JUST ANNOUNCED: The New Era of Leadership 2024 Award Winners


Debbie Dyson

CEO, OneTen


The Diversity Advocate Making a Case for Skills-First Hiring

In 2020, top business leaders across the country joined forces to create OneTen, a nonprofit dedicated to hiring and advancing one million Black individuals without a four-year college degree into family-sustaining jobs by 2030. Since last year’s Supreme Court ruling against race-based affirmative action policies, the organization has received a lot of criticism for its focus on Black talent. But CEO Debbie Dyson has remained committed to OneTen’s mission by emphasizing how skills-based hiring and promotion can benefit all workers, not just Black workers, and create more equity in the workplace. Dyson and her team have worked tirelessly with dozens of companies to rewrite job descriptions for hundreds of roles and remove unnecessary degree requirements that often discourage diverse individuals from applying. The organization has also created apprenticeship programs for companies like Delta and the Cleveland Clinic, to help move more hourly workers into salaried positions. Under Dyson’s leadership, OneTen has doubled its roster of member employers to 65, and to date, the organization has helped companies hire and promote more than 100,000 skilled individuals without a four-year degree.

By Courtney Connley