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7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.    Conference Registration

** 6 SHRM continuing education credits is available for attending the conference



8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.    Pre-Opening Session


Diversity Best Practices

This is a small group discussion of D&I best practices.



8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.    Corporate Exhibits and Coach’s Corner

Professional coaches from International Coach Federation - Houston will offer complimentary career coaching sessions. Sign-up at the Registration Desk to take advantage of this exciting opportunity!



9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.    Welcome Remarks

Executive Director:    Cecil Fong

Honorary Co-Chair:   James Harris, H-E-B

                                     Dr. Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, HCC   


9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.    Plenary Session

The Power of FeMANists


Speaker:        Dr. Mikki Hebl, Rice University 


 There is a great deal of gender equity that remains in our society and world. Unfortunately, the all-too common explanation is that women simply don’t want the same sort of workplace positions as men. Or, organizations initiate a women’s affinity group and/or initiate women’s committees to tackle women’s professional discontent. The current research takes a more holistic picture of the biases against women, both subtle and overt, and suggests why it is essential that men be a significant player in creating lasting gender equality.


10:30 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.    Networking Break

Visit exhibits, and sign up for a complimentary session at Coach’s Corner


10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.        Concurrent Sessions


Session A:       Intersecting Identities and the Impact of Emotional Tax


Speakers:       Kelly Kleinkort, Catalyst 

                        Dana Dawsey, Dow Chemical


Everyone brings their intersecting identities to the workplace. Women in underrepresented racial and ethnic groups experience intersectional barriers that white women and men in underrepresented racial and ethnic groups don’t face. These barriers lead visible minorities to experience what Catalyst calls the Emotional Tax—being on guard and consciously preparing to deal with potential bias or discrimination. However, it’s not only employees of color, but the organizations for which they work that pay the Emotional Tax in the form of talent loss and potential reduced revenues. In this session, learn about the effects of the intersecting dimensions of difference, explore tools and tips to reduce the consequences of Emotional Tax in your organization, and identify ways to ensure that the people of color working at your company can contribute to their highest potential and thrive.




Session B:      Feeling Safe in the Workplace: Psychological Safety, Civility & Unconscious Bias

Speakers:       Pranika Sinha, Occidental Petroleum

                        Joyce Eisler, Occidental Petroleum


We often speak about being safe at work, but this session will discuss feeling safe in the workplace. The session will help participants 1) understand the definition and importance of Psychological Safety in the workplace, 2) embrace diversity of thought by fostering inclusivity through civility, learn about the definition of incivility and how it spreads, and 3) take a different look an unconscious bias by exploring 3 different concepts trust, an echo chamber, and how we “judge a book by its cover.” The session will close with some practical, conscious actions the participants can do to foster psychological safety and help create an overall feel of inclusion as well as a checklist to feeling safe at work.




Session C:       Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number:  Age and Your Company’s D&I Strategy

Speakers:       Deborah Wilkins, Shell 

                        Dolly Brenneman, Soaring to Greatness


People are working longer than ever before.  Some do so because they have to. More and more frequently, others do so because they want to.  Despite this trend, most companies don’t consider older workers when they think about areas of D&I focus.  Given today’s multigenerational workforce, they may be missing an opportunity.


In this session, you’ll learn how we’ve arrived at our current attitudes about aging, and how forward-thinking companies are taking steps to dispel stereotypes and maximize the value of workers over 50 bring to their organizations.


Noon – 1:30 p.m.        Luncheon

Keynote:       Leslie Mays

Diversity Champion Awards :          



Trail Blazer:


1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.        Networking Break

Visit exhibits, and sign up for a complimentary session at Coach’s Corner




1:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.        Concurrent Sessions


Session D:       Men Advocating Real Change: Building Allies and Inclusive Leaders

Moderator:      Amanda Scott, Enbridge

Men are an often untapped, yet critical, resource in diversity and inclusion efforts. In the past, initiatives have focused on women or minorities. Men haven’t always been central to the conversation—yet men are 85% of all leadership in Fortune 500 companies. This panel discussion will address the obstacles and solutions to men contributing fully and authentically in order to help foster and support inclusive company cultures.



Session E:       Improving Inclusion on Virtual Teams


Virtual teams, defined as teams composed of people who work from different physical locations, present special challenges.  Time zone differences, differences in language and culture, and a host of other factors can make navigating effective communication difficult. In this session, learn how to improve inclusion in your virtual teams to elevate their performance and increase trust among team members.

2:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.        Network Reception & Door Prizes Drawing