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Diana Ellsworth

Partner, Atlanta
Leads McKinsey’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work; directs initiatives focused on establishing inclusive, productive workplace cultures that support greater collaboration and innovation from a diverse workforce

About Diana

Diana leads our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Since joining McKinsey in 2009, she has focused on fostering organization development with an emphasis on talent and culture.

Drawing on deep expertise in culture and change management, talent and leadership development, and strategic organization design, Diana ensures that organizations have the necessary talent and environments to deliver their strategy in a sustainable way. She serves a varied set of clients across sectors, often supporting companies with large, distributed workforces.

Partnering with executives, Diana helps organizations assess the success they have had recruiting and promoting individuals from differing backgrounds, experiences, and identities. She also brings a lens to measure inclusion, or the degree to which employees are embraced and enabled to make meaningful contributions. This work identifies and supports actions needed from organizational systems, leaders, and peers to foster an environment of inclusion where all employees can contribute to their fullest.

Diana is a leader and founder of The Alliance, a network committed to advancing civil rights and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community. Since 2018, The Alliance has built connections among LGBTQ+ leaders in business, academia, and the social and public sectors.

Examples of her recent client work include the following:

  • engaging with a broad set of stakeholders at a global telecommunications company for a diversity and inclusion assessment; the initiative resulted in coordinated aspiration setting across more than five countries and operating companies
  • leading an inclusive workplace culture reset at a high-tech company that established new approaches to collaboration and conflict resolution in service of more efficient and effective innovation
  • advising a biotechnology company through a diversity and inclusion assessment that led to targeted goalsetting and strategy development
  • leading a diversity and inclusion assessment at a Fortune 500 energy company, delivering insights to inform strategic actions for employee segments with different experiences and challenges
  • directing a culture and change-management effort for an agriculture sector merger; the effort included an enhanced leadership program and a set of publicly communicated diversity and inclusion goals
  • leading a multiyear foundation partnership that supports more than 100 companies in developing racial-equity strategies.

Diana is on the faculty of McKinsey’s Change Leaders Forum and its Talent Leaders Forum, which she helped establish, and leads the firm’s LGBTQ+ Executive Transitions Master Class in the United States. She was named to the National Diversity Council’s Power 50 list in 2020, and the 2019 and 2020 OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance.

Before joining McKinsey, Diana was a founding teacher at a public, tuition-free, charter middle school, and the executive director of Teach For America, both based in Atlanta. Her background bridges an emphasis on learning and development—fostered during her time in the education sector—with a focus on business that deepened through her graduate studies.

Published work

The future of work: Three steps toward an inclusive workplace,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, July 2021

LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

LGBTQ+ voices: Speaking out and looking ahead,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Inclusion doesn’t happen by accident: Measuring inclusion in a way that matters,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, February 2021

The diversity imperative in retail,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Sustaining and strengthening inclusion in our new remote environment,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

LGBTQ+ voices: Learning from lived experiences,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

How the LGBTQ+ community fares in the workplace,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Understanding organizational barriers to a more inclusive workplace,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

The “how” in creating inclusive workplaces,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, March 2020

The CEO’s guide to competing through HR,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2017

Where accountability really matters,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2016

Redesigning Knowledge Work,” Harvard Business Review, January 2013

Past experience

Teach For America
Executive director

Atlanta Public Schools
Teacher

Education

Harvard University
MBA

Dartmouth College
BA, sociology, art history