Date: Jul 14, 2021Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

HBSCC – Unpacking and Mitigating Bias with Dr. Deborah Ashton PhD, CDM (virtual)

Wed, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Zoom Webinar (Information to be sent to Registrants)
General PublicCareer & Leadership


Biases, we all have them. Learn how to overcome bias by understanding why we have them, when they are triggered and developing strategies to practice bias free leadership.

In this session you will gain insight on:
– How the brain influences with whom we empathize and whom we judge–the us versus them phenomenon.
– How biases may impact leadership.
– How to mitigate bias by recognizing triggers.
– How to work towards bias-free leadership.

Participants must register by NOON on July 13th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out once registration closes.

Please note that no refunds will be issued



Dr. Deborah Ashton, PhD, CDM

President, Planet Perspective

Dr. Ashton is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategist with 30+ years of cross-industry experience. She headed DEI for Medtronic, Darden Restaurants, Harley-Davidson, Novant Health and Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Ashton advises Boards on DEI. She is the former Chief of Test Development and Validation for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Dr. Ashton, a licensed psychologist, received her doctorate from Harvard University and studied with Dr. Chester ‘Chet’ Pierce, who coined the term “microaggression”. Dr. Ashton was the Chief Psychologist & Learning Officer for Diversity Learning Solutions, Diversity MBA. She heads Equity Rising with the mission of social justice and equity in policing and corporations.

Dr. Ashton specializes in organizational psychology and developing an inclusive workplace. She provides coaching on how to mitigate unconscious bias in the workplace and in talent management. She has published in the Harvard Business Review, Diversity MBA, Diversity Executive, etc. Her Harvard Business Review articles are Does Race or Gender Matter More to Your Paycheck? and What HR Can Do to Fix the Gender Pay Gap. She chaired the peer review board for the Diversity Business Review, a DEI journal written by DEI practitioners for DEI practitioners, Human Resources, and line management.

Dr. Ashton created the 360o Inclusion Leadership Profile © TM (360o ILP), the Inclusive Culture Profile© ®(ICP) and the Six Pillars of Diversity and Inclusion TM strategical framework. The 360o ILP assesses individual skills for leading an inclusive and multicultural workforce and provides action plans to assist with leadership development. The ICP provides guidance to promote an inclusive culture.

Dr. Ashton co-developed the Seven Stages of Inclusion Maturity Model (7SIMM). The 7SIMM maps organizational inclusion gaps and strengths.

DiversityInc, the Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, Diversity MBA, International Labor Organization, Global Summit of Women, The Business Journals, Inc, The Guardian, the Institute for Diversity and Health Equity–American Hospital Association and professional organizations recognize Dr. Ashton as a DEI thought leader. Savoy Magazine named her as one of 2014 Top Influential Women in Corporate America. She has presented at international conferences from Mexico to Australia.

Dr. Ashton has served on several Boards: Advisory Leadership Board Member, Diversity MBA; Director Board Of Directors, YWCA, Winston-Salem, NC; Board Member, Piedmont Opera; Member Of The Board Of Advisors – Central Florida, United Negro College Fund; Director Board Of Directors – Central Florida, Arthritis Foundation; Director Board Of Directors, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Director Board Of Directors, Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs; and Secretary, Medtronic Foundation Board.


Clarence Otis Jr.

Clarence Otis Jr. served as chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants, Inc. from 2004 to 2014 and as its chairman from 2005 to 2014. An S&P 500 company, Darden is the world’s largest full-service restaurant company with annual revenues that exceed $8 billion and its brands are Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V’s and Yard House.

Under Mr. Otis’s leadership, Darden’s strategy combined active portfolio management, disciplined brand building, rigorous operational execution and creating and sustaining a motivating and inclusive culture. The company significantly enhanced profitability and sales growth by increasing the relevance and doubling the national footprint of its flagship brand, Olive Garden, acquiring, refining and expanding high growth brands such as LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House and disposing of two growth challenged legacy brands, Red Lobster and Smokey Bones Bar & Grill. While achieving strong operating and financial results, in 2011 Darden became the first full-service restaurant company to be named one of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work, a distinction it achieved for four consecutive years. During Mr. Otis’s tenure as CEO, Darden’s total shareholder return meaningfully outpaced the S&P 500 and put the company among the leaders in casual dining.

Mr. Otis started at Darden in 1995, joining the company as treasurer, before becoming chief financial officer and then president of Smokey Bones. Prior to Darden, he led the municipal securities group of Chemical Securities (a predecessor of JP Morgan Securities). A member of the New York Bar Association, Mr. Otis began his professional career as a securities attorney in New York City, practicing for four years before entering the financial services industry.

Mr. Otis serves on the board of directors of VF Corporation (since 2004), chairing the Audit Committee; Verizon Communications, Inc. (since 2006), where he is currently the independent lead director; the Travelers Companies (from 1999 to 2004 and since 2017); Union Square Hospitality Group (since 2017); and Jazz at Lincoln Center (since 2011), where he is chairman. He is also a member of the National Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (since 2014); served on the board of trustees of Williams College (from 1999 to 2004 and 2012 to 2019); and is on the board of trustees of Cleveland Clinic (since 2015).

Mr. Otis has a JD from Stanford Law School (1980) and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College (1977), where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and been recognized with an honorary degree (2009). In 2007, Mr. Otis was inducted as a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

Mr. Otis, who was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. He is married to Jacqueline Bradley (since 1983) and they have three children, Calvin (born in 1989), Randall (born in 1992) and Allison (born in 1992).

Date Time

Date: Jul 14, 2021Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM


Zoom Webinar (Information to be sent to Registrants)1460 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
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  • Free / Member/Member Guest (limit one)
  • 20 / Non-Members



Alexandra Aleskovsky, Lockie Andrews, Amy Binder, Rebecca Binder, Von Chaney, Robert Crawford, Sally Durdan, David Gelobter, MaryAnne Gucciardi, Evan Harrel, Jean Hellering, Charles Imohiosen, Anthony Kendall, Lucy Kennedy, Ranna Khan, Jie Li, David Linn, Alan Mark, Leah Modigliani, Nan Morrison, Barrie Moskowitz, Margit Pearson, Kenneth Peskin, Edgardo Rivera, Ava Seave, Ash Shah, Kenneth Tatum, Jose Tolosa, Sherine Van Brackle, Stephanie Viggiano, andrea mozo


HBS Club of Chicago

Zoom Webinar (Information to be sent to Registrants)

1460 Broadway, New York, NY, 10036