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Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D. California
Sondra Thiederman

Sondra Thiederman is one of the nation's leading experts on workplace diversity, cross-cultural business, and bias reduction. As President of Cross-Cultural Communications, a San Diego-based training firm, Sondra has 25 years experience as a speaker, trainer, and author helping professionals in Fortune 500 companies, public sector organizations, and dozens of associations find ways to successfully navigate our increasingly diverse workplaces.

Since receiving her doctorate with an emphasis on cross-cultural studies from UCLA, Sondra has helped hundreds of groups develop solutions to their cross-cultural and diversity leadership challenges. Among her clients are such leading organizations as General Motors, Xerox Corporation, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Marriott Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, Century 21 Real Estate, American Express, The Federal Reserve Bank, Motorola, and AT&T.

Sondra has also addressed notable associations including the Arthritis Foundation, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Society of Association Executives and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In addition, she has served as consultant to the University of California and the American Cancer Society and has been appointed by Elizabeth Dole to serve on the Diversity Cabinet of the American Red Cross.

Sondra has extensive media experience including mention in such national publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and USA Today. She is published in professional journals ranging from T&D to Real Estate Today to Association Management, and has written on diversity for the web site She is the author of four books including the award-winning Profiting in America's Multicultural Marketplace and, most recently, Making Diversity Work: Seven Steps for Defeating Bias in the Workplace.

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  • Bias-Free Leadership: Your Competitive Advantage - One trait possessed by every successful leader is the ability to interpret accurately the needs and motivation styles of team members and colleagues alike. Most of us would find this task fairly easy were it not for the distortion caused by the subtle biases and pre-judgments that afflict all but the most enlightened among us. This practical and yet entertaining program focuses on how subtle biases interfere with the decision-making process and demonstrates how to minimize their impact on our ability to lead effectively.

  • "Gateway Events" : How to Turn Diversity Tension into Diversity Dialogue - Moments of tension are inevitable when working with people whom we perceive to be different from ourselves. As grizzly as these encounters can be, if handled correctly they can serve as "Gateway Events" that open to increased understanding and reduced bias. This skill-based presentation supplies participants with techniques for reaching this goal. Illustrated with real-workplace examples and sprinkled with respectful humor, participants will learn exactly what to do when workplace tensions arise.

  • The Business Case for Diversity: It's Right, It's Smart and It's Profitable - Making the business case for the presence of diversity in the workforce has not always been an easy task. In fact, many of us have been guilty of over-stating the business value of diversity. Fortunately, it is no longer possible to fall into this trap - diversity has been proven repeatedly to benefit the bottom line of corporations in all parts of the country. This research-based presentation uses real-workplace examples and hard data to show audiences that, yes, diversity is the right thing to do, but it also has a measurable impact on the bottom line.

  • The Impact of Bias on Innovation and Performance: The Problem, the Solution - No one would deny that a diverse workplace, if properly managed, is a rich source of creative ideas and innovative profit-yielding products. This involving and informative presentation draws the audience's attention to the positive impact of diversity on innovation. It then points out that this diversity benefit does not happen automatically. Without a culture in which participants of all backgrounds feel comfortable speaking up and making their views known, the benefits of those diverse ideas will never be manifested.

  • Resolving the Diversity Paradox: From Differences to Commonalities - Identifying what we share is one of the key strategies for defeating bias and creating an environment in which we can work productively together. All human beings, despite their differences, share a great deal more than we realize. This sharing results in the formation and identification of what we call "kinship groups." This lively presentation demonstrates specific strategies for identifying "kinship groups" and moving forward in our efforts to achieve harmonious discrimination-free workplaces.

  • Is "Guerilla Bias"™ Making War on Your Organization? - This presentation uses much of the same material employed in "Bias-Free Leadership," but rather than focusing on bias in general, hones in on a particularly insidious brand of prejudice that has thus far gone all but unrecognized in our workplaces: "Guerilla Bias." This kind of bias bears this peculiar label because, like a guerilla warrior who lies concealed in beautiful jungle foliage, "Guerilla Bias" hides behind good intentions, kind words and even thoughtful acts.
Making Diversity Work Getting Culture Smart Profiting in America's Multicultural Marketplace
Making Diversity Work:
Seven Steps for Defeating Bias in the Workplace
Getting "Culture Smart"™:
Ten Strategies for Making Diversity Work
Profiting in America's Multicultural Marketplace

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