative genius

Within Kyndryl’s BeKIN, I created a mentorship program that was so successful it was implemented across the company’s other Kyndryl Inclusion Networks.

As a servant leader, I take pride in my visibility across many forums, panels and events. It is meaningful for the younger community to see a Black man in a tech leadership role and know that they too can achieve what they set their mind to.

Continuing my father’s legacy

My father has been my biggest inspiration in life, being the first Black design and prototype engineer at one of the largest automakers in the world. There have been times when I did not believe in myself, but he never gave up on me. He is remembered for mentoring and opening the door for others to achieve their dreams. I strive to do the same every day.

Advice for the next generation of Black professionals

Remember that having a career in tech is rewarding, but what you put into it is what you get out of it. Stay aware of the current market and future disruptors. Be a perpetual learner — engage in tech communities, research trends and stay curious. Networking is key — connect, connect, connect.

Mikhail Templeton
Vice President and Senior Partner for Macy's at Kyndryl

“Black history is a story of strength, resilience and ingenuity; let it empower us in tech to push boundaries and build futures as limitless and profound as the legacies we inherited and continue to create.”

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Honoring the past, embracing the present and inspiring the future

As a leader within Kyndryl and our BeKIN, Black History Month serves as a time for reflection on the sacrifices of those who paved the way for me. Their resilience in the face of adversity has inspired me to channel my power to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable space in the tech industry and beyond. If you never face trials, you’ll never embrace triumphs. 

Celebrate yourself

Early in my career, I experienced unequal opportunities compared to my peers at the same level, and I was shy about celebrating my accomplishments. Today, I encourage myself and my mentees to be bold and acknowledge every milestone, every achievement and every moment of growth. Your journey in tech is not just about reaching a destination — it's about the impact you make, the lives you touch and the legacy you build.

Forge your own journey and leave a trail

I’ll never forget the first time someone pulled up a chair for me in a room where I was one of the few. In the tech industry, diverse perspectives are essential in driving progress and creating more innovative solutions. I will never stop speaking up for others, and I hope that for every time I give another person the opportunity for their voice to be heard, they do the same for someone else.

Tim Barry
Director, Marketing Analytics and Insights at Kyndryl

“Empower others by genuinely caring, speaking the truth and recognizing unique insights. True leaders create more leaders.”

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Surrounding myself with strong women

My life is informed by strong women — my grandmother, my aunts, my sisters and my wife. I’ve been inspired by all these women, but most impactful was the inspiration and tireless support of my dear, late mother.

Born in the deep south of the U.S., she realized at an early age the importance of spirituality, education, resilience and love. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and ascended to a leadership role at one of the largest NICUs — all in spaces where no one looked like her. I aspire to use the tools inherited from my mother to make a positive impact and mentor others. 

The power of perspective

In both my personal and professional life, the ability to think objectively and maintain perspective is vital. Kyndryl’s BeKIN feeds my passion for clarity and understanding through its access to leaders, education, networking and professional development.