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First generation diversity efforts were, and unfortunately remain, hyper-focused on creating diversity in our workplaces. This is evident in the performative tracking of a variety of “diverse identities” with slow change to policy, compensation, and systems that overtly and covertly govern corporations. The women of Professional Dimensions quickly saw the need to take this conversation to the next level in Milwaukee to drive meaningful action.

From these beliefs and insights, the Ideation Summit was created to intentionally bring together leaders in the Milwaukee community to focus on inclusive leadership, racial inequity and institutionalized practices that prevent the advancement of all.

This summit is intended to disrupt your thinking about diversity, flip it on its head, and give you the practical tools to ensure that we are building a world in which we all can thrive.


This year’s theme: Start With You. We will push you to think more deeply about what it looks like to operate from your area of influence to drive change. Personal responsibility, starting where you are, understanding power, and locating your sphere of influence are the topics that will drive conversation. Every presenter will center their remarks on understanding our realms of influence and how to leverage our voices and choices for change.


Thank you so much for attending this year’s Professional Dimensions Ideation Summit!

We hope you’ve had time to process your experience, and we’re excited to stay in touch with you to build a coalition of leaders who will remain accountable to advancing inclusivity. 


The most important action to take after an experience of this nature is reflection. Moments of reflection allow us to process and make meaning of new information. This is the first step in “starting with you”! Once you’ve processed individually, we’d ask that you take a moment to share your thoughts with people you trust. While we all experienced the same content, we’re all walking away with unique perspectives and summaries of our experiences. 

It should come as no surprise that my reflection led to deep appreciation for Professional Dimensions women, especially our board of directors, for their bold leadership. It takes incredible courage to lead change and yield this level of impact:

  • 24 incredible women leaders, 21 of which were women of color, directed and facilitated this year's ideation summit from top to bottom
  • 4 Professional Dimensions women served as the co-chairs for this summit, and stewarded resources from respective organizations to make the event possible

  • 100% of suppliers engaged to execute the event were BIPOC businesses 

  • Youth voice set the tone for the summit, and was prioritized alongside traditional "business" sessions

  • An environment of inclusion and vulnerability was created as women not only had a seat at the table, but had a voice at the table as well

  • 100% of the topics selected for the summit were generated by women of diverse identities and experiences

  • We had national reach, engaging women from outside of Wisconsin to share perspective and engage with the brilliance we have in the city of Milwaukee

  • 250 individuals registered and 175 were present online and in-person

  • We hit our fundraising goal and launched partnerships with 5 new corporate sponsors who are committed to advancing inclusivity and elevating women employees throughout this program year

This list is presented in the order of what I’m most proud of. Typically, you’ll see attendance and funding at the top - it’s undoubtedly important. At the same time, if we want to change outcomes in this city, we need to change metrics, and change what shows up at the top of our “wins'' list. Professional Dimensions is committed to serving as a proof point that change is possible - that organizations founded decades ago can evolve while empowering leaders to take responsibility for creating a city where everyone can flourish. What are you most proud of post-summit, and why?

(Click on breakout image to access corresponding recording)


HERE IS THE LINK to the post-event survey. Please be honest and transparent as we’ll use this information to inform ALL of our future events. Beyond this survey, you can look forward to quarterly communications that will provide you with information and opportunities related to our collective mission to advance inclusivity. Please reach out to info@professionaldimensions.org for more information about Professional Dimensions.


Our event keynote Michelle Silverthorn has shared a diversity, equity and inclusion toolkit with resources for participants to access within the next 30 days. Please visit this site: https://michellesilverthorn.com/deiresourceguide. The password is "changetheworld".

HERE are the slides from Michelle's Presentation.




Can you have a conversation about inclusivity without discussing wealth and pay equity? Whether we're talking about philanthropy, investments, ownership and/or generational wealth, money is power, and power belongs in any conversation about inclusivity. 

WHY DEI?  During this time we'll explore the true meaning, purpose and barriers to DEI and REI work. Why are companies developing this position? What are realistic outcomes? What companies have made gains in this realm? Join DEI/REI Professionals from Milwaukee's largest corporations to discuss their vision for change.
AN INCLUSIVE FUTURE This opportunity allows us to center youth voice and perspectives on how our city can become more inclusive. Here we'll discuss what inclusivity means to young people, their role in advancing inclusivity, and what they need from diverse adult leaders as our next generation of innovators and leaders.
GENDER AND POWER Early inclusion efforts centered the advancement of women, yet women remain significantly undervalued for their contributions to society. This panel will use the new McKinsey & Company Women in the Workplace study to explore gender inclusivity and will center participants on immediate actions to advance our region, starting with women.


(414) 374-3570
759 North Milwaukee Street, Suite 404
Milwaukee, WI 53202


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