Inspiring Leadership with Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

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5 Trends That Will Impact Diversity & Inclusion Work

Diversity & Inclusion

How are you proactively planning for the future of business?

Last week, I co-presented a webinar about the 2015 Diversity Leadership Retreat. I discussed “5 Trends That Will Impact Diversity & Inclusion Work.” A summation of my presentation follows.

Within the scope of diversity and inclusion work, it is important for organizations to proactively:

  • Understand Diversity & Inclusion from a Global Context
    There is a “Make in India” pitch, a “Made in China” campaign, a “Made in America” movement, and so many other promotions to persuade manufacturers and consumers to invest their monies. Beyond short term job creation and tax revenue benefits, these campaigns point to a long-term strategy for global dominance.

    Sustainable revenue growth is one of the drivers behind the need to do business better in international markets, as well as the impetus to appeal to diverse employees and consumers in distinct regions. Nevertheless, in these global markets, diversity issues will manifest in different forms. For example, in some places, religion, age and income are issues; in other places, the biggest diversity “problems” center around emigrants and women, or the LGBT and disabled communities.

    In Forbes, Glenn Llopis writes, “No longer can America’s corporations hide behind their lack of cultural intelligence.  Organizations that seek global market relevancy must embrace diversity – in how they think, act and innovate.  Diversity can no longer just be about making the numbers, but rather how an organization treats its people authentically down to the roots of its business model.   In today’s new workplace, diversity management is a time-sensitive business imperative.”

    Thus, instead of viewing diversity as a problem, the challenge lies in seeing opportunities that exist when embracing under-served and under-utilized markets.

  • Realize the Need to Offset Impending Labor & Economic Shortages with Women
    “A society where women can shine should not only be a PR exercise (for companies and the government) to demonstrate that they are utilizing female talent. The important thing is to change the rules of the game by incorporating the perspectives of women in corporate management and work style,” Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once said.

    “International organizations including the World Economic Forum and the International Monetary Fund have long called on Japan to make more use of its female workforce to offset the labor shortage brought on by its rapidly aging population and antiquated traditions — some 60 percent of Japanese women quit work after giving birth. One of the obstacles blocking working moms from climbing the ladder, let alone staying employed, is posed by Japan’s notoriously and often unnecessarily long working hours”, according to a July 2014 article, Female Workers May Finally Get Foothold, in Working Woman Report.

    Japan isn’t the only country facing a shortage of skilled workers. Nor are they the only nation to consider fully-engaging women in the labor market and economy.

    Since 2006, the World Economic Forum has issued a Global Gender Gap Index. According to The Global Gender Gap Report 2013, the authors propose that closing gender gaps is important not only from an equity perspective, but also from an economic one: Research shows that investments in women’s education and use of female talent boost a country’s competitiveness.

    Report authors cite the benefits of more women working: The talent pool across leadership positions is larger, women’s decision making tends to be less risky, and gender-equal teams may be more successful. Countries that have closed education gaps and have high levels of women’s economic participation—the Nordic countries, the United States, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia–are better prepared for global competition.

  • Hedge Competitive Pressures with Innovation
    The competitive landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. For one, customer preferences are shifting rapidly, placing a higher preference on personalization, interaction and mobile solutions.

    In the Marketing Society’s Forum on “Are We Keeping Pace with Changing Consumer Preferences?”, Louis Fowler, Marketing Director at First Direct, asserts, “We are prone to making the mistake of thinking we can predict what’s going to happen, rather than finding a way to respond quickly when things do. Technology not only enables, but also holds us back as it can be slow and expensive. The answer is in people, not systems.” People, in particular diverse employees, are key to anticipating and addressing changing customer preferences before the competition meets their needs.

    The second major component of competition involves the global context of modern day business. These competitive pressures are not just being felt on businesses. Educational institutions, nonprofits and government entities are concerned about competition as well. For example, Inc. Magazine recently ran an article entitled, “Pushing the Boundaries” by Greg Lindsay. The article highlighted the fact that Santiago, Chile offers entrepreneurs a one-year visa, free workspace and $33,000 in cash to relocate. Meanwhile Tallinn, Estonia, began offering e-residencies, which grants foreigners the same digital identities that are Estonians’ birthright.

  • Stay Abreast of Continuously Changing Demographics & Projections
    California recently scaled back its 2050 Hispanic population projection by 7 million. A Pew Research Center report states that “Under projections published in 2007, the state’s Hispanic population was expected to reach 31 million in 2050, or 52.1% of all Californians. But according to updated projections released late last year, Hispanics are now expected to number 23.7 million in 2050, or 47.6% of all Californians. That pushes the prospect of a Hispanic demographic majority further into the future – perhaps to sometime after 2060.”

    California is not alone. In May 2015, the Washington Post reported, “As the Department of Homeland Security continues to pour money into border security, evidence is emerging that illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades.”  Recent Census reports show that data pertaining to older workers, women, veterans, LGBT, and other demographic groups are also moving targets because of global population changes and the complexity of diversity.

  • Utilize Multi-Dimensional Frameworks
    Speaking of complexity, the U.S. Census Bureau is presently grappling with how to describe current demographics pertaining to existing definitions of race and family, as the current definitions are not as clear-cut as they used to be half a century ago.

    Likewise, in the workplace, using a uni-dimensional framework with employee resource groups, supplier diversity, or recruiting, worked well at some point in the last decade. But employers are quickly learning that using singular dimensions such as race, ethnicity or gender are not sufficient anymore. For example, some companies have been exploring how to create Business Resource Groups that include White men. Additionally, simply having an Employee Resource Group for individuals with disabilities may not adequately serve a company’s growing base of caregivers. Hence, organizations must think beyond current diversity efforts toward the future of inclusion.

In our next webinar for the 2015 Diversity Leadership Retreat, l will discuss 7 areas where you could make more of an impact with diversity and inclusion. To register for this FREE webinar, click here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4193645463497400833

Also, we need your feedback! Please participate in a brief survey on “Global Supplier Diversity Trends” at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DXYLK5B

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Leah Smiley is the President of the Society for Diversity. For more information about the Society for Diversity, log onto www.societyfordiversity.org

 

A Lesson for Chief Diversity Officers: Unabridged Liberty or Tyranny?

By Leah Smiley

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Working in the Office of Diversity requires individuals to walk a fine line. On one hand, you can’t call everything racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, etc. Likewise, you can’t let some situations go unaddressed.

Last week, one of my neighbors had a Halloween party and the music was bumping all night. When my husband and I woke up in the morning, there was a straw man and a straw woman hanging on a tree– each with a rope around their necks. My first thought was, “What will my kids think?” Often, they learn things before I have a chance to tell them. For instance, my 5-year old recently learned how to call 911 at school. One day, I heard him say, “Hi 9-1-1.” I quickly grabbed the phone, only to hear it ringing. I instinctively hung up but the operator called me back and dispatched a police officer to my house. For that reason, I briefly thought about my kids learning about America’s sordid past in school and was immediately concerned that after seeing the straw men, they would become fearful that someone would hang them too.

My second thought was, “I am going to act like I didn’t see it. I’ll just be rude when I see them again because I don’t want a burning cross in my yard next.” But my conscience wouldn’t let me repress my feelings. The next thing I knew, I was on their doorstep. When the door opened, I asked, “Can I talk to you for a minute? Did we do anything to offend you? I came out here this morning and thought, ‘our neighbors must hate us’ and I just wanted to make sure that we don’t have any conflict between us.” I didn’t mention race or history; I addressed it from the perspective that neighbors should make an effort to have a cordial or friendly relationship. The neighbor explained that it was all out of fun, and it was harmless. We chatted for a minute and then I left. But when I came home that day, the straw men were gone.

At first, my husband did not want me to go to the neighbor’s house. But afterwards, he realized that the other Black family or the Indian family or any of the White families could have been offended too.

Now, some people can say, “It’s their home; they can do what they want.” And this is correct. But guess what, we all have “liberty” and one’s freedom under the law should not be used as an opportunity to make others feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Thomas Jefferson said it like this, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

Thomas Jefferson used the word “tyrant” because it implies that one who says, “I can do whatever I want” is one who can be cruel, oppressive, unrestrained, and even unprofessional to others. This type of behavior is inappropriate in the workplace, schools, and the community because it is archaic in a modern-day world that values technology, innovation and advancement. Relationship, through communication and understanding, gives people real freedom—not offending folks because you have the ‘liberty’ to do so.

President Obama was in a precarious situation as well. As the first (visibly) mixed race President, he was subject to a lot of cruel and unprofessional insults by his political colleagues, the news media, the American public, and even international leaders. While everything wasn’t racism, race was a factor in many situations. Although he did not respond to these attacks, believe me when I tell you, it bothered him. Yet, positioned as one of the most powerful men in the world, his inability to purposefully address the elephant in the room caused others to view him as a weak and incompetent leader. This empowered his critics to gain more momentum and confirmation that their attacks were spot on.

This is what makes a Diversity Officer’s work different from any other job in the organization. As I said earlier, the Office of Diversity has to walk a fine line—in addition to attaining measurable outcomes. If you address issues from a radical agenda (e.g., that’s racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, etc.), you may be regarded as a “troublemaker”, “whiner”, or “complainer”. That’s worse than getting branded as a ‘racist’. On the other hand, if you don’t address the issues, you may be considered “incompetent”, “unqualified” or “unnecessary”. At the same time, you will jeopardize inclusion, equity, engagement, and fairness for all. In fact, when we consider the diversity in America’s Capitol over the last few years, the elected officials couldn’t get anything done. Now that there is more homogeneity in political affiliation, it will be interesting to see if they will send a strong message about diversity and productivity.

Nevertheless, regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill, it’s best to choose your battles wisely and address the negativity quickly from the perspective of relationship, professionalism, opportunity, excellence, and common purpose. Even if Congress restricts women, LGBT groups, different religions, various nationalities, and others, diversity is not the law of the land. It is a concept that is good for business; and therefore, it is not going away.

In the words of President Harry S. Truman, “Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” Thus, how well an organization does through diversity and inclusion is up to the diversity officer and his/her relationships with others. Keep in mind, our work is a global phenomenon with a competitive advantage—ensuring that the most committed organizations leverage unlimited possibilities now, as well as in the future.

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Leah Smiley is the President of the Society for Diversity, the #1 and largest professional association for Diversity and Inclusion. For more information about the Society for Diversity, log onto http://www.societyfordiversity.org.

Valuable Knowledge Gained At 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat

The Society for Diversity wrapped up its 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat on Friday, July 25 in Orlando, Fla. with over 70 people in attendance over the two day conference. The event provided valuable knowledge to those in attendance, and everyone walked away with materials and information to take back to their companies.

The first day of the conference started with a keynote presentation from Isaias Zamarripa, Director of Global Workforce Diversity, Johnson Controls. His presentation highlighted the connections between employee networks, diversity recruiting and bottom line impact. After Zamarripa’s presentation, the attendees got the option to attend breakout sessions, such as unconscious bias and the role of the chief diversity officer.

During the lunch hour on July 24, the Diversity Leadership Awards were presented by Ericka Dunlap, 2004 Miss America. Dunlap presented the following awards to their recipients:

  • Corporate Diversity Leader- FordHarrison, LLP
  • Educational Diversity Leader- Nadia Quarles, University of Chicago
  • Non-Profit Diversity Leader- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Society for Diversity Member of the Year- Dr. Ken Coopwood, Missouri State University

These recipients are leaders in the diversity and inclusion field by being thought leaders and striving to be the top in their industry for D&I efforts.

After the presentation of these awards, there was a panel on supplier diversity. The day finished with additional breakout sessions that attendees could choose from.

“All of the sessions provided vast amounts of information to those who attended,” explained Leah Smiley, The Society for Diversity president. “Choosing which sessions to attend must have been difficult because there were always sessions going on at the same time that were relevant to anyone in attendance.”

The second day started off with a keynote presentation by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland-Baltimore. His presentation allowed attendees to tell Dr. Hrabowski what they wanted to learn from him, and he tailored his presentation to what he was asked about.

“Dr. Hrabowski’s presentation was highly interactive,” stated Smiley. “I think that people walked away with more insight and information than they would have thought possible from an hour discussion.”

Another keynote speaker, Dr. Shirley Davis Sheppard, highlighted the lunch hour. Her presentation was on the “10 Global Trends that are Keeping CEOs up at Night.” Her presentation was on par with the other presenters, and it had many attendees walking away wanting more.

The event ended on July 25 with a thank you speech from Smiley, “I appreciated everyone who attended the event, and I can’t wait to see everyone again at next year’s conference.”

While the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat is over, planning has begun on the 2015 event. The planning committee has already decided that the event will be hosted in Charlotte, N.C., and it will be moved to October in order to more easily accommodate attendees’ schedules. More information about next year’s event will be provided at a later date, but information can also be found on The Society for Diversity’s website, http://www.societyfordiversity.org.

Former Miss America to Present Awards at 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat

The Society for Diversity is proud to announce that Ericka Dunlap, former Miss America and Miss Florida, will present the Champions for Diversity Leadership Awards at the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat on July 24. The awards will be presented to those who are thought leaders and pioneers for diversity and inclusion within their organization or industry.

Recently, Dunlap reached out to The Society for Diversity to find out how she could be involved with the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat. As a diversity advocate, she wanted to ensure that she could attend the retreat in some capacity.

“We are excited to have Ericka Dunlap to present our awards,” explained Leah Smiley, President, The Society for Diversity. “As former Miss America and the first African American woman to become Miss Florida, she understands what it takes to be a thought leader and passionate about something bigger than yourself, especially diversity.”

Dunlap will be awarding four awards in the following categories: Corporation, Education Institution, Non-Profit Organization and The Society for Diversity Member of the Year. The nominees for these awards are as follows:

  • Dr. Shelvy Campbell, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Diversity, Marshall University, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine & School of Pharmacy
  • Dr. Ken Coopwood, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Missouri State University
  • Peggy Harris, MHA, FACHE, CDM, SPHR, Assistant Vice President, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Carolinas HealthCare System
  • Tracey K. Jaensch, Partner, FordHarrison LLP
  • Floyd W. Pitts, JD Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, American Red Cross
  • Nadia M. Quarles, Esq. Assistant Vice President, Business Diversity Office of Business Diversity, University of Chicago
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • FordHarrison LLP
  • Walgreens Corporation

“The organizations and individuals that have been nominated are the best in their respective fields, and they have exemplified what it means to use diversity and inclusion to better their organization and industry,” stated Smiley. “It was a difficult decision to choose the winners, but we are excited to announce them later this week.”

There is still time to register for the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat to see Erick Dunlap present the Champions for Diversity Leadership Awards, as well as attend the keynote presentations and sessions that will provide immense knowledge about diversity and inclusion. For more information on the retreat, awards or to register visit retreat.societyfordiversity.org.

Diversity Certification: A Hybrid Course Offering

By Ed Burns, CDP

As part of the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat, the Institute for Diversity Certification, the non-profit subsidiary of the Society, has included on the conference program two learning tracks registrants may attend via a hybrid classroom course.

Reflecting the Institute’s popular programs for diversity practitioners and executives, there will be two separate conference certification tracks, one for the Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) credentials, and the other for the Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) credentials. Those wishing to obtain their CDE credentials will attend class sessions on July 24 during the retreat, while those wishing to obtain CDP credentials will attend classes on July 25. They will not only attend classes, but have the opportunity to attend the keynote presentations, as well as the breakout sessions on the day that they are not taking their respective classes.

In addition to earning CDE and CDP credentials, those who currently have credentials can earn credit hours for continuing education. Each designee is required to complete 60 hours of continuing education every three years after earning credentials in order to keep their credentials up to date.

Along with the study guides and the exam review sessions, registrants who attend the Institute’s learning tracks can earn their valuable credentials with a successful candidate project and an exam score of 80% or higher.

For more information on the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat or the Institute for Diversity Certification, visit http://www.societyfordiversity.org.

 

Educating More People on How to Use Diversity in the Workplace

By Danniella Banks

There are many conferences each year that bring together professionals from various industries and organizations, and for many professionals, it is difficult to decide which ones to attend. One no-brainer choice for this year should be the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat because all businesses can benefit from learning more about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

If that is not enough to convince someone to attend, then the list of exceptional speakers should provide evidence that this conference will give attendees invaluable knowledge. The speakers include (in presentation order):

  • Isaias Zamarripa, Johnson Controls
  • Trudy Bourgeois, The Center for Workforce Excellence
  • Carol Sankar, Sankar Enterprises
  • Dr. Fiona Citkin, Expert MS Inc.
  • Susana Rinderle, Susana Rinderle Consulting LLC
  • Leah Smiley, The Society for Diversity
  • Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber, University of the District of Columbia
  • Enrique Ruiz, PositivePsyche.Biz Corp.
  • Shulunda Gibson, Speech & Voice Care Center
  • Ricardo Torres, Permanent Solutions Labor Consultants
  • Mary L Martinez, APT Metrics Inc.
  • Martin George, Language Training Center
  • Jaime Penahererra, Latino Health and Education Consortium
  • Effenus Henderson, HenderWorks Consulting
  • Malik Ali, Central and North Florida Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Diana Bolivar, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
  • Dr. Ken Coopwood, Missouri State University
  • James Rodgers, J.O. Rodgers & Associates
  • Dr. Shelton Goode, PPL Corp.
  • Wokie Nwabueze, Princeton University
  • Dionardo Pizana, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Paul Henry Hawkins, Working Diversity Inc.
  • Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, University of Maryland-Baltimore
  • Lisa I Perez, HBL Resources
  • Rosalie Chamberlain, Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching
  • Charlie Parker Jr., University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Dwain Celistan, DHR International
  • Frank Matthews, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
  • Juan Gilbert, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
  • Dr. Shirley Davis Sheppard, The Success Doctor and SHRM
  • Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., America & Moore LLC
  • Alvin Singh, ARS Media
  • Ini Augustine, SocialWise Media Group
  • Sharon E. Davis, SeDA Consulting
  • Nadine Vogle, Springboard Consulting

These speakers come from various backgrounds and types of organizations, which will help to educate more people on how to use diversity in the workplace to increase revenues and have a productive workforce.

With all of these speakers, it will be difficult to choose which one is the best or most interesting, but to be honest, I am most looking forward to the session entitled, “Overcoming Multi-Generational Workplace Challenges,” with Lisa I Perez, Rosalie Chamberlain and Charlie Parker Jr. This topic is something that has always been interesting to me, so I can’t wait to see what they have to say about it compared to what I have heard and read previously.

With so many wonderful speakers, you don’t want to miss your chance to hear them all speak at one place, the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat.

HELP WANTED: Seeking Leaders with the 3C’s

By Leah Smiley

 

The Associated Press reported that the Board of Directors at American Apparel voted to oust its Founder and CEO, Dov Charney, regarding an investigation into misconduct. What is interesting is that we discuss Dov Charney in the Institute for Diversity Certification’s credentialing program, specifically pertaining to the legal risk that American Apparel faces involving alleged inappropriate sexual conduct in the Executive offices.

While this brilliant Chief Executive is renowned for his unconventional approach and scalable business concept, a search is officially underway for new leadership at American Apparel. In a recent Forbes article, New York Times Best Selling Author Kevin Kruse defines leadership as “a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” This definition of leadership also applies to Diversity and Inclusion professionals, who are continually seeking to influence the social and cultural climate of the organizations with which we interact.

Nonetheless, in “The Corporate Diversity Charade,” John Fitzgerald Gates, Ph.D., a national diversity expert asserts that “the dirty little secret of corporate America and the practice of diversity is that 25 years after establishing ‘diversity’ offices, most companies have not developed a mature understanding of how diversity can contribute to their bottom lines.” Or, diminish earnings and market share. This is evident when executives, like Dov Charney, have diversity within the ranks, but continue to get hit with harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims. According to Wikipedia, since the mid-2000’s, Dov Charney has been the subject of at least 5 sexual harassment lawsuits that are pending, or have been settled or dismissed.

Dov Charney, however, is not the only misbehaving CEO. Bloomberg Business Week reported that last night John Legere, T-Mobile’s ‘way cool’ CEO, made an ‘unfunny’ comment when he told potential customers that his competitors were, “raping you for every penny you have…” Indeed, we are witnessing a transition from a stale and stodgy C-Suite to corporate environments where shock and awe are the order of the day. Yet, here’s where a skilled Diversity and Inclusion executive is invaluable—because he/she can make the business case in a way that senior leadership trusts and respects.

Here’s what he/she could say in a one-on-one meeting, “Mr. CEO, our employees, customers and investors love our culture because it is so radical, creative and fun. We need to keep that culture– but let’s make sure that we don’t forget about the financial and organizational risks associated with crossing the line. For example, when you said, or did ___________. It could cause some people to think that we don’t value ___________, and you and I know that is not true.”

June 19th marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and along with civil rights leaders, the business community was a vital component to the passage of this transformational legislation. We have made progress on many fronts, but there is still much work to do.

The word diversity implies that there are many ways in which equity and inclusion professionals could perform this work—but we must master the 3 C’s of leadership: courage, coalitions and competence.

3CsCourage
In the workplace, leaders must look to the future and embrace the change that keeps organizations ahead of their competitors. Robert J. Tamasy of CBMC Canada writes, “most high achievers, those that have left indelible marks in their areas of endeavor, have been ones that exhibited uncommon courage – willing to swim against the current, to challenge the status quo, to venture into the unknown with no guarantees of success.” Mr. Tamasy asserts that there are 4 ways to demonstrate courage: in taking a stand, proceeding despite danger, persevering, and acting on convictions.

Coalitions
I talk to a lot of courageous D&I practitioners, and a common complaint is that this type of work is very hard, and you receive little support. But it’s time to change this phenomenon and adapt the true meaning of inclusion, or working with others. This is the only way that Diversity and Inclusion professionals can go beyond the 4 walls in the Office of Diversity toward building programs and structures that are sustainable and successful.

The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines a coalition as “an alliance or union between groups, factions, or parties, for some specific action; the act of making or becoming a single unit.” Could this definition imply that the Office of Diversity, working alone, is outside of the scope and parameters of the organizational fabric? And by forming “coalitions” (especially with critics), the Office of Diversity will be able to perform specific actions better? I’m being facetious, but you get the point.

Competence
Finally, our courage and coalitions must be balanced with competence. This may be indicated by putting strategic ideas in writing, linking diversity and inclusion to business objectives, and using data to substantiate one’s interventions and goals. For example, beyond reporting how many people attended a diversity training session, it may be better to measure the outcomes of such learning.

According to the Business Briefing “Learning and Analytics” by Success Factors (an SAP Company), “the inability of companies to establish robust statistics that clearly demonstrate direct links between learning and business improvement” is a major reason why some feel that learning interventions are ineffective. “Without analytics,” it suggests, “you are at risk of driving your learning strategy blind, and never realizing the results you expected to gain. By combining traditional training reporting with business data from other systems…it is possible to quantify the commercial benefits of any learning activity in real time.”

 

The Society for Diversity understands that unlike the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, there are thousands of diversity and inclusion leaders. Accordingly, the Society offers a variety support systems such as the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat, diversity certification, resources and technical assistance, to members and non-members alike. Our goal is to empower many leaders to become the most knowledgeable, skilled, and practiced diversity experts in the world. And through our goal, we can help others see the value in diversity and experience measurable business impact.

American Apparel isn’t the only company seeking new leadership; the Society for Diversity also wants leaders with the 3 C’s to support us on this journey.

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Leah Smiley is the President of the Society for Diversity, the #1 and largest professional association for Diversity and Inclusion. For more information about the Society for Diversity, log onto http://www.societyfordiversity.org.

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