GCI Promotes Its First Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The first person to hold the position of Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at GCI is a 25-year veteran of the telecom company. In the new role, Deborah Ferrell focuses on growing the company’s Business Resource Groups, which are voluntary employee groups organized around a shared background, interest, or issue.
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion is entirely focused on the people,” Ferrell says. “In my role, I will lead the implementation of an enterprise-wide strategy to ensure all employees feel a sense of belonging and empowerment. We know when people feel they can be their authentic selves at work, they perform better and morale is higher. I’ll be working closely with teams to examine our current programs, training, and practices to identify where DEI practices should be implemented.”
GCI created the DEI director position last year as part of a companywide initiative to create a more welcoming work environment, and a year earlier Ferrell was chosen as the first chair of GCI’s DEI Council.
“We’re so fortunate to have Deborah on our team,” says GCI Chief Customer Experience Officer Maureen Moore. “Her passion for the DEI Council as chair made her a natural fit for this new role at GCI. The executive team is grateful for her leadership in taking DEI from the initiative stage to the DEI Council and now to a pillar of who we are at GCI. Conversations are being generated throughout the company; we’re seeing departments make change to incorporate DEI practices. It’s important this is at the forefront of what we do for our employees, our customers, and Alaska as a whole.”
Ferrell was previously GCI’s director of consumer sales and retail operations since 2019. She joined GCI in 1996 after starting as a teller for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, working her way up to supervisor. Ferrell has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UAA.