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2019 Pre-Conference

Diversity & Inclusion, Unconscious Bias, Micro-Aggressions and Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace

The issues of harassment, discrimination, diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias are among the most critical issues and challenges facing employers today. Employers cannot stop the discussion at just talking about the legal and textbook definitions of harassment and discrimination. Employers also cannot simply talk about diversity without talking about inclusion. Companies have to look beyond these limited views to affect real change in their business.

This session will focus on how to train managers and employees beyond the legal definitions of harassment and discrimination. If employers want to create a truly diverse, inclusive and safe workplace and culture, the focus has to be on what is appropriate vs. inappropriate and what makes people feel safe and included, rather than on what is “illegal.”

Employers also need to take a deeper dive into more hidden and unconscious biases and micro-aggressions, which negatively impact diversity and inclusivity in hiring, promotions and mentorship opportunities, as well negatively impacting employee morale. The question is not whether we have biases, but rather, how we manage the biases we do have. Employers must encourage open and honest communication on these difficult topics and encourage managers and employees to get outside their comfort zones to create real change within a company.

This pre-conference session will provide great education and insights from professionals who have extensive experience in the diversity and inclusion space. It will be an interactive workshop which will teach you tangible skills that you can apply as soon as you return to the office. You will be able to take a deep dive into the subject matter and learn through case-studies, demonstrations, and deep discussion during this session.

Speaker: Deirdre Groenen, Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel, Innovative Benefit Planning, LLC

Moderator: Tianna K. Kalogerakis, Associate, Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt LLC

Panelists:

  • Sheryl Axelrod, President, The Axelrod Firm, PC
  • Tonya Lapido, LCSW, Founder and CEO, The Lapido Group
  • Khalil Smith, Practice Lead, Diversity & Inclusion, The Neuroleadership Institute