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DEI Strategist, Dethra Giles, on why Allyship isn't Enough (Ep. 117)
Episode 1173rd November 2022 • Remarkable Leadership Lessons • Denise Cooper
00:00:00 00:42:17

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Allyship produces fair-weather commoraderie. Allegience is about supporting historically marginalized groups, even when it doesn't serve you.

In today's episode DEI Strategist, Dethra Giles, talks us through how allyship is not enough when it comes to progressing the DEI movement. Allyship is only present when it's beneficial for the person holding the most privilege to be supporting others. The moment it stops being beneficial, that allyship goes away.

The idea of allegiance proclaims something much more holistic. What would unwavering support do for historically marginalized communities in workspaces? What would the impact be on issues like age discrimination? bias based on a person's accent?

If you've been wondering how to move DEI efforts from frantic reactions brought on by world events, to a sustained effort that can be maintained over time, this is the episode for you.


  1. Dethra Giles talks about her superpower of seeing things in people that they cannot see in themselves [02:58]
  2. Why haven't we made better progress towards DEI? [09:13]
  3. Giles talks about the two camps within DEI and how they can learn to collaborate on lasting systems and change. [11:51]
  4. What factors keep the DEI Community from seeing their allies? [17:01]
  5. Where is DEI headed in the future? [27:09]
  6. How do I move the needle as a middle manager? [30:57]


Listen to Dethra Gile's Podcast Happily Ever Employed

Follow Dethra Giles on Linkedin



A floppy disk! When Dethra was looking through her book closet, she came across a manual from one of her first certifications on diversity. In the back of the manual was a floppy disk; that is how long Dethra has been committed to the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice. Dethra Giles has been striving to make DEI part of the workforce DNA for over two decades.

Dethra is a four-time TEDx speaker, ranked Engagedly’s Top 100 Influencers for outstanding contributions towards promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion, selected as HR Gazette’s HRchat Pod Top 22 most influential experts in HR is a host of the Happily Ever Employed podcast. As the CEO of ExecuPrep, she leads an international Performance Optimization Consulting firm specializing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her methods and impact have earned her the title “University tested, and industry approved.” Her unique blend of advanced education and industry experience provides her the needed expertise to impact executives and high potential teams.


Her clients have included Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, Kaiser Permanente, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Army Corp of Engineers, and the Salvation Army. Dethra takes her education and years of experience and turns them into results-driven actions for her clients.


According to her, every organization has what it needs for optimum performance; her job is to make what is already present work in a way it had not worked before. By optimizing employee performance, organization structure, and leadership Dethra makes magic happen within organizations.

She is a top-rated speaker for National SHRM (Society of Human Resources Managers) and an expert at delivering presentations that help build accountable teams and increase productivity.

She holds a BA in English and Spanish from Mercer University, an MBA, and a Masters of Science in Conflict Management. She has served as adjunct faculty at the Federal Executive Institute, Georgia State University, Mercer University, and as a faculty member for Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses and the Tory Burch Foundation.

According to Dethra, her job is to deliver results to her clients by developing actionable strategies, optimizing performance, and eliminating distractions.