Managing Partner with Henderson Woods, LLC, specializing in training, facilitation and consulting focused on building working relationships to improve performance outcomes, diversity and inclusion, labor-management, interest-based conflict resolution, and participatory organizational culture change.
Her work includes leadership training in diversity and inclusion for organizations such as National Grid and the Southern Nevada VA Healthcare System and workforce-based diversity awareness and respect training for Sovereign Bank, American Axle and Manufacturing and Saint-Gobain Ceramics.
She has worked with diversity councils and leadership groups from a variety of organizations, including assistance to a rural school district in preparation for the gender transition of an employee.
Most recently, she completed writing the diversity and inclusion train-the-trainer curriculum for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the facilitator’s guide for the training video, “Diversity Awareness in the Construction Industry,” produced by the Diversity Skilled Trades Council of Central New York.
From 1992 to 2002, she co-directed The Workplace Diversity Network (WDN). Through the network, she facilitated the development of a framework for organizational inclusion and collaborated with colleagues at Cornell University ILR on the design of the Organizational Inclusion Assessment, a validated workplace climate survey.
She has presented at national diversity conferences, including Linkage Inc. Summit on Leading Diversity, Industry Liaisons Group National Conference, and the NYS SHRM Conference. She continues to serve as Adjunct Faculty for Cornell University ILR and for Canisius College, Professional Development Programs. In 2006, Susan left Cornell University ILR after a 25 year career as extension faculty where she offered education, training and technical assistance to workplace practitioners.
Prior to joining Cornell ILR, Susan taught at Smith College and Western New England College in Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College, an M.A. in Economics from Duke University, and an M.S. in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts.
Greater diversity in the workplace introduces the possibility for increased misunderstanding and conflict at the same time as it holds out the promise of creativity and innovation. Workplace diversity change leaders have learned that making diversity work cannot be taken for granted. We cannot automatically assume that people will engage well with others across differences. Our history with bias, inequity and exclusion remains too much a part of how we understand one another. Read more
This year, 2011, will mark continued progress in the recognition of those of us who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender as authentic persons with whole lives. According to the latest Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equity Index, 85% of Fortune 500 companies’ non-discrimination policies include “sexual orientation” and 43% include “gender identity.” Partner benefits are offered by a majority, 57%, of Fortune 500’s, and 41% offer at least one transgender-inclusive health-related benefit. Read more
Diversity of thought—the idea of more-than-one-way— is key to understanding the potential of diversity and inclusion as an organizational resource. The way each of us interprets and negotiates the world around us is informed by our identity, culture and experience. Greater diversity means greater variation in perspectives and approaches. Yet the potential of this resource is often mismanaged and overlooked. To further the conversation, this paper suggests three factors organizational leadership might consider. . Read more
Conflict is like a puzzle. Every party brings a piece. The key is discovering the pieces to put them together. Success is in the conversation! Opportunity is nowhere!
Conflict is like a puzzle. Every party brings a piece. The key is discovering the pieces to put them together. Success is in the conversation! Opportunity is now here! Read more
Much has been written about the critical role of top organizational leadership in diversity change. Leadership must understand the nature of the change initiative, articulate its strategic significance, authorize resources, compel accountability, and model consistency. We like to recall a simple encounter at a company dinner dance. Read more
In the workplace, the keys to making diversity work lie in relationship and learning from difference. Diversity practitioners realize that we each interpret the world through the lens of our own diversity and experience.
Diversity of thought and experience lie at the heart of the value proposition of diversity and also pose one of the greatest challenges. The greater the diversity of the workforce, the greater the potential for misunderstanding and conflict. Read more
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