Diversity and Inclusion

Having a seat at the table

At KYSHRM, we know that workplaces with diverse teams and inclusive and equitable practices create dynamic workspaces and new opportunities for employee engagement and satisfaction.

New to DEI? Scroll down to check out helpful definitions and articles from SHRM International. You can also find the latest recommendations for DEI best practices on SHRM’s DEI resources page.


Diversity has many definitions. Organizations frequently adapt the definition to their specific environment. Generally, diversity refers to the similarities and differences among individuals accounting for all aspects of their personality and individual identity. Some of the common dimensions of diversity are shown below, with a sampling of related content:



“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” —Vernā Myers

Diversity provides the potential for greater innovation and creativity. Inclusion is what enables organizations to realize the business benefits of this potential.

Inclusion describes the extent to which each person in an organization feels welcomed, respected, supported and valued as a team member. Inclusion is a two-way accountability; each person must grant and accept inclusion from others. In such an environment, every employee tends to feel more engaged and is more likely to contribute to the organization’s business results. This type of environment requires people from diverse backgrounds to communicate and work together, and to understand one another’s needs and perspectives—in other words, to demonstrate cultural competence. See Inclusion: Out of the Training Room and into Employees’ Hands and Want a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace? Work on Your Culture.


Equity in the workplace refers to fair treatment in access, opportunity and advancement for all individuals. Work in this area includes identifying and working to eliminate barriers to fair treatment for disadvantaged groups, from the team level through systemic changes in organizations and industries. Effecting change through an equity lens generally requires an understanding that the societal systems in which we currently work are not equitable and that those inequities are reflected in our organizations. 


Do Your Employees Know Why You Believe in Racial Equity?

How to Ensure Pay Equity for People of Color

Barriers for Black Professionals

A note from our Chair:
Celebrating Black History Month and Looking Ahead in 2024 and Beyond

Dear Kentuckians,

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is an opportune time to reflect on the progress we have made and the work that still lies ahead. I am honored to serve as the first Black chair of our esteemed organization, the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management, and I am humbled by the opportunity to lead us forward in our shared mission.

This month serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience, courage, and achievements of Black individuals throughout history. From trailblazers who fought for civil rights to pioneers who have shattered glass ceilings in various fields, their contributions have enriched our society and paved the way for future generations. It is indeed my honor to lead the voice of HR throughout our Commonwealth.

As we embark on this journey to Adapt, Connect, and Lead – I am excited to share our goals for the year ahead:

  1. Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We are committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and across workplaces in Kentucky. Through educational initiatives, training programs, and advocacy efforts, we aim to create environments where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to succeed.
  2. Workforce Development: We remain committed to backing innovative organizations that enhance talent attraction and development. This includes organizing networking opportunities and hosting educational events to strengthen professional growth and development.
  3. Community Engagement: Building strong connections within our      communities is essential to our mission. We will actively seek opportunities to collaborate with local organizations, support charitable initiatives, and give back to those in need. Together, we can make a positive impact and create a more equitable society for all.


I am pleased to announce the dedicated individuals who will be serving alongside me on the Board of Directors this year:

  • Immediate Past Chair: Amanda Huddleston
  • Chair Elect: Martha Argotte
  • Secretary: Vicki Crawford
  • Treasurer: Crystal Balentine
  • Director of Best Places to Work in Kentucky: Candra Bryant
  • Director of Membership: Rusty Steele


  • Director of Certification: Allen Waddell
  • Director of College Relations: Sam Mannino
  • Director of Public Relations: Rawleigh Richardson
  • Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Tiffany Cardwell
  • Director of Legislative Affairs: Derek Miles
  • Director of SHRM Foundation: Marcus Goodwin
  • Director of State Conference: Jose Najera
  • Director of Workforce Readiness: Danita Taylor
  • Legal Advisor: Bill Brammell
  • Strategic Advisor: Lyle Hanna
  • Director of Veteran & Military Affairs: Patrick Smith
  • Central District Director: Cindy Norfleet
  • Eastern District Director: LaRellen Jones
  • Western Area District Director: Summer Lindsey
  • Bluegrass SHRM President: Rebecca Wren
  • Central KY SHRM President: Amy Isola
  • Elizabethtown SHRM President: Debbie Howell
  • Four Rivers SHRM President: Catherine Lanier
  • LSHRM President: Shelly Trent
  • Mid-South SHRM President: Cindy Hines
  • Mid-West SHRM President: Charity Franklin
  • Northern KY SHRM President: Juliane Stockman
  • Owensboro SHRM President: Tammy Keller
  • Southern KY SHRM President: Robert Peach
  • Southeastern KY SHRM President: Jennifer Dalton
  • Western KY SHRM President: Autum Thomas


Each member of our board brings unique talents, perspectives, and experiences to the table, and I am confident that together, we will achieve great things.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication for the Kentucky Society of Human Resource Management. As we honor the past during Black History Month, let us also look forward with hope and determination to create a brighter future for all. We will elevate HR, together!

Warm regards,

Patricia Williams
KYSHRM Chair 2024-2025