Dee Poku-Spalding is an entrepreneur, community builder, and women’s advocate. She was born in the UK and raised between London and Accra.
She is the Founder and CEO of WIE, an influential membership network, and platform for women leaders. The organization began back in 2010 as the WIE Symposium - one of the early modern women’s conferences and was created partly in response to the lack of diversity at traditional business forums. In addition to providing its members with the community and tools to succeed in the workplace, WIE supports brands and corporations with their culture-building and diversity initiatives. WIE has attracted numerous business and cultural leaders to its global gatherings, including Queen Rania, Melinda Gates, Mellody Hobson, Shan-Lyn Ma, Naomi Campbell, Arianna Huffington, Thasunda Duckett, Diane von Furstenberg, Nancy Pelosi, Katia Beauchamp, Jill Biden, Jennifer Hyman, Alek Wek, Katie Couric, Tyra Banks, Aileen Lee, Lauren Bush, Iman, Rosario Dawson and Christy Turlington.
Dee also founded The Other Festival, a platform for female makers and creators and Black Women Raise, an initiative designed to increase access to capital for black female founders.
A former Hollywood studio executive, Dee’s background includes senior marketing roles at Paramount Pictures and Focus Features (a division of Universal Pictures), working with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Samuel L Jackson, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Emily Blunt, and Taraji P Henson. She has worked on numerous award-winning films including Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’; the Coen brothers’ ‘No Country For Old Men’ & ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’; Sofia Coppola’s 'Lost in Translation', Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Babel’ & ’21 Grams’ and Ang Lee’s 'Brokeback Mountain'.
Dee began her career in brand marketing and communications and over the years has worked with renowned brands such as Coca Cola, Absolut Vodka, Crème de la Mer, Stella Artois, and London Fashion Week.
Dee has been named one of Marie Claire Magazine’s 50 women changing the world, a CUP Catalyst Changemaker, a Harlem Fashion Week Cultural Icon, and one of TRUE Africa’s 100 Top Innovators. As an industry leader, she’s been featured in the New York Times, WWD, Refinery 29, Forbes, MSNBC, and The Guardian. She is a frequent speaker on women’s workplace advancement, and building culture and community, and has shared her insights at the UN, the New York Times New Rules Summit, the Women’s March summit, the Black Girls Rock Summit, Girlboss Rally, The Female Quotient, SHE Summit, Makers, CUP Women’s Leadership Forum; the Acumen Fund’s New Leadership For Tomorrow; Stern and Georgetown University Women’s Summits and BAFTA amongst others.
She serves on the Board of Directors of the British Academy of Film & Television (BAFTA) and was previously on the Credit Suisse New Markets Women’s Advisory Board. She is also an advisor to Girl Gaze, Female Founders Collective, The Wonder, and Apres. Dee is a Fast Company Culture Council member as well as a member of the Women’s Forum of New York and CUP. She was a Huffington Post blogger and is a current contributor to Forbes. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Math. Dee currently lives in New York with her husband and son.
Follow Dee on social media at @deepoku.