Top 10 Speakers on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
A 2018 report by McKinsey Consulting found that companies with a more diverse workforce posted profits that were on average 43% higher than less diverse organizations.
Organizations that seek to create inclusive environments that boast greater diversity in their workforces are more creative and innovative, in addition to being more likely to share ideas between their team members and departments.
Here is a list of our Top 10 Keynote Speakers on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour | America’s First Black Female Combat Pilot, Former Marine & Cop, Author and Consultant to Business
Combat tests you. Being a beat cop tests you. Life tests you. Three brothers and being the only girl…tests you. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour has been tested her whole life. A gutsy trailblazer, her resume is an impressive collection of “firsts” including America’s first Black woman combat pilot. She served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. She was also a diversity liaison officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps. After her military service, FlyGirl revved up her career in the private sector as an entrepreneur, consultant to business, and author of Zero to Breakthrough, The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. As a speaker, FlyGirl unleashes hard-hitting advice and amazing anecdotes from her adventures on the battlefield and in business. She helps individuals and organizations Get Gutsy and build a sustainable inner force and conviction, that results in accomplishing significant goals
Jeff Adams | Paralympic Gold Medalist & World Champion
Jeff Adams is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, a Paralympian, and six-time world champion in wheelchair racing. After a distinguished athletic career that included winning three Paralympic gold medals, he retired from competition in 2008 and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. He talks about making and celebrating incredible moments comes from facing failure and adapting to change. Audiences are inspired by Jeff’s story of becoming a Paralympian and entrepreneur despite facing numerous hurdles.
Kaplan Mobray | Internationally Acclaimed Best-selling Author, Motivational Speaker
Kaplan Mobray was recognized by Meetings & Conventions Magazine as “one of the nation’s top business speakers.” An innovative mastermind, Kaplan has inspired and transformed countless lives through his insightful and groundbreaking approach to personal branding and leadership development. Kaplan inspires audiences with practical strategies, “ah-ha moments”, that powerfully create real results to immediately elevate one’s career and improve one’s life. A highly sought after, vibrant and energetic business speaker, professional musician and entrepreneur – Kaplan Mobray learned early in his career that “to master quality of life you must first master quality of effort”. He uses this personal philosophy to develop his extraordinarily creative insights and unique presentation content. Wharton-educated, Kaplan draws from his over 15 years of corporate experience as a successful business executive – where he led corporate marketing, advertising, and brand development initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. Through his unconventional and innovative presentation style – he teaches organizations how to transform their business, increase their brand reputation and motivates individuals to become effective leaders at all levels.
Kathy Buckley | Hearing-impaired Award-Winning Comedienne
Kathy Buckley is a gifted comedienne, award-winning actress, accomplished author and renowned inspirational speaker – who is a force like no other. Billed as ‘America’s First Hearing Impaired Comedienne‘, Kathy is also a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne. As an actress, she is known for her guest starring roles on shows such as Touched by an Angel, and for her critically acclaimed one woman Off-Broadway show, Don’t Buck with Me/Now Hear This!. As a motivational speaker, she inspires hundreds of thousands of people around the world, sharing her story of overcoming some of the most difficult obstacles one can imagine in life – and how she met those challenges with dignity, courage, and laughter.
Dr. Ivan Joseph | Leadership Expert & Keynote Speaker on Resilience, Grit & Building High Performance Teams
Dr. Ivan Joseph is an internationally renowned speaker, bestselling author, award-winning performance coach, in-demand consultant, prominent educator and accomplished leader. He has spent his career leading cultural transformation, inspiring people to believe in themselves, creating cohesive teams, and unlocking the secret to surpassing expectations. He has also shared his remarkable story as an immigrant who has excelled and led a shift to inclusivity wherever he has gone.
Ivan travels extensively, helping organizations and teams around the world harness the power of self-confidence and belonging in leadership, career and life. Ivan also contributes regularly to publications like University Affairs, The Huffington Post and The Globe and Mail.
Kyle Maynard | Mountaineer, Award-winning Extreme Athlete & Best-selling Author
Oprah Winfrey called Kyle Maynard “one of the most inspiring young men you will ever hear about.” Arnold Schwarzenegger described him as “the real deal,” “a champion human,” and “one of the most inspiring people” he’s ever met. Even the great Wayne Gretzky has spoken of Kyle’s “greatness.”
Despite being born with a rare condition known as congenital amputation, that has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees, he learned early on, and with the support of his family, to live life independently and without prosthetics. Kyle thrives on physical challenges and following a few rough, middle school football seasons, he went on to become a champion wrestler, CrossFit Certified Instructor and gym owner, competitive MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, world record-setting weightlifter, and skilled mountaineer.
Cassandra Worthy | Change Enthusiasm Global Keynote Speaker on Change
With contagious energy that radiates throughout every room she steps into, Cassandra Worthy is the world’s truly DISRUPTIVE thought-leader on CHANGE that companies need to build organizational resilience and adaptability. During times of major shift such as merger, acquisition, organizational restructure, new systems integration, and market disruption RARELY do businesses ever face the tumultuous emotional landscape of the organization head-on. Only 10% of successful change adoption is about know-how…the other 90% is squarely centered on an organization’s motivation and willingness to embrace the change. Without addressing the emotions standing in the way of motivation, any transformation journey is stopped in its tracks. This is where Cassandra steps in. She has created and cultivated the unique strategy of Change Enthusiasm® which is arming individuals around the world with the means to harness the power of emotion, a resource in infinite supply, to embrace and accelerate change and transformation journeys. Cassandra’s message nurtures highly resilient and adaptable organizations beginning at the heart of the individual.
Heather R. Younger | Speaker on Diversity, Resilience & Overcoming Adversity
Heather R. Younger is the Founder and CEO of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement and consulting firm. She is a sought-after keynote speaker who brings revealing insights to the stage from over 25,000 employee experiences. A diversity, equity and inclusion strategist, and the world’s leading expert on listening at work, she is the host of the Leadership with Heart Podcast. Heather is a regular contributor to Forbes and Fast Company and is the best-selling author of The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty, which hit the top of the “Forbes Must-Read List for HR Professionals.” Her latest best-selling book, The Art of Caring Leadership, teaches the radical power of caring support in leadership and in the workplace.
Daryl Davis | Musician, Author, Compelling Unifier, Klan Whisperer, and Award-winning Conflict Navigator
Daryl Davis is committed to helping people ignite positive change –using conversation to build bridges. His jaw-dropping experiences speak for themselves. For nearly 40 years, he’s engaged leaders of the KKK and White supremacist groups face to face to find the answer to a question: “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” That question stemmed from his first encounter with racism at age ten when he was pelted with rocks, bottles, and soda cans by a handful of White spectators while marching in a parade. Seeking to understand, not to change minds, Daryl met their hatred with civility, patience, and listening. Those conversations spawned genuine and lasting friendships with many who changed their ownminds and disavowed hateful beliefs.
Jason O. Harris | U.S. Air Force Officer Special Operations Pilot, Motivating Speaker on Leadership, Teamwork, DEI & Culture
Jason Harris is a third-generation military member. Jason follows in the footsteps of his mother, an enlisted U.S. Army veteran and her father, a U.S. Army enlisted retiree, that served in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Jason has served continuously in the Air Force, on active duty and as a reservist, since graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 2001. He has flown multiple aircraft over the course of 11 combat deployments, having logged more than 2,000 combat hours over 470 combat missions.
Jason is a thought leader, a best-selling author, a documentary film host and an internationally qualified commercial airline pilot. He has helped organizations such as the Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development, Fortune 500 companies, startup companies, companies in transition and top universities build cultures of commitment, accountability and trust. He has also been featured as a host for a PBS/NOVA special and as an aviation expert for multiple History Channel programs.
Risha Grant | Author and Expert on Diversity & Inclusion
Risha Grant is Founder & CEO of Risha Grant LLC, an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, as well as an edgy, educational and motivational speaker – author Risha Grant is an internationally renowned diversity, inclusion and bias expert. She covers these topics through different media including Risha Talks, her online courses and in her book, That’s BS! How Bias Synapse Disrupts Inclusive Cultures and the Power to Attract Diverse Markets.
Motivated by her passion to correct societal “isms” like racism, sexism, classism and plain old stupidism, it is Risha Grant’s personal mission to expose the subtleties and values of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion while shining a light on the impacts they create. From her race, gender and lifestyle choices, to growing a small business and tackling economic, moral, and business issues, every area of her life intersects diversity.
Scott Burrows | Inspirational Speaker on How to Conquer Adversity, Overcome Challenges & Navigate Change
Scott Burrows is a powerful, engaging and thought-provoking motivational keynote speaker who can set the tone for your entire conference and challenge your audience while adding takeaway value with high energy, humour and substance – or a closing speaker who can inspire and move your conference attendees into action.
Scott’s story is the hero’s journey. By the age of 19, he played college football at Florida State University as a walk-on wide receiver for legendary coach Bobby Bowden – and was a top-ranked kick-boxing Black Belt champion whose last fight was broadcast by ESPN. In 1984, he survived a horrendous automobile accident as a passenger in a friend’s car that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Told he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Scott realized his split-second decision to not wear a seat belt altered his course forever.
Despite his grim diagnosis, Scott refused to be sidelined and built an incredibly successful career first in finance and then as an entrepreneur, based on his guiding principles of Vision, Mindset and Grit.
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