Leila McKenizie Delis is the CEO and Founder of Dial Global and the McKenzie-Delis Foundation and a speaker on diversity, inclusion and aspirations in business.
Founded by Leila, DIAL Global, is a global community for ‘Diverse Inclusive Aspirational Leaders’. DIAL Global’s purpose is to foster a more open, diverse and inclusive society by helping organisations to think differently about their working culture, recruitment, attitudes and understanding of diversity in all its forms.
Leila presents a podcast series ‘Diverse Inclusive Leaders’ and also fronts a YouTube channel, featuring exclusive talks with the most inspirational and accomplished thought leaders of today.
She has also created the McKenzie-Delis Foundation – a charity dedicated to furthering the research and insight into diversity, inclusion and belonging. In 2020, they launched the McKenzie-Delis Review; a ground-breaking report on diversity and inclusion in the UK workplace.
Leila’s passion and commitment to diversity and inclusion has been inspired by her upbringing and career to date. Originally born in Hong Kong, Leila was adopted as a baby by a British couple and grew up in Harrogate, Yorkshire. As one of the relatively few non-white people in her school and the local area, Leila began to think about the nature of identity, race and professional ambition.
Although Leila went on to excel academically, graduating top of her class and with a first a first-class honours degree, she quickly came across difficulties in accessing opportunities to graduate jobs and internships – while her friends and peers around Harrogate did not experience the same barriers.
Committed to creating opportunities for herself, Leila went on to run several businesses and built a successful career in Executive Search.
One day, at a round table event, Leila noticed that she was the only female and only person of colour. From that moment onwards, the idea for DIAL Global was born as a way to create more opportunities for diverse candidates to access top level careers and leadership roles.
Today, Leila spends her time managing numerous directorships and advisory positions whilst continuing to promote and campaign for the benefits of inclusion and diversity in business and in wider society. Her mission is to build DIAL Global and The McKenzie-Delis Foundation in order to forge a more diverse and inclusive society.
Leila has been proactive in her external engagements and has spoken at the highly publicised GG2 Diversity Dividend Conference and Awards Ceremony where she was interviewed by the BBC journalist, Clive Myrie alongside KPMG and Oliver Wyman.
Some of her speaking topics include –
- Celebrating Diverse & Inclusive Leadership
- Women in Leadership
- Diversity at the Top of the Food Chain
- Creating Inclusion Cultures.
Other external speaking engagements include motivational and educational talks to students and young professionals. Leila has been invited to speak numerous times for programmes with organisations such as Management Development Scheme (MDS), a partnership of companies that aims to equip young people with the experience, training and mind-set so that they have the confidence and ability to rapidly become senior business leaders within the industry and Working Options In Education which aims to inspire and motivate students at school and in colleague from underprivileged areas.
On behalf of all at the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre, I would like to say many, many thanks for an enjoyable Tuesday evening! Your wonderful contribution to our Enterprise Tuesday session was really appreciated. The majority of attendees thought that it would indeed help them on their entrepreneurial Journey. Which is fantastic!
— Cambridge Judge Business School