On Openness and Equality in the Workplace | Deborah Owens

We’re in a moment where more people are awakening to the reality that there is no such thing as a universal experience. Especially in the world of work. And often, some blend of our identities, history, biases, gender, race, age, ability, and more play into whether any given experience feels welcoming and filled with dignity and possibility, or exclusionary and layered with inequity and intolerance.

And, the thing is, it’s not up to the person being harmed or excluded to dim their light and make everyone else feel comfortable, it’s up to all of us to enter into the conversation in an open, respectful, generous and generative way, and explore how to create cultures where everyone feels at peace, at home, and able to flourish. 

That’s where we’re headed today with my guest and friend, Deborah Owens, whose own story has shaped her mission to ensure that every Person of Color is fully supported and equipped for both the opportunities and challenges in the corporate arena. Deborah is a seasoned executive and change agent with 20+ years of Fortune 100 business experience. Her time in the industry has given her a front-row seat to the unique experiences and challenges faced by People of Color in the workplace. Her partnership with senior executives as a Diversity and Inclusion advocate, her role as Chair of an African American Employee Resource Group, and her personal experiences in giant organizations at all levels inspired her to launch her consulting company Corporate Alley Cat. 

Deborah believes in the power of sharing experiences (good and bad), strategies, and lessons learned to accelerate career growth and success, and I’m excited to dive deeper into her story with you all today. She takes me back to where it all started, growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. We explore her family’s legacy of social justice before diving into the unique—yet, familiar—experiences and challenges she faced as a young Black woman finding her voice in corporate America and the lessons she’s learned since on reclaiming her power, and how you can contribute to the conversation and solution.

You can find Deborah at: Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

If you LOVED this episode:

  • You’ll also love the conversations we had with Ruth King about equality, advocacy, and mindfulness.

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