Dianne DeSevo

Defying Stereotypes, Transforming the HR Landscape, and Succeeding in Leadership

In the dynamic landscape of leadership, women around the world are boldly shattering the glass ceiling, challenging traditional norms, and carving out their own paths to success. These visionary women leaders are not only breaking barriers but also reshaping the narrative of what is possible in the business world. With resilience, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, they are making significant strides in diverse industries, from technology and finance to healthcare and beyond.

Currently serving as the Chief People Officer for Dow Jones, Dianne DeSevo stands out as an exemplary leader, forging her way to success–and doing her part to lift others up in the process. She oversees the HR function, as well as workplace evolution, safety, security and risk for the global publisher and provider of business information services. Her leadership has been instrumental in Dow Jones achieving and maintaining a high standard of employee satisfaction and organizational performance.

Dianne has dedicated over 25 years of her professional journey to the field of Human Resources, predominantly within the media and agency sectors. Her experience includes significant stints at Warner Media (HBO, Warner Music), Disney/ABC News, and Engine (Tech). Throughout her career, the fearless trailblazer has successfully navigated organizations through transformative phases, integrations, and periods of substantial growth. She also had the privilege of holding prominent roles and collaborating with leaders who fostered her personal and professional development. “I’m passionate about the work I do, the businesses and industry I support, and the network I have very intentionally built and maintained throughout my career,” says Dianne.

Personal Challenges: Reshaping HR Perceptions and Driving Success

Challenges are a part of life. In her professional journey, a challenge Dianne has had to confront involved reshaping perceptions about the role of HR and its significance within organizations. Like many others in the field, she has encountered situations where HR was viewed as a personnel or administrative-or even a policing-function, leading to strained interactions.

She recalls one particular event: “Earlier in my career, when I first met with a business leader in the organization, I was told in no uncertain terms that they did not like HR people or HR speak. There was a reluctance to appreciate and really embrace the role HR teams can play in high-functioning organizations and it was made perfectly clear to me in that moment.” Her response then–as it would be today–was, “Well, I’m not HR, I’m Dianne. I don’t speak HR, I speak business, and I can assure you that after working with me, you and your organization will be more successful today than you were before you met me.”

This approach marked the initiation of a fruitful collaboration wherein they revamped and modernized the HR function, fostering a profound relationship with the business leader. Dianne believes it is necessary upon HR leaders to effectively communicate the value of HR as a strategic partner, demonstrating its essential contribution to organizational success.

Pioneering Global Information with Over 130 Years of Trusted Journalism

Dow Jones is a prominent global provider of news and business information, aiming to facilitate informed decision-making for both businesses and individuals. The company’s diverse portfolio includes esteemed publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and MarketWatch, alongside leading business intelligence solutions like Factiva and OPIS. Boasting one of the world’s largest news-gathering operations, Dow Jones has been delivering unparalleled and trusted journalism for over 130 years. With approximately 5,500 employees worldwide, the company is structured around core pillars of excellence in news, wealth and investing, risk and compliance, and energy. Additionally, Dow Jones operates a thriving live events business, bringing together business leaders across industries to address key issues throughout the year.

Nurturing and Empowering Talents At Dow Jones 

To Dianne, what truly matters is how Dow Jones empowers its employees. Since she joined the company in 2021, Dow Jones CEO Almar Latour has been a key supporter of employee development and engagement. Under his leadership, the fearless trailblazer has made significant changes in operations. While the company is well-established with reputable brands and a rich history, it’s also undergoing a transformation, showing a commitment to adapt to the evolving needs of customers and employees. “I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve received and it’s a direct contributor to the level of impact our team has been able to have over the past two years,” states Dianne.

Weave DE&I Into Every Aspect Of Business

At Dow Jones, diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to the company’s culture and overarching mission. Recognizing the responsibility to meet audience needs and accurately represent the world in their news coverage, the company emphasizes the importance of embracing a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. It takes a proactive approach by integrating inclusion efforts into its day-to-day business operations rather than isolating them as a separate function. This approach aims to foster a sustainable culture of inclusion that involves everyone and holds them accountable, extending beyond the sole purview of HR. According to Dianne, Dow Jones has incorporated inclusion initiatives into its performance management system, emphasizing its significance in team building and its connection to business results.

Empowering Women to Challenge Stereotypes

Being a woman navigating the corporate world, Dianne reflects on the challenges women face, highlighting the pressure to act or present or overcompensate in a way that many of their male counterparts have not experienced. She strives to address these norms by demonstrating that success in a senior-level job can coexist with a fulfilling personal life.

The fearless trailblazer recalls, “I’ve encountered single women in various stages of their careers who were concerned that to be successful, they would have to give up much of their personal life. I have shown that you can hold a senior-level job while having a life outside of work. I have modeled this and tried to coach others not to be afraid. I have also spoken to many women who have felt added pressure to prioritize their appearance or fashion.” The focus here is on encouraging women to be confident, supportive of each other, and to reject the notion that success requires sacrificing personal well-being or conforming to narrow standards of appearance.

Dianne has also noticed a common trend where women are not consistently supporting each other. This has fueled her strong commitment to advocating for women’s mutual support. She emphasizes the importance of collective backing for everyone’s success, highlighting that there are no advantages to diminishing others. The fearless trailblazer actively invests time in collaborating with fellow women, focusing on boosting their confidence and reinforcing the value of solidarity.

Source Of Motivation

When asked to share her source of motivation, Dianne replied, “What motivates me the most is watching organizations and people grow and change. It is very rewarding to see my work’s influence over the businesses I have supported. It is both gratifying and energizing to know that the work my team does in building relationships, earning trust and advising teams and leaders has a direct impact on the success of the business.” She further adds, “Our employees are our biggest asset– and our greatest evangelists– so it’s so important that we’re engaging with and investing in them to continue to fuel the type of growth and innovation we’re looking for at Dow Jones. It’s never lost on me that what we do each day matters so much.

Draws Inspiration from Female Leaders

Dianne deeply respects female leaders who utilize their platforms and influence to shed light on significant issues that positively affect people’s lives. These leaders, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Arianna Huffington, inspire her with their openness to vulnerability and willingness to share personal experiences.

Future Plans

Currently, Dianne’s primary focus is on the dynamic and thrilling projects underway at Dow Jones. The company boasts robust leadership committed to fostering an excellent place to work. And so, she and her team are working together to achieve this goal. “I am blessed that I work with great people and that I love what I do everyday,” says Dianne.

Transformative Career Wisdom 

As the Chief People Officer, Dianne gives advice, “Work hard. Play hard. Know your trade. Build great relationships. And be kind. That is what has worked for me throughout my career and I think being really intentional in those key areas has been transformative. As you navigate your career, mentorship–both formal and informal–plays an important role, as does remaining open to being mentored. If you approach every interaction as an opportunity to either help someone or learn from them, those experiences will help to develop really strong relationships. I’d also add that as you grow in your career and find yourself in leadership roles, be mindful of how much influence your position affords you and never underestimate the impact you have on those around you. It plays a large part in how company cultures are built and sustained.

Tycoon Business Magazine is a top-notch publication that contains proven master-class tips and advice for everyone, and the knowledge gotten from it is a sophisticated tool that could help decision-makers to make critical decisions in their businesses. It provides a hands-on solution or escapes route to various bottlenecks encountered in various scales of business or levels of enterprises in whatsoever part of the world.

The Tycoon Magazine