Nielsen Diverse Leadership Network


We recognized that in order to increase diversity in senior leadership, we needed to identify, retain, develop and accelerate a pipeline of diverse leaders. Our need was particularly acute at the mid-career stage. 


We created the Diverse Leadership Network (DLN), a 15-month leadership development program targeting diverse, mid-career talent. Functioning as a "mini-MBA," participants develop holistically as leaders using the 70/20/10 development model while working in their roles. The DLN is our flagship initiative for career development in our Diversity & Inclusion strategy.

Program elements include:

  • Executive education curriculum, including online and in-person learning through a partnership with Emory University
  • Business impact projects and stretch assignments sponsored by senior leaders
  • Partnership with Supplier Diversity featuring a case study providing pro-bono consulting to registered diverse suppliers
  • Faculty workshops led by senior leaders from across Nielsen
  • 1:1 coaching with a Nielsen senior leader for entire program duration
  • Third party professional career coach
  • Cross functional network expansion

Additionally, the DLN focuses on advancing our diverse associates by providing visibility during dedicated talent review sessions, access to senior leaders, and expanded opportunities for non-traditional career paths at Nielsen.

The program features three in-person sessions and then leverages technology to conduct activities between those sessions.


The Diverse Leadership Network is currently is it's fifth year with over 100 associates from the US, Mexico and Canada participating in or graduated from the program. The next class will begin in early 2018 and the model is being utilized for expansion to markets outside of North America.

Retention and advancement of program graduations exceeds the rates for our general population. 82% of the most recent class has been retained over two-year period. During that time, 70% have moved to a new or expanded role. The program has net promoter score of 100.

Diversity and Inclusion are crucial to Nielsen's growth, strength and ability to innovate. From our employee resource groups and supplier diversity program to our investments in associates and community outreach, Nielsen's diversity and inclusion strategy remains focused on recruitment, retention and professional development for our associates, and on meaningful consumer engagement and investments in communities where we live and work. The results of work done by our diversity & inclusion team has proven that diversity of talents, skills, experiences and cultural backgrounds make our company stronger.

Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns

Get In Touch

Learn more about what organizations are doing to act on diversity and inclusion.

Contact Us