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Steve Pemberton ’89

b.a., political science
vice president, diversity and inclusion, monster.com

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As someone who grew up in foster care in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Steve Pemberton is well acquainted with the realities of life. But he is quick to note that even in the most trying circumstance, a person “can still live and dwell in possibility.”

In this regard, he points to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order, which established Boston College. Although not raised Catholic, Pemberton was inspired by the Ignatian way of living and working, which elevates decision and action to a spiritual level equal to that of contemplation. “It’s not enough to hope for something to change, you must believe it and make it happen,” he explains.

Pemberton has made things happen in his work, now as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Monster.com, the largest job-search engine in the world, with 5,000 employees in 36 countries. In that dual role, he helps employers diversify their workforces, and leads the same effort internally at Monster, which has its U.S. headquarters in Maynard, Massachusetts. He says Boston College cultivated his “ability to lead and determine the best approach to challenges,” through both academics and campus life. Part of that life was his involvement in a small, illustrious club of African-American men called the Talented Tenth, whose members spearheaded a variety of campus initiatives and community outreach projects.

Pemberton, a former senior assistant director of admissions at Boston College, has also made things happen in the wider community, serving as a board member of several organizations. Big Brother, Big Sister, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, and the CitiCenter for the Performing Arts are among them. His service in the non-profit sector is another example of how the experience of Boston College has traveled with him, two decades after leaving Chestnut Hill as a student.

“Once you leave school, you realize how extraordinary an experience it was,” Pemberton says, citing what he describes as the many acts of kindness he encountered at Boston College after a difficult upbringing. “You try to have the ideals you gained permeate your day-to-day life so you can recreate that experience in some way.”