13 October 2009

About Dale and the Gender Agenda blog

Dale MeikleSince October 2009, I have led PwC's Global Diversity & Inclusion Program Office,which provides advice and assistance on the issue of diversity to Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., Dennis Nally.  As part of this role, I develop and implement a network-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, and produce relevant communication for PwC's network leadership team. I also analyze, track, and report diversity key performance indicators, and facilitate symbiotic external relationships with relevant academic institutions and NGOs. I serve on the advisory board of the not-for-profit International Women of Excellence and represent PwC Global with a number of organisations with whom we liaise and partner, including the World Bank’s Global Private Sector Leaders’ Forum, the Boston College Center for Work Family’s Global Workforce Round Table, and the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. Please click here to view materials and video from this year's compelling partnership with CNBC and the Women's Forum on the topic, "what will women's empowerment mean for men?"

I’m also lucky enough to participate in a number of global diversity projects, events, and dialogues.  Via the Gender Agenda blog I’ll share with you what I learn, experience, and observe (please contact me with topic ideas or if you’d like to contribute as a guest writer – we've been fortunate to have past guest writers of all ages and nationalities, including subject matter experts, philanthropists, university professors, authors, writers from such publications as The Washington Post, and employees of MNCs, such as Pfizer).

I’ve had a varied career with PwC, working on a number of projects in offices around the world.  In 1999 I joined PwC US’s Washington National Tax Services, a group focused on legislative and regulatory developments emerging from the nation’s capital.  Two rotations within the Firm – one with the Health Research Institute and one on a national human capital initiative – gave me exposure to the incredible breadth of our services and opportunities.  Working on projects with colleagues who brought different backgrounds, competencies, and perspectives to the table taught me how diversity enhances team dynamics, leading to a truly distinctive experience for both our teams and clients.

In 2005, I moved to Europe to work with PwC’s then-Central Cluster Human Capital Leader, Marie-Jeanne Chèvremont.  I drove a number of cross-border recruitment, global mobility, employer branding, and talent management programs to engage and inspire our people.  Collaborating across multiple nationalities to leverage our network and skills in places as disparate as Stockholm, Cape Town, London, and Moscow was an exceptional experience in the challenges and rewards of working in diverse environments towards a common goal.

As part of this role, I also drove our regional Women in PwC Network under the direction of Network Leader (and Diversity & Inclusion Council member), Agnès Hussherr.  Our network facilitated connectivity and knowledge-sharing between female partners and produced the Eurofirms Women in PwC Annual Report in 2008.  I also had the opportunity to interview many of our senior French women for The Leaking Pipeline, an experience that changed my personal career outlook and vision; I learned the difference between adapting oneself and transforming oneself – and the merits and drawbacks of both approaches.

Suffice to say this professional experience with PwC has cultivated my interest in diversity, though it has always been a personal passion of mine.  I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but raised mostly in Washington, D.C.  While completing my undergraduate degree at The College of William & Mary, I lived in the Reves Center for International Studies, and studied abroad at the University of St Andrews.  As a result of my wide exposure to different cultures, I’ve always felt an affinity for diversity.

For over half of my career, I was based in Luxembourg, Paris, and Brussels.  Living in foreign countries for an extended period of time had a profound impact on my personal identity and professional development.  I believe that dwelling outside of my ‘comfort zone,’ communicating in a foreign language (an exercise in humility), and adapting to unfamiliar cultural and social norms have made me more agile, open-minded, empathetic, and patient – skills that I use every day at work, and that I see as integral to cultural dexterity and functioning in an increasingly global business milieu.

In 2011, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to enter an interdisciplinary Master of Arts program (focused on literature and women's studies) at Stanford University, where I explore my passion for literature and draw from the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, which promotes gender equality and often hosts thought leaders on these issues.


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