Dee is Founder and CEO of WIE
Dee Poku-Spalding is a social entrepreneur who has always believed in the power of content and community to make a difference. Born in the UK, she grew up between London and Accra (Ghana) and currently resides in New York City. She has dedicated her life to being an advocate and champion for women in the workplace.
“As a woman, and particularly as a woman of color, the biggest issue for me was finding mentors and allies to help me navigate the workplace and get past the various roadblocks and obstacles. I wanted to create a network that was about women pulling together and drawing from one other for advice and support.”
-Dee Poku-Spalding, on her work for WIE
After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Dee Poku-Spalding began a career in brand marketing and promotions and then transitioned into the film industry. She worked for various Hollywood studios as a senior marketing executive promoting movies featuring the likes of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taraji P Henson, Emily Blunt and Penelope Cruz on movies such as An Inconvenient Truth, No Country For Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou, Lost in Translation, Babel, 21 Grams, and Brokeback Mountain. After many years in the entertainment industry, she made the decision to strike out on her own with the launch of . a marketing consultancy agency Right Angle which led to the launch of WIE and its offshoot, The Other Festival.
Women Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE) was founded in 2010, inspired by Dee Poku-Spalding’s quest to create a global women’s network. The organization drew from her own experiences as a Hollywood executive navigating corporate culture. WIE’s goal is to convene seasoned professionals and connect them to promising young women in the workforce. The organization’s mission statement reads: “WIE is a women’s leadership network that provides professional women with the motivation and learning to succeed in their careers.” WIE hosts a variety of global symposiums and dinners that feature impressive guest speakers such as Donna Karan, Arianna Huffington, Christy Turlington, Queen Rania, Melinda Gates, Diane von Furstenberg, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Banks and Iman to name but a few.
In 2016, Dee Poku-Spalding founded The Other Festival. She got the idea after observing the rampant gender imbalance at other festivals. She was also inspired by all the creative self starters who had the drive and smarts to start companies but just needed a little extra support. ‘Other’ is about independence, innovation and a refusal to conform to society’s standards. It is New York’s first all-female festival and continues to feature the most exciting speakers and performers across the spectrum of business and culture.
Dee Poku-Spalding’s focus is on providing women of all backgrounds and from all walks of life, with a path to leadership. Her programs are practical, honest, useful and solutions driven. Women access real world learning, unique networking opportunities and programming topics that range from negotiating to digital marketing.
Dee Poku-Spalding was named a Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Catalyst Changemaker and is on the AWP Network Power List. She was listed as one of TRUE Africa’s Top 100 Innovators, as well as the Global Connections for Women Foundation’s (GC4W) Top 100 women in the world. She has been invited to speak at conferences and forums all over the world.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of several nonprofits and is an advisor to a handful of companies such as BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television); Apres Group, a company dedicated to women reentering the workforce and MAZA health; and formerly, investment bank Credit Suisse’s New Markets Advisory Board. She is also a former Huffington Post blogger and a current contributor to Forbes magazine.