Bendita Cynthia Malakia is a global justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) executive and talent cultivation expert whose aim is to ensure that individuals that are underrepresented, underserved and underestimated can thrive in the workplace. She serves as the Director of Diversity & Engagement at O’Melveny & Myers and the Founder & C-Suite JEDI Consultant at Malakia Group.
Bendita is a catalyst for underrepresented colleagues to be their authentic selves in the workplace and helps organizations structure for their success, including working across difference to create community – by building systems, inspiring investment, and fostering connections. With a people-centric, metrics-driven approach, Bendita also leverages her JEDI, leadership development, and executive coaching capabilities to help clients achieve their DEI ambitions.
Bendita draws on her prior experiences as a chief diversity & inclusion officer, a large law firm lawyer financing projects in emerging markets, in-house counsel at two global financial institutions, and as a diversity consultant for large and mid-size organizations, and a certified professional coach to co-create change individually and institutionally.
Bendita’s thought leadership and advocacy extend to being a prolific writer and speaker on JEDI in the workplace, with specialized capabilities in intersectionality, women of color and LGBTQ+ issues. She is President-Elect of the National LGBTQ+ Bar, and contributes to the development of JEDI more broadly through initiatives bringing metrics and accountability globally. Bendita graduated from Harvard Law School, Barnard College and Cicero-North Syracuse High School.