Founder and PresidentCompany: Deb Dagit Diversity, LLC
Role: DEF Session Co-Host / Session Presenter / Webinar Presenter Sessions: Ain’t I A Woman? Exploring the Role of Intersectionality in Actualizing Gender Equity (S2-L) | Disability Inclusion: Powering Breakthrough Innovation and Customer Delight (S4-C) | Unpacking the Reasonable Accommodations Conversation: Achieving Win-Win Outcomes
Deb Dagit started her own business in 2013 to deliver the consulting services and products she wished were available when she was a chief diversity officer. She focuses on offering practical, just-in-time resources, tools, and support for diversity practitioners.
As Merck’s CDO for 11 years, Deb was responsible for global equal opportunity, employee relations, recruiting and staffing, and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, the company was recognized for its exemplary work in diversity and inclusion by DiversityInc and Working Mother magazines, the Families and Work Institute, and the Human Rights Campaign. Merck also received the Department of Defense Freedom Award (veterans) and the Department of Labor New Freedom Award (people with disabilities) during her tenure.
She played a key role in the passage of the American with Disabilities Act through her lobbying efforts in both California and Washington, D.C. Deb was invited to speak on diversity and inclusion at the December 2008 “Citadel of Free Speech” City Club of Cleveland, which was broadcast live on NPR. She also testified in July 2011 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding best practices for improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities.