My Take on the SHRM D & I Conference #SHRMDIV



The 2017 SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Expo in San Francisco was without a doubt an amazing experience that I will never forget.  SHRM posted my first blog about the conference on October 24. This is my second blog about the conference. 

Tuesday morning, Tony Robbins, former director of global diversity and inclusion at Starbucks, spoke at the general session about the multiplier effect of inclusion.

Key points:

  • One may not always get it right but don’t stop.  Be courageous, challenge and curious. 
  • Always continue to push forward.
  • If one is faced with hard problems, you’ll need to have loud, smart, and diverse voices around to affect change.

After the general session, I attended the following concurrent sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday:

Diversity Under Fire: Guarding Your Company’s D & I Efforts Within Our Evolving Political Climate presented by Cindy-Ann Thomas and Melodie Craft

Diversity is About Your Mix of People.  Inclusion is About How Well Your People Mix presented by Steve Robbins

Key points:

  • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.  Not true.  Words matter immensely.
  • Sometimes you have to choose being effective over being right to get your message across.
  • Close-mindedness is the problem and it is a skill we can work on.
  • Diversity + Close-mindedness = misunderstanding, miscommunication, and conflict.
  • Diversity + Open- mindedness = possibilities, opportunities, and innovation.

Our Search for Belonging: How to Desire to Connect is Tearing Our Culture Apart presented by Howard Ross

Key points:

  • Belonging = shared identity, shared destiny, sense of interdependency and shared values.
  • The workplace is one of the best places where you can get together with people who are different from you.
  • The relationship between our cognitive and social functions are like a see saw. 
  • We ended the session with group mediation.  Inhale – may they be happy.  Exhale – may they be at peace.
All of the vendors were great but one that stood out was PFLAG.  Being a gay male, I related to the organization.  PFLAG’s vision “is a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.  One of PFLAG’s missions is to support families, allies and people who are LGBTQ. 

I purchased the following books at the SHRM bookstore and must add that Andi Cale and Vince Caldwell were a tremendous help:

What If? Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue by Steve Robbins

Measuring Diversity Results by Edward Hubbard, Ph.D.

Reinventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose, and Performance by Howard Ross

HR On Purpose by Steve Browne

I am looking forward to reading the above!  As I indicated in my last blog, I’m one that firmly believes that we all should learn something new everyday.  We’ve learned many things, discussed various ideas and concepts at the SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference in San Francisco. 

Now we must apply what we learned to successfully move forward.


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: