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Newsletter Article [Diversity] [04/01/11]
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Inass Riyad, SPHR, GPHR - Diversity Director

In 2011 there is much to be done in the area of diversity to help support our organization's mission.  My goal moving forward is to connect with all 28 affiliated chapters in an effort to organize our best practices in developing and enhancing a diversity program that will transcend throughout the state of Florida.  The greatest impact we can have is to acknowledge, enhance, and create opportunities to share information with HR professionals not only on a state level but perhaps expanding to a national level. By sharing what we create with other individuals we will open the doorway to efforts that would span the globe.  What better way to truly take diversity to a new level within our profession and the organizations that we serve?

I call on all chapter diversity representatives across Florida to help us begin achieving our goals by participating in the next SHRM Diversity conference call scheduled for April 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm EST.  Click here for more details.

In the meantime, make sure to check out SHRM's Diversity section of their website for all of the latest news.  In addition, I have provided some details below from SHRM related to diversity efforts.  Please read and share this information with your colleagues.

Moving forward I welcome the opportunity to work with all chapters in Florida.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

SHRM's Diversity Report

In 2010, SHRM convened over 100 global thought leaders in the Diversity & Inclusion field to discuss the most pressing issues facing organizations today. The themes discussed and hot topics for 2011 were identified as:

  • Reintegrating Veterans into Civilian Workplaces
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Workplace Flexibility
  • SHRM’s Diversity & Inclusion Standards Taskforce

Reintegrating Veterans into Civilian Workplaces

  • Veterans are a group that is significantly different from the “dominant group” (i.e. civilians) in American workplaces.
  • Military veterans hail from a distinct and definable culture.
  • 48% of employees cite difficulty transitioning from military culture to civilian culture as a significant challenge for hiring and retaining veterans.

Does your organization make a specific effort to recruit and hire veterans? Would it surprise you that only 50% of the organizations SHRM polled answered “Yes” to that question? 11% responded that they had not recruited and hired veterans. “Not sure” responses were excluded from this analysis.

Religion & Spirituality

  • Domestically, religious identity in the U.S. is very diverse and fluid.
  • More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion – or no religion at all.
  • There was a record 3, 790 complaints of religious discrimination filed with the EEOC last year.
  • Globally, only 33% of the world identifies as Christian, compared with 78% of Americans.
  • Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In 2007, over one in five people on the planet identified as Muslim.

Workplace Flexibility

  • Organizations can use Flexible Work Arrangements to achieve their business goals and at the same time meet employees’ need to work outside of the traditional work hours or workplace.
  • Employee requests were the top reason (68%) that prompted organizations to offer formal Work Arrangements.
  • During economically challenging times, job-sharing or part-time positions may be an alternative to downsizing through layoffs.

In October 2010, the SHRM Research Workplace Flexibility in the 21st Century identified the Top 5 Positive Effects of Formal Flexible Work Arrangements as:

  1. Improves employees’ quality of life
  2. Improves employee morale
  3. Helps retain employees
  4. Increases employee commitment
  5. Helps attract talent

SHRM’s research indicated that the productivity rates for telecommuters increased for 32%, decreases for 5% and remained the same for 63% of the respondents. Additionally, the absenteeism rate for telecommuters increased for 5%, remained the same for 53% and decreased for 42% of the respondents. In January 2011, SHRM announced the beginning of a multi-year partnership with the Families & Work Institute to create thought leadership that will have a significant impact on the way we work in the 21st century.

SHRM’s Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce

In 2008, SHRM convened its first Global Diversity & Inclusion Thought Leaders Summit. At that meeting, SHRM’s belief that the Diversity and Inclusion field could benefit significantly from standardization was validated by the Thought Leaders in attendance.

The Diversity & Inclusion Standards Taskforce became a reality in 2010 and the taskforce will be defining and providing additional support and data regarding:

  • Metrics & Measurements
  • Top Diversity Professional
  • Diversity Programs

SHRM is the only accrediting body approved by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to create HR Diversity and Inclusion standards.

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