Martina Winston

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
VP & Senior HR Partner Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader at Protective Life

Session: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Martina Winston, head of DEI at Protective Life, guided the group through the discomfort that can come with conversations about equity and inclusion. Participants had roundtable discussion around three questions. They navigated the potential discomfort to gain a greater confidence when embarking on their own conversations.

Participants gained:

  • a common language for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • the opportunity to practice uncomfortable conversations
  • an action item to continue conversations at work, home and in the community


About Martina:

Martina Winston is an energetic, passionate Human Resources professional with over 15 years of experience. As Vice President and Senior HR Partner with Protective Life for almost 8 years, Martina spends her time coaching senior and executive leaders through HR strategic business support around people, talent, succession planning and engagement. In addition, Martina leads Protective’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts while also managing global talent programs in partnership with Protective’s parent, Dai-ichi Life based in Tokyo, Japan.

Not only is Martina passionate about her work, but she is also extremely engaged with her community. Volunteering with organizations like the Junior League of Birmingham and has been recently slated as the 101st President-Elect (has previously served in roles such as DE&I Taskforce Member, Planning Vice President, Planning Assistant Vice President, Membership Liaison, Admissions Director, Provisional Director, Provisional Advisor, Bargain Carousel Adult Clothing Chair/Committee Member, JLB Connected Mentor, Project Fit Kids Committee Member and more), Childcare Resources (Marketing and PR Chair), Collat Jewish Family Services (Personnel Committee Member), Baptist Health Foundation (2019 Wine, Women & Shoes Chair), 2020 United Way of Central AL Shelby County Community Chair, Pelham High School Cheer Booster Vice President, Pelham Parks & Rec Football and Cheer Board, City of Pelham Personnel Board Chair, Leadership Shelby County Class of 2020 graduate and Member of the Leadership Shelby County Alumni Board. Serving others gives Martina energy and she believes this is a part of her purpose.

Martina has been recognized for her servant leadership over the years – 2015 Junior League of Birmingham Women to Watch, 2020 Birmingham Business Journal Women to Watch and 2021 Shelby County Citizen of the Year.

Martina is a Southside of Chicago native living in Pelham, AL with her husband Corey and two children Jada (17) and Jordan (14) with their dog Barkley Snow, cat Mittens Tide and hamster Squishy Marie. When Martina isn’t working or serving her community, she enjoys cheering on her Pelham Panthers, The Alabama Crimson Tide and exploring the world with her family and friends.


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