Steve Pemberton View Profile

Chief Human Resources Officer at Globoforce

“This little boy doesn’t have a chance in the world.”

That was the devastating line taken from the diary of one of Steve Pemberton’s babysitters when he was young.

Pemberton knows firsthand what it’s like to be different, to feel like you don’t belong. And that’s why he wants us to start looking at Diversity and Inclusion differently.

“We’re tired of having the same conversations. We’re tired of talking past each other. We’re frustrated that we’re having the same conversations that we’ve had generations past,” he said. “So there is that fatigue, and often times it just manifests itself in silence.”

Now, it’s time to change that.

“If there’s one thing that the Diversity and Inclusion movement has often gotten wrong is it’s failed to talk about why it really matters,” said Pemberton. “Why is where discretionary effort comes from. That’s where you really start to invest your time.”

Diversity and Inclusion is top of mind for every forward-thinking organization. Yet, despite their best intentions and efforts, many organizations continue to struggle to build truly inclusive workplaces. An inclusive workplace is best defined as a workplace where all employees—regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, political leaning, religion or sexual orientation—feel a strong sense of belonging and are comfortable being who they are.

“This demographic reality is going to force us to find degrees of partnership or mutuality,” said Pemberton. “These things are having effects.”

As Chief People Officer at Globoforce and former chief diversity officer at Walgreens Steve Pemberton has been advancing the D&I conversation throughout his career.

He has shared his own personal journey with numerous audiences, and drawn upon his career and life experiences to deliver an impactful, inspiring keynote that sparks real change – long after he leaves the stage.

“We’re going to have to think of inclusion now not just as a nice thing to do… if we are to take on the challenges of our time, we’re going to have to think about this as necessary to everything that we do.”

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