President | CEO
Pronouns: She | Her | Hers
“I am a passionate advocate for justice and equity; a provocateur not afraid to have the difficult conversations; someone with over three decades of experience working with corporate leaders in support of enhancing their understanding of what it is like to be the “other.” I Live Inclusively® by building relationships across difference— thinking about what I say, do and think and questioning whether it fosters inclusion. I say hello to strangers, assume positive intent and believe my purpose on earth is to break down barriers and build bridges across difference.”
Mary-Frances Winters, founder
Among her many awards and distinctions, she was named a diversity pioneer by Profiles in Diversity Journal in August 2007 and received the Winds of Change award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in 2016. Ms. Winters was also featured in Forbes’ June 2016 publication, which honored some of the DC Metro area’s most powerful women. In November 2019, she was named by Forbes as one of 10 trailblazers in diversity and inclusion. She has served as a torch bearer for the Olympics and has previously been recognized as an Athena Award winner from the Chamber of Commerce for her contributions to women and the community.
Ms. Winters is the author of six books: Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit; Inclusive Conversations: Fostering Equity, Empathy, and Belonging across Differences; We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics; Only Wet Babies Like Change: Workplace Wisdom for Baby Boomers; Inclusion Starts With “I”; and CEO’s Who Get It: Diversity Leadership from the Heart and Soul. Ms. Winters also authored a chapter in the book Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion and numerous articles.
She is a graduate of the University of Rochester with undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology, and a master’s degree in business administration from the William E. Simon Executive Development Program. She received an honorary doctorate from Roberts Wesleyan College.
Mary-Frances is a certified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®).
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The Winters Group, Inc. is a certified Minority / Women-Owned Business Enterprise.