Dr. Deborah Ashton


Company: Planet Perspective, LLC
Role: Session Presenter

2022 Conference Session: So You Want DEI on Your Board of Directors! (S5-E)

Deborah P. Ashton, PhD, CDM, is a human resources executive and a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategist and consultant with 30-plus years of cross-industry experience. She serves as the Advisory Committee board member for Mill Road Progressive Governance Fund, Mill Road Capital. She is the president of Planet Perspective, promoting inclusion, social justice, and a bias-free work environment. She headed diversity and inclusion for Medtronic, Darden Restaurants, Harley-Davidson, Novant Health, and Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Ashton has presented to and advised boards on diversity and inclusion. She is the former chief of Test Development and Validation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Deborah, a licensed psychologist, was a post-doctoral clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School and received her doctorate from Harvard University. She is a fellow at UC Berkeley Executive Education and Directors Academy programs. Deborah served as the chief psychologist and learning officer for Diversity Learning Solutions, Diversity MBA. She is a member of the DEI Task Force for Executives’ Club of Chicago. She is an inductee for Inclusion Magazine’s 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Hall of Fame (2021 Fall Edition, in press).

Deborah created the 360 Inclusion Leadership Profile (360 ILP), the Inclusive Culture Profile® (ICP) and the Six Pillars of Diversity and Inclusion strategical framework, which treats the organization as an ecosystem. The 360 ILP assesses individual skills for leading an inclusive and multicultural workforce and provides action plans to assist with leadership effectiveness. The ICP provides guidance regarding policies, practices, and procedures to better attract, engage, develop, and retain employees.

She co-developed the Seven Stages of Inclusion Maturity Model (7SIMM). The 7SIMM provides information about the current organizational stage of inclusion and identifies organizational gaps and strengths to create a consistent integrated inclusive culture and leverage diversity and inclusion to meet business objectives.

Diversity Woman, DiversityInc, Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, International Labor Organization, Global Summit of Women, American City Business Journals, Inc., The Guardian, Institute for Diversity and Health Equity–American Hospital Association, and other professional organizations recognize Deborah as a diversity and inclusion thought leader. Savoy magazine named her as one of the 2014 Top Influential Women in Corporate America. She has presented at international conferences from Mexico to Australia.

Deborah has served on several boards primarily focusing on human resources and compensation: Advisory Leadership Board Member, Diversity MBA; Director, Board of Directors, YWCA, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Board Member, Piedmont Opera; Member of The Board of Advisors, Central Florida United Negro College Fund; Director, Board of Directors, Central Florida Arthritis Foundation; Director, Board of Directors, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Director, Board of Directors, Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP); and Secretary, Medtronic Foundation Board.

Deborah specializes in organizational psychology and developing an inclusive workplace. She provides guidance and coaching on how to mitigate unconscious bias in the workplace and in talent management. She has published in Harvard Business Review, Diversity MBA, Diversity Executive, and others. Her Harvard Business Review articles are “Does Race or Gender Matter More to Your Paycheck?” and “What HR Can Do to Fix the Gender Pay Gap.” She is a peer reviewer for American Diversity Report Academic Journal. She chaired the peer review board for the inaugural issue of Diversity Business Review, a DEI journal written by DEI practitioners for DEI practitioners, human resources, and line management.



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