Inspiring Leadership with Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Posts tagged ‘institute for diversity certification’

What Every CEO Should Know About Diversity & Inclusion

By Leah Smiley

After 5 1/2 years and more than 400 members, the Society for Diversity is organizing an Executive Council on Diversity and Inclusion. This body of Fortune 1000 senior level leaders will meet quarterly starting in 2015, and provide strategic direction to the Society for Diversity regarding global business trends, demographic projections, benchmarking, best practices and international legislative issues.  The advisory group will be central to the Society for Diversity’s upcoming programs– ensuring relevance to real business concerns and identifying strategic opportunities for global engagement.

The Council will also be instrumental in helping us to reach more senior level leaders. Over the last few years, the Society for Diversity has come to understand that many of the problems in the diversity and inclusion field can be attributed to organizational leadership.  For example, the practice of assigning a woman or minority to the role of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) without any regard to their qualifications, experience, or credentials. When few results are achieved, the company comes to the conclusion that “diversity doesn’t work”.  Take for instance, the practice of letting D&I executives or diversity councils “figure it out”– a posture the company would never assume with finance, marketing, information technology, or even HR functions.

For these reasons and more, the Society for Diversity has identified three pillars of high performance in diversity and inclusion for CEO’s. These include:

 

1.  Think “usable”

When candidates for the Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) or Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) credential prepare a Candidate Project, the Institute for Diversity Certification advises them to submit a professional work that is usable, or needed, for their job– don’t create a Candidate Project simply for the sake of getting credentials.

Likewise, don’t create an office of diversity simply for the sake of having “diversity”. To avoid this, you’ll need to answer a few questions, such as: How will this position be useful in achieving the organization’s goals? What skills will be useful for a person in this position to get maximum results? How can diversity and inclusion interventions become  integrated with other business operations? How will different perspectives help us to become more innovative? How will our customers perceive diversity at our organization?  Think usable.

2.  Link Social Responsibility to your inclusion efforts

Corporate America’s response to the NFL has been swift and effective– sending a powerful message about bad decisions and unscrupulous behavior in professional sports. The response speaks volumes about the sponsors’ commitment to a growing market segment: women and their children. This demonstration of social responsibility impacts everyone because it makes a clear point: our sponsorship dollars will only support what our organization values.

Leaders must also act with boldness and decisiveness in diversity and inclusion as well.  Diversity and inclusion presents enormous opportunities to capitalize on change. Getting people to respond positively to D&I interventions is not about political correctness; it is about doing what is good for business. You can demonstrate inclusion through social responsibility in your selection of diverse vendors, your contributions to different non-profit organizations, and your support of equal education for all.

3.  Score more points with a solid strategy

Every once in a while, I like to play Scrabble online. This affords me an opportunity to compete against the best players in the world. I figured out how to win consistently. First, I need to seek bonus point opportunities (e.g., using all 7 letters). Then, I can not fall below 10 points per word. And finally, I can’t feel bad about crushing the competition. There’s always the potential that they will stage a last minute come-back and win the game.

In the same manner, we must have a strategy to win in this arena called “diversity and inclusion”. The strategy must be meticulous so that whoever assumes leadership can deploy the same tactics and get consistent results. At the end of the day, your organization’s ability to beat the competition is going to depend on your strategy for engaging diverse talent, your strategy for acquiring diverse consumers, and your strategy for diversifying your investors.

 

Practicing new habits require time to master. However, if you are committed to making diversity and inclusion a priority, and you don’t let past mistakes derail the future, you will find that the benefits of diversity and inclusion far outweigh the costs.

I would love to hear from you. What are some other pillars that you would suggest for CEO’s?

 

~~~~~~~

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.

Advertisements

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.

Indiana State Approving Agency Approves Institute For Diversity Certification Licensing

The Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) received its new approval of its licensing exams from the Indiana State Approving Agency. This new approval will allow more veterans and active duty military to participate in the program and be reimburse the cost of the exam once they have passed.

The process for the exams to be approved by the Indiana State Approving Agency was about six months, but it came just in time for the final testing window for 2014, which will take place in November. “Many current military and veterans work within the field of diversity and inclusion, and we are proud to be able to provide this program to them,” stated Ed Burns, Registrar, IDC. “By earning this approval, we hope to see many more candidates for certification earn their designation.

The next opportunity for veterans, active duty military and other diversity professionals to earn their diversity certification is in November, with classes starting in September. Those enrolled have the option to study on their own for the exam, take an eight week online course or a three day intensive classroom based course. The deadline to register is August 22.

The current cost for the program ranges from $600 to $3,000, depending on the type of credential (CDP or CDE) and the preparation method. There is a 20% discount available for members of The Society for Diversity, and the membership cost is $169. Additionally, companies that send three (3) or more employees for certification will receive a 30% discount.

Two components of the program have proved to be extremely valuable for both candidates and the organization’s for whom they work: (1) the study guide and (2) the Candidate Project.  The CDP and CDE study guides are the most comprehensive diversity and inclusion (D&I) resources available today. Not only do they provide the backdrop for diversity and inclusion work, but the 300+ page books furnish step-by-step instructions for how to successfully achieve better D&I outcomes. The Candidate Project must be a recently developed diversity plan, cultural climate analysis, research or evaluation of current D&I efforts. This usable professional work is peer-reviewed and rated on a pass/fail basis only.

Those interested in registering for the November 2014 testing window can apply online or by fax by visiting www.diversitycertification.org. The deadline to apply is August 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The next exam window starts in April 2015.

2014 Diversity Certification Deadline is Quickly Approaching

The last exam window for diversity certification in 2014 will close on August 22nd. Those interested in earning their Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) or Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) credentials this year will need to apply for the November testing window, in which classes will begin in September. This certification is open to anyone in the field of diversity and inclusion, human resources, legal/risk management, marketing, or in an international supervisory position.

Each year the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) has four opportunities for those in the field of diversity and inclusion to take classes, pass an exam and complete a project to earn their diversity credentials. These credentials allow them to establish credibility as experts and differentiate themselves from other practitioners. They also indicate achievement and excellence because candidates must pass the online, proctored exam with an 80% or better.

“Those who have earned their credentials can see how they are better able to impact the businesses that they work for,” explains Ed Burns, CDP, Registrar for IDC. “They gain valuable knowledge that they can take back to the workplace and make change happen.”

A certificate is different from certification. With a certificate, individuals usually affirm a certain level of knowledge by taking a class. Certification, on the other hand, is a common practice in many industries where individuals take an exam and obtain credentials to use after their name upon successful completion. Currently, the CDP and CDE programs are unaccredited, however, IDC anticipates receiving its accreditation by the end of this year. Once the accreditation is put in place, the action will be retroactive– meaning that it will be effective for all previous designees as well. While accredited colleges and universities offer diversity and inclusion certificate programs, the way that accreditation works, each program must also be accredited. Therefore, the Institute for Diversity Certification will offer the only accredited diversity and inclusion certification program.  Due to this change, once accreditation occurs, the price of the classes will increase by at least 50 percent.

Roughly 200 candidates have participated in The Institute for Diversity Certification’s (IDC) unique diversity and inclusion education program since 2011. Current designees include representatives from Wal-Mart, Cisco, Cummins, Eli Lilly & Co., Colgate Palmolive, Sodexo, Commerce Bank, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Hanes Brands, Belk Inc., University of Miami, University of Alabama, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Indiana State University, Federal Reserve Bank, NASA, US Air Force Academy, Missouri Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Health, Teach for America, Goodwill Industries, and more.

“The accreditation process has been a long one, but we are glad that it is finally coming to an end,” stated Burns. “It will be nice to have the accreditation for those who will take the course and exam in the future, as well as for those who already have their designation.”

The current cost for the program ranges from $600 to $3,000, depending on the type of credential (CDP or CDE) and the preparation method. Candidates may self-study, take an 8-week online preparation program, or attend a 3-day intensive classroom-based course. There is a 20% discount available for members of The Society for Diversity, and the membership cost is $169. Additionally, companies that send three (3) or more employees for certification will receive a 30% discount.

Two components of the program have proved to be extremely valuable for both candidates and the organization’s for whom they work: (1) the study guide and (2) the Candidate Project.  The CDP and CDE study guides are the most comprehensive diversity and inclusion (D&I) resources available today. Not only do they provide the backdrop for diversity and inclusion work, but the 300+ page books furnish step-by-step instructions for how to successfully achieve better D&I outcomes. The Candidate Project must be a recently developed diversity plan, cultural climate analysis, research or evaluation of current D&I efforts. This usable professional work is peer-reviewed and rated on a pass/fail basis only.

Those interested in registering for the November 2014 testing window can apply online or by fax by visiting www.diversitycertification.org. The deadline to apply is August 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The next exam window starts in April 2015.

Meet the Institute for Diversity Certification’s Newest CDP and CDE Designees

The Institute for Diversity Certification, a subsidiary of The Society for Diversity, recently announced that 12 executives and professionals earned diversity and inclusion credentials after passing the June exam. These new designees either earned the Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) credential or the Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) credential by scoring 80% or greater on a proctored online exam in June, and completing a candidate project.

Ed Burns, CDP, Registrar for the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC), stated, “This program has a broad appeal because the skills learned from IDC are useful for diversity and inclusion leaders, as well as anyone else who works in a management capacity or on a global team. Our Candidates work really hard, and I am proud to see so many of them earn their credentials.”

The following executives earned a CDE credential:

• George Braxton, CDE, Esq., Defense Contract Management Agency
• William Coleman, CDE, State of Tennessee
• Dr. Amanda Lords, CDE, U.S. Air Force Academy
• Dr. Salome Nnoromele, CDE, Eastern Kentucky University
• Tiffany Overton, CDE, Rolls-Royce
• Brenda Stevens, CDE, Malone University

The following professionals earned a CDP credential:

• Denise Ammaccapane, CDP, Sodexo
• Alexandra Contreras, CDP, Colgate-Palmolive
• Stacye McCall, CDP, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
• Jaime Penaherrera, CDP, Latino Health and Education Consortium
• Kimberly Powers, CDP, Harris Teeter
• Adewale Soluade, CDP, Commerce Bank

To prepare for the exam, candidates study on their own, participate in an 8-week online class, or attend a 3-day preparation course in the classroom. Many elected to take the online course. “I was very impressed with the framework and structure of the online class,” explained Stacye McCall, CDP. “Each of the instructors was knowledgeable, engaging and allowed time for questions and answers, as well as knowledge sharing.”

“Like so many in the D&I field, my career started elsewhere and gravitated to an area of need for an employer,” said George Braxton, CDE, Esq. “When I realized that I wanted to focus my career in D&I, I also realized that the breadth and depth of the discipline went well beyond talent acquisition and management. After reviewing several certification courses, I determined that the Society for Diversity’s CDE certification was ideal for me to pursue.”

Roughly 200 candidates have participated in The Institute for Diversity Certification’s (IDC) unique diversity and inclusion education program since 2011. Once candidates become designees, they may peer review Candidate Projects or instruct IDC’s online preparation courses. This provides candidates with a much broader perspective from which to view diversity and inclusion—by engaging with experts from the corporate, nonprofit, education and government sectors.

Out of the 12 new designees, one individual scored the highest in IDC history. Adewale Soluade, CDP, Inclusion and Diversity Manager at Commerce Bank, was the recipient of this premier honor. Additionally, Dr. Amanda Lords, Senior Climate and Culture Analyst at the U.S. Air Force Academy, is the first designee to successfully attain both CDP and CDE credentials. Dr. Lords obtained her CDP credentials in December 2012.

“Candidates who obtain credentials will forever reflect their knowledge and expertise in the field of diversity and inclusion to colleagues and managers,” believed Burns.

There is one more opportunity to earn diversity credentials before the end of the year in the November exam window. The deadline to apply is August 22, 2014. The 2015 exam cycle begins in April. For more information on the credentialing process or to apply, visit http://www.diversitycertification.org  or call 1-800-983-6192.

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.

3 Steps to Better Diversity & Inclusion Results

By Leah Smiley, CDE
Diversity and inclusion can be an area in your organization that under-performs or obtains mixed results. For better outcomes, try these three solutions:

 

1.  Define the scope of your organization’s vision for diversity. The topic “diversity” encompasses a broad area. Try defining why diversity is important for your organization. Is there a need to increase cultural competency to adjust to changing customer/student/constituent demographics? Is there a need to expand international knowledge of different groups for global operations? Or is your organization competitively positioning itself for long-term growth? If you have a vision, it’s easier to develop a plan.

 

2.  Create and/or review your diversity plan. First, let’s talk about what a diversity plan is not.  It is not an Affirmative Action plan. It is not a schedule of events and activities. And it is not a one-time process.

 

Your diversity and inclusion plan should serve as an ongoing road map for success. Diversity plan goals must be linked to specific business objectives, otherwise the interventions will serve no organizational value. Additionally, the plan should be realistic. If you have a plan, and none of the goals have been accomplished in 7 years, it’s time to re-do the plan. Some items will be long-term, but other efforts should be actionable now.

 

3.  Build a team of diversity leaders. Many organizations leave complete responsibility for diversity and inclusion with their Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). The problem is that there is so much growth in the field of diversity, that there is a lot of turnover right now. And when the CDO leaves, diversity efforts stall indefinitely.

 

A solution to this problem is building a strong team. You can have a rotating diversity position among senior managers, a diversity council, or a committee for diversity on your Board of Directors. With more diversity leaders, you can have sustainability, and diversity of thought.

 

But don’t let your team wing it; get them trained. Diversity management is an invaluable leadership skill. Consider sending your team through the Institute for Diversity Certification. We offer a business management program that ensures better results. For more information about upcoming classes, log onto www.diversitycertification.org.
~~~~~~~~~~
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. 

Tag Cloud