CEO, AuthorCompany: Diversity & Inclusion Center
Role: Session Presenter
Leslie Aguilar is an author and CEO/principal consultant with Diversity & Inclusion Center. She authored the bestselling Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts and Ouch! Your Silence Hurts video-based training modules and book. She co-created six online learning programs including Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts, Exploring Diversity & Inclusion, and Understanding the “T” in LGBT: Gender Identity & Gender Expression. Leslie also developed the Diversity Competencies Assessment as well as the DiversiScan process/assessment to move individuals and organizations toward meaningful DE&I change. These strategic and learning resources have been utilized by thousands of people from corporate, educational, government and nonprofit entities.
Leslie has facilitated hundreds of workshops on diversity and inclusion, cultural competence, inclusive communication, intercultural communication and multicultural customer service. She is recognized for her creative approach to learning—providing high-impact learning experiences and resources that are innovative AND practical.
Prior to forming her own firm in 1992, Leslie worked for 15 years with The Walt Disney Company in Guest Service, Guest Relations, The Disney University and Disneyland Paris. She developed learning solutions for new ventures such as Disney Vacation Club sales team, Disneyland Paris Cast Member Orientation, and Disneyland Paris Counterpart Program for European executives and managers living and working in the U.S. for two weeks to six months. Later, in an external consulting role, Leslie developed and facilitated more than 100 Inclusive Communication sessions for leaders across the Disney organization and implemented an internal Train-the-Trainer coaching process. She also served as a team leader and lead facilitator for Walt Disney World’s initial diversity training, a full-day workshop delivered to 4,000 Disney leaders in nine weeks.
Leslie holds a BA in Foreign Languages. She was educated at the University of Valencia, Spain; the North American Cultural Institute, Mexico; the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne), France; and Stetson University, USA. She also studied one year at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, as a Rotary International Scholar.
Leslie has shared a long-held passion for customer care in a diverse world with co-facilitator, Riikka Salonen. As part of Riikka’s research for her University of Jyväskylä (Finland) graduate thesis on multicultural customer service in the hospitality industry, Riikka found only one book in the U.S. focused on this topic—it was Multicultural Customer Service: Providing Outstanding Service Across Cultures (McGraw Hill/Irwin Press), co-written by Leslie Aguilar. They connected and began a thought partnership on inclusion and equity in the customer experience that continues to evolve and deepen to this day.