We are delighted that The Economist has named Maria Aparecida (“Cida”) Bento, CEO of Centro de Estudos de Relações de Trabalho e Desigualdades (Center for the Study of Labor Relations and Inequality), one of the top 50 “diversity figures in public life.” As supporters of CEERT’s efforts to promote racial equality in the workplace, it is gratifying to see Cida’s leadership get such well-deserved recognition.

Part of The Economist’s Global Diversity List—the first-ever assessment of people and companies that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity, as nominated by Economist readers—this category recognizes the achievements of individuals who have used their position in public life to make an impact on diversity. Cida is named alongside major international figures including Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama, Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Gates.

Cida has been working in the field of human resources diversity for nearly three decades. She is a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal Council of Psychology and a former professor at the University of Austin, Texas. Today, she works with major Brazilian companies to help them find and recognize talent among Afro-Brazilians, women, and other underrepresented groups. This work is an important means of investing in the country’s development, strengthening democracy, ensuring human rights, and increasing creativity and innovation.

Or, as The Economist puts it:

“Author and activist Cida Bento founded a center to work with labor unions, the government and employers, to help them to recognize racism and promote equal opportunities in Brazilian society. In a country still riven by biased employment practices, Bento’s strategy is to expose discrimination and win public policy reform. She created a national network of key activists, and brings international standards to bear, while collecting research relevant to the Afro-Brazilian community.”

Parabéns, Cida!