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Diya Khanna Headshot 2022
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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion / Human Resource Management & Talent Development / Psychological Safety / Communication Strategy / Future of Work / Experiential Programs

Videos

  • Re-imagining Workplaces Using an Intersectional Lens | Future for Us
    Re-imagining Workplaces Using an Intersectional Lens | Future for Us
  • Global Conversations E2: Global EDI with Amri B. Johnson, Diya Khanna and Jaya Saxena
    Global Conversations E2: Global EDI with Amri B. Johnson, Diya Khanna and Jaya Saxena
  • The Importance of Community in Diversity Equity & Inclusion
    The Importance of Community in Diversity Equity & Inclusion
  • Episode 2: Combatting Racism with Hamlin Grange and Diya Khanna | Moving the Needle Podcast
    Episode 2: Combatting Racism with Hamlin Grange and Diya Khanna | Moving the Needle Podcast

Learn More About Diya Khanna

Organizations want to believe their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts result in more equal opportunities for all, but data shows this isn’t the case – with dramatic impacts to employee engagement, satisfaction and retention.

Known for sharing a big vision and tactical implementation steps for creating inclusive work spaces, Diya Khanna, founder of DEI consultancy Global IDEA, has spent over 20 years partnering with for-profit, non-profit and technology organizations to provide learning and development opportunities inside workplaces as they develop DEI programs, strategies and policies at scale.

With only half of over 24,000 workers from more than 20 countries reporting that their organization holds itself accountable to their declared DEI principles, it’s clear work remains to be done to create an environment where everyone feels welcome. Khanna emphasizes that organizations that resist implementing DEI practices are leaving money on the table, pointing out that Bank of America reported that a lack of diversity cost American companies $70 trillion.

“People tend to see DEI as ‘passion’ work, but it’s a strategic, organizational commitment,” offers Khanna, a former Global Diversity Equity Inclusion Program Manager at Amazon, where she led CORE+ (Conversations on Race and Ethnicity), an annual internal conference for 1.3 million employees. “We aren’t going to get immediate results, but progress hinges on goals, data, measurement and a culture of accountability. The more resources you put in, the more you get in the form of safe, healthy and sustainable work culture.”

Harnessing the Positive Power of DEI for Safe, Healthy, Sustainable Work Culture

Khanna is driven by her life-long mission to increase access and opportunity for people across diverse backgrounds in every professional industry. Her practical frameworks and toolkits, rooted in five sustainable and engaging DEI values, help leaders adopt inclusive leadership behaviors and implement solutions in safe, healthy and sustainable ways.

Well known for her interactive workshops that center on awareness of the importance of DEI in the workplace, the accountability of shared roles and responsibilities in day-to-day operations, and the actions required to achieve the organization’s strategic goals, Khanna is a curriculum partner with Ruchika Tulshyan and her global inclusion strategy firm Candour. A “global citizen” renowned for her high level of cultural intelligence, Khanna creates unforgettable sessions that reach both heads and hearts. She incorporates a deep knowledge of different learning styles to assist organizations in including the voices and perspectives of employees and customers around the world.

A recognized, credible educator who has led courses on the future of work and how to rebuild inclusive workplaces, Khanna ultimately suggests that incorporating DEI should not only be necessary, but it should be exciting to get the best results.

“By bringing people on board the learning journey, getting them excited about DEI instead of feeling bad about it and shifting their mindset towards the amazing things we can do together – that’s where we can certainly see a shift in organizational culture,” she stresses. “And that’s what eventually leads to more bottom-line profits too.”

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Diya Khanna, founder of DEI consultancy Global IDEA, is a global diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) speaker, facilitator and consultant with 20 years of experience in for-profit, non-profit and tech organizations. 

Khanna’s work is focused on developing DEI programs, strategies and policies at scale. A curriculum partner with Ruchika Tulshyan and her global inclusion strategy firm Candour, Khanna frequently develops and designs one-, two- and five-day interactive workshops that help organizations be the best versions of themselves. She previously worked at Amazon where she led CORE+ (Conversations on Race and Ethnicity), an annual internal conference for 1.3 million employees. She has developed global work plans for 14 employee resource groups and led courses on the future of work and how to rebuild workplaces from an intersectional lens. She is a proven subject matter expert and is known for big vision and tactical implementation.

Khanna has a life-long mission of increasing access and opportunity for people across race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, accessibility, sexual orientation, social class, military, status, religion, age and language in every professional industry. She worked as a DEI consultant in Canada, Japan, Singapore, Germany and the U.S. 

Khanna was previously a DEI columnist for The Seattle Times, is currently a DEI columnist for Newsweek, a board member of the Asians@Amazon global board and worked for the United Nations Information Center.

Khanna holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters’ of Education degrees.

Diya Khanna is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Diya Khanna was last modified: May 17th, 2024 by Whitney Jennings

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In addition to the speech topics below, Diya Khanna can address a number of topics well-suited for AAPI-focused events, including:

  • What’s In A Name?
  • Interrupting Microaggressions
  • Embracing our Bicultural Identities

Boosting Competitive Advantage with Inclusive Leadership for Organizational Growth

In a fast-paced global economy, diversity and inclusion are more than ethical standards – they’re competitive advantages for organizations pursuing top-tier talent. Yet, many leaders remain unsure of how to fully embrace and implement inclusive leadership practices. Bringing this key skill into sharp focus is Diya Khanna, founder of the DEI consultancy Global IDEA. Emphasizing the critical need for not only teaching inclusion best practices but also hiring leaders using these principles, Khanna proposes that leadership redefinition, innovative hiring procedures and effective developmental programs are the triad of change needed to reshape the current leadership landscape. Compelling and confident, Khanna presents practical tools and transformative frameworks that instill inclusive leadership skills, drive business success and ensure lasting organizational growth. By demonstrating the substantial influence of inclusive leadership on decision-making and its ripple effect throughout an organization, Khanna invites leaders and teams to pioneer a culture of true belonging and mutual respect.

Organizational Adaptation: New Skills for Hybrid Work and Connecting With Employees

As organizations navigate the new world of hybrid work, leaders have noticed that virtual engagement requires a different set of skills to effectively connect with their employees. Helping teams maintain respectful, productive relationships, no matter the distance, is Diya Khanna, founder of DEI consultancy Global IDEA and a leading authority on inclusion, diversity and equity in action. A global citizen who has partnered with companies in Canada, Japan, Singapore, Germany and the U.S., Khanna’s recommendations ensure coworkers and leaders can engage respectfully, assume good intent, take responsibility for any missteps and learn from them, whether the environment is virtual or in the office. These practices, Khanna says, can make a significant difference in nurturing a diverse and inclusive hybrid workspace that improves the company bottom line.

Becoming an Ally: A Transformative Journey for Inclusion

For an industry to truly thrive, its workforce should reflect the diverse tapestry of the region it calls home. To accomplish this, says Diya Khanna, a leading authority on inclusion, diversity and equity in action, we must all strive to grasp the crucial role of allyship in uplifting marginalized communities. Founder of DEI consultancy Global IDEA, Khanna’s highly interactive sessions give leaders and teams the tools they need to make the journey from an ally that shows up when it’s convenient, to an accomplice willing to take risks on behalf of others, to a co-conspirator that proactively pursues risk. Using hands-on exercises, Khanna effectively demonstrates how anyone can make an active, authentic commitment to using their privilege to support marginalized groups through access and opportunities.

Communication in Culturally Diverse Workplaces

Everyone can benefit from new communication techniques rooted in listening, mindfulness and empathy. Diversity, equity and inclusion expert Diya Khanna leverages her background in journalism and education to reveal what it takes to work with people from different backgrounds. Paying close attention to cultural nuances compounded by language, socioeconomic background and more, Khanna clearly illustrates the role that cultural values play in what is and what is not accepted in the workplace. Highly engaging, Khanna and participants examine eight types of biases and examples of microaggressions, as well positive models of inclusive meeting norms. All of this is presented in an interactive presentation which introduces peer-to-peer learning using Khanna’s “Awareness, Accountability, Action” framework.

Dedicated to facilitating meaningful change within organizations, Diya Khanna, a globally recognized authority on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in action, brings organizations a personalized approach to planning and scaling DEI programs. Starting by attentively discerning an organization’s unique challenges and potential areas for growth, Khanna then crafts bespoke solutions that not only align with the organization’s values but also promote sustainable development and DEI integration.

Khanna delves into concepts such as privilege mapping and positionality, enabling organizations to harness these powerful tools for cultural transformation. She also champions a holistic approach to DEI, stressing that change emerges from understanding the interconnectedness of power within and outside the workplace.

Topics Khanna is happy to explore:

  • Developing DEI strategic roadmaps
  • DEI values implementation
  • Facilitating annual organizational planning
  • Enhancing onboarding processes
  • Executing stakeholder and privilege mapping
  • Advancing diversity recruiting
  • Compiling comprehensive DEI reports
  • Structuring effective mentorship and sponsorship programs
  • Conducting DEI audits
  • Correctly responding to ad hoc requests

In her unyielding commitment to fostering authentic, inclusive environments, Khanna serves as an indispensable guide for organizations navigating the DEI landscape.

Fostering Psychological Safety 101 – Igniting Innovation Through Inclusion

Cultivating an environment where ideas flow, diverse perspectives are celebrated, and mistakes are seen as innovation stepping stones is a strategic business imperative. Helping organizations bring this crucial insight to life is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) authority Diya Khanna.

Founder of Global IDEA, a DEI consultancy, Khanna leverages her keen cultural intelligence and understanding of diverse learning styles to create interactive sessions that resonate with participants’ minds and hearts. She demystifies the principles of psychological safety, promoting fearless exploration and fostering a culture of adaptability and resilience. Attendees gain a nuanced appreciation for DEI’s journey, understanding both its historical roots and evolving significance in today’s corporate landscape.

Grounded in Khanna’s effective 3 A’s framework—promoting Awareness of DEI’s workplace role, instilling Accountability for shared roles, and inspiring Action towards long-term goals—participants depart empowered with the know-how to nurture an inclusive, psychologically safe work environment where innovation thrives.

Ideal for leaders and teams interested in enhancing their grasp of psychological safety to foster a culture of innovation and adaptability, this dynamic workshop shows anyone how to harness the power of dialogues that drive change, honor diversity and stimulate organizational growth

"Diya's DEI consulting has been transformative for us at Full Swing PR as we've grown from 3 to 10+ employees and stuck to our mission to help underrepresented leaders be seen and sought after. We highly recommend her, even for small businesses that may be tempted to feel like DEI help is unaffordable or not essential. Diya is kind, smart, and always adaptive to our latest needs as a team."

Caitlin Copple, Founder, Full Swing PR

"We recently had the pleasure of hearing Diya speak at a Women In Tech (WIT) event sponsored by the University of Minnesota. Diya brought an amazing level of passion and commitment to executing more intentional DEI practices within our organization. Diya spoke about a framework of awareness, accountability and action by leaning heavily on her own personal experiences over the course of her life. Diya was flexible with our needs and was willing to open our talk up to attendees from across the Big 10 WIT group. Diya inspires you to understand yourself and the various privilege you experience and challenges you to use those to lift up others. You won’t be disappointed if you invite Diya to speak."

Kristy Davis, IT Director, University of Minnesota

"Diya led CORE+ our annual internal diversity and inclusion conference in EMEA, APAC, LATAM and shared real-life takeaways to shift our organizational culture toward a global mindset. "

LaDavia S. Drame, Head of Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity , Amazon Web Services

"Diya is exceptional when it comes to DEI work. She reliably brings authenticity and constantly raises the bar. She is not afraid to speak up and say what is needed to be said. She helps to drive clarity, create community and takes initiative. She is a gift wherever she stands."

Dr. Tiffany Bowden, Global DEI Leader, Amazon

"Diya brings her communication and education background to initiate DEI conversations and her willingness to understand different organizational and cultural contexts is a key strength which very few individuals have."

Dr. Asad H. Sahir, Assistant Professor, India Institute of Technology

"Diya brings a wealth of ideas, collaborates well with others, and has an understanding on how to create organizational change. If you are looking for a hard worker who understands that value of equity in the workplace, I would recommend Diya wholeheartedly."

Michael Bach, Founder & CEO, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion