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DEI Demystified

19 December 2023

Allison attended her local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) meeting and appreciated a fresh perspective on an important topic.

Tags: allison read, diversity, human resources

In November, my dear friend and colleague, Carla Hallman, SHRM-SCP, was the keynote speaker for our Cville SHRM monthly meeting. Each month, human resource professionals in our community gather together to network, support one another, and learn from experts in the field.

Carla’s presentation, DEI – What’s YOUR Next Move?, was designed to help organizations either get started on their “diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives or figure out how to take the next steps toward creating a strategic approach to promote diverse representation, ensure fair treatment, and create an inclusive environment in which all individuals feel valued and can thrive.”

That’s a wonderful goal, but it can also be daunting, and I've always appreciated how Carla uses humor and a light touch to help people explore this topic. She began by helping people articulate their DEI wishes and reminded us that our biases can be both positive and negative. We wrestled with our anxieties, and she challenged us to engage in courageous self-assessment as we ask our organizations to consider new initiatives. Finally, Carla acknowledged that sometimes organizations aren’t ready to begin formal DEI work and should just take a first step toward teaching the active communication and empathy skills highlighted in this short animation.

In addition to sharing her slides, Carla also left participants with her detailed presentation notes and a resource list of online training, microlearning, blog posts, and web sites most of which are free. That’s right, I said FREE! Carla knew that many of our members don’t have the budget for external consultants and reassured participants that HR professionals who are committed to learning about DEI are capable of helping their organizations make progress in this area.

What's your next DEI move?


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