A think tank of diversity practitioners

Kay Iwata

President at K. Iwata Associates, Inc.


Kay Iwata, President and CEO of K. Iwata Associates, Inc., is a nationally recognized and respected diversity consultant with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, assessment, action planning, management development and training, finance and education. 

Since the late ‘80’s, Ms. Iwata has focused on diversity as a business reality of the new millennium. Her work has been dedicated to assisting clients through a process versus program approach as they identify ways to understand and leverage diversity in their organizations. Her process is based upon research findings and practical “in the trenches” application experience.

Ms. Iwata has developed an effective cultural assessment model, one that integrates the qualitative with the quantitative, serving to direct actions and resources to areas of opportunities that maximize benefits to the organization. Her highly acclaimed Diversity Concepts and Competencies educational programming has been utilized in major corporations across the United States and abroad.  Ms. Iwata has worked extensively with leadership teams to educate and mobilize their commitment and support for diversity.  She has also provided one-on-one executive coaching to help develop future leadership, with a focus on women and people of color.

Most recently Ms. Iwata sponsored and directed a ground breaking research project to identify the characteristics of diversity competent managers.  This research has added to the field in terms of knowledge and tools to increase diversity competence in organizations.  The findings of the research are found in her most recent  book,The POWER of Diversity: 5 Essential Competencies for Leading a Diverse Workforce.

An often-requested speaker, Ms. Iwata has keynoted and moderated critical discussions on diversity issues from coast to coast. She has presented to numerous professional organizations, including The Conference Board,  American Management Association, Diversity Best Practices Leadership Summit, the Center for Creative Leadership and the Hartford Graduate Center.

She is a member of the Diversity Collegium and the Diversity Leadership Forum. Ms.Iwata is on the Board of Directors for Leadership California, and has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute.  She is also on the Board of Advisors for GEWEL, a Japan based diversity consulting firm. She holds a degree in sociology and history as well as an administrative certificate and teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

Established in 1993, KIA, Inc. employs a philosophy of ECE- Exceed Customer Expectations.  Measures  that guide organizational efforts are critical to KIA, Inc.’s outcomes and success. KIA, Inc.’s clients include, but are not limited to the following: Dell Inc., Chevron Texaco, Johnson & Johnson, Bank One, Abbott Laboratories and Honeywell.