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Overview: : Join General Assembly, STAR Chicago, and Noirefy for a conversation with diversity influencers at the forefront of cultural inclusion to discuss the key elements of attracting and retaining diverse talent. We’ll dive into why diversity in cultural backgrounds has such an impact on organizations, and how Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) efforts are a beneficial contributor to our economy as a whole. From unconscious biases, to defining Diversity & Inclusion, to implementation and ongoing strategies, this event will be an interactive, solutions-oriented conversation with your questions leading the way.
Featured Experts: Chicago leaders across recruiting, HR, management, and Diversity & Inclusion will explore, discuss and unpack how gender and race intersect in the workplace, as well as share their own personal stories of career surprise, challenge, triumph, and what they're doing about diversity in the industry.
Topics We'll Cover:
What businesses can do to improve their hiring practices
How to create a culture that supports diversity
Benefits for employers and employees with diverse teams and equal pay
Culture and values needed for companies to achieve higher performing and more diverse teams
Why It Matters: A tremendous amount of attention is dedicated to making workplace environments more diverse and inclusive. Yet, despite concentrated efforts, women, people of color, and members of the LGBT community continue to face implicit and explicit barriers in the workplace, and are underrepresented in management and senior leadership positions. Gain insight and inspiration from a panel of experts to hear first-hand why and how staffing your company with diverse, top-tier talent will ensure that your company will have the resources it needs to remain successful.
*By signing up for this event, you are agreeing to receive communications from General Assembly and its partners.
Michelle Y. Bess
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead,
Michelle Y. Bess is a premier connector of people serving as a Talent Specialist at Sprout Social, leading diversity and inclusion efforts and recruits for the marketing and operations teams. Prior to Sprout Social, Michelle worked in college persistence at OneGoal and Posse Chicago. She attended Whitworth University as a recipient of the Act Six Full-Ride Leadership Scholarship and earned a B.A. in Biology. Bess serves as a Board Director of Degrees of Change and as President at the Chicago Public Library Foundation junior board. Michelle is a native of Washington state and resides in Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago.
Shaniqua (Shawn) Davis
Founder and CEO,
Shaniqua (Shawn) Davis is a digital marketing and tech enthusiast with over seven years of experience developing tech solutions. A Detroit native, Shaniqua learned early on to use innovative techniques to gain both experience and significant opportunities for advancement. In 2016 Davis launched Noirefy, a platform that connects minority candidates and companies together to drive diversity and inclusion globally. She is currently based in Chicago, IL and has been featured in several national media outlets, including Forbes and Marie Claire magazine for her work with Noirefy. Davis was also awarded and recognized as the 2017 Midwest Women in Technology, Talent Development award recipient and selected as one of WeWorks Young Innovators 2017.
Erin L. Thomas, PhD, is an award-winning diversity researcher and practitioner. She is a Partner at Paradigm, a strategy firm that partners with innovative companies to build stronger, more inclusive organizations, and leads Paradigm's Chicago office, where she is responsible for expanding impact in the Midwest and among Fortune 500 clients. Erin brings a distinct mix of research expertise and applied diversity and inclusion (D&I) practitioner experience to Paradigm.
Before joining Paradigm, Erin led D&I at Grant Thornton LLP and the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. In these capacities, she designed and executed transformational D&I strategies, introduced and enhanced work-life policies and benefits, and established and managed business resource groups. Her work has resulted in employer recognition from Forbes, The New York Times, Human Rights Campaign, Society of Women Engineers, vault.com, Working Mother, National Association for Female Executives, The Parkinson Council, and Equal Opportunity Magazine.
Her research on intersectionality and social invisibility has received recognition and funding from organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Psychological Association. In 2014, she was honored by the Association for Women in Science-Chicago for her D&I advocacy.
Erin volunteers at several nonprofit boards and committees, including the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network, an organization focused on the inclusion of people with disabilities, and Society for Human Resource Management-Chicago’s Diversity Committee.
She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Social Psychology and a B.A. in Psychology and International Studies, all from Yale University.
Charles Lilly Program Manager - Talent Acquisition, HUB International and Member, Illinois Diversity Council
Charles is the Talent Acquisition Program Manager for Hub International Limited, a top-10 insurance brokerage firm headquartered in Chicago with locations throughout the US & Canada. In this role, Charles develops national recruiting strategies, administers recruiting technology & tools, oversees diversity & inclusion initiatives, manages vendor relationships, and directs regulatory compliance activities. Previous to this role, Charles worked in project management roles where he created a national campus recruiting program, implemented applicant tracking systems, and managed affirmative action programs.
Charles’ HR career began at Microsoft Corporation, where he held roles in technical recruitment and employee relations, working with global client groups in a software sales and services environment. Charles holds a M.S. in Human Resources from DePaul University and a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University.
Head of Diversity Recruitment,
STAR Chicago’s vision is to be the premier organization for talent acquisition leaders, recruiters, service providers and HR/ business executives charged with designing and delivering talent acquisitions strategies and tactics to improve business performance in the organizations they serve.
Our mission is to serve as a thought leader and recognized authority on legislation, innovation and workplace developments impacting the recruiting profession.
We benefit the talent acquisition community by providing high quality, creative and topical learning and development opportunities for talent acquisition professionals. We facilitate the development and cultivation of professional relationships among members with a common interest in enhancing business results through people strategies. We're the professional association of choice for the talent acquisition community in Chicago.
Noirefy is a digital platform that connects diverse talent with corporations for career advancement opportunities. Using the Noirefy pipeline and data, the platform helps companies diversify their talent pool, retain a diverse workforce and create inclusive workspaces.
We understand that, sometimes, plans change. If you can no longer make it to a class or workshop, please email us at least 7 days before the scheduled event date. No refunds will be given to cancellations made within a week of the class or workshop.
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