Diversity Masterminds: Leveraging Diverse Certifications

| By Sarah Jester

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is proud to work with ally-owned small businesses that advocate for diversity and representation within the workplace. Certified Women-owned Business Enterprise & soon-to-be certified Disability Owned Business Enterprise Diversity Masterminds is no exception! Co-founded by Liz Whitehead and Heather Cox in 2019, Diversity Masterminds provides diverse-certified businesses with tips and tricks for leveraging their certification.

“We offer live online cohorts for business owners to master their certifications together, on-demand courses, master classes on capability statements, registration portals and pitching, and a network of diverse suppliers that will help you get to the next step within supplier diversity,” explained Cox.

Located in Henderson, NV, Diversity Masterminds came together when Cox, the President of Certify My Company, noticed that many diverse-certified small business owners were experiencing frustration because they were not seeing the value in their certification. Cox knew that there was value there - and she knew just the person who could help her. She contacted Whitehead, the CEO of 12PointFive.

“She immediately saw the need to bring diverse business owners together in a peer group to kickstart their supplier diversity journeys,” Cox said. “With that phone call, Diversity Masterminds®  was born.”

Diversity Masterminds works closely with NGLCC to ensure that LGBT-owned small businesses across the nation are taking full advantage of their LGBT certification. Cox and Whitehead have prepped NGLCC members for the NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference, as well as offering them webinars and workshops to show them how to maximize their businesses.

“We are delighted to partner with NGLCC because we are passionate about helping ALL diverse business enterprises is every category - DOBE, LGBTBE, MBE, WBE, and VOB - master their certifications and grow their businesses,” said Whitehead.

When asked what was unique about their business, Cox explained how Diversity Masterminds is one of the only business development consultancies today that specializes in supplier diversity, offers virtual courses, peer groups, and a certification maximization roadmap. 

“Our cohorts include business owners with certifications from ALL the major national certifying organizations to amplify the value and promote collaboration between the groups,” Whitehead said.

Cox and Whitehead are most proud of being able to continue their business’ growth during COVID-19. Over the last several months, they have continued to fine-tune their online course offerings, launched a new podcast, and formed fresh partnerships with diverse organizations to increase their offerings to diverse-certified businesses.

“We learned that while we LOVE in person events, they are not the be all and end all of the certification journey,” Cox explained.

Diversity Masterminds has energetically developed a set of business goals to achieve over the next several years. These include growing the corporate side of the business, as well as developing new membership and subscription templates for business owners as the field of supplier diversity and its opportunities to grow.

“The key words are growth and scale,” said Whitehead. “Scale meaning we won’t be doing all of this ourselves!”

Cox and Whitehead advised LGBT individuals starting a business to get certified by NGLCC, as well as to stay true to themselves.

“To paraphrase an NGLCC LGBTBE, Ashley Brundage: your difference is empowering. Embrace your uniqueness and let it show!” they said.

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Want to maximize your diverse certification? Connect with Diversity Masterminds!
Read more at nglcc.org/blog.