In 1997, the founders, Barbara Deane, Carlos Gil and Susan
Funk, were dissatisfied with the quality and quantity of information
made available at national diversity conferences. Also, it was
not clear to us how companies were getting a good ROI on their
national conference investment.
We thought we could provide better diversity education at a local
level. At the same time, we thought a local educational opportunity
would be much more beneficial to the area's employers because more
of their managers and employees, in addition to the diversity and
HR leaders and specialists, could attend. In other words, the development
of diversity competency could be expanded. And that's exactly what
We launched the first session of the NW Diversity Learning Series
in July of 1998 in collaboration with a progressive group of employers
in the Greater Seattle area (also known as the Puget Sound Region).
The Series was offered as bi-monthly morning workshops over a year's
time. The NW Series also spawned a professional development network
for the area's diversity leaders as well as an annual diversity
education session for executives.
The NW Diversity Learning Series has continued ever since and
is now in its 12th year.
Barbara Deane became the primary organizer and manager of the
Series in 1999 and continued for 10 successful years. In 2009,
The GilDeane Group, Inc. licensed the NW Diversity Learning Series
to Bill Hertan, the current managing director. He is currently
in preparation and planning for the 2011 NW Diversity Learning
Learn more about the NW Diversity Learning Series and its upcoming
NEW SERIES FORMING
The Diversity Learning Series – Bay Area is currently forming in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find out how your company can sponsor and participate.
Next Session Coming Up
PRAISE FOR NW SERIES
"The NW Diversity Learning Series has played an important part in our diversity and inclusion strategy of engaging business leaders in the effort. It?s created and expanded their awareness of both the issues and business impacts of diversity and inclusion; connected them to diversity and inclusion thought leaders; and provided them the opportunity to network with other organizations? leaders and HR professionals who share the same diversity and inclusion challenges. The result is a diversity and inclusion initiative that is more widely championed by the business leaders and therefore more likely to reach and influence a broader group of people(employees, customers, business partners)."
Sr. VP of Human Resources
Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
"The Northwest Diversity Learning Series is a model of inclusion and collaboration. Nowhere in the country do major corporations come together to plan joint diversity education and learning as we do in the northwest. The Series is a "best practice" that should be duplicatedin other parts of the country.
Building inclusive leaders is a growing imperative as companies, governments, NGOs and communities seek progressive ways to collaborate and solve societal problems at the local, national and international levels. I am convinced that efforts to solve these issues will require the type of inclusive mindset that the Learning Series helps to create and sustain.
Barbara Deane has been a champion and leader in these efforts for years, and I laud her desire to expand the series to other communitiesaround the country."
Chief Diversity Officer