41st Annual MLK Celebration Leadership Award Recipient: Judith Stein

Judith Stein

Organization Development Consultant/HR ERG Coordinator, MIT's Human Resources Department.

41st Annual MLK Leadership Award

Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

Judith Stein is an Organization Development Consultant/HR ERG Coordinator for MIT's Human Resources Department. She was recognized with a staff MLK Leadership Award for her commitment to diversity and inclusion at MIT.

Stein has: provided on-going consultation/support to MIT’s six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs); created learning community among ERG leaders; promoted the development of new ERGs; and designed and delivered diversity/inclusion awareness training workshop to 12 departments or staff networks reaching 300 employees.

“I’m a lifer,” jokes Stein, who has been at MIT for 31 years and is a member of the Quarter Century Club. “I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to do my best work here in different ways.”

She earned an MEd in Administration, Policy and Planning from the Boston University School of Education in 1991. She started at MIT as support staff, evolved her skills, and moved into various departmental administrative positions before landing in Human Resources.

Judith likens the class in everyday leadership to community organizing, which she used to do in the 1970s before coming to MIT. She was co-director of the Women’s Community Health Center in Cambridge for three years. “Everyday leadership might be as simple as changing the way supplies are ordered,” she points out. “Leadership is making change. Look around you, see what bugs you, and determine what you can do about it.”

She first put her community organizing skills to use at MIT by joining an organization with other gay and lesbian staff. She had initially been drawn to MIT for its early inclusion of sexual preference in its affirmative action policy. “For me, MIT is a comfortable place to be gay and out,” she says.