NEHRA's Virtual DEI Symposium - December 3 + 10, 2020

Our 4th Annual DEI Symposium will be held virtually on December 3 & 10.  The two-day symposium will feature topics including Fostering a DEI Program at Your Organization, Narrowing the Racial & Gender Wealth Gap, Understanding Trans & Nonbinary Identities, Race, Power & Privilege, and more. 

This program has been approved for 12+ SHRM & HRCI Credit Hours. Each session will have its own code for both SHRM & HRCI available after the completed sessions / session recordings. 

Click here for full session descriptions and here for speaker bios!

9:30 - 10:00am: Opening Conversation with NEHRA's CEO, Tracy Burns & Board Chair, Cynthia Ring

10:00 - 10:15am: Transition Break (offline)

10:15 - 11:30am: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - Panel - What You Can Do Now: Narrowing the Racial & Gender Wealth Gap
Moderator -
Mim Minichiello, President, Employee Benefits, HUB International
Panelists - Beth Chandler, President & CEO, YW Boston
Evelyn Murphy, President, The WAGE Project, Inc. & former Lt. Governor, Commonwealth of MA

2 - Take Action - Fostering a DEI Program at Your Organization
Scarlett Abraham, VP, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Commonwealth Financial 
Jane Moyer, President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Commonwealth Financial

11:30 - 11:45am: Transition Break (offline)

11:45am - 12:15pm
Self-Care Strategies for Effective Leadership
Devin Hughes, Founder, Devin C. Hughes, Inc.

12:15 - 1:00pm: Lunch Break (offline)

1:00 - 2:15pm: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - Panel - Building a DEI Community Amidst the Pandemic
- Kari Heistad, CEO Culture Coach International & Diversity Dashboard
- Al Durr, CEO, ALD & Associates
Barbara Nobles Crawford: Senior Leadership & Organization Development Consultant, Harvard University 
Paula Parnagian, Diversity Manager, Eversource
Deborah Washington, Director, Diversity, Patient Care Services, MGH

2 - Understanding Trans & Nonbinary Identities 
Kaden Mohammed, Chair for the Steering Committee, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

9:00 - 10:00am: Decoding Microaggressions
Tissa Hami, Founder & Principal, Korsi Consulting 

10:00 - 10:15am: Transition Break (offline)

10:15 - 11:30am: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - Igniting Inclusion Through Allyship
Moderator - Teresa Hopke, CEO, Talking Talent
Panelists - Latoria (Tori) Farmer, Executive Director, Workforce Inclusion & Diversity, KPMG, LLC
Sandye Taylor, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, RBC Capital Markets

2 - Designing Employee-Driven DE&I Programming
Dan Wilson, Sr. HR Consultant at AllWays Health Partners

11:30am - 12:30pm: Lunch Break (offline)

12:30 - 1:45pm: Breakouts (choice of 2)
1 - Interactive Theater - Race, Power & Privilege
Shilpa Pherwani, Principal, IBIS Consulting Group

2 - Why Your Diversity Sourcing Strategy Isn't Working
Joan Balaban, Sr. Organizational Specialist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) 
Kim Dukes, Diversity & Inclusion Talent Strategist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) 

1:45 - 2:00pm: Transition Break (offline)

2:00 - 3:00pm: Closing Panel - Developing Women of Color at Your Organization 
Moderator - Margaret Spence, Equity & Diversity in C-Suite Leadership & CEO, C.Douglas & Associates
Panelists - Maya Hurley-Wales, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant, Peoplism
Yulkendy Valdez, Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur and Co-Founder & CEO, Forefront

Joan Balaban

Senior OD Specialist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston (BIDMC)

Joan Balaban is an executive coach and organizational consultant who combines her expertise in individual behavior and systems thinking to conduct leadership and organizational development work and training. Her approach reflects interests both in organizations and the people who work in them. In her consulting, Joan draws on over ten years in organizational development and executive coaching and eighteen years of experience as a psychotherapist.

Specialties: Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Team-Building, Facilitation and Training. 

Beth Chandler

President & CEO, YW Boston

Beth Chandler joined YW Boston in November 2012, with more than 20 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. In August 2018, she was appointed President & CEO. Her breadth of work experience encompasses program development, delivery and evaluation, business development, and operations.

Prior to working at YW Boston, Beth served as vice president at the Achievement Network, a national non-profit dedicated to helping urban public and charter schools close the achievement gap.

Beth also held positions at Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in the Commonwealth and Neighborworks America, one of the country’s preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development.

Beth also worked as a corporate banking associate with Bank of America in corporate banking and began her career as a research and evaluation analyst with the Urban Institute.

Currently, Beth serves on the MA Conference United Church of Christ Board of Directors, the Women’s Workforce Advisory Council and the Leadership Circle of Hope Central Church.

A former professional basketball player, Beth received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Scarlett Clarke

Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Commonwealth Financial Network

Scarlett Clarke joined Commonwealth Financial in October of 2020. She was previously at Bright Horizons. Scarlett’s passion for HR began after she graduated college and worked for a staffing agency. In her current role, Scarlett is responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and management. She serves as a consultant and strategic partner to leaders and collaborates with department managers to help fairly implement our policies and to assist them with coaching employees and supporting their development.

 Scarlett is passionate about retaining good talent and often facilitates trainings geared towards employee development. In addition to the support that employees receive from their direct supervisor or local leadership team, she assists employees with successfully resolving questions and concerns that may arise.

One area of focus for Scarlett is partnering with the business to focus on the company culture and develop Diversity and Inclusion strategies and initiatives that grow and strengthen the overall organization. She acts as an employee champion and change agent and is committed to providing an overall positive employee experience.

Scarlett holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Suffolk University. She and her family live in Hyde Park, MA.

Kim Dukes

Diversity and Inclusion Talent Strategist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

As diversity and inclusion talent Strategist for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Kim Dukes serves as a diversity recruitment trainer, internal consultant, and Human Resources regulator. Operating as a key stakeholder of the Talent Acquisition team, she innovatively designs and implements strategic recruiting programs that are focused on bringing balanced talent pools into the hiring process.  Kim focuses on creating a level playing field in the medical center for all talent, both internal and external.

As a recognized expert on strategic diversity recruiting, Kim is co-founder of DSP Executive Search, a veteran-owned diversity search firm that helps organizations address their talent pool gaps and assists them in building, recruiting, and hiring balanced workforces.

For the past twenty-five years, Kim has recruited, hired, and trained candidates for managerial and executive roles, trained corporate recruiters in the art of inclusive recruiting, and served as a consultant and strategic partner to help organizations build balanced talent pools. She is passionate about building diverse and inclusive workforces for her client organizations because research shows that an ethnically- and gender-diverse workforce results in a more effective, productive, and higher-performing organization.

Kim is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA), and the Diversity Advisory Committee, as well as past co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Community Forum and a Cornell Certified Diversity Professional/Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP).

Additionally, Kim was a 2016 Ad Club ROSOFF 20/20 Awards nominee, which honors an individual’s vision for diversity & inclusion.  She has been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and the Boston Business Journal. Kim is also a LeadBoston 2012 alumni, a past recipient of Strong Women Strong Girls’ Spark Award, and named NEHRA’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year.  Lastly, the Boston Business Journal gave Kim an individual award for Leaders in Diversity, for her dedication, commitment, and outstanding contribution to promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity within organizations.

Al Durr

President & CEO, ALD & Associates LLC

Alfranda “Al” Durr is responsible for leading ALD & Associates LLC strategic vision, creating new business opportunities, and managing key client relationships.

Prior to his current position, Al served 28 years as a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard while holding a number of Director and Program Management positions. He has more than three decades of experience in Human Resource, Equal Opportunity, Program Management as well as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs.

Al is a Certified Diversity and Inclusion Practitioner, Human Resource Manager and Mentor with experience working with federal, state and commercial agencies and programs. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School along with Diversity and Inclusion Certifications from Cornell and Georgetown Universities. He is a Coach, Teacher, and inspires those he meets. Al is also an Adjunct Faculty at George Mason University where he teaches leadership, innovation, and interpersonal communication courses and is a frequent speaker at conferences and leadership forums.

​Latoria J. Farmer (Tori)

Executive Director, Inclusion and Diversity for KPMG LLP

Latoria J. Farmer is the Executive Director, Inclusion and Diversity for KPMG LLP with over 20 years of HR experience leading enterprise strategies to attract, retain and develop underrepresented talent and consulting with business leaders and other key stakeholders to identify and address unique workforce opportunities. Tori works closely with HR business advisors, Talent Acquisition and Leadership Development to support talent management initiatives that directly impact underrepresented groups. Her work includes establishing firmwide goals and accountability metrics and using root causes and data analysis to refine strategies that support business priorities. 

An active contributor to the talent life cycle, Tori has been involved with succession planning, mentoring, needs assessment, leadership development and sponsorship. She develops and deploys programmatic solutions, integrating best practices, to continually enhance the growth and progression of employees through continuous engagement with stakeholders. Tori is also a national instructor for milestone and leadership development programs.
Her previous roles as an HR business advisor has included workforce management, compensation planning, learning and development, performance development, and employee relations; and as a Workplace Solutions Leader, she supported work life effectiveness, employee engagement, mentorship, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. 

Prior to joining KPMG, Tori was an HR business partner at Porter Novelli with regional responsibility for the total employee experience from recruiting and onboarding to retirement, in addition to operational responsibilities.

Tissa Hami

Founder and Principal, Korsi Consulting

Activist. Idealist. Challenger. Tissa Hami is just your average investment banker turned stand-up comic turned DEI consultant. She is the Founder and Principal of Korsi Consulting where she works with clients across industries on their DEI strategies, with the goal of building a more equitable world. Her ultimate goal is to work herself out of a job.

A passionate advocate, Tissa has been a featured speaker at a number of conferences including Harvard Law School’s Islam in the West Program and the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues Program. She has been featured in media worldwide including the PBS documentary Stand Up, ABC's The View, Australia's Dateline, BBC, NPR, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.

Tissa holds a BA from Brown University and an MIA from Columbia University SIPA. She is working toward a better world, one organization at a time.

Candice Hawkins

Sr Manager, Global Learning & Development

Verizon Media

Experienced Talent Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the media and financial industries. Skilled in Learning & Development, Content Creation and Facilitation, Diversity & Inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Corporate Relations. Global leader with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Business Administration from Bennett College for Women.

Leadership development • Corporate communications • Assessments & reporting • Cross-functional team leadership • Training and facilitation • Mentoring • Strategic planning & execution • Program development • Project management • Employee engagement • Process development & optimization

Kari Heistad (Moderator)

CEO, Culture Coach International and Diversity Dashboard

Kari Heistad has been working in the fields of diversity, equity and inclusion and cultural competency for over 30 years. With diversity as the hallmark of her work, her experiences have brought her into contact with world leaders, inner-city youth, non-profit organizations and business people.  She leads two teams - one for Culture Coach International and the other for the Diversity Dashboard. Both companies are supporting diversity professionals in providing programs and services that promote diverse and inclusive workplaces. She has worked across a wide range of industries, has spoken before more than 18,000 people, has developed more than 300 products and tools and has served as a media resource. 

Teresa Hopke

CEO, Talking Talent Inc.

As the CEO of Talking Talent, Inc., Teresa leads the US business and steers the company’s strategic direction. Deep expertise in the areas of Inclusion with Purpose, Women in Leadership, and Working Parent Support, allow Teresa and her team to unlock potential in people and organizations by helping create inclusive cultures that drive better business results.

Prior to joining the organization, Teresa was an SVP with Life Meets Work where she launched their coaching and women’s leadership practices. Before moving into the world of consulting, Teresa led retention and engagement strategies at RSM in her role as Senior Director of National Talent Management. Her innovative coaching and culture programs led the company to prestigious recognition and awards.

Teresa received the AWLP Work-Life Rising Star award for her innovative work in the field. She is a nationally-recognized speaker who has been featured in many books and media outlets such as CNBC, the CBS Morning Show, NBC Nightly News, NPR, Wall Street Journal, HR Magazine, Money Magazine, and many more.

She is a working mother of four with an arsenal of real-world experiences (and stories) that influence the work she does with her clients.

Devin Hughes

Founder, Devin C. Hughes Inc.

Devin C. Hughes is the current Founder of Devin C. Hughes inc., a boutique training and development firm created to help established and emerging leaders grow to reach their ideal potential as well as their teams. He currently works with a number of startups and large global organizations setting up best practices for their people strategy.

He is a captivating speaker, author, and culture expert. He helps leaders drive growth and engagement by aligning workplace culture with success. With 20 years of experience in conflict resolution, generational differences, and culture change, he is the author of 21 books and has spoken in over 15 countries. Devin lives in San Diego, CA with his wife, four daughters and two rescue dogs.

Devin’s experience working on employee engagement strategy, evolving corporate cultures, talent management, and diversity & Inclusion brings a unique perspective in helping his clients plan for positive growth and evolution. His approach which draws from the science of positive psychology, positive organizational research, appreciative inquiry, neuroscience, mindset and mindfulness. As a result, clients receive the cutting edge in research on well-being and flourishing.

Takesha Hurd

Project Coordinator II Pharmacy

Allways Health Partners

Maya Hurley Wales

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant

Maya comes to Peoplism with deep experience in HR and the tech industry. Most recently, Maya was part of the HR team at Clever, an EdTech company that helps improve technology in the classroom for students and teachers. As one of the only black identifying women within many organizations, Maya partnered with colleagues and business leaders to identify systems, policies, and practices that contributed to feelings of inequity and exclusion. She co-founded DEI programs at each of her previous companies to help support employees. In doing this work, she developed an even bigger passion for making sure all employees feel recognized, valued, and heard.

Mim Minichiello (Moderator)

President, Employee Benefits, HUB International New England

Mim Minichiello serves as President, Employee Benefits, of HUB International New England. With over 25 years of experience, Mim provides leadership and implementation of employee benefit initiatives across the New England Region, building and expanding the HUB New England’s offerings as the top employee benefits solution provider.

Before joining HUB New England, Mim  served in executive positions within the insurance brokerage and health plan industry.  Mim’s experience lies in executing strategic growth and operational plans, building and implementing innovating sales strategies, and cultivating best-in-class teams.

Outside of her leadership role, with HUB New England, Mim is the Chair of the YW Boston, an organization committed to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Mim is also a member of the New England Advisory Council for Facing History.  Facing History’s approach heightens student’s understanding of racism, religious intolerance, and prejudice; increases student’s ability to relate history to their own lives, and promotes greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities in a democracy. She is also active with  NEHRA (Northeast Human Resources Association), The Boston Club, and The Commonwealth Institute.

Mim is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. Mim has also received a graduate certificate in management from Radcliffe College, and has completed AHIP’s Executive Leaders program with the Certified Health Insurance Executive designation.

Kaden Mohamed (he/him)

Chair for the Steering Committee, MA Transgender Political Coalition

Originally from NYC, Kaden Mohamed moved to the Boston area in 2010 to attend Wellesley College. There he studied women’s and gender studies and education studies, and was able to explore his interests in social justice and anti-oppression work. This exploration helped him understand and become comfortable with his own gender identity as part of the trans community.

Kaden works full-time at Keshet, a national organization that works for the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and their families in Jewish life, and is the Chair for the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. He has participated in numerous panels, has been interviewed about trans issues and trans rights by the New York Times, WBUR, the Rainbow Times, The Boston Sunday Review, and TBF News, and was featured in Spirit magazine’s 2017 Young Trailblazers list for activists under 30. 

Sarah Morrell

Director of Inclusion and Diversity


Sarah Morrell is a Director of Inclusion and Diversity at KPMG LLP. She has over 10 years of experience as an Inclusion and Diversity Practitioner.  She works closely with firm leaders to ensure that I&D is embedded in key business and talent processes. Sarah currently oversees the development and deployment of the firm’s inclusive leadership learning framework, redesign of the self-ID platform and corresponding campaign, and serves as a subject matter expert for the Accelerate 2025 Transparency & Accountability workstream

Jane Moyer

SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer

Commonwealth Financial Network

Jane Moyer is the SVP & CHRO at Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham where she is responsible for all aspects of the employee experience. Prior to heading HR at Commonwealth, she was the CHRO and Vice President, Human Resources Management at Northeastern University in Boston.

Jane was Vice President, Global HR Shared Services for ICON PLC, a worldwide provider of clinical research to the pharmaceutical and medical products industry based in Dublin, Ireland. There she managed all HR Shared Services and HRIT through regional service centers in the US, Europe and India and provided OD and business partner support to senior management. Prior to Ireland she lived in Copenhagen and was Global Head of HR for Operations at Maersk Line, the largest shipping company in the world, where she supported global business partnering and led a significant culture change resulting in a turnaround of the company to profitability. Jane has also held senior leadership roles at Starbucks including global organizational design, and Head of HR for Starbucks Canada, based in Toronto. At Kendall-Jackson Wines, Jane was the VP HR for Shared Services and led the comp and benefits, HRIT and staffing functions.

In addition to her corporate HR roles, Jane was a lecturer in Penn State’s World Campus for the School of Labor Studies and Employer Relations for ten years, and was the 2017 recipient of Penn State’s prestigious Kelly-Willits Award for excellence in online instruction. Jane is the current co-chair of the School of Labor Studies and Employer Relations’ Alumni program board that works to support the School and its students.

Jane has degrees from Penn State (including studies at the University of Cologne, Germany) and Cornell and has presented and lectured nationally on issues of compensation, equity and stock, AI and HR, organizational agility and justice in the workplace. She has been a featured executive in numerous publications including The Advocate and Fast Company. Jane was a Fellow at the Sierra Institute, an HR research and advocacy group, and currently serves as a Board member on the Northeast HR Association. She previously served on TIAA’s Advisory Council. She is a member of the International Guild of Sommeliers and has served on numerous boards for local charities and media arts organizations. 

Evelyn Murphy

President, The WAGE Project, Inc, former Lt. Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Evelyn Murphy is a Ph.D. economist, Founder and President of The WAGE Project, Inc. and author of Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It published by Simon & Schuster in 2005. The WAGE Project, Inc. is a nationwide, grassroots activist organization dedicated to eliminating the gender wage gap.

Dr. Murphy conducts Work$mart salary negotiation workshops for working women throughout the United States -- to community women at YWCAs, at other community organizations, even at a mayor’s office; to women staff and faculty in colleges and universities; and through professional associations to women lawyers, surgeons, certified public accountants, scientists, librarians, and others. In addition, she facilitates $tart$mart workshops on campuses for young women about to start their careers.

Earlier in her career, Evelyn Murphy served as Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs, and subsequently as Secretary of Economic Affairs, In 1986, she was elected Lt. Governor of Massachusetts and became the first woman in the state’s 200 year history to hold constitutional office. Prior to her election, no woman had ever served as Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor or United States Senator.

Dr. Murphy is Chair of the Board of Directors of SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company and a Director of Citizens Energy Corporation. In her civic role, she is a founding Director of The Commonwealth Institute; Honorary Chair, The Lost Coin Women’s Fund, Inc; Advisory Board Member, the Center for Women and Work at UMass Lowell, and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston.

She earned a BA in mathematics from Duke University; MA in economics from Columbia University; a PhD in economics from Duke University. She is the recipient of eleven honorary degrees, the distinguished alumni award of the Graduate School of Duke University, and more than one hundred awards from federal, state and community organizations. In her spare time, she has run the Boston Marathon many times and can be seen in the bleachers cheering for the Boston Red Sox.

Barbara Nobles Crawford

Senior Leadership & Organization Development Consultant, Harvard University

There’s a saying 'Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. And then there are those who wonder, 'What the heck just happened?' I'm one of those people that make things happen. I work to understand the “big picture”, then drill down to a practical action plan and make it happen! Throughout the entire process you’ll find infectious enthusiasm, energy, and optimism!

I have enjoyed the great fortune of a diverse career as an entrepreneur and HR executive with over 20 years of global operational and strategic work experience. I've been employed by Fortune 100 companies such as TJX Companies and Blue Cross-Blue Shield and worked with Fortune 50 companies including IBM, GM, Fidelity Investments and even the U.S. Office of Personnel Management as an entrepreneur.

What problems can I help you solve? A few examples below:
• Restructured a global workforce from 1200 consultants to 700 using competency modeling, redeployment and upskilling as appropriate. This resulted in increased revenue (over $250M) and market share 5% with decreased cost by 28% in one year.

• Transformed organization from transaction oriented to an employee engagement model. This resulted in decreased arbitration, complaints and improved overall employee satisfaction.

• Reduced recidivism rates 98% for citizens incarcerated for misdemeanor offenses in 18 U.S. cities. Collaborated with community engagement and citizen projects that influenced federal and state criminal justice policies and laws.

In summary using a combination of creativity, relationship and change management, I enable leaders and policy makers to create actionable strategies to address core issues quickly. As a board member I bring these skills to both domestic and international companies.

Specialties: Executive coaching, business consulting services, profit and loss management, talent management, organization development, diversity and inclusion, employee and labor relations, policy development. 

Paula Parnagian

Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, Eversource Energy

Paula Parnagian is Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at Eversource Energy and formerly the president of World View Services, a global organizational practice specializing in diversity and inclusion. She has been a (co)creator and leader of numerous social justice initiatives, including Citizens for Public Schools, Boston City-Wide Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity, Boston Police-Community-Youth Dialogues, and the Angry Heart Collaborative. Paula has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Top 100 thought-leader in Diversity & Inclusion

Shilpa Pherwani

Principal, IBIS Consulting Group

Shilpa Pherwani, the principal of IBIS and a leading expert in diversity and inclusion, has been guiding global organizations for over 12 years on leveraging diversity as a business advantage. An organizational psychologist by training, she partners with organizations to effect sustainable organizational change by conducting cultural assessments, developing comprehensive strategic diversity action plans, and designing compelling and interactive classroom-based and online training.

Shilpa collaborates with key stakeholders to strategically plan, implement, and measure diversity initiatives. Shilpa has worked with global organizations to guide management and executives on being effective across cultural and geographical boundaries. She delivers outcome driven and systemic consultation to diversity committees, senior members of HR and business leaders. Shilpa’s clients include Aetna, Barclaycard US, Boeing, Campbell Soup, Framingham State University, Grainger, Genzyme, Microsoft, Nestle, Progress Software, Sun Life Financial, State Street Bank, Texas Health Resources, Thrivent Financial of Lutherans, Tredegar Corporation, and Williams Sonoma.

Shilpa Pherwani graduated from Kanpur University (India). She received her Master’s from Springfield College in Industrial/Organizational Psychology where her focus was on Organizational Development.

Margaret Spence (Moderator)

Equity & Diversity in C-Suite Leadership & CEO, C.Douglas & Associates

Transforming C-Suite Women's Leadership Development Because Diversity Matters.
“It’s my mission to close the diversity gap between the Executive Suite and the C-Suite by ending career plateaus and off ramps that derail the careers of minority women and men. There’s a tiny space between making a difference and accepting the status quo – I work within that gap.”

A transformational keynote speaker, author, coach, business strategist, and visionary. Margaret has 30 years’ experience inspiring organizations to value talent. Engaging employees in a shared vision, creating inclusive initiatives, and fostering collaboration across silos are central tenets of her work.

Determined to create a glide path for diversity and inclusion in executive leadership, Margaret launched The Employee to CEO Project, a global initiative aimed at increasing the representation of women, with specific emphasis on minority women, in C-Suite leadership roles. Her, latest book, Leadership Self-Transformation: 52 Career-Defining Questions Every High-Achieving Women Must Answer – challenges women to clarify their vision, find the power, and the limitless courage to build the career they want.

Margaret’s journey to the executive suite was nontraditional. She began her career managing workplace injuries and, consequently, observed injured employees being discarded from the workforce. From a catapulting question written on a napkin in 1999, her company, C. Douglas & Associates, currently manages a claims loss portfolio valued at over $95 million for its multinational client base.

Voted Top 20 Speaker seven consecutive years at SHRM Society for Human Resource Management Annual and Diversity conferences. A six-year member of SHRM’s Special Expertise Panel. She is the five-term Conference Co-chair of the Return to Work section of the WCI Workers’ Compensation Education Conference. In 2017 she received the InTouch Excellence Award “Women Leading the Way” in Workers’ Compensation. 

Sandye Taylor

Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at RBC Capital Markets

Sandye Taylor is the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at RBC Capital Markets. She joined RBC Capital Markets in 2015. In her role, she collaborates with senior management to drive the company’s global diversity and inclusion strategy ensuring alignment with business goals. Sandye has oversight across all employee resource groups and external partnerships to help foster an institutional culture of inclusive leadership that empowers RBC to attract, retain and advance top talent from diverse backgrounds. Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets, Sandye worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) where she was Senior Vice President, Head of D&I, Global Wealth & Investment Management. During her 12 years at BAML, she held roles as Global Head of D&I, Global Banking & Markets, head of Global Supplier Diversity; and Global Supply Chain Management, Acquisitions & Divestitures. Prior to that, she practiced law in public service and private law firms. Sandye holds her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland, School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is married with two children.

Yulkendy Valdez

Forbes 30 Under 30 and Co-Founder & CEO, Forefront

Yulkendy is a tech entrepreneur, social justice advocate, and public speaker. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Forefront, she helps employers, schools, and youth nonprofits prepare the next generation of the workforce through their modern technology.

She is a proud alumna of Babson College, the #1 school for entrepreneurship. More recently, she was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 and one of the Latino 30 Under 30 honorees by El Mundo Boston.

Yulkendy is originally from the Dominican Republic and was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Yulkendy has traveled to over 30+ countries for work and fun.

Learn more at For speaking opportunities, please visit 

Deborah Washington

Director, Diversity, Patient Care Services, MGH

Director of Diversity for Patient Care Services at Mass General since 1995, Washington is a national leader in addressing diversity issues. She has developed the Mass General program into one of the most robust and highly regarded diversity programs in the country and her initiatives have been replicated in healthcare organizations throughout the world. Her achievements at the hospital include co-creating the Culturally Competent Care Curriculum, establishing the annual PCS African American Pinning Ceremony, helping to recruit minority leadership, initiating Cultural Rounds on the patient care units, and developing the Hausman Student Nurse Fellowship—designed to expand the diversity of the MGH nursing staff to better reflect the patient population and that of the greater community.

Washington earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Connell School. She also is a member of the Connell School’s Diversity Advisory Board.

Washington, who was named a Champion in Health Care by the Boston Business Journal, has been honored with the American Organization of Nurse Executives Prism Award and the Arnold Z. Rosoff Agent of Change Award.

Dan Wilson

Sr. HR Consultant, AllWays Health Partners

Dan Wilson is currently a Sr. HR Consultant at AllWays Health Partners. He is an experienced human resources and information systems professional, enabling business areas to perform their best by leveraging analytics and continued skill development. 


December 3, 2020
Opening Conversation with NEHRA's CEO, Tracy Burns and Board Chair, Cynthia Ring
12/03/2020 at 9:30 AM (EST)   |  30 minutes
12/03/2020 at 9:30 AM (EST)   |  30 minutes
Survey - Opening Conversation with NEHRA's CEO, Tracy Burns and Board Chair, Cynthia Ring
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
Breakout Panel: What You Can Do Now - Narrowing the Racial & Gender Wealth Gap
12/03/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/03/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes In the United States, the average, full-time working woman earns $.80 to every $1 earned by a man, and for women of color, this gap is even more striking at $.61. The Washington Post recently published Federal data showing the median black household had a mere 9.4% of the wealth of the median white household in 1968, and astonishingly in 2016, that ratio had fallen to 8.7%. In other words, the wealth divide actually widened over nearly a half century of what is commonly thought of as progress for Black Americans. As the EOS Foundation’s women’s power gap study reports, women account for 51.5% of the population in Massachusetts, but are severely underrepresented in leadership positions. They further note that women of color are grossly marginalized on both boards and within executive management, holding only 6% of board seats and three executive positions in the entire state. If this makes you angry and want to do something instead of waiting for others, join this spirited and impassioned panel discussion including women who are breaking down barriers to make change happen now.
Survey - Breakout Panel: What You Can Do Now - Narrowing the Racial & Gender Wealth Gap
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Information & Certificate: Breakout Panel: What You Can Do Now - Narrowing the Racial & Gender Wealth Gap
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
Breakout: Take Action: Fostering a DEI Program at Your Organization
12/03/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/03/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
Survey - Breakout: Take Action: Fostering a DEI Program at Your Organization
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info & Certificate: Breakout: Take Action: Fostering a DEI Program at Your Organization
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
Self-care Strategies for Effective Leadership
12/03/2020 at 11:45 AM (EST)   |  30 minutes
12/03/2020 at 11:45 AM (EST)   |  30 minutes This year has been especially difficult for DE&I and HR Professionals - join expert Devin Hughes who will share self-care strategies to help sustain your inclusive and fearless leadership, and avoid burnout. Maya Angelou said, “one must learn to care for oneself first, so that one can then dare to care for someone else” - take this time to take care of yourself.
Survey - Self-care Strategies for Effective Leadership
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
Breakout Panel: Building a DEI Community Amidst the Pandemic
12/03/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/03/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes In March, a group of diversity professional started convening weekly to explore the impact of the pandemic upon their work. Many of them didn't know each other, but deep connections have been formed as the group has delved into how to sustain programs and each other during the turbulent months. The conversations have been candid, at times raw, as members have sought insight, support and guidance from the group. Join us for the panel as members of the group share what the community has meant to them and ideas for how others can form their own support communities.
Survey - Breakout Panel: Building a DEI Community Amidst the Pandemic
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Info & Certificate: Breakout Panel: Building a DEI Community Amidst the Pandemic
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
Breakout: Understanding Trans and Nonbinary Identities
12/03/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/03/2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes More than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than three-fourths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination. Refusal to hire, privacy violations, harassment, and even physical and sexual violence on the job are common occurrences, and are experienced at even higher rates by transgender people of color. Many people report changing jobs to avoid discrimination or the risk of discrimination. Extreme levels of unemployment and poverty lead one in eight to become involved in underground economies—such as sex and drug work—in order to survive." (National Center for Transgender Equality). Thinking about gender equity in the workplace beyond the limited binary of man and woman grows in importance as more people openly identify transgender and nonbinary. Join this session to learn key terms and definitions for gender and gender expression, develop a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of trans and nonbinary people, and takeaway clear and concrete best practices for fostering work environments and work cultures that are more inclusive of trans and nonbinary employees.
Survey - Breakout: Understanding Trans and Nonbinary Identities
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info & Certificate: Breakout: Understanding Trans and Nonbinary Identities
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
December 10, 2020
General Session: Decoding Microaggressions
12/10/2020 at 9:00 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/10/2020 at 9:00 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes "You don't look trans." "You're not like other Muslims." "You're so articulate." Sound familiar? Microaggressions are brief and commonplace indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile or derogatory slights to the target person or group. Also known as "death by a thousand cuts," microaggressions have a significant workplace cost from morale and absenteeism to emotional and even physical health. Researchers consider it a public health issue. This session will decode microaggressions, providing examples and describing the effect on individuals and the cost for workplaces. Learn what to say if you are on the receiving end of one, if you witness one, or - oops - if you get called out for one. Discuss how to support an employee who is the target of a microaggression and how to address microaggressions through microinterventions.
Survey - Decoding Microaggressions
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info: Decoding Microaggressions
1.00 SHRM & HRCI credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 SHRM & HRCI credit  |  Certificate available
Breakout Panel - Igniting Inclusion through Allyship
12/10/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/10/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes This panel will dive deep into what allyship is and how to embed it within your organization to drive inclusion and systemic change. Topics range from what it means to practice effective allyship to how ongoing inclusion programs translate to business performance. Our expert panelists will share their experiences, actionable insights, and a clearer picture of what an inclusive organization looks, feels, and sounds like. If you want to hear from other leaders who have grappled with the same challenges and found success and want to strategize how to leverage the current momentum to truly impact lasting change within your organization, join us.
Survey - Igniting Inclusion through Allyship
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info: Igniting Inclusion through Allyship
1.25 SHRM & HRCI Business Credit Hours credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI Business Credit Hours credits  |  Certificate available
Breakout: Designing Employee-Driven DE&I Programming
12/10/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/10/2020 at 10:15 AM (EST)   |  75 minutes To create an environment where diversity can fearlessly thrive, it is important to offer a variety of opportunities for employees to connect and have meaningful conversations. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how to develop effective DE&I programming that is employee-driven, sustainable and adaptable in a virtual environment. Join AllWays Health Partners to hear more about creative approaches and actionable steps that you can take to develop your own workshop or community forum.
Survey - Designing Employee-Driven DE&I Programming
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info: Designing Employee- Driven DE&I Programming
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
Breakout: Interactive Theater - Race, Power & Privilege
12/10/2020 at 12:30 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/10/2020 at 12:30 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes Organizations are making inclusive leadership a business priority to create a culture of belonging. This often requires leaders to engage in difficult conversations around power, privilege and equity. In this unique and dynamic session, the IBIS Consulting Group and their troupe of professional actors will perform workplace scenarios that will serve as starting points for discussion on inclusive leadership and allies in the workplace. The real-life scenarios will illustrate role of leaders on mitigating bias and addressing systemic disparities. Audience members will also hear from companies that have successfully engaged leaders in conversations around their role as DEI advocates.
Survey - Interactive Theater - Race, Power & Privilege
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info: Interactive Theater
1.25 SHRM & HRCI Credit Hours credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI Credit Hours credits  |  Certificate available
Breakout: Why Your Diversity Sourcing Strategy Isn't Working
12/10/2020 at 12:30 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes
12/10/2020 at 12:30 PM (EST)   |  75 minutes We’re all aware of the business case for employing a diverse workforce. Chances are you’ve made attempts to source diverse candidates but have been faced with a myriad of obstacles that prevent you from getting any real traction on diversity hiring. This session will teach you strategies for how to break down the biases that are inherent in your recruitment process and how to embed systematic changes that will result in lasting change. We will also offer ways to avoid common pitfalls that may derail your sourcing strategy.
Survey - Why Your Diversity Sourcing Strategy Isn't Working
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info: Why Your Diversity Sourcing Strategy Isn't Working
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 SHRM & HRCI credits  |  Certificate available
Closing Panel: Developing Women of Color at Your Organization
12/10/2020 at 2:00 PM (EST)   |  60 minutes
12/10/2020 at 2:00 PM (EST)   |  60 minutes Join us as moderator and DEI expert Margaret Spence leads our panelists in a conversation surrounding what it takes for organizations to attract young women of color, to retain them, to help them feel that they truly belong, as well as ways to strategically uplevel and empower growth. The session will highlight the importance of allyship, strategic mentorship and championing development and advancement for next-gen talent.
Survey - Developing Women of Color at Your Organization
6 Questions
6 Questions A quick survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this NEHRA session (1-2 minutes)
SHRM & HRCI Credit Info: Developing Women of Color at Your Organization
1.00 SHRM & HRCI credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 SHRM & HRCI credit  |  Certificate available