GAME CHANGER: Girl Scouts of the USA and Diversity Progress, Challenges and Opportunities

SHRM 2012 Diversity & Inclusion Conference & Exposition
This session will cover why diversity is essential to Girl Scouts of the USA, an organization with 2.3 million girl members, more than 900,000 volunteers and approximately 8,000 employees.

Learn how Girl Scouts of the USA integrates D&I into its overall business strategy and how this impacts the overall success of the organization. This session will cover actions taken to improve diversity in senior management, including the CEO, national board and external partners. We will discuss the specific challenges faced by the Girl Scouts and the nonprofit sector in recruiting and retaining diverse senior management talent. Despite having fewer resources than major corporations, nonprofits can compete and make progress. Learn the strategies this nonprofit used to see how you can use them to move your organization’s D&I strategies forward and demonstrate their impact on your business.

Date(s) & Time(s): 
Monday, October 22, 2012 - 10:45am to 12:00pm

Michael Watson


"We cannot remain competitive as a nation or solve the country's most challenging problems without tapping the full potential of girls and young women from every segment of our society. I joined Girl Scouts because we embrace diversity and help girls from every background become this country's future workforce and tomorrow's leaders."

Michael Watson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Diversity, directs the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and programs in the areas of executive compensation, employee engagement and retention, compensation and benefits, diversity, employee relations and executive search for Girl Scouts of the USA.

Prior to joining Girl Scouts in 1999, Watson was a human resources partner for IBM Global Services, where he served as senior human resources strategist for two businesses with combined revenues of more than $2 billion. Other positions he has held include manager-corporate human resources for Time Warner Inc. and manager-staffing and cultural diversity for GE Capital's 7,500-employee Retailer Financial Services business. He was awarded GE Capital's Pinnacle Club for top performance. Before joining GE's Human Resources Management Program, Watson was an IBM marketing representative and received an IBM Golden Circle Award for ranking among the top performers in sales for the year.

In 1997, Watson took a self-financed, one-year sabbatical. He spent part of that year as a volunteer at two public elementary schools in New Brunswick, N.J. At one of the schools, he worked with the principal and faculty to develop education programs for students and developed a pilot tutoring/volunteer program with Rutgers University. Watson has been a business coordinator and volunteer for INROADS, an Association of Yale Alumni delegate, and graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and Leadership Canton. Watson is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of the USA and the National Black MBA Association.

Watson is chair of the National Human Services Assembly's Human Resources Council, an association of senior human resources professionals from some of the nation's leading national nonprofits in the fields of health, human and community development, and human services. They comprise 85 organizations that employ approximately 1.3 million workers. He served as treasurer of the Nonprofit Workforce Coalition's board of directors. Composed of nonprofit organizations, associations, foundations and academic centers, the coalition focused on identifying and addressing issues facing the nonprofit sector workforce. Watson was the first recipient of the National Human Services Assembly's Spirit of Collaboration Award in June, 2010. He is currently on the boards of the National Human Services Assembly and the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps.

Watson has a bachelor of arts in economics from Yale University and a master of science in organizational management and human resource development from Manhattanville College. A native of New Brunswick, N.J., he was inducted into the 2008 Hall of Distinguished Alumni by the New Brunswick Education Foundation.


Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile - 6th Floor, North Western/Ohio State
Amount of Credit: 
Credit Type: 
Business Credit
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