Sherika Ekpo brings nearly 20 years of strategic leadership, human capital, talent management and professional development experience to the interim Chief People Officer role leading Anaplan’s global culture, people and communications teams. In this role, Sherika is focused on building an innovative employee experience and culture of belonging that empowers people to contribute their best selves at work.

Over the course of her career, Sherika has lead HR strategy and operations for organizations across industries and sectors. She joined Anaplan in 2021 as the company’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, where she designed and operationalized the organization’s DE&I strategy. Prior to Anaplan, she was the Global Diversity & Inclusion Lead for the Research and Artificial Intelligence teams at Google where she expanded outreach and mentorship programs to underrepresented communities and talent to bring more women and people of color into data science.

Earlier, she led labor relations, people operations and talent acquisition for several government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Digital Service, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She began her career in finance at JPMorgan as a business analyst before joining General Electric as an HR specialist. Sherika is also an educator and served as a career advisor and adjunct professor at the university level.

Sherika is a community builder and passionate advocate for women and people of color and has been recognized with several professional, civic, and community awards for her work and contributions. She received her MBA from the University of Maryland and her bachelor’s degree from Howard University.

What brought you to Anaplan?
The opportunity to join a company that is thriving and growing. I see an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to and enhance the amazing culture at Anaplan. My goal is to ensure that our workforce and products are inclusive and accessible for all.

What do you find most intriguing about working at Anaplan?
Our employees. They each bring a unique perspective that should be acknowledged and valued. I love the Anaplan hashtag–#anaplanlove

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Say yes to the things that scare you. Growth starts when you are out of your comfort zone.

What’s the most challenging part of working from home right now?
Finding a balance between work and home life. I no longer have a 30-minute commute to decompress so I have to find other release outlets like meditation and listening to my favorite pop culture podcast, The Read!

When you were a child/younger, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I grew up watching Matlock and Perry Mason, so I always wanted to be an attorney. I haven’t given up on that dream.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Group exercise classes— Double Dutch, Hip Hop Aerobics and Peloton rides.

What are you binge watching to get you through being at home so much?
Netflix– Lupin, Bridgerton, Ozark

What’s your favorite book?
The Memo by Minda Harts is the last book that I read. It is a career development book for women of color packed with actionable advice to help all women navigate the unique barriers that we face in the workplace.