About Us

Who We Are

The Society for Diversity is a virtual professional association for workplace Diversity & Inclusion efforts. We provide education and resources to help Diversity and Inclusion professionals advance their careers, and empower employers to achieve diverse representation, diversity of thought, and/or diversification of market share and products/services. We offer programs and one-on-one technical assistance for professionals and organizations at every stage, and for the last 9 years, our work has made a tangible impact on thousands of people each year.

As a virtual organization, the Society for Diversity saves you time and money. We are the #1 and largest professional association dedicated exclusively to diversity and inclusion. We are also very hands-on in our approach to member relations– ensuring that customer service is personal and customized.

What Is Our Motivation?

The world of diversity is incredible!  It does awesome things for businesses, and enhances the lives of every day individuals.  In the global workplace, Diversity and Inclusion is a 21st century business concept that helps employers utilize different ideas, experiences and skills to achieve organizational goals, impact bottom line performance, and disrupt competitors.

When diversity experts are in leadership or consulting positions, diversity is dynamic!  It is used as a vehicle to engage employees and drive revenue. For this reason, the Society for Diversity was formed– both to support diversity experts and to produce additional diversity connoisseurs.

Our goal is to help our members become the most knowledgeable, skilled, and practiced diversity experts in the world. Through our goal, we can help others see the value in diversity and experience measurable business impact.

Who is Involved in the Society for Diversity?

The Society for Diversity was incorporated in Indiana in June 2009. Today, both the Society for Diversity and the renowned Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC)™ are located in the Purdue Technology Center of Indianapolis.

Leah Smiley is a globally recognized thought-leader in the field of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Mrs. Smiley utilizes more than 22 years of HR and multicultural marketing/communications expertise, as well as 15+ years of experience in the field of Diversity and Inclusion, to drive better organizational outcomes. Before founding the Society for Diversity, Mrs. Smiley worked in management for Fortune 100 Cigna Corporation, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, nonprofits, and other organizations throughout her distinguished career. She has a Political Science degree from Hampton University and has received the Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) designation from the Institute from Diversity Certification.

The Society for Diversity engages its members to lead diversity and inclusion in the workplace, on college campuses, and in the community. Our members represent corporate, nonprofit, government and educational institutions. We have members in Canada, Brazil, China, and 43 U.S. states. As a one-stop shop for diversity and inclusion, we offer corporate, group and individual membership options.

The Society for Diversity’s membership base is very diverse– representing all genders, ages, religions, sexual orientations, abilities/disabilities, races, and ethnicities, among other differences. Our members are Presidents, Chief Diversity Officers, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Directors, Assistant Directors, Managers, Coordinators, Consultants, and more. They have a range of experience in diversity and inclusion– with anywhere from one to twenty years or more of expertise in the field. Additionally, 3% of Society for Diversity members have Associates degrees or less, 23% have Bachelors degrees, 52% have Masters degrees, and 22% have Doctorate degrees.

How We Are Unique

Since Leah Smiley founded the Society for Diversity, the organization has utilized technology to help diversity and inclusion professionals obtain better business outcomes. In addition to our nationally renowned diversity certification program, the Society for Diversity encourages the use of innovative, strategic and proven methods to drive positive, and intentional, results. We are always seeking out new developments and technological solutions to equity, diversity and inclusion work. As such, we regularly partner with leading researchers and progressive organizations to incorporate the latest advancements in the field.  Our efforts empower leaders to unleash their full potential in order to achieve professional and business goals. Additionally, our approach saves organizations time and money.

Definition of Diversity

We define diversity as an asset. An asset can be characterized as a resource that brings value to an organization. These “assets” can be your employees, senior executives, board members, volunteers, constituents, students, customers, shareholders, investors, citizens, or other forms of human capital. The assets just happen to have unique dimensions such as varying ages, abilities, races, genders, economic statuses, geographic locations, educational levels, backgrounds, employment histories, family statuses, interests, preferences, and other distinctions. Assets are not uni-dimensional (i.e., defined by race or gender alone); there are an infinite number of ways in which assets can be different.

Viewing diversity as an asset means that each individual is valuable– whether white, black, purple or green. The more assets that an organization possesses, the greater its ability to grow, compete, and experience additional benefits.  The Society for Diversity’s ultimate aim is to achieve added value through diversity of thought, innovation, and cultural competence. This is an ever-changing feat due to the global context in which we live and work.

The Mission

Our mission is to educate and equip diversity executives and professionals with the tools needed to design and execute effective diversity and inclusion strategies; share information and resources through an international business network; and establish a global standard of quality in the field of diversity.

What sets us apart is our focus on excellence and achievement, as well as our emphasis on measurable diversity and inclusion outcomes. We serve to:

  • Increase the use of technological and data-driven solutions in the field of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Act as an advocate for global diversity and inclusion, as well as serve as a specialized resource for executives and professionals in the field
  • Offer qualification credentials for diversity experts through a professional diversity certification program, The Institute for Diversity Certification™
  • Provide basic, intermediate and advanced professional development courses in diversity for executives and professionals
  • Expand business opportunities for diverse employees, contractors, consultants, and customers
  • Cultivate networking and information sharing among diversity professionals throughout the world

Get involved, support us, and make things happen. I hope you join us, as we embark on a lifelong journey to help the world value diversity and experience the professional and corporate benefits that diversity affords all of us.