HR Diversity Council

photo: spectrum of colorful leaves

The HR community plays an important role in supporting a culture of inclusion in our workplace and at Cornell, which enables each and every one of us to flourish.

The HR Diversity Council develops, implements, and evaluates initiatives that lead to greater diversity and inclusion throughout our division and HR community. Our charge is to:

  • Align HR’s Toward New Destinations efforts with the university’s overall goals;
  • Advise the division’s senior leadership on diversity issues;
  • Drive a diversity communication strategy; and
  • Reinforce a workplace that values diversity and inclusiveness within the division, and in turn influences culture throughout the university.



HR Diversity Council "Diversity Brief" Newsletter

Diversity News & Notes for Cornell's Human Resources Community


TND Goals FY2018


HR Diversity Council Poster 2018

Download a poster!

As part of Toward New Destinations, the HR Diversity Council has adopted three initiatives that we will work toward during the 2018 fiscal year. Progress on these initiatives will be reported to the HR Community via the monthly Diversity Brief email. Our 2018 initiatives are:

  • HIRING: (Year 2 of ongoing initiative) Cultivate successful partnerships with identified organizations; implementation of tool for translating military occupational specialty codes; development of a process map and designated audit points for the search process; pilot of tool to write more inclusive position descriptions; an increase in the number of postings sent to organizations for advertising; an increase in the number of applicants from these populations; an increase in hires made from these populations.
  • INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAM: (Year 2 of ongoing initiative) The pilot programs launched in 2016-17 received mixed reviews. While participants favored the opportunity to discuss generational differences with colleagues, they found the content presented to be less applicable and not specific to their roles. Using the feedback and the lessons learned from the pilot programs, we will revise both programs to shift the focus to understanding the business case for hiring and retaining millennials, reviewing workforce trends both nationally and at Cornell, and identifying specific actions that HR professionals should take in order to ensure they are creating a welcoming workplace environment for millennials.
  • DISABILITY PROGRAMS: (Year 2 of ongoing initiative) Thirty percent of respondents to the HR staff survey self-identified as individuals with disabilities, and 85% of these indicated their disabilities were invisible. Participants who indicated they were apprehensive about disclosing their disabilities in the workplace cited concerns that co-workers would perceive them as lazy or unable to do the work required of them. Using the firsthand experience of our colleagues with disabilities, we will design a training program for all HR staff focused on understanding invisible disabilities and creating a more welcoming workplace. Additionally, we will develop and implement a set of standard procedures to be followed for all division-wide or large meetings within HR to proactively ensure we are creating an inclusive environment for IWDs.

HR TND 2016-17 Outcomes and 2017-18 Proposed Initiatives
University-wide TND goals and reporting


    HR Diversity Council Meeting  Minutes

    See what the HR Diversity Council is working on. Have a suggestion or feedback? Contact:

    HR Diversity Council Meeting: April 25, 2018


    Updates from sub-committees


    New Co-Chair: Ruth Katz

    FY18 TND Updates

    FY19 TND Goals


    Updates from Sub-Committees

    Hiring Sub-Committee:  
    • Connect with Ulysses about what came of the work of this group
    • Ask Cassie about Ambassador’s Program –TND Grant Program
    • Devine’s group to join a meeting
    • Send proposal to Devine’s group for Ambassador’s Program
    • Vernetta suggested building on her team’s Inclusive Hiring Checklist
    • Search committee members should always read the “Filling Vacancy Policy”
    • Employee life cycle checklist – recruiting and onboarding (A way for this council to build upon that work)
    • Newsletter needs to be sent.
    • Sue will send around an updated version before sending it
    • Please get back to her ASAP with thoughts on format and design, etc.
    • HR Diversity Council website is updated and archived newsletters
    • Someone new to take over newsletter at some point
    • Send Sue content, please.
    • Aubrey Lang has been joining meeting
    • Planning for late sept. to launch invisible disability workshop
    • Currently conducting outreach to potential speakers, maybe multiple presenters to cover all topics
    • Their next meeting is scheduled for 5/16
    • Mark’s wife Maria, Patty Bennett Reynolds, and Reginald White are potential speakers
    • Erin Sember Chase suggested that he committee also reach out to allies
    • Will be planning brown bag conversations about this topic throughout the year
    • Tapping the Talent event – event for recruiting people with disabilities – Vernetta suggested partnering with this group and do an event on the same day. Second year doing this.
    • Inclusive Meeting checklist has been done and is being used widely
    • We should look into the accessibility of job descriptions in WorkDay
    • HR Community Conversations was a great idea.
    • Cornell needs to send out email to collect feedback*
    • We should have people read Donna Haeger’s book
    • Donna would be willing to come back and facilitate a conversation on the topic – staff forum format
    • Rehana has another speaker idea – Greg Eels
    IEA Ideas:
    • Creating Accessible documents in the workplace
    • Cross Cultural Fluency


    • Taking formal nominations for co-chair
    • Please let Cornell know by Friday, April 27

    FY18 TND Report:

    • All updates on sub-committee work are due the last week of May
    • Cornell will speak with Sherron about format for TND report and send to sub-committees

    FY19 TND Goals:

    • Present to Mary
    • Please come with thoughts for May meeting

    Next meeting:

    May 29th 1:00PM - 2:00PM