Diversity Learning Series  -- LEAD A SERIES IN YOUR REGION


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 happened!

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 Series. 

Learn more about the NW Diversity Learning Series and its upcoming sessions.


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


"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)."

—Michelle Clements
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."

—Effenus Henderson
Chief Diversity Officer
Weyerhaeuser Company

© Copyright The GilDeane Group, Inc. 2010.
13751 Lake City Way NE, Suite 210, Seattle, WA 98125 USA




How to Apply

The Founders

NWDLS History

What Is a
Licensed Series?


DLS-Bay Area