Tony Byers, Ph.D.

director, Global Diversity & Inclusion
Starbucks
Boldly challenging the status quo and decades of diversity and inclusion practices, Dr. Tony Byers is transforming D&I from “the right thing to do” to the business imperative of our time. His presentations provide the perfect balance of “why now” and “how to” that will take your thinking on inclusion — and your organization — to the next level. Along the way, you’ll learn from the success stories of companies that have evolved beyond “doing diversity well” to leveraging inclusion as a powerful business advantage. These inclusive cultures are increasing employee creativity and productivity, developing new products and product categories, and far outpacing their peers in innovation, marketplace growth and business performance. Dr. Byers shows you how to build an inclusive culture through a breakthrough behavioral approach that overcomes biases and creates buy-in. You’ll also learn how to set in motion a multiplier effect of inclusion that more than doubles employee productivity while positively impacting every aspect of your organization.
 
Recruited to head and revitalize Starbucks’ highly respected and successful D&I function as Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Byers develops and leads the company’s strategic direction to drive engagement, innovation and business growth. His impressive track record in large matrix multinational organizations includes Cargill, where he led diversity programs throughout North America and a pioneering role as a transformational D&I leader at H.J. Heinz. At Heinz, he created the company’s global diversity and inclusion function from the ground up, creating and building model programs and practices. With 20+ years working in the field, Dr. Byers brings a diverse set of experiences and thinking to his D&I practice, including work in the nonprofit and education sector, as an organizational management consultant and as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, Metropolitan State University and the University of Wisconsin. He holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development and a M.A. in Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. His doctoral thesis focused on effective strategies for building support for diversity programs among senior leaders.
 
As Dr. Byers has observed, “We’ve been working on diversity and inclusion for 50 years and we’re really not happy with where we’re at. That means we’re either not doing something right, or we need to do something different.” His thought-provoking presentations challenge old mindsets and inspire both individuals and organizations to stretch their imaginations and move beyond awareness of our differences and towards utilization that fosters innovation and growth. With a call to look within and leverage our cultural insights and diversity, Dr. Byers provides key strategies to increase personal, professional and organizational success. Whether you’re a D&I professional, an affinity group, or any organization looking to build a better culture while boosting the bottom line, you’ll leave inspired, empowered, and seeing diversity and inclusion in a fresh new light.
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