For today’s blog from the Forum, we recognize one of our WBE Champion Recruiters. The inspirational Dee C. Marshall is CEO of Diverse & Engaged, a multi-faceted consulting firm specializing in helping Fortune 100.
Shaking Hands Across the Nation
To look at Dee’s success, we inquired as to how she got to where she is today. “Diverse & Engaged didn’t start off as Diverse & Engaged – it started off as Raise the Bar. I was a single shingle solopreneur coaching high level, high-ranking, high-profile women. This was after I was at Wall Street for years training million-dollar producers. I became the ‘go to’ for leaders and how to win in business. That is how we started. I spoke around the country and was known as an executive coach and speaker. I’d like to say I was an accidental entrepreneur but today, I am an on-purpose business owner. We are really in high demand.“
“We speak three languages – leadership development, workplace culture and diversity and inclusion,” stated Dee. “Our clients retain us when they have a challenge – attracting or engaging or retaining a diverse workplace culture. Our core competency is training and development but much of our work is delivering programs and initiatives to address the great resignation.”
Dee’s accomplishments are too numerous to list but a few of the highlighted ones range from Entrepreneur Magazine Top Female Founders, NJ Top DEI Consultants, Top 50 People of Color Influencers, Top 50 Future of Black America, Top 25 Influential Black Women in Business, Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs as well as serving numerous leading organizations. In addition, Dee is on the Steering Committee with her own RPO Women’s Business Enterprise Council Metro NY (WBEC Metro NY), serves as 2nd Vice Chair on the WBENC Forum Engagement Team, was awarded as the 2022 WBE Star by WBEC Metro NY, and recognized as a 2021 Top WBE CEO .
When you first meet Dee, you are immediately drawn to her striking beauty. But getting to know her, you appreciate her strength, knowledge, and tenacity along with passion and conviction to make a difference for everyone in the equity, diversity, and inclusion space. In fact, Dee has been instrumental as one of the advisors for the WBENC DE&I programs. WBENC retained Diverse & Engaged to lead their inclusive culture strategy in 2020 and continues today working to provide Allyship training.
Supplier Diversity Mentorship in Demand
But for this moment in our blog series, we want to focus on Connectors and how Dee incorporated a methodology for connecting Women of Color / Women Owned businesses to leverage their certification and give them the tools they need to be seen, heard, and aware of every opportunity that is available within WBENC. After years of networking and navigating the supplier diversity ecosystem, Dee has developed formula for success connecting Women of Color / Women Owned businesses to Corporate Members and they, in turn, gained business from these Corporate Members. First part of the secret sauce is Dee C. Marshall as the connector and go to expert for leaders, and the second part is a keen eye on external factors that are influencing businesses today.
Recognizing a strong need, Dee started “AMPLIFY” – a mastermind and mentorship program, to maximize Women of Color/WBE’s certification. Dee stated, “I started it because I saw a need for Women of Color showing up but not getting an opportunity. This is designed for Women of Color and certified with WBENC.” For example, Bianca Williams grew her business 75% because of taking this program. Dee explained,
“The program is one part community, one part master class, and one part accountability. The key is access and strategic introductions is part of the success. This is corporate sponsored. It’s a big deal. As a matter of fact, one of our corporates circled back and asked if we can provide a story so they can share it within their company.”
“The Community part of the program is people like to be with others with like minds. One part of the business model is to share challenges, be thought leadership resources to support one another. The master class is subject matter experts coming to share on a particular theme around business, navigating WBENC, or building a team. Accountability is the part where they are accountable to themselves and their goals, as well as the women within their group.”
Dee concluded with, “The bottom line for all WBEs, if you don’t have a diversity strategy today, you don’t have a growth strategy. How to compete for business now is about how WBEs respond to the RFP is asking what your growth and diversity strategy is. It’s not enough to show up at WBENC, this is about getting business. People are here to get business and I am here to help them. It must convert for Women of Color as it converts for others.”
About the Featured WBE
Dee C. Marshall is CEO of Diverse and Engaged, a WBENC-Certified business for over 5 years. She serves as 2nd Vice Chair to the Engagement Team of the WBENC Forum.