As an organisational and behavioural change thought leader, Lisa frequently speaks at conferences, designs and delivers learning sessions, coaches leaders, advises organisations, conducts research, and writes. In her work, she partners with organizations on how to successfully achieve their goals for creating a more inclusive culture for sustainable growth. Her deep expertise in organizational development, design thinking, and applied behavioral science integrated with inclusive culture make her a unique resource. With nearly 20 years of experience as a global inclusion & diversity executive for AXA, Microsoft, & HP, Lisa knows well the realities of creating change inside large, global organizations. Lisa founded in 2013 the Inclusion Institute and focuses on designing organizational and behavioral change strategies and actions to increase inclusion, equity, and diversity. She also coaches change makers and leaders to enable them to carry this work forward in their organisations. Lisa’s clients are from a wide range of sectors including multinationals, businesses, NGOs, governments, universities, and directly with individual change-makers.
In 2013, she also co-founded the award-winning Inclusion Nudges global initiative. She is a co-author of the Inclusion Nudges Guidebook and the Action Guide Series (Inclusion Nudges for Leaders, Inclusion Nudges for Talent Selection, & Inclusion Nudges for Motivating Allies). For this innovative work, Lisa and her co-founder, Tinna C. Nielsen, were named to The Economist’s & The Telegraph’s Global Diversity “Top 10” List in 2015, 2016, & 2017, shortlisted in 2019 for a European Diversity Award, and received in 2020 an Honorable Mention for the Winds of Change Award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion.
Lisa gave a TEDx Talk talk on the need to design for inclusive behavioral change in talent selections. She conducts research and writes to help further the practice of inclusion, equality, and diversity, always with a practical application focus. In addition to the Inclusion Nudges books and blog, she has co-conducted global studies on improving the effectiveness of women networks, inclusion & diversity actions with impact (published by Newsweek), and on inclusion in new working models. Lisa works with groups to encourage their focus on inclusion, such as by serving on several advisory boards, chairing conferences, founding the Europe-based Global D&I Forum, and being an expert panellist for Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks.
Lisa grew up in a lower-middle-class, military, conservative family in the U.S. Her family came from many generations of Southern poor, farming, and working-class white people who immigrated in the 1700’s from England and Ireland. Her maternal grandmother’s mother was Cherokee Native American, but unfortunately, this culture was not passed through the family. Social mobility came from Lisa and her family having white privilege within a deeply racist, sexist, discriminatory, and violent culture. Her grandmother’s gentle spirits are with Lisa as she cooks the food of her past—representing the complex legacy of the many people of her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, including enslaved Black people, slave owners, farmers, poor people, Native American people, and immigrants.
Despite being told repeatedly that she had two career options (to be a nurse or a teacher), Lisa went a different path. She was the first on her mother’s side to graduate from university and with two degrees. Her studies in social psychology focused on human behaviour and in socio-linguistics she had two specialisations—one on gender and language and another on immigrant cultural assimilation and language. Growing up, having seen and felt racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression, including abuse, Lisa felt the need to find a way to address inequalities, and through her work, she tries to do this. Central to this is examining her past to see how the power of privilege and oppression are a part of who she is. With reflection and questioning, she approaches her work as a change-maker.
Lisa is a world citizen. She lived in many states in the U.S. and in 5 countries. She has travelled extensively in her global work. For the past 20 years, Lisa has lived in Europe and now is settled in a small German Alpine village. With this backdrop, Lisa and her husband, Pawel, raised their two daughters, Anya and Camila, who are now adults.