Kaleel Jamison was a true pioneer - not just in the field of differences, but in management consulting, organization development, human relations, and personal growth. She was raised at a time when women in positions of power were a rarity in business, and people's roles and expectations were defined by gender and race. In 1968, through her marriage to Bill Jamison - a well-regarded corporate leader - Kaleel had the opportunity to participate in the "spouses' programs" that accompanied Bill's executive training sessions.
In the late 1960s, she began running workshops on the differences in communication styles between women and men at her local church in Cincinnati. She was especially vocal in challenging the notion that women should make themselves appear smaller and less significant so men could feel larger and more significant. Kaleel was a staunch believer in self-empowerment and the empowerment of others. "By being more of myself," she would say, "I am able to share more of me with you."
Kaleel spent much of her working life as "one of the first" and "one of the few" in many areas. During the early 1970s, she became one of the first to address differences of color and race in the workplace, consulting with such organizations as Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, and Digital Equipment Company. Kaleel was a pioneer in applying organization development technology to affirmative action and issues of differences; she outlined her thinking in the article "Affirmative Action Program: Springboard for a Total Organizational Change Effort" for OD Practitioner. In 1983, her "Managing Sexual Attraction in the Workplace" appeared in the August issue of Personnel Administrator, making her among the first management consultants to address attraction as a workplace issue. Kaleel expanded the scope of this work beyond the classroom to position it as a system-wide issue, rooted not just in individual skills and attitudes but in organizational policies, practices, and managerial methods.
In addition to being a pioneer on issues of gender, race, affirmative action, and differences, she was also one of the first and few women to work as a management consultant. Shortly before dying of cancer in 1985, Kaleel published a book, The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power, that summarized many of her views on human relations and personal development.