Farzana Nayani, Director of Client Engagement
Born and raised in Canada to parents from South and Southeast Asia, Farzana’s worldview and skillset help her tailor sustainable solutions for organizations committed to "Leading in a Culturally Diverse World". She joined LCW in 2016 as Director of Client Engagement as a well-established diversity and inclusion professional with a track record for performance, client relations, and community impact. Farzana is an expert in program management and spearheading new, sustainable initiatives that engage public and private sectors audiences from a wide range of cultural, religions, generational and national backgrounds. Her specialties include growing and building employee resource groups (ERG), developing and conducting trainings on cultural agility and communication, and enhancing the supplier diversity pipeline. She is also one of the nation's thought leaders in leadership training of Asian American and Pacific Islander professionals in U.S. corporations and communities, making her keenly aware of the scope of issues surrounding business between East and West cultures in the workplace.
Farzana's focus at LCW is on building client's internal capacity to manage bias during the talent life cycle and build a culture of inclusion, engagement and innovation--from the workplace to the marketplace--by packaging the right LCW solutions to build value. For complex as well as also quick-turnaround client engagements, her expertise in both culture-based approaches and inclusion-centered programming allows her to blend the two disciplines seamlessly. She is a Master-level consultant for LCW's suite of solutions, and has a knack for helping business leaders, global managers, HR directors, ERG leaders, and diverse teams achieve ‘wins’ both personally and professionally in their organizations. Her career highlights include serving as a consultant to both the Smithsonian Institution and Univeristy of British Columbia for online curriculum development, and she is highly skilled at incorporating technology targeted to an LCW client's learning and marketing needs.
Complementing her work with LCW clients, Farzana also serves as Advisory Board member for the Multiracial Americans of Southern California, is on the national administration team for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) where she volunteers as their National ERG Director, and is Leadership Development Board Director for the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research. She is a frequently invited guest speaker on topics related to business resource groups, race, diversity, and cultural awareness and her expertise has been quoted by the LA Times and Diversity Inc.—among other prestigious outlets.
With her emphasis on quality, impactful programming with high-caliber content and widespread reach—Farzana is often asked to facilitate community and corporate partnership relations, board and advisory council engagements, staff management, and “ERG Bootcamp” modules related to budget allocation, event planning, evaluation metrics, and relating programming to the bottom line and executive goals. Her approach is to first listen carefully to requirements for navigating cultures and managing diversity, leading global organizations with cultural competence; then to help lead cultural transformations through strategic consulting, coaching, training, and communication solutions that exceed our client’s expectations and turn them into LCW champions.
Ms. Nayani has also been honored with numerous awards for her research and training within the local community and the intercultural field, including the Louise Hess Miller Award for Communication and the Mildred Towle Award for outstanding research - both granted to her in Honolulu, Hawai'i. She was previously featured in the photography and video exhibit “I am Today’s Filipino”, recognizing notable contributions by Filipino Americans in commemoration of the centennial of the migration of Filipinos to Hawai'i and the United States overall. With the esteemed East-West Center, a federal organization focused on research and education in the Asia-Pacific region, she has been a key facilitator and trusted architect of their new participant orientations.
Ms. Nayani has published several works on the topics of organizational management, diversity training, and Hawai'i culture. One of her most notable publications includes a chapter in the prestigious Handbook of International Management entitled “Cross-Cultural Training” (Sage, 2008), co-authored with the renowned cross-cultural researcher Dr. Richard Brislin.
Farzana earned her Master's degree from the University of Hawai'i in Intercultural Communication and Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Psychology and English and a Bachelor's in Community and Technology Education from the University of British Columbia. A Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory® or IDI, Farzana also holds professional certification in Diversity Training from the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) training.