Management consultancy North Highland has promoted Dianne Bernez to associate vice president to lead the firm’s approach to inclusion and diversity (I&D). She will be based in Denver.
As AVP, Bernez will take on primary responsibility for ensuring North Highland achieves its I&D goals. She will report to Alex Bombeck, managing director and group president, who also serves as executive sponsor for I&D. Bernez will also partner with Jennifer Mancuso, VP of HR, and with the company’s I&D committee.
Bernez will be responsible for deploying a comprehensive I&D strategy, which includes a formal approach to supplier diversity and a new procurement and vendor spend initiative. She will also lead the I&D committee and provide guidance to its employee resource groups: the Black Employee Network; Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network in the UK; Women in North Highland; Pride Alliance; and Veterans at North Highland.
Bernez will continue to oversee North Highland’s philanthropy efforts, which center on addressing the root causes of poverty through economic empowerment. She has managed the firm’s global philanthropy since 2016, overseeing pro-bono consulting to non-profit organizations.
“As a people-centered firm, we believe in creating a sense of belonging and an environment where everyone is welcomed and appreciated for their personal capabilities, characteristics, contributions and diversity of background, thought and expertise,” Bombeck said. “Dianne brings a unique global perspective and strategic approach, including direct work on complex race relations matters, that is integral in accelerating our ongoing inclusion and diversity efforts to create lasting change.”
Bernez has deep expertise in communications strategy and corporate social responsibility – including I&D, volunteer management, and fundraising. Before joining North Highland in 2016, she spent 10 years at Equifax, where she was an SVP of corporate communications. She led teams focused on employee communications, media relations, issues management, and brand management across several countries.
Before that, Bernez spent four years as SVP of corporate communications for ING, leading internal and external communications for the Americas region. She also previously spent six years at AT&T, where she was a director in the PR and marketing communications department.
Bernez has served on a variety of non-profit boards and community organizations, including Partnership Against Domestic Violence, Unifem USA Georgia, and United Way of Greater Atlanta. She holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from York University in Toronto, Canada.
Numerous consulting firms are strengthening their diversity and inclusion functions amid wider societal calls for racial equity. Bain & Company, for example, recently launched a new diversity, equity & inclusion council, while Korn Ferry appointed Michael Hyter as its first chief diversity officer.
PwC, meanwhile, announced new staffing goals which aim for 35% of new hires to be Black or Latino, and for half of all partners to be women or minorities.