Diversity Learning Series  -- LEAD A SERIES IN YOUR REGION


Welcome to the Diversity Learning Series – a Licensing opportunity offered by The GilDeane Group, Inc.

The Diversity Learning Series (DLS) is a collaborative diversity education model for employers who are located in a metropolitan area or region. Employers from all sectors – corporate for-profit, government, non-profit – join together to sponsor a unique series of bimonthly educational workshops that occur over a year's time. The Licensee provides the organization and management of the Series necessary for its success and sustainability.

How the DLS Started

This totally new concept was conceived by Barbara Deane and Carlos Gil, of The GilDeane Group, Inc., publishers of Cultural Diversity at Work journal (which later become DiversityCentral.com) and Susan Funk, principal of The Diversity Difference, a consulting and research firm in the Greater Seattle Area. Read more about the NWDLS under our History section.


The founders launched the first series, the NW Diversity Learning Series, in 1998 in collaboration with a progressive group of employers in the Greater Seattle area (also known as the Puget Sound Region). The NW Diversity Learning Series has existed ever since.

What Now?

The GilDeane Group became the sole owners of the Series in 1999, and Barbara Deane led the NW Diversity Learning Series for 10 years. In 2009, The GilDeane Group decided to license the Series concept to other creative diversity entrepreneurs, and Bill Hertan became the first licensee, taking over the leadership of the NW Diversity Learning Series.

What Is A License?

A License is an agreement that allows and supports an individual who is qualified to launch and lead a Diversity Learning Series in her or his metropolitan area. Please see more information on this point in our Licensing section.


Every city, every metropolitan region, faces challenges and opportunities with diversity and inclusion. Login on to your favorite news website, pick up any newspaper, listen to the news on television or the radio, and you will hear a diversity story – whether it's an uplifting, progressive one, or a negative, depressing one.

Everywhere, in companies, organizations and communities, the need for effectively managing diversity and fostering inclusion is at an all time high. We either do it well, or we stumble and pay a debilitating price – in all kinds of ways, lost talent, lost business, lost customers, lost reputation, lost market share, lost revenue, lost innovation, lost leadership, lost opportunity, lost confidence, lost competitive advantage!

According to a recent workforce development report, "social change happens most effectively at the regional level" and we agree.

A Diversity Learning Series provides a collaborative, cost-effective, regional model for a community of employers to expand their knowledge and understanding of diversity and inclusion and to improve their competency in managing and leveraging it. Participants come together in a safe, educational setting and learn from experts and from each other.

A Diversity Learning Series does not take the place of an organization's internal diversity initiative, it reinforces and supports it.

A diversity manager from one of the sponsoring companies of the NW Diversity Learning Series says the following:

"Barbara, the NW Diversity Learning Series, and [company name withheld upon request], have been partners for a long time. I think about the other companies in this region too, that have been a part of this collective effort. It's tough to put into words the benefits our companies and our communities have gained through the knowledge sharing, networking, and overwhelming desire to be inclusive, the Series offers. The northwest region has truly been blessed!" 

Here's what one of the NWDLS presenters had to say about the Series:

"The NW Diversity Learning Series has meant that collaboration and sharing do work!"

- Michael Hyter,  President and Board Director, Global Novations.

If you are interesting in exploring the possibilities of Licensing, read more in our Licensing section, or contact us.


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.
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How to Apply

The Founders

NWDLS History

What Is a
Licensed Series?


DLS-Bay Area