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

Hey there, Fearless Trailblazer!

I’m Dr. Randee, and let me tell you, it’s not every day I encounter someone as bold and powerful as you. With over two decades of honing leadership prowess under my belt, I’ve seen the transformative power of ambition firsthand.
Why do I devote myself to empowering women to soar to new heights in their careers? Because, my friend, I’ve been exactly where you are. Climbing that corporate ladder, hitting barrier after barrier, until I looked up and thought, “Who dared to install this glass ceiling?”

But here’s the kicker – instead of letting it crush me, I turned that opposition into jet fuel for my ascent. I dove headfirst into my greatness, mapping out a route from where I stood to where I knew I belonged. And now? Now, I’m here to share those same strategies with you.

You, the ambitious soul craving more from your career, are not alone. Armed with my expertise in leadership development, I’m here to shepherd you through the wilderness of corporate advancement. Together, we’ll uncover your strengths, fine-tune your voice, and unleash your power to lead.

So, if you’re ready to embrace your potential, shatter expectations, and forge your path to success, then join me and the Design Not Default community. It’s time to give yourself permission to leap into your greatness.
The journey starts here. The destination? Oh, that’s up to you. Welcome to the Design Not Default Academy. Let’s ignite change and rewrite the rules together!

Your daring disruptor & designer,

Join DND Academy for the 2024 Live Webinar Series

Confronting Default Dialogues: Identifying and overcoming common interpersonal and intrapersonal challenges

Monthly Topics w/Q&A from 2-2:45 PM EST

February 22nd: Navigating Intersectionality: Understanding and Addressing the Unique Challenges Faced by Black Women at the Intersection of Race and Gender in Leadership Roles

March 21st: Shattering the Glass Ceiling: How gender bias works against women and mastering the art of overcoming them.

April 18th: Defying Labels: Bold strategies for women of color to challenge stereotypes, confront bias, and assert professional value, enabling them to navigate workplace challenges with confidence and authenticity.

May 16th: Empower Her Voice: Knowing your communication style equips women to lead, inspire, and cultivate inclusive teams.

June 20th: Navigate like a Boss: Strengthening confidence and assertiveness to maximize negotiation efforts.

July 25th: Leading Across Borders: Understanding cultural competency to learn strategies on how to navigate inclusive organizations.

More webinar topics coming soon! 

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