SHRM® Inclusion

EVENT PROGRAMMING - When developing the event, SHRM’s goal is to provide a balanced program that meets the variety of skill levels and interests of the audience. The suggested topics listed below are based on The SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK™), which describe the behavioral competencies and the expertise HR professionals need for effective job performance.

Please note:  The list below is not all-inclusive – additional or alternative content will certainly be considered, particularly when lessons learned from first-hand experience are offered as models/examples, or if the session is groundbreaking or cutting-edge. For the Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Exposition, we are seeking proposals for two session types: Diversity Leaders Exchange Sessions and Concurrent Sessions.

  1. DIVERSITY LEADERS EXCHANGE SESSIONS – These sessions offer the unique opportunity to engage with and hear from chief diversity officers and senior HR practitioners paving the way in the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) space. Each session will include time for a presentation and Q&A. An expert in the D&I field, will help facilitate engaging, thoughtful discussions and exchanges. These sessions are designed to inspire new and diverse thoughts, cultivate the exchange of ideas and allow attendees to share and learn best practices for the ever-changing landscape of D&I.


SHRM is seeking senior-level HR and/or D&I professionals to share their stories, strategies, best practices, setbacks and successes while serving an instrumental role in moving their organization’s D&I initiatives and strategies forward. Possible topics could include most of the categories outlined below, but most importantly, they should be relevant to your experience, background and your company.

Intended Audience: Senior-Level
Duration: Ranging from 1-1.5 hours
Format: Presentation and moderated Q&A

  1. CONCURRENT SESSIONS – These sessions are the educational backbone of the conference and provide a classroom-style learning experience focusing on the various suggested topics below. These sessions are led by speakers, consultants, practitioners, lawyers, etc. Topics could include any of the categories outlined below.

Intended Audience: Mid-Level or Senior-Level
Duration: Ranging from 1-1.5 hours
Format: Presentation to include interactive elements, when applicable


GENERAL KNOWLEDGE/RESEARCH - D&I is an ever-changing, ever-evolving field. Practitioners must constantly refresh their knowledge about specific social identity groups (i.e., women, men, racial/ethnic groups, people with disabilities, age groups, religious groups, the LGBTQ community, veterans, people with different thinking styles or personality traits, etc.), how their work is impacted by world events (i.e., immigration, changing legislation, economic shifts, demographics, etc.) and how to link their efforts to various business functions (i.e., recruiting, onboarding, workplace flexibility, succession planning, communications, corporate ethics, training & development, corporate social responsibility, retention, etc.). SHRM seeks presenters who can refresh and enhance a practitioner's general knowledge in new ways, supported by current and credible research.

Possible topics could include:

  • Impact of Diverse Teams on Creativity/Innovation
  • Link between Diversity & Organizational Success
  • Impact of Diversity & Inclusion on Talent Management/Engagement Strategies

STRATEGY - D&I & HR leaders often focus on the tactical aspects of D&I, ignoring the more important (and more difficult) work of aligning D&I to the organization's business objectives in a thoughtful and strategic way. Creating strategies (not initiatives) that are bolstered by a strong business case, strengthened by a clear vision and mission and aligned with business objectives is essential for success in today's workplace. SHRM seeks presenters who can increase the business acumen of D&I & HR practitioners and allow them to bring their efforts up to a strategic level.

Possible topics could include:

  • How to Integrate a Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
  • How to Design a Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
  • Translating Your Diversity Efforts into Bottom Line Impact
  • How to Gain Executive Support for an Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

MEASUREMENT - D&I depends on the commitment of senior organizational leaders in order to succeed, and part of that commitment is financial. However, like any other business venture, those who provide funding want to see a return on that investment (whether quantifiable or qualitative). Therefore, measuring the success of D&I strategies is an essential function of D&I & HR practitioners, but it is often difficult to directly correlate these efforts with stock price, market share, productivity, innovation, or other successes of the organization. SHRM seeks presenters who can make this link and help practitioners better measure efforts in their own organizations and/or with clients.

Possible topics could include:

  • Measuring the ROI of Diversity & Inclusion Program/Strategy
  • Measuring D&I’s Indicators of Success

TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA – The way that we communicate has changed drastically due to continuous evolvement of technology, most notably the continued rise of social media. It is important for D&I and HR professionals to stay abreast of these changes as organizations strive to communicate successfully to an increasingly diverse talent pool and customer base.

Possible topics could include:

  • How Facebook and Twitter Help Diversify Customer/Employee Base
  • What does HRIS Have to do with Diversity & Inclusion Programs?
  • The Impact of Social Media/Technology on Diversity & Inclusion Programs and Strategies

GLOBAL WORKFORCE STRATEGIES – It is difficult enough to create and maintain a culture of inclusion when your organization contains people of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, mindsets and religions. When managing across national boundaries, these challenges are exponentially more complex, and a high level of cultural competence is required to avoid mistakes and advance inclusion.

Possible topics could include:

  • Cultural Competence
  • How to create a global Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
  • Communication Skills across countries/cultures

UNCONCIOUS BIAS (NON-TRADITIONAL AREAS OF DIVERSITY—SUCH AS APPEARANCE, BACKGROUND, EDUCATION, SOCIO-ECONOMIC/CLASS, SIZE, WEIGHT AND AFFILIATIONS (E.G., COLLEGE, SPORTS, RELIGION, POLITICAL, ETC). – For many organizations IN THE UNITED STATES, an organization that “lacks diversity” is simply lacking in people of color. Internationally, “diverse” simply refers to a high degree of participation from women. But there are many different kinds of social identities that can be addressed by D&I, and these sessions would focus on some issues that are more controversial and sometimes difficult to quantify (e.g., religion, LGBTQ issues, political affiliation, attractiveness, extraversion, etc.).

Possible topics could include:

  • Impact of Appearance on Success
  • How to Take Action on Behalf of Religious, Sexual or Political Minorities
  • Impact of UB in the Workplace

GENERATIONS – Each generation has a different way of learning, advancing and collaborating. And while that is its own challenge, HR professionals and senior managers are dealing with another issue as well: how to ensure that vital knowledge and skills are being transferred among the different groups. As D&I and HR professionals it is important to understand when, where and how to adjust the work environment to attract and retain different generations and also to maximize the effectiveness of these employees throughout the employment lifecycle.

Possible topics could include:

     •   Preparing for an Aging Workforce

     •   Preparing for the Baby Boomer Transition

     •   How to Engage a Multigenerational Workforce

     •   Leveraging the Talent of a Multigenerational Team

     •   The Millennial Mindset

TALENT MANAGEMENT – Sourcing for candidates with diverse backgrounds will bring in employees who might not otherwise consider the company and who can enrich and broaden the community. Different backgrounds and perspectives promote innovation by bringing in a variety of ideas, knowledge and ways of doing things. By ensuring that employers include staff from various social and cultural backgrounds, they will widen the range of perspectives, knowledge and approaches from which decisions are made.

Teams of mixed gender, ethnicity, physical ability, age and sexual orientation are more representative of an employer’s clients or other stakeholders. They offer a variety of viewpoints and a wider range of experience, which improves the decision-making and problem-solving in working with external parties. By having a diverse staff your managers and employees will better meet the needs of diverse perspectives and create an atmosphere that supports positive relationships and communications.

By building a reputation for valuing differences, employers can attract talented employees who know that the organization will appreciate and use the skills, backgrounds, perceptions and knowledge they bring to the organization. This approach leads to higher engagement indexes through greater commitment and higher productivity. These reasons make a strong case for making a business decision to engage in diversity recruitment and for not contemplating the ethically, morally and legally objectionable practice of exclusionary hiring.

Possible topics could include:

      •   The Business Case for Engaging in Diversity Recruitment

      •   How to Effectively Recruit a Diverse Workforce

      •   Recruiting People with Disabilities

      •   Recruiting and Managing Veterans

      •   Creating an Environment that Welcomes Diversity


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