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Leading in Color with Sarah Morgan

Nov 26, 2019

The episode guest is Mary-Frances Winters. 

Mary-Frances Winters is the founder and CEO of The Winters Group, Inc., a 35-year-old global diversity and inclusion consulting firm. For the past three decades she has impacted over hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals with her thought-provoking message, and her approach to diversity and inclusion. 

Ms. Winters is a master strategist with experience in strategic planning, change management, diversity, organization development, training and facilitation, systems thinking and qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has extensive experience in working with senior leadership teams to drive organizational change.

Among her many awards and distinctions, Ms. Winters received the Winds of Change award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in 2016. She was also featured in Forbes’ June 2016 publication, which honored some of the DC Metro area’s most powerful women.

Ms. Winters is the author of four books with her most recent being, We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics. 

Ms. Winters Lives Inclusively® by building relationships across difference— thinking about what she says, does and thinks and questioning whether it fosters inclusion. She says hello to strangers, assumes positive intent and believes her purpose on earth is to break down barriers and build bridges across difference.

Here are the takeaways from this interview with Mary-Frances Winters: 

  • Self-awareness is crucial. We all have a cultural frame that shapes our views. We need to understand this, reflect on it, and be willing to learn about others. 
  • Dialogue over debate. Instead of fighting to be right and engaging in cancel culture, listen for understanding and to find shared meaning and common ground. 
  • You can’t make people do this work. Creating learning experiences and safe spaces for conversation area great, especially in our workplaces. However, you cannot make people do this work and improve their cultural competence. Be willing to step back or walk away. 


Thank you for listening to Episode 18 of the Leading in Color podcast. I hope you will connect with Mary-Frances on Twitter @maryfwinters and on LinkedIn at “MaryFWinters” and on Instagram at “Mary Frances Winters” … and you can follow The Winters Group at and connect with them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook at The Winters Group. 

I also hope you will connect with Leading in Color at @leadingincolorpodcast on FB and Instagram and @leadingincolor on Twitter. I’d love your feedback and questions at my email -- and of course I want you to subscribe, rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and now iHeart Radio and Stitcher!