Opening Remarks & General Session | Battling Unconscious Bias for Underrepresented Talent Pools

2020 Talent Virtual Experience

Transforming How We See Talent
Talent has always mattered, and as America gets back to work, it will matter more than ever. Join SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, as we kick off Talent 2020: Virtual Experience. He will discuss HR’s strategic role in leading with talent in the post-COVID-19 workplace and shaping our workplaces to be better and more aligned to new business and people priorities.

Battling Unconscious Bias for Underrepresented Talent Pools
Unconscious bias is a reality in today’s world of work, plain and simple. That bias can often limit the size of candidate pools and cause some of the most qualified candidates to be overlooked. This session will illuminate how consideration of untapped talent can open up infinite possibilities for your workforce. Join us for three thought-provoking talks that will arm you with new perspectives on what these underrepresented individuals bring to the table, like unique skills and talents, and gain a deeper understanding of the role you can play in battling unconscious bias at work. Hear from Hot Chicken Takeover Founder, Joe DeLoss, on hiring the formerly incarcerated; psychologist and creator of Therapy for Black Girls, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, on mental health in the workplace; and President & CEO of Inspired Communications International, LLC, a Certified Disabled Veteran Owned Business Enterprise, John Register, about employing veterans and those who are differently abled. These speakers, all experts in their own right, will share compelling stories that make the case for hiring underrepresented individuals, tips for employment success and practical takeaways you can infuse in your day-to-day work, like fostering a culture of inclusion and wellbeing. You’ll leave with a greater appreciation for how diversity benefits the work environment and how you can leverage it as competitive advantage in recruitment and employee retention efforts. 

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Monday, April 20, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:15am

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

Johnny C.
Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is President and Chief Executive Officer of SHRM. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally.

As a global leader on the future of employment, culture, and leadership, Mr. Taylor is a sought-after voice on all matters affecting work, workers, and the workplace. Recently named one of the “Most Influential People Shaping Public Policy” in our nation’s Capital by Washingtonian Magazine, Mr. Taylor is frequently asked to testify before Congress on critical workforce issues and authors the weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR."

Mr. Taylor's career spans over 20 years as a lawyer, human resources executive, and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit space. He has held senior and chief executive roles at IAC/Interactive Corp, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Entertainment Group, the McGuireWoods law firm, and Compass Group USA. Most recently, Mr. Taylor was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

He is the author of the national bestseller, RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, which delivers a candid and forward-thinking vision for leaders to reimagine their company cultures in a time of global upheaval and presents data-driven strategies to make the necessary foundational reset of all things work. Immediately upon its release in September 2021, RESET was in the top three of the Wall Street Journal’s list of best-selling hardcover business books. All author proceeds benefit the SHRM Foundation, which is committed to empowering HR as a social force for change.

Mr. Taylor sits on several corporate boards, including as Lead Independent Director of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) and as an Independent Director of Guild Education and Flores & Associates. In addition, he dedicates himself to non-profit organizations, serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami and as a Trustee of the United Way Worldwide. Mr. Taylor was appointed chairman of the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and as a member of the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board during the Trump Administration.

The Women Business Collaborative (WBC) named Mr. Taylor as one of its 2023 Trailblazers in Gender Equity and Diversity for his work to achieve equal positions, pay, and power for all women in business. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Executive of the Year Award from the Academy of Management, and he was named 2021 ALA Professional Society CEO of the Year by CEO Update.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.

Joe DeLoss


Joe DeLoss is building a fried chicken empire by changing perspectives on HR and workforce development. Though his career began as an investment bank analyst, Joe quickly left the cubicle to combine his passions for entrepreneurship and community impact.

With ten years and dozens of ideas behind him, Joe has now struck a nerve with his newest adventure, Hot Chicken Takeover. The restaurant concept sells delicious fried chicken in an environment reminiscent of a family reunion. HCT has earned critical acclaim as a breakout brand in its segment and is currently taking over the Midwest.

To support expansion of the concept, Joe relies on an unconventional workforce and HR strategy. The majority of his team members have experienced significant adversity in their past – ranging from addiction, to homelessness, or incarceration. This is a message Hot Chicken Takeover isn’t shy on communicating. For Joe, this approach is far from charitable; it’s the lynchpin of HCT’s success.

Joe’s dedication to fair-chance employment, social entrepreneurship, and vulnerable leadership has allowed him to impact the lives of thousands of people. As Joe continues to build, he is sharing his story with national audiences across the country – including The Today Show, Forbes, Harvard Business School, Politico, the Rachael Ray Show and more.

In 2018, Joe was selected as International Endeavor Entrepreneur for his commitment to scaling impact. Joe has also served as an adjunct instructor at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and John Glenn School of Public Affairs. He also maintains seats on several business and community boards.


Dr. Joy Harden Bradford

Dr. Joy Harden

Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is a Licensed Psychologist, Speaker, and the host of the wildly popular mental health podcast, Therapy for Black Girls. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana, her Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from Arkansas State, and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The University of Georgia.

Her work focuses on making mental health topics more relevant and accessible for Black women and she specializes in creating spaces for Black women to have fuller and healthier relationships with themselves and others. She has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Bustle, Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Women’s Health, BuzzFeed, Teen Vogue, and Essence. Dr. Joy lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and two sons.

John Register


John Register is a modern-day renaissance man and one of the most authentic interactive keynote speakers of our time.

From four-time track and field all-American to Gulf War Army veteran to amputee to Paralympic silver medalist, John has never allowed adversity to hold him back. He continues to hurdle adversity and turn obstacles into opportunities and show others how to do the same.

During a training session in Hays, Kansas, Register, the 8th fastest 400m hurdler at the time, landed awkwardly dislocating his left knee. His artery behind the kneecap was blocked. A 11-hour vein graph surgery was conducted but was inadequate. 5 subsequent operations were not able fully save the limb. Register made the decision to amputate his leg, and his dreams. Armed with this new determination, John decided to take a new step every day.

It began with swimming. His steps to the pool each day resulted in making the Paralympic swim team. He then turned his attention back to running. He and his prosthetist crafted a running leg which took John to the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia, where he won the silver medal in the long jump. With his previous goal now accomplished, John turned his sights on creating opportunities for people with disabilities by utilizing the lens of sport.

His post athletic career accolades are equally impressive as he founded the United States Olympic Committees Paralympic Military sport program which assist wounded, ill, and injured service members in their recovery to a healthy and active lifestyle and serving in a variety of capacities to include special advisor to two U.S. Secretary of State on disability foreign policy and being a U.S. Sports Diplomacy Ambassador (Envoy). As a highly sought-after keynote speaker, John believes in audience engagement and collective learning. In either his interactive keynote address, or half day training sessions, experiential learning is at core of each presentation.


Session Type: 
General Session
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