6 Sessions On Diversity You Can’t Miss at #SHRM16

Check out our SHRM16 VIP Party Guide by clicking here. We get you the parties and must attend SHRM events first. 

This year there are over 200 concurrent sessions at the annual SHRM conference. That’s a lot of sessions to sift through! So to help you plan your conference better, I’ve gone through the offerings to highlight some that I think will especially useful or interesting. Although the helpfully conference organizes these sessions into six tracks I’m going to ignore this in favour of picking through the sessions magpie-like.

In this post I’ll direct your attention to sessions on diversity that offer practical advice for diversifying your workforce, or that get at the fundamental barriers that get in the way of creating more equitable and diverse workplaces.

6 Sessions On Diversity You Can’t Miss at #SHRM16

Creating more diverse teams requires more than setting up and maintaining a diversity program (itself a bigger challenge than it might at first seem). Diversity is about recognizing unconscious biases, understanding how they have limited you and your organization and making inclusion and equity a core part of your company’s culture.

1. Synthesizing Diversity and Inclusion: A Critical Business Imperative

06/20/2016 02:00 PM – 03:15 PMThis session will show you how to recognize the business case for diversity and inclusion relative to the attraction and retention of key executives. In today’s increasingly complex and interdependent global economy, diversity and inclusion is a business imperative that can drive an organization’s ability to attract and develop the best talent, create an engaged and high-performing workforce, and deliver exceptional results for clients and customers. To remain competitive, organizations must continually evolve their focus and adjust their strategies to anticipate changing workplace and marketplace demands.

2. Same-Sex Marriage is Legal in All 50 States: So What Now?

06/21/2016 07:00 AM – 08:15 AM
This session will provide a description of timely issues relating to the provision of benefits to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Now that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, most benefit plans will treat same-sex spouses equally to opposite-sex spouses. But several tricky issues still remain.

3. Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: How to Effectively Improve Diversity Skills and Competencies

06/20/2016 07:00 AM – 08:15 AM
Many of our conversations around diversity have us walking on eggshells. Have you ever found yourself saying “Some of my best friends are” or “I don’t think of you as” or “I’m colorblind”? We often make statements intended to be supportive or complimentary, but end up being problematic as these remarks often have the opposite effect and end up creating a larger divide or even the loss of a job. You will learn practical applications that will quickly transform the quality and effectiveness of your interactions around diversity and inclusion.

4. Intel’s Strategy to Support Transgender Employees

06/21/2016 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

The session will review case studies that focus on the challenges that arise during a transition. You will learn about Intel’s steps they use to manage transitioning employees. This session will provide you with:

  • An understanding of the steps that can be used to assist an employee to transition to a different gender in the workplace.
  • Lessons on how to handle and respond to some of the most frequent challenges that arise during transition.
  • An education through the review of key definitions and key considerations which will assist in handling
    any transitions in the workplace.

5. 12 Ways to Increase Gender Equality

06/21/2016 02:15 PM – 03:30 PM
It is beyond debate that organizations perform better financially and are healthier culturally when there is gender diversity, particularly at the top. It is also beyond debate that, while we have made significant progress, women are still materially under-represented in board and leadership positions. Among other issues, the program covers both systemic and implicit bias in areas, such as hiring, access to meaningful assignments, pay equity, performance appraisals and work-life management.

6. The Black Guy in C-Suite: Diversity Hiring Practices

For years we have looked at diversity in the workplace from the company’s perspective. We have defended its benefits, calculated the ROI and impact on the bottom line. However, what does diversity mean to “diversity candidates”? How have their unique experiences formed who they are and put them in a position to add value to our organizations?


What sessions are you looking forward to this year at SHRM? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to check out our other SHRM conference resources:


Posted in

Megan Purdy

Former recruiter, HR pro and Workology editor. Comics, cheese and political economy.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jona says

    Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!


Pin It on Pinterest