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Megan Leasher Named 2016 Rising Star in HR


by SIOP Administrative Office

The field of human resources increasingly relies on data and analysis to meet the needs of today’s organizations. A recently honored SIOP member showcases how training in industrial-organizational psychology can provide the scientific expertise with which to analyze and solve some of the workplace’s most pressing issues. 

Megan Leasher, director of Talent Assessment and Measurement at Macy’s Inc, was recently named a 2016 Rising Star by Human Resource Executive magazine

The award is designed to honor HR professionals near the top of their organization’s human resource function who have demonstrated leadership, the ability to successfully launch significant HR initiatives and programs, and the ability to tackle major HR-related challenges.  To be considered, nominees must either be leading, but not senior-most, HR executives of their organizations or the heads of major HR disciplines—recruiting, training and development, benefits and compensation, and so forth.

The recently released May issue of Human Resource Executive magazine includes an article for each of this year’s five Rising Stars (article begins on page 24, Leasher’s profile begins on page 28). Leasher’s article, “Part Psychologist, Part Scientist,” can also be found online here.

HRE’s 2016 HR’s Rising Stars have the special initiative and drive, and propensity for data and science, that keep them on a constant upward trajectory in a profession fast becoming more analytical,” stated author Kristen Frasch in the article.  

The magazine noted that many of this year’s rising stars hold backgrounds in non-HR fields. They specifically highlighted Leasher’s psychological and analytical background, noting her description of herself as a “‘scientist-practitioner’ who uses metrics to foresee the future.”

“Her function within the company, she says, often requires her to apply psychological principles and cold, hard data in equal parts to develop the talent and assessment strategies, tools and processes that help the 172,500-employee organization put the right people in the right roles.”

In the article, Leasher describes launching Macy's first-ever strategic job-analysis process for the registry adviser role as her biggest challenge—and achievement—at Macy's thus far. The organization opted to eliminate the role of wedding and gift registry consultant and create the new position of registry adviser in 2014.

Macy’s CHRO (and Leasher’s previous VP) nominated her for the award.

“My job is fun and crazy and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Leasher said. “I work with the best people, and I am beyond excited and humbled to represent Macy’s and I-O psychology with this honor.” 

To view previous lists of HR’s Rising Stars, visit Human Resource Executive’s website.