Working in innovation, we're often entrusted to find the "first of” a newly invented role. On the talent frontier we see how new voices and perspectives are essential to transformation and disruptive work.

The Katalyst Group team has lived, learned, and worked around the globe. We speak multiple languages and come from all different walks of life. We're not guided by political correctness. Our work compels us to be creative and challenge bias in its myriad forms to find exceptional talent. Here are our diverse perspectives on diversity...

candre-mandawe-1065617-unsplash.jpg

Katalyst Group is a woman-owned, diversity-led boutique talent advisory firm committed to advocacy and education in this important diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence work.

We're proud to have supported these organizations and efforts along the way: the It Gets Better Project, National Black MBA Association, Working Wardrobes, Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, Human Rights Campaign Foundation / Corporate Equality Index, Imagen, Veterans in Business, and Association for Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting to name a few.

Katalyst Group supports ongoing education (especially our own) and advocacy in this work, and we welcome the opportunity to cultivate partnerships in this space.

What Matters to KG
wendy pic 7.jpg

I’m a bit of a “word nerd” and, where some people might have a song or smell that reminds them of defining moments, for me it’s the French word dépaysé which means “situated in unfamiliar surroundings”; “being out of one's element”; “removed from one’s own country”, and it’s a word that so accurately defines my most formative years.

By the time I was 13, I had lived in 5 countries on three continents and had learned to speak several languages. Growing up in countries where I couldn’t communicate, at first, meant that I was a minority in a category of my own and during a stage of life where “fitting in” was so important. 

As I sought to “fit in” and connect, I had to assume nothing and to be open to every possibility and, on my journey to understand the differences behind each culture, I was able to truly understand the significance of those nuances to the people who come from there.  

When people talk about diversity in companies and teams, they tend to refer to criteria such as gender, race, etc. I believe that diversity of experience is as important. Different experiences yield new perspectives, require a curiosity mindset, and greater openness to new ideas and influences; it fosters intuition and “out of the box” thinking.

When I work with clients, candidates, and in life generally, I'm able to see the value of the different perspectives of everyone involved. Diversity, inclusiveness, global mindedness and “connecting the dots” are core to my DNA. It’s who I am.

Wendy Doulton
harper kids.png

As the oldest of 5 adopted children of different races and ethnicities, I noticed people's curiousity about our "colorful" clan that didn’t fit the nuclear family paradigm at that time. Being atypical made me thoughtful about identity, bias, and privilege from an early age.

I've had the chance to guest lecture at UCLA on race, gender & identity, build Diversity and Inclusion programs, speak with adoptive parents of foreign-born children, and design culturally relevant systems for 20k+ global employees.

I hear people say, "There isn’t enough diverse talent available," and I think that’s a copout - or worse, an excuse to maintain the status quo. There’s incredible talent everywhere, and KG puts in the extra effort to build a candidate slate that reflects our clients’ communities and consumers.

Fresh perspectives and hearty debate are the birthplace of innovation...which doesn't often happen when everyone looks and thinks alike. It's hard to invent something new if you consult the same worn-out corporate playbook. 

Le Anne Harper
arno-smit-141735-unsplash.jpg

  

To be successful as a marketer, you must consistently view life from a perspective that is not your own. 

In my career, I’ve adopted the persona of a stay-at-home mom, a young African American woman, a middle-aged man and an international consumer of shapewear. Each of these instances (and many more) pushed me to think outside my own experiences, wants and assumptions.

When considering diversity, I tend to push beyond demographics and focus on what unique point of view that individual will add to the team. The rest is just packaging.

Jennifer Haley
al-soot-1144970-unsplash.jpg

Earlier in my career as a Talent Agent with Kazarian Spencer Ruskin and Associates, I was a key leader of the KSR Diversity Practice. With an overarching mission of holistic diversity and inclusion in entertainment, this practice specialized in representing performers with disabilities for television, film and commercial projects..

While at KSR, I booked Diversity clients in series regular network television roles and lead roles in studio films. We received recognition for contributions to the industry including a SAG/AFTRA/AEA Diversity Award (The Ivy), a Changing Images in American Diversity Award, a Media Access Award of Merit, the National Down Syndrome Congress Media Award and The Arc Catalyst Award for Media.

Mitch Shankman

There's a lot of buzz around Diversity and Inclusion.
Our long-standing track record preceded the hype.

We'd love the chance to learn about your priorities and share some key learnings and success stories.