I had the pleasure of participating in a 4- Day Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) prep course with The Diversity Movement. The facilitation from the DEI champions, Donald, Jackie, Kurt, and Sharon at The Diversity Movement was amazing, because they provided real-life examples and strategies on ways to apply the course content to our daily lives. The cohort consisted of 12 individuals, from different backgrounds, but our common goal was to enhance our personal growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion from the executive level.
The passion for HR and diversity, equity, and inclusion truly came while working with a small organization and having to wear multiple hats. I learned to be an innovator, visionary thinker, and problem solver while assessing the needs of my colleagues and organization. I noticed that although we had a diverse organization, we lack equity and inclusion as a result of not having people of color in senior leadership. It is important for HR professionals to bring awareness to this, which includes having difficult conversations, changing embedded systems that are not equitable for all in the workplace, and increasing our understanding of why this matters.
What did I learn?
The CDE course provided educational tools that connected DEI with the business case, while being strategic to collect metrics, to meet organizational goals. The open discussions on race, power, and privilege created a space to be vulnerable, and share my life experiences. The networking opportunities with the cohort was a bonus, because we built professional relationships. The course also amplified my thought leadership in this space. I understand the Diversity Executive’s role in correlation with Diversity Councils, Executive Sponsors, and Allies. I am aware that this is a personal journey, and I will learn new things daily. A small investment has also positioned me for a deeper understanding of recruitment and retention in the workplace. This is pivotal for attracting the Gen Z population. The course covers a wide range of topics, but especially beneficial for executives: boardroom and supplier diversity, global best Practices, race, power and privilege, cultural competence, and executive commitment and sponsorship.
I will keep you updated on how this course affects my role and responsibility. If you’re interested in making systemic change, I highly recommend this course.
Tameka Davis is a strategic human resources executive. She serves as Diversity Director for Raleigh Metro Society for Human Resource Management (RMSHRM).