Senior executives from companies across the United States chose to participate in a two-year, intense training cohort where they can hone their skills and thereby help their organizations thrive. Early on, it became evident that one of the critical needs of the group was a strong understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They shared that they needed to know not just what DEI work entails, but also how to do the work within their institutions.
The cohort leaders reached out to Deanna to help them fill that need. Well versed in the challenges that leaders who want to engage in DEI work face, Deanna was able to put together a program that made broad—and sometimes elusive—DEI concepts concrete and easy to understand.
Deanna challenged the senior leaders to dig deep into their leadership practices, organizational culture, and operational procedures. She also gave them a multitude of tools—things that they could implement immediately when they returned to their offices. The group asked Deanna to stay for an additional hour after the conclusion of the session so that they could ask more questions. They were so engaged in the material, they did not want the session to end!
The leaders found it to be extraordinarily impactful. One CEO said, “I have been to a lot of diversity, equity, and inclusion presentations through the years, but none of them hit me like this one. I feel like I finally get it and know how I can do something to strengthen my organization in this space.”
Several of the leaders from that cohort went back to their home offices and immediately called Deanna, asking her to do similar training with the rest of their teams.