Inspiring Leadership with Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Posts tagged ‘Cultural Competence’

The Ian Cureton Project

There was a positive energy flowing through my body as I settled into my new office this morning. I start my first day at the Society for Diversity (Plainfield, IN) as an intern. My responsibilities include, but are not limited to, answering phones, responding to emails, and of course this blog. This is my formal introduction to Corporate America; stating who I am, what I am here for, and how I will contribute to your company’s growth.

I am enrolled at Ball State University, with an expected year of graduation in 2015. I will graduate with a degree in finance and marketing. I was a collegiate athlete from 2011-2014 playing both baseball and football. I furthered my passion for sales and marketing by joining the national business fraternity Pi Sigma Epsilon; Ball State’s chapter Epsilon Epsilon.

I will gain on-the-job training that will prepare me for life after the Society for Diversity. With that being said during the duration of my time, I am here to serve. I am here to learn different techniques and skills that I will develop through my first-hand experiences. I will grow my network, expand my managerial skillset and position myself to succeed. I am here to work, I am here to learn, I will do the things you ask from me, and I will represent the company well.

 

ian_cureton

How Real Leaders Handle Inappropriate Conduct

By Leah Smiley

firedUnivision reaches 94 million households in the United States. It is the largest Spanish language broadcaster in the U.S., and the fifth largest television network. According to CNN, “Rodner Figueroa, an Emmy Award-winning host and presenter, was fired by the Spanish-language network for remarks he made on-air. In a broadcast on Wednesday, Figueroa said, “Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes.'” He made the comments as a photo of the first lady was shown on screen.

Figueroa was fired on Thursday.

Free Speech proponents assert, “He can say what he wants.” But I will illustrate my response with a brief personal story. For my father’s 60th birthday, my siblings and I hosted a party at The Mansion in Voorhees, NJ. During the event, my siblings reminisced about who received the most spankings while we were growing up– and then everyone looked at me. What I remember most, is not the spankings, but the lectures that accompanied the discipline. It almost made me want to say, “hurry up and get it over with man!” But my father insisted on telling me that “everyone makes mistakes, and that is OK. But for every mistake you make in life, there are consequences.” Sheesh, I hated that word “consequences”.

Some will say, Figueroa was Latino, he wasn’t racist. The courts have ruled that even if a Cuban repeatedly called a Puerto Rican an illegal immigrant (when he or she is not) or a black person called another black person the “N” word in the workplace, your organization could get sued for discrimination. So that means that ethnicity does not preclude one from experiencing consequences for unprofessional and inappropriate conduct.

Keep in mind, there are times when you should NOT terminate an employee. For example,

This is just a partial listing of real U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) cases. But then there are other times when, for the sake of morale and the organization’s reputation, you should take swift and definitive action. Don’t:

  • Ask the person to resign
  • Make the person profusely apologize
  • Wait for the public to demand someone’s head

Fire ’em.

Some will say, “show compassion in an environment where customers are unforgiving”. OK, here’s the bellwether for compassion: will you be terminated in that person’s stead? That’s how you know if you really have compassion, because you believe in what that person did so much that you are willing to take the fall.

If not, fire ’em.

It’s common sense. Grown folks should be intelligent enough to distinguish between professional and unprofessional conduct AT WORK. They should also be considerate of the people that support or buy from your organization (e.g., the Obama Administration has advertised with Univision). And they should be able to determine what is funny versus what will cause a political firestorm or a public relations nightmare.

Common sense will also tell you that management will not allow inappropriate behavior.

The best terminations etch a sketch in workers minds about inappropriate conduct in the workplace. So as not to create an environment of fear, you want to fire the offender swiftly and then communicate with your staff about the termination. Allow them to ask questions, or express concerns. Make sure you reference a specific employment policy so everyone understands that this is not personal. Finally, reaffirm your commitment to an inclusive organizational culture that values ALL workers and great contributions. This is what separates leaders from figureheads.

Unless you are a politician or lobbyist, your personal political beliefs are not relevant at work. Furthermore, discriminatory behavior is never acceptable. At some point, leaders have to take a stand– discerning that allowing unprofessional behavior in the workplace inevitably snowballs into an avalanche of problems.

~~~~~~~~~~

Leah Smiley is the President of the Society for Diversity, the #1 professional association for diversity and inclusion. For more information about the Society for Diversity, log onto www.societyfordiversity.org.

A Holiday Note to the ‘P.C.’ Police: Be Civil

By Leah Smiley

 

pc police 2It’s that time of year again, when Diversity and Inclusion efforts receive a bad rep because of a few over-zealous, politically correct individuals.

As we approach the holidays, the P.C. (Politically Correct) police become more vigilant than ever. Once, I sent out an e-mail blast that said, “Merry Christmas” and I received messages for days on end saying, “You’re not a REAL diversity professional”.

According to Wikipedia, “freedom of religion [in America] is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept advocated by Colonial founders such as Roger Williams, William Penn and later founding fathers such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.”

In the workplace, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides for ‘religious freedom’ through anti-discrimination laws. According to EEOC, “Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.” This protection includes atheists, agnostics and non-religious folks.

Most developed nations have workplace protections for people based on religion. In emerging markets, however, religious diversity is causing all sorts of conflicts. According to DoSomething.org, “Nearly 50 percent of countries increased their religious discrimination between 2009 and 2010, and only 32 percent saw decreases. On average, countries that have government restrictions on religion have higher rates of social hostility. Social hostilities of religious discrimination include armed conflict, harassment of women over dress code, mob violence, hate crimes, violence or violent threats, terrorist violence, and more.”

Consider this partial listing of recent events:

  • Somali extremists killed 28 non-Muslims in Northern Kenya.
  • Two attackers armed with knives, axes and a gun stormed a synagogue in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, killing four worshipers and wounding several others.
  • In the Philippines, a nurse and teacher bled to death after extremists threw a hand grenade into a Church of Christ.
  • In Bangladesh, a prominent university professor was murdered, several years after he led a push to ban students wearing full-face veils. The professor followed the folk sect Baul, popular in parts of western Bangladesh, whose members call themselves followers of humanism rather than a particular religion.
  • According to The Freethought Report released in December 2013, Atheists face death in 13 countries. Even in places like Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta and Poland, blasphemy laws allow for jail sentences up to three years on charges of offending a religion or believers.

This very brief list certainly provides an overview of the world’s religious state of affairs. For global organizations and governments, this level of religious (or non-religious) intolerance presents a risk for workers and their families, tourists and business travelers, conventioneers, customers, and more. In other words, there are much bigger fish to fry than whether or not someone says, “Happy Kwanzaa.”

Therefore, if you are P.C., try to relax this holiday season. If someone says, “Happy Hanukkah” because you look Jewish and you have a Jewish-sounding name, try not to go ballistic. Perhaps, you can say “Happy Hanukkah to you too!” But if your “freedom” does not allow you to celebrate Hanukkah, perhaps you can simply say, “Happy Holidays” without going into a diatribe about how some Jews are Jewish by ethnicity only. Likewise, if a store clerk says, “Merry Christmas”, don’t go on a rant about banning the store because you’re not a Christian. Take a deep breath, smile, and keep moving.

When we think about all that is going on around the world, and the fact that people are dying for what they believe (or don’t believe), the least we can do is show some civility when someone seeks to spread a little holiday cheer. The Platinum Rule for Diversity is to treat others as they want to be treated. Yet, religious and secular fanaticism (e.g., unreasonable zeal, mean-spiritedness, or other extreme behavior) threatens everyone else’s freedom.

Political correctness is not an apparent token that you are the king or queen of diversity and inclusion because sometimes, P.C. is offensive. Thus, instead of being politically correct this year, try to be civil. In the words of Jim Leach, former U.S. Congressman and academic, “Civility is not about dousing strongly held views. It’s about making sure that people are willing to respect other perspectives.”

P.S.  You can send me all of the P.C. notes you want, Happy Thanksgiving anyway!

~~~~~~~~~

Leah Smiley is the President of the Society for Diversity, the #1 professional association for diversity and inclusion. For more information about the Society for Diversity, log onto www.societyfordiversity.org.

Realizing the Pledge’s Potential: America’s Blueprint for Law and Order

By Leah Smiley, CDE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy, who was a Christian socialist, according to Wikipedia. Bellamy had initially considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided against it – knowing that the state superintendents of education were against equality for women and African Americans.

Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the National Flag Conference called for the words “my Flag” to be changed to “the Flag of the United States”, so that new immigrants would not confuse loyalties between their birth countries and the United States. The words “of America” were added a year later, while “God” was added in 1954.

Since the conception of this ‘Pledge’, diversity has been a forethought, not an after-thought. The creators realized that it’s possible to be different while united. Fast forward more than one century later, America is finding that no one thing divides this Republic like the concept of ‘justice’. From O.J. Simpson to Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown, America practically splits down traditional racial lines when these subjects come up. What is interesting is that race and justice is an issue that just won’t go away. The problem is that once America becomes more demographically diverse, we will see more issues pertaining to race and justice– IF we do not take action now.

Ethnifacts, population researchers, say the “tipping point” has already happened in America. According to these researchers, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 37.7% of the population checked Hispanic, Asian and African-American on the latest census count. But that figure excludes any multi-racial groups, which would bump the multicultural population up to 49.9% as of 2010. Ethnifacts researchers also “found multicultural majorities in the following states: Arizona (58.54 percent), California (75.10 percent), District of Columbia (76.06 percent), Florida (57.43 percent), Georgia (58.46 percent), Hawaii (89.61 percent), Maryland (59.22 percent), New Mexico (76.16 percent), Nevada (64.52 percent) and Texas (69.41 percent).”

Some assume that you can move away from diversity (e.g., the concept of “White Flight” or relocating one’s corporate headquarters), and avoid the problems of multicultural communities altogether. But for those left behind, a different reality sets in. A demographic disparity occurs when different population groups are not represented in the demographic make-up of decision makers, or those in authority. Demographic disparities can affect the balance of power, the allocation of resources, and the perception of equality or fairness. Within communities, a demographic disparity can be great or slight—depending on population growth, the composition of the population, and the quality of life, to name a few. Generally, when there is more diversity, there are greater opportunities for disparities to occur in education, housing, criminal justice, and even, media reporting, to name a few.

Demographic changes, in areas where there is “more diversity” such as in Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New York, are causing local governments to re-evaluate diversity amongst its police force. This is a big issue that is very complex. Nevertheless, I will try to encapsulate the essence of the matter in a blog. Here’s what police departments need to determine:

A. What is the extent of the problem?
First, what do the numbers say? What did the population look like 20 years ago, what does it look like today, and what will it look like in the next 20 years? What “stereotypes” exist about different groups in the community? What other unconscious biases might exist? How do stereotypes and unconscious biases affect community-police relations and the perception of fairness? What other trends are evident based on the population changes? What is the specific problem? What data, lawsuits or case studies support the fact that a problem exists? How will this issue hurt the city’s/town’s image if these issues are not addressed? What else will be a negative repercussion if changes are not made?

Once the extent of the problem is determined, it is necessary to take proactive, decisive action.

B. Beyond training, how can solutions be embedded in day-to-day practices?
Sometimes, diversity training is viewed as a panacea—a cure for all ills pertaining to diversity problems. The reality is that diversity interventions would be much more effective if they were connected to organizational goals, and embedded in day-to-day practices. This is where diversity officers, human resources, front-line supervisors, and leadership can work together and find specific examples of how to apply cultural competence, inclusion, equity, and fairness. The expectation is that supervisors– not diversity trainers– would lead discussions about best practices for engaging diverse communities. The reasoning behind this is that law enforcement often has its own culture, and what better way to empower an “insider” to expedite change than to include them in the training design, content, facilitation and application.

C. Who can hold police departments accountable for change?
Step #1. When we talk about accountability, the first thing that we want to be mindful of is that accountability begins with the community. Officers should be accountable to the people whom they are responsible for “policing”. Along with the discussion about accountability, there needs to be something called a “relationship”. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a relationship is “the way in which two or more people are connected. It includes how individuals or groups talk to, behave toward and deal with each other.” Building relationships in diverse communities engender respect, communication, and peace. Even if we agree to disagree, we can do so in a way that does not destroy, or break up, the relationship.

Step #2. Diversity leaders and inclusion experts can also hold police departments accountable. Within every city and town, there are diversity professionals who work for colleges/universities, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies. While the community may not know what it wants, outside of fairness and justice, diversity professionals can help guide police departments through the technical aspects of inclusion, cultural competence, and compliance.

For example, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a monthly community conversation about race and policing. This presents an opportune time for honest conversations about the “difficult history of structural racism and segregation that has created homogenous suburban communities”.

Step #3. Politicians must also hold its police forces accountable. This is an example of diversity being led from the top. Unlike some corporations or educational institutions, politicians must be elected every few years by the people—you know, the ones that live in the communities? And once the diverse constituents figure out when to vote, and how to do it consistently, it will be curtains for all of those politicians who made decisions on behalf of a few. Therefore, stop and repeat Step #1.

D. How will the impact of different interventions be evaluated and measured?
Every good strategy has a plan for frequent evaluation. In “The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World’s Greatest Management Thinker”, Dr. William A. Cohen asserts that “Management requires a breakdown of tasks, assignments as to who is to do what, time schedules, resource allocations, performance expectations, a means of measuring results, periodic and ad hoc reviews, and feedback.”1

The measurements necessary for control are frequently termed metrics. Choosing the correct metrics and making the decisions about them are incredibly important in their use for control, in both the day-to-day and the strategic sense.”2  Therefore, the impact of one’s intent must evaluated, measured and controlled with quantitative and qualitative data to support that change has, or has not, occurred.

Finally, transparency implies that some mistakes may have been made along the way, but we’re going to be honest about it and report on our status anyway. According to Merriam-Webster, the actual definition of transparency is “honest and open; not secretive; easily seen through; free from pretense or deceit”.

Much can be said about nationwide efforts to address a problem that affects 15% or more of the population, and has drawn worldwide scorn due to its proximity to genocide, which is “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group.” As I stated before, there is no easy solution. Nevertheless, justice is inextricably tied to law and order. And, in keeping with the Pledge of Allegiance, (“one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”), this blueprint for law and order will help America to realize the full potential of its pledge.

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 Cohen, William A. “The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World’s Greatest Management Thinker”, American Management Association – 2014. Page 112
2 Cohen, William A. “The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World’s Greatest Management Thinker”, American Management Association – 2014. Page 114

New Program For Supervisors Focuses On Cultural & Inclusive Excellence

The Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) recently announced the introduction of the Cultural & Inclusive Excellence Program for Supervisors, which will focus on building strategic leadership skills. This program will be a two-day learning and coaching laboratory for supervisors and managers, and it will be held at the IDC office in Plainfield, Ind. on November 12-13, 2014.

 

The Cultural & Inclusive Excellence Program for Supervisors will focus on stimulating cultural and inclusive excellence through participation in a blend of leadership development training, 360-degree feedback and one-on-one coaching. Those who attend will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and build the skills necessary to lead a diverse and global workforce, as well as ensure that they are prepared to deliver world-class service to a wide range of individuals.

 

“Today, many of our training contracts center around providing separate diversity and inclusion learning experiences for supervisors. Organizations realize that these front-line leaders need a different kind of educational framework and support system,” explained Leah Smiley, President, The Society for Diversity. “After speaking with human resource and diversity experts around the country, we realized that all employers could benefit from this type of interactive training.”

 

Helping managers to understand the internal and external components of cultural competence and inclusion is a primary goal of the program. For example, changes in customer tastes and preferences, spending patterns and demographic trends could hurt the bottom line. Many of these changes may be attributed to generational trends and can be easily rectified by employing and managing multiple generations in the workplace.

 

Likewise, there exists a strategic opportunity for organizations to broaden their share of emerging markets. According to a study from the Boston Consulting Group, women in the U.S. reported “controlling” 72.8% of household spending. Meanwhile the 2013 Catalyst Buying report shows that, African-Americans’ buying power has increased from $316.3 billion in 1990 to $946.6 billion in 2010 and is projected to climb to $1.3 trillion in 2017. Latinos’ and Asians’ buying power will also increase to $1.7 trillion and $1.0 trillion by 2017 respectively.

 

Internationally, as many 42% of managers are said to fail in their overseas assignments, according to a survey on global leadership trends released by Right Management in 2013. This presents an enormous opportunity for managers to understand and embrace different cultures, as it is a central component of their future work.

 

Much of the curriculum is related to global leadership development. The topics include:

 

  • The Difference Between Management and Leadership
  • Understanding Global Demographic Changes and Projections
  • Preventing Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation
  • Building and Leading a Diverse, Multi-Generational Team
  • Developing Multicultural Communication Skills
  • Managing Conflict & Discipline Issues

 

“This isn’t your average diversity and inclusion training program. It is a model of excellence that presents an opportunity for supervisors to empower themselves and attain business goals,” stated Smiley. “By attending this two-day program, attendees will return to their jobs with new ideas for, and excitement about, fostering an inclusive and equitable workplace culture.”

 

The deadline to register for the Cultural & Inclusive Excellence Program for Supervisors is Friday, October 3, 2014. Space for this program is limited to 16 participants, so registration will fill up quickly. For more information on this program, as well as how to register, visit www.diversitycertification.org/Supervisory-Program.

What’s Next for Diversity and Inclusion?

By Leah Smiley

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Twitter hoped to capitalize on its surging revenue growth by adding new measurements, engaging its users, and shuffling its executive team. Herein lies the opportunity for diversity and inclusion. First, we must continue to stay abreast of industry trends and changes in our organizational strategy.  Second, we must become better skilled at helping our organizations to understand complex cultural data about different demographic groups that may include our customers, students, constituents, or potential employees. And third, we have to become more adept at engaging new executive leaders– prior to changes at the helm.

Last week was the Society for Diversity’s inaugural leadership conference themed “Planning for the Future”. While it was an adventure, it was certainly power-packed with great speakers and lots of information.  Over the next year, we want to focus on creating diversity and inclusion systems that support each other. For instance, many of us operate in an independent environment. We may not be connected to others within our organizations; we may not be connected to diversity practitioners in our industries; and we may not be connected to other entities that have diversity efforts (e.g., k-12 schools with colleges, with employers, and with the community).

Not only will this be the theme of next year’s diversity conference in Charlotte, but it will also be the primary focus of our efforts leading up to the October 2015 event.

Looking ahead, there are three things that should concern diversity practitioners:  (1) impending U.S. Presidential elections, where it has become en vogue to pit diverse groups vs. traditional groups against each other during campaigns; (2) political and economic instability in several countries overseas; and (3) the restructuring of many diversity and inclusion offices. These external and internal drivers will ultimately impact our work, our vision for inclusion, as well as our ability to obtain desirable outcomes.

Keep in mind, our work ought to manifest characteristics of traditional business functions, while at the same time, balancing change with reliability in results. While the strategy at different organizations will vary, the expectation for results ought to remain the same. I always tell diversity practitioners that their CEO may not ask for an annual report, but one should be prepared and delivered anyway. Because at some point, your CEO is going to talk to another CEO and find out that you were supposed to prepare an annual report. Then the question will arise, why haven’t you done it? What have you been doing? What impact have you had on the organization? And how do you rate in a cost-benefit analysis– does your cost outweigh your benefit?

Within the field of Diversity and Inclusion, there is a tendency to think that we are exempt from demonstrating measurable, quantitative impact. It’s almost an acknowledgement that we were selected for our positions based on factors other than our experience and abilities. Not only does this subtle ‘acknowledgement’ hurt D&I efforts at our organizations, but it also impedes the field as a whole.

As with Twitter, the future of doing business better is change. What’s next for diversity and inclusion is increased accountability and demonstrated excellence in leveraging these changes. It’s up to diversity and inclusion to seize the opportunities and help our organizations to navigate change from a position of cultural competence, financial strength, and competitive advantage. We also must ensure that we don’t neglect to continuously plan for the future.

~~~~~~~~~

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

 

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.

10 Reasons Why the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat is the Go-To Event of the Year

DiversityBanner_Website

Join the Society for Diversity from July 24-25 in Orlando, FL for what will be “the must-attend diversity and inclusion conference of the year.”

If you need to drive results by transitioning D&I from good to great, here are 10 reasons why you can’t afford to miss “Planning for the Future: Linking Diversity, Demographics & Dollars” this July:

1. KEYNOTES. Inspired sessions from stars like Craig B. Clayton Sr., Dr. Shirley Davis Sheppard, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, Effenus Henderson, and more.

2. THOUGHT LEADERS. Gain actionable intelligence from 16 workshop sessions with D&I leaders, such as Dr. Shelton Goode, Dr. Ken Coopwood, Dr. Eddie Moore, Carole Weinstein, Ini Augustine, Nadine Vogle, Mary L. Martinez, and Enrique Ruiz, to name a few.

3. DIVERSITY CERTIFICATION. Start working on your CDP or CDE credentials in a certification track with noted D&I expert, Leah Smiley.

4. NATIONAL AWARDS. It’s not too late to nominate yourself, or your organization, for a Champions for Diversity Leadership Award. This national awards ceremony will recognize leaders who inspire, foster, recognize, demonstrate, encourage and promote best practices, ideas, products, technology and strategies for diversity and inclusion to enhance great places to live and/or work. Make a nomination now at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=abawbmdab&oeidk=a07e92zxd6c4f5068da

5. CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS. CDE and CDP designees from the Institute for Diversity Certification will receive 20 continuing education credits, AND credits are also being requested from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and ASTD Certification Institute.

6. DIVERSITY CAREER FAIR & VENDOR EXPO. Find solutions to enhance the quality of your D&I interventions, or meet with prospective customers at the Diversity Career Fair and Vendor Expo.

7. REAL-WORLD SKILLS. Learn how to confront modern-day diversity and inclusion challenges, while planning for the future in a changing field.

8. PEER SUPPORT. Network and talk with the right Retreat attendees from Wal-Mart, Bank of America, Cisco, Walgreens, American Red Cross National Headquarters, Princeton University, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Harland Clarke, Humana, U.S. Department of Defense, and 400 more attendees!

9. DISNEY WORLD & TOURIST ATTRACTIONS. Bring your entire family to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Hotel in Orlando AND get discounted tickets to Disney Theme Park and Resorts.

10. DIVERSE EXPERIENCES WITH A HIGH ROI. From Salsa dancing and golf, to the future of diversity and specific examples of how to increase the organizational value of D&I, your return on investment from “Planning for the Future: Linking Diversity, Demographics & Dollars” will be huge!

If that isn’t enough – Use the Promo Code FLASH514 at http://retreat.societyfordiversity.org  to receive $200 off! Hurry, this special ends on Monday, May 19th.

P.S. You can learn more about the Retreat at a FREE webinar on Wednesday, May 21st. Get the log-in information for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3776782116970362882

 
We look forward to seeing you in Orlando! http://retreat.societyfordiversity.org

More Employers Strategically Leveraging Diversity Through Specialized Education

The Institute for Diversity Certification conferred diversity credentials to 29 new designees, the largest group yet

About 60% of Fortune 500 companies currently have a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) or executive role designated for diversity, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.  Many of these employers expect real business benefits and bottom-line results. Therefore, they are going beyond traditional compliance efforts toward strategic culture change and innovation with specialized Diversity and Inclusion education.

The Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) leads the way with a robust credentialing program for diversity and inclusion (D&I) professionals. IDC offers two tracks, the Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) program, which focuses on global D&I efforts, and the Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) program which addresses the day-to-day administration of D&I interventions. Both programs allow corporate, nonprofit, government and education leaders to hone their skills in leveraging differences for better business performance and capturing diverse demographics for enhanced bottom-line impact.

IDC recently conferred credentials to 29 new designees during its November/December 2013 exam window. The twelve (12) new CDE designees are: Leslie Anderson, Ph.D., Missouri State University; Gloria Chiantella, NPR; Lyle Foster, Missouri State University; Eric Guthrie, JD, BetterMEBetterWE; LaTricia Hill-Chandler, Veolia Water NA; Kimel Hodges, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Carol Hogard, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; Cheryl Lindsay, HanesBrands Inc.; Jeannine McMillan, Rolls-Royce North America; Jo-Elle Mogerman, Ph.D., Chicago Zoological Society; Michelle Taylor, Cummins Inc.; and Rita Taylor-Nash, Health Care Service Corporation.

The seventeen (17) new CDP designees include: Regina Atkins, Indiana State University; Laura Bird, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; Tonia Buxton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Paul Crylen, Health Care Service Corporation; Craig Enyeart, Indiana State University; Idella Glenn, Ph.D., Furman University; Melissa Hurm, Lee Distributors; David Kagan, Teach for America; Tradara McLaurine, Indiana State University; Lucie Nelson, Heartland Family Service; Tanya O’Neill, Humana Inc.; Brian Pauling, NV Energy Inc.; Marcia Reina, Teach for America; Jennifer Rivera, Aon; Lilla Turner, Health Care Service Corporation; Debra Vance, Ivy Tech Community College; and Elsa Velasquez-Ward, Midland Memorial Hospital.

Performance Assessment Network (pan) provides state-of-the-art, secure internet-based testing, and proctored administration for IDC candidates at over 600 testing centers throughout the world. Previous exam administrations netted up to 15 candidates per testing window. But this year, a total of 40 exams were administered by pan during the November/December testing window alone.  DiversityInc noticed a similar trend. In 2005, it only had 201 companies participate in the DiversityInc Top 50 process. Last year they had 535 companies participate. Some employers have begun inquiring about how to link their credentials from IDC to their DiversityInc Top 50 application. Additionally, many have decided to enroll entire departments in the IDC credentialing program.

Rita Taylor-Nash, Vice President at Health Care Service Corporation says, “I was initially torn between completing the certification process before committing my team or having us complete the process concurrently.  I chose the latter based on my high-level review and resulting comfort with the course content and format.”

The IDC diversity and inclusion certification exam is a uniform test that assesses a candidate’s knowledge of 16 broad competencies. IDC also assesses a professional work through the Candidate Project evaluation. All IDC designees must pass the exam with an 80% or better. The 2014 exam competencies include The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion, Emerging Markets, Generational Intelligence, Empowering Women in the Workplace, LGBTA Employment Issues, and Harassment Around the World, to name a few. Much of the content addresses management expectations, linking diversity and inclusion goals to organizational objectives, and getting quantitative results.

Leslie Anderson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling at Missouri State University, says, “I have had other diversity professional training and this one was superior to the one I had previously completed.” Taylor-Nash adds, “The course content covers the nuts-and-bolts of D&I that all professionals should know. On a more strategic level, it also covers major demographic and global trends that have positioned D&I as a key component to organizational and business success.”

Leah Smiley, Founder of the Institute for Diversity Certification asserts, “In today’s competitive business environment, you definitely want people on-board who can execute diversity strategies well, and deliver anticipated results. This program helps organizations to purposefully move diversity and inclusion from one level to the next.”

Currently, there are nearly 200 IDC designees representing organizations such as Eli Lilly & Co., Cisco, Mercedes Benz, Wal-Mart, Goodwill Industries International, University of Miami, University of Alabama, NASA, WellPoint, US Air Force Academy, HealthSouth Corp., Wells Fargo, Belk Inc., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, and more. Upon obtaining credentials, designees may volunteer to share best practices with new Candidates by instructing preparation courses, reviewing Candidate Projects, updating materials, and providing feedback on test questions. Designees demonstrate more confidence upon completing the program due to the level of peer interaction and the focus on excellence. For more information about IDC, call 1-800-983-6192 or log onto www.diversitycertification.org.

By Leah Smiley

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

The “Demographics” Buzz Word

I fear the term “demographics” has become a buzz word in the field of Diversity and Inclusion. It’s a buzz word because it gets you in the door for that nice big contract or great new Diversity Officer position. But very few people in this field actually use this so-called demographic information, or other statistical data, when designing diversity and inclusion interventions.

According to Wikipedia, a buzzword is a word or phrase used to impress, or is fashionable. Last year, Forbes Magazine published an article entitled, “New Studies Show Buzzwords Aren’t the Problem– We Are”. The writer asserts, “Don’t hate the game, hate the player”. Accordingly, I am going to assert that we have to take this word “demographics” seriously in order to be more credible and effective as professionals.

Case in point:  A few years ago, I talked to an organization that had two different diversity practitioners come in and deliver great training sessions. The problem was, nothing changed. The elephant was still in the room drinking up all of the water and eating all of the food. When they spoke with me, our conversation centered around how demographics had shifted. And without a single training session, they got more help in one hour, than they did in 8 hours of learning with two different diversity practitioners. Generally, our discussion addressed:

  1. Demographic changes and its link to the School Corporation’s goals, while taking into account (a) past, present and projected population changes; (b) changes to the family structure; and (c) competitive benchmarking (e.g., how other similarly situated schools are performing)
  2. Challenges for Students related to (a) achievement; (b) harassment/bullying; and (c) exclusion
  3. Classroom Leadership Expectations and Skills pertaining to (a) identifying stereotypes; (b) handling conflict effectively; (c) fostering inclusion; and (d) the personal belief system (e.g., I CAN be GREAT with ALL students)

Of course, I had to do research and connect that research to my discussion. Such research may include first-hand reports of students who experienced bullying in class while the teacher did nothing. Or parents from another country who did not understand a certain process. This is significant when you have a huge immigrant student population. From an administrative perspective, they can understand who they need to have on staff, what the staff needs to do, and why there must be accountability for certain actions.

Now, let’s bring it home– to your place of business, of course. How have your customers changed in the last 20-30 years? Let’s consider a nonprofit or healthcare organization that serves HIV/AIDS patients. In the 1980’s, intravenous drug users and White men who had sex with men were the fastest growing groups of people who contracted HIV/AIDS. Recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that while “Blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they accounted for an estimated 44% of new HIV infections in 2010”. Yet by 2015, experts estimate that almost half of HIV-positive Americans will be over the age of 50. What a shift– from gay men to blacks to older individuals.

Do you see where I’m going? This information has to be used in order to help our organizations develop a proper perspective about diverse groups in the workplace, as well as foster skills that will be useful in better serving our customers, students or constituents.

Speaking of which, every diversity practitioner should do some kind of research on a weekly basis. Yes, there are many activities to do but not every activity has the same value. Using the example above, conducting and utilizing research would be much more meaningful than a full day of training or some other  activity that has little impact on your organization.

~~~~~~~~

By Leah Smiley, President of the Society for Diversity.  Learn more about this topic when you become a member of the Society for Diversity, or get diversity and inclusion credentials from the Institute for Diversity Certification. Log onto http://www.societyfordiversity.org for more information.

 

 

 

Tag Cloud