Reflect on the Past, But Focus on the Future

Karen Carter says setbacks are inevitable, but we must keep moving forward
Reflecting on the past, focusing on the future
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It has been a tough couple of years. From a lingering pandemic to unprecedented weather events, the long overdue reckoning on race and continued political unrest. Everyone has experienced loss – whether it is the loss of a life or the loss of a way of life.  And because of this, many of us reflect on what we really want – at work and in our lives. I’ve reflected and thought about challenges, and how it feels like we are moving from one crisis to another. I’ve wondered whether we’ve made any progress at all, because it is easy to continue looking in the rearview mirror.  

During that same reflection I made a decision: move forward.  Moving forward is about mindset, perspective, and resilience. It is recognizing there will always be things we cannot control, but what we CAN control is how we respond. For me, this requires prioritization on self-care, as I strive to do all I can to move my family, my team, and Dow forward. Life happens with its ups and downs. But every day we have a choice – to get up or stay down.  As we glance in the rearview mirror, let us also look ahead not knowing what is next, but knowing we can face the future determined to move forward, together.


Karen Carter, Chief Human Resources and Chief Inclusion Officer, Dow Chemical Company
Karen Carter, Chief Human Resources and Chief Inclusion Officer, Dow Chemical Company

As Chief Human Resources Officer, Carter is responsible for developing and implementing human resources policies and practices to support the company’s global workforce, which includes talent, recruiting, compensation, benefits, and employee experience. As Dow’s first Chief Inclusion Officer, she guides and directs the Company’s efforts to create a more inclusive environment and diverse workforce while integrating inclusion as a key driver for business success.

Carter has more than 25 years of experience with Dow. Before assuming her current responsibilities, Carter held the role of North America commercial vice president, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP). While serving in that role, Carter was a member of the global business leadership team and was responsible for the overall profit & loss of P&SP’s North America region. Carter has held a variety of global business positions throughout her career.

Carter is on the board of directors for the Great Lakes Bay Region Boys and Girls Clubs of America and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and is on the Catalyst Board of Advisors.

Carter has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Howard University and a master’s degree in international business from DePaul University. 

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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