Laysha Ward


Laysha's Lessons from the She-Suite: Making this Moment a Sustained Movement Towards Equity
Monday, March 8, 2021, 1:30pm EST/EDT

As the only Black executive at Target reporting directly to the CEO and a member of the Fortune 50 retailer’s C-suite, Laysha Ward’s leadership lessons on gender, race, wellness and the power of human connections are timely and relevant. From her childhood in rural Indiana, where she was the only Black person from kindergarten through high school, to her role today, Laysha’s lessons come from a wealth of lived experience, often as the first, the only or one of a few. A highly curious lifelong learner who worked her way from a store in Chicago to the executive leadership level, Laysha will share valuable insights for navigating a world that has been permanently changed by the pandemic, racial strife and civil unrest.

Laysha Ward

Laysha Ward is an accomplished C-suite executive with 30 years of leadership experience at Target. She has demonstrated an ability to lead through rapid change, solve problems, build innovative community programs, and collaborate with key stakeholders to support organizational goals and objectives.

In 2017, Ms. Ward was named Executive Vice President, Chief External Engagement Officer, overseeing Target’s enterprise-wide approach to engage and deepen relationships with cross-sector stakeholders to drive positive business and community impact.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.