Bernadette Smith



Bernadette Smith is founder and CEO of Equality Institute and award-winning author of four books. Her fourth book is Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization.

Bernadette has presented to enthusiastic audiences of CEOs, associations, entrepreneurs, leadership teams, sales professionals, account executives, marketing executives, human resource managers and more. Her expertise has been sought after by the New York Times, Forbes, the Washington Post, and Fast Company, among many others, and she’s appeared on the Today Show, the BBC, National Public Radio, and CNN.

Bernadette has been named one of Chicago’s Notable LGBTQ Executives by Crain’s Chicago Business. Each week, Bernadette writes about good vibes in DEI in her newsletter, 5 Things and shares these 5 Things in 15 Minutes on her podcast of the same name.


  • 1. More Than Words: Accelerate Your Organization’s Diversity Goals Through Purpose, Strategy, and Accountability
    • **This high energy, engaging keynote session will introduce you to PSA – a proven formula for expanding the reach of your DEI initiatives, to help your organization become Inclusive 360.
    • **Best suited for leaders who want to accelerate their DEI progress, have heard that diversity is important, but need guidance on what they can do about it
    • **Provides key systemic changes to advance DEI that you can implement today
  • 2. Voices Carry: Everyone’s Role as Ally in the Workplace
    • **This engaging and entertaining allyship keynote provides key takeaways and tools every employee can use to be more inclusive of diverse colleagues and clients.
    • **Best suited for leaders and Individual contributors who are aspiring allies of under-represented people but aren't always sure what that looks like in reality
    • **Introduces the ARC Method, a framework to connect across differences

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