Liz Whitehead, CEO of 12PointFive, is an executive with over 15 years of helping companies meet supplier diversity and inclusion goals. Through her experience supporting corporate diversity and inclusion programs, her achievements include growing inclusive communities of corporate representatives and small business owners, creating and deploying global training curriculum as well as developing and managing international certification standards, programs and operations.
Liz founded 12PointFive to help businesses benefit from corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives. She works with Fortune 500 companies, NGOs, and small businesses to communicate the value of diversity and inclusion. The keys to the 12PointFive approach are engaging content, interactive sessions, opportunity development, hands on support and coaching, and measurable results. In 2017, 12PointFive partnered with two other firms to develop Mentorship Roadshow, an intensive 3-hour training opportunity for women business owners at all stages of business. The partnership won a grant from Beacon DC to deliver Mentorship Roadshow in 2018 by bringing together mentors and two dozen mentees, who gained valuable connections and advice in a time and cost friendly manner. As well as co-facilitating the event, 12PointFive provided mentorship for companies in the Growth and Scale stage to market themselves to large clients.
Before starting 12PointFive, Liz supported multinational corporations in connecting with entrepreneurs as a leader in local, national, and international women’s business organizations. From 2002 – 2011, Liz worked at the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO), a regional partner organization to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). As the Executive Director of WPEO-DC, Liz led the efforts of the organization in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia to grow corporate membership and make connections for supplier diversity representatives with women owned businesses. Under her leadership, WPEO-DC was the host council for WBENC’s National Conference and Business Fair in Baltimore, MD in 2010. Liz cultivated the local sponsors and led the council as an ambassador to the region for WBENC corporate members and conference attendees.
In 2011, Liz joined WEConnect International, an international certification organization, to create global standards for WBE certification and strategically bring the certification to international markets. She oversaw the development of the WEConnect International e-network, a global directory of corporate purchasing organizations and women owned businesses.
In addition, Liz managed WEConnect International markets in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and co-created the WEConnect Academy curriculum, an online series of trainings focused on doing business with major purchasing organizations. As part of the curriculum, she developed WEConnect Academy Live which provides an interactive platform for market leaders, women business owners, and corporate representatives to share knowledge and expertise about the global marketplace.
Liz has her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and her master’s in International Affairs from Columbia’s School of Public and International Affairs.