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The Role of Talent Development in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work

  • 11 May 2021
  • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM



Program Description

2020 was a year that left many of us feeling called to do more to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces. So, what exactly is the role of talent development professionals in this space? How can we make a difference? 

Join us for a lively conversation with panelists Becky Kekula, Dr. Leeno Karumanchery, Grace Lee, and Doris Sims Spies. 

Meet the Panelists

Becky Kekula

Becky Kekula serves as the Disability Equality Index (DEI) Director at Disability:IN. In her current role, she’s responsible for managing the overall DEI program.

After her six and a half years of working in the entertainment industry, Becky launched a public speaking business. A prolific public speaker and advocate for disability inclusion on a global scale, she has spoken at over 200 venues, including schools, corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, throughout the United States and beyond. She’s really passionate about disability inclusion in schools, the workplace, and everywhere else.

More recently, she spent three and a half years working in the Equity & Inclusion department at Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the world’s largest entertainment union. At SAG-AFTRA, she supported the implementation of a national diversity plan of action to achieve accurate representation of those groups historically excluded from the entertainment and news media.

Becky currently serves as the Little People of America (LPA) Employment Chair and she’s on the Board of Advisors for the National Center For Disability Journalism (NCDJ) at Arizona State University.

Dr. Leeno Karumanchery

A sociologist with 20+ years of experience in the diversity & inclusion field, Dr. Leeno Karumanchery is an internationally recognized speaker and consultant in the areas of diversity, inclusion and anti-oppression. Widely published in the field, he is the co-author of "Removing the Margins", "Playing the Race Card" and the forthcoming, "The Old Black Lesbian Elephant in the Room." An official member of, and contributor to the Forbes Human Resources Council, Dr. Karumanchery is focused on supporting organizational leaders interested in bringing Diversity Intelligence and the science of inclusion into the mainstream of their culture, strategic plan and overall people strategy. 

Grace Lee

Grace Lee is senior vice president, chief human resources and diversity officer of Cubic Corporation. Lee is responsible for the strategic leadership of global human resources for Cubic, including talent acquisition, organizational learning and development, talent management, total rewards and HR systems. Lee also oversees the development and advancement of the company’s diversity strategy.

Her commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment has transformed Cubic’s culture in a short period of time. Since assuming the role, she has developed and implemented a global Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy which serves as the guiding principles for recruiting diverse talent, expanding unconscious bias education, engaging an inclusive workforce, strengthening community outreach and supporting supplier diversity. Lee’s framework has earned her recognition as one of the top 50 chief diversity officers from the National Diversity Council and Cubic as a top employer for diversity from Forbes.

Currently, she serves on the board of directors of Asure Software, a company specializing in Human Capital management software and services.

Lee holds a master’s degree in Human Resources from the ILR School at Cornell University; a master’s degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego School of Business; and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of the Philippines.

Doris Sims Spies

Doris Sims Spies, SPHR is an international Talent Review and Succession consultant, speaker and author. 

Doris is the author of The 30-Minute Guide to Talent and Succession Management, The Talent Review Meeting Facilitator’s Guide, Creative Onboarding Programs, and Building Tomorrow’s Talent. Doris works with organizations of all shapes and sizes globally to help them plan, execute, and measure a talent review process and a succession strategy. Doris Sims Spies is the Founder of Talent Benchstrength Solutions, LLC and is an HRCI Approved Provider of continuing education for Human Resource professionals.

Doris holds an MS Degree in Human Resource Development and holds a Senior Professional in HR Certification (SPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).  Doris has published articles in multiple periodicals, including the most recent 2018 article in Chief Talent Development Officer magazine: Tap into the Value of Succession Planning. 


8:15 - 8:30 am Log in to Zoom
8:30 - 10:00 am


10:00 - 10:30 am
Small group discussion & networking via Zoom breakout rooms





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Cancellation Policy: 
Registrants may cancel and receive a full refund prior to two working days before a program.  Registrants who cancel within the two-day period will be charged.  No-shows will be charged.

 Questions?  Contact Cristi Burrill at program@newatd.org. 

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