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  • Writer's pictureJaya Koilpillai Bohlmann

The Diversity & Inclusion Imperative: Adapting to a Changing Market

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

I co-authored this article with my friend and mentor coach, sukari pinnock, msod, of Georgetown university. for more information about the D&I program, visit Georgetown D&I Program.

Today, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are considered business imperatives for every corporation, government agency, or activity. However, few executives know how to define, integrate, and lead D&I initiatives. For those seeking to add value to their organizations – from driving revenue to supporting innovation to fulfilling mission goals – D&I expertise is critical. If you have the combination of: (1) knowledge; (2) a formal credential and; (3) a network of professional peers in D&I, then your chances of success are greatly enhanced.  This is true whether you are seeking a career in D&I management or you are a manager in an organizational role that involves collaborating with people from different cultures and backgrounds to achieve shared goals.

Getting Started

D&I is no longer just about compliance and equity: it’s a strategic driver affecting all facets of business, from talent acquisition to product innovation to profitability. If you don’t have a solid understanding of how D&I, Cultural Competence, and EEO are differentiated, now is the time to get started. Georgetown’s Executive Certificate Program in Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Management is considered by its graduates as one of their best career investments. As one graduate says, “I was challenged to increase my knowledge, skills and understanding of Diversity & Inclusion by the faculty and course content.”

Graduates say they’ve reached higher career levels and professional visibility after earning the certificate. New professional development opportunities have included speaking engagements, consulting engagements, invitations to serve on task forces, and teaching stints.

Career Paths

Career paths for D&I graduates include diversity consulting as an independent consultant or as a consultant at a consulting firm. D&I consultants are in demand because of the business imperative of D&I to bottom line goals (i.e. profit or mission). Another path is the in-house route. D&I experts are needed in marketing and sales, HR, organizational development, and training departments.  Any internal manager responsible for diverse, multi-disciplinary, and cross-functional teams will benefit from a deeper understanding of D&I issues.

The Public Sector Imperative

The federal government has made D&I a priority, recognizing the fact that a diverse and inclusive civil service leads to better services, solutions, and responses to complex public issues. With the issuance of Presidential Executive Order 13583, federal agencies are now part of a coordinated government-wide effort to promote D&I in the workforce. The demand for human resource professionals with expertise in D&I, as well as a strong skill set in cultural competence, is growing in the public sector.

“As the Nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government has a special obligation to lead by example. Attaining a diverse, qualified workforces is one of the cornerstones of the merit-based civil service.” White House Press Release, August 18, 2011

Real-World Experience & ROI

Students in the program gain real-world D&I experience by working with clients – corporations, non-profits, and federal agencies – facing strategic D&I issues. Past clients include the Red Cross, the U.S. Cost Guard, and Coca-Cola.

Graduates report recovering their investment costs associated with the certificate program in less than  two years of completing the program. Many receive tuition reimbursement from their employers. Moreover, veterans can apply for funding under the GI Bill, including Post-9/11.

Beyond career enhancement, the D&I certificate at Georgetown provides graduates with the opportunity to learn from and become colleagues with a group of like-minded peers. Graduates build a network of relationships that last well beyond graduation. “The Power of the Cohort” is often an invaluable resource to leverage at any career stage.

“This course provides an exceptional venue to collaborate with and learn from an esteemed array of Georgetown faculty members who provide well-researched and informative presentations, and it also facilitates a wonderful networking experience with colleagues in the public and private sectors.” Clarence Johnson, (SES) Director, Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity

Learn More

Learn more about the Certificate in Diversity Strategy & Inclusion Management program. Applications for the 2014 cohort are being accepted now. For more information, please contact Becky Hoven ( or Sanea Pinkney (

About the Authors

Sukari Pinnock is an independent Organization Development Practitioner with specialties in Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence.  She developed and currently teaches in the Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management Certificate Program.

Jaya Koilpillai Bohlmann, MA, APR, is Founder and President of Designing Communication, offering corporate communication, change and reputation management, employee engagement & organization development services to global organizations and agencies in a variety of dynamic industries.

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