Crossing the Great Divides: What to Do With Differences in the Workplace

Monday, October 22, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT  
Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Howard Ross, Founding Partner, Cook Ross

We are living in a time of almost unparalleled separation and dissension. Societies all around the world have moved from environments in which people might “agree to disagree” to environments in which people are quick to disavow others’ right to an opinion. On a societal level here in the United States, we have seen these social cultural debates being raised around race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, politics, and other identity traits. In these times of extreme (and toxic) societal polarization, organizational leaders, diversity and inclusion specialists, and human resources professionals struggle to cope with the impact of having social divides intruding into their workplaces. This session will discuss these concerns and seek to answer the question: How can we deal effectively and ethically with societal culture issues that undermine employee engagement and team cohesion?


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Howard Ross
Howard Ross

Founding Partner, Cook Ross

Howard Ross is a lifelong social justice advocate and the founding partner of Cook
Ross, Inc. He is considered one of the world’s seminal thought leaders on identifying
and addressing unconscious bias. He is the author of ReInventing Diversity:
Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose and
Performance, (published by Rowman and Littlefield in conjunction with SHRM in
2011), and the Washington Post best seller, Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating
Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives, (published by Rowman and Littlefield in

Cook Ross programs have focused on the areas of corporate culture change,
leadership development, and managing diversity. Cook Ross has successfully
implemented large-scale organizational culture change efforts in the area of managing
diversity and cultural integration in academic institutions, professional services
corporations, Fortune 500 companies, and retail, health care, media, and
governmental institutions in 47 of the United States and over 40 countries
worldwide. In addition, Howard has delivered programs at Harvard University
Medical School, Stanford University Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, the
Wharton School of Business, Duke University and Washington University Medical
School and over 20 other colleges and universities. Howard served as the 2007-2008
Johnnetta B. Cole Professor of Diversity at Bennett College for Women, the first time a
white man had ever served in such a position at an historically black college or

His writings have been published by the Harvard Business Review, the Washington
Post, the New York Times, Fast Company Magazine, Diversity Women Magazine,
Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine and dozens of other publications. He appears
monthly on National Public Radio. Howard has served on numerous not-for-profits
boards, and currently serves on the Diversity Advisory Board of the Human Rights
Campaign, the board of directors of the Dignity and Respect Campaign, and the board
of the directors for the National Women’s Mentoring Network.

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