Design Not Default Academy

Design Not Default (DND) is a membership-based community for professional women, offering a brave, safe, new space to help women ready to advance to senior, executive, and C-suite positions. We curate a community to help professional women design HER careers rather than defaulting to a career. 

This community is for women ready to …

  • Go to the next level in HER career.
  • Possess a “can’t stop, won’t stop attitude.”
  • Remove ALL HER excuses and
  • Bets on HERSELF!


We prepare, develop, inspire, and propel highly ambitious professional women of all diversities and intersectionalities to establish a strong sense of self, develop their voices, and own their power to ascend in their careers. We focus on their professional trajectory and believe any investment must align closely with their professional aspirations. 

The essence of DND lives in this quote by John Assaraf:

“The truth is, no matter what your current circumstances, if you can imagine something better for yourself, then you can create it!”

What Design Not Default Academy Students Are Saying ...

“There are not enough words in the English vocabulary to express my gratitude for Dr. Sanders and the Design Not Default Program. When I started working with Dr. Sanders, I was frustrated with my career, and I could not figure out the exact reasons why. After a few conversations with Dr. Sanders, I was able to pinpoint exactly where my missteps happened and how I had, by default, landed in my current position. Dr. Sanders worked with me to envision, actively construct, and develop measurable steps to design the career I wanted for myself. I learned how to avoid the pitfalls that appear to be progress but lead to a dead end. This program has been far more valuable to me than my investment to participate in it. Dr. Sanders is an expert, and she will help you design the career YOU WANT! I highly recommend her and the DND program. “

–  Dr. Rose Matthews, DHA, MBA-HR, M.S., CCC-SLP

I truly enjoyed the time spent meeting live and going over material with Dr. Randee L. Sanders. The Design Not Default program gave me invaluable tools that I have been able to apply to my corporate journey and utilize to reframe my approach in the marketplace, to the shock of many. The nuggets dropped were invaluable, and I’m truly appreciative I was able to glean from her pour.

–  Keisha Armstrong, MS

“Dr. Sanders and the Design Not Default Academy is superb! The DND Academy is tailor-made for the professional woman who wants to take her career to the next level. As a female mid-level manager, I was frustrated by the lack of recognition and advancement opportunities. Dr. Sanders’ effective and innovative DND academy allowed me to take ownership of my career path and placed me in a position for advancement. Dr. Sanders’ extensive experience in leadership development is evident in this well-structured program. This 90-day investment afforded me opportunities beyond what I envisioned for my career. Dr. Sanders truly understands the plight of the overlooked female leader and has a program designed to make advancement a reality.”

– Sheila Hamilton-Rashed.

DND focuses on students taking ownership and power to position themselves for the role they want in their career.

Membership Has its Privileges!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in my DND Academy Membership?

In the community, you will have access to programs where you will learn tips and tricks to help in your acceleration while taking actionable steps to create a viable plan. Also, you will have access to women who can support, encourage, and hold you accountable.

DND recognizes that balancing a demanding career with a personal life is a critical concern for many professional women, especially those in middle management aspiring for senior roles. For this reason, we curate programs that are flexible and accommodate their busy schedules. This includes options for online or remote learning, self-paced modules, and balancing professional and personal commitments while participating in the program.

The Time is NOW for You to Take Charge of Your Career!

A Letter from Our Founder

Hello, my fearless and powerful friend! It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Dr. Randee, and I have over 20 years of leadership development experience. I help mid-career women permit themselves to be bold, create a plan of action, be confident leaders, and propel themselves in their careers in senior or executive-level positions.

Many ask me why I am dedicated to helping women lead, elevate, activate, and prosper (L.E.A.P.) in their careers. The answer is simple – I was that woman! I took the traditional path to climb the career ladder; pursued higher education, and acquired a Ph.D. I started at the entry-level and worked my way up – analyst, manager, director, and then BAM!!!! “Who placed that glass ceiling there?”

I’m a pretty bold and outspoken woman who desires to go higher, and like so many others, my journey is met with opposition. At that pivotal moment, I decided to turn the opposition into an opportunity to “L.E.A.P” into my greatness. While leaping, I gained clarity on my career goals, discovered my strengths, and created a road map to get me from where I was to where I wanted to be. I know how it is to be in a senior-level position wanting more, and that’s why I created a community and tailored programs to educate and coach highly ambitious professional women leaders like you to advance into senior, executive, and C-level positions.

If this is you, I know what you are going through. You are not alone. Using my professional training and education in leadership development, I will guide you through the same strategies I used to position myself as a highly ambitious, professional woman ready to up their game! Just by being on this site, I know you are ready to achieve a stronger sense of self, develop your voice, and own your power to lead to attain that high-level position. Let me and my team and our wonderful Design Not Default community of achievers show you how.

All you need to do to get started is permit yourself to L.E.A.P. into your great self! Then, Join the Design Not Default Academy.