Maria Velasco
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Maria Velasco
Harnessing the Power of Resistance
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM







Session Description

Research shows that companies with greater workforce diversity and inclusion have higher profits and increased innovation compared to those with a homogeneous workforce. However, organizational methodologies for launching successful diversity and inclusion initiatives elude many organizations. Many leaders make the fatal error of avoiding resistance. In this interactive experience, you will explore in-depth the positive role resistance plays in the implementation of successful diversity and inclusion initiatives.

During this session you will:

  • Learn how a diverse workforce and inclusive work environment have proven to be business success imperatives
  •  Understand the role of resistance in diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Recognize sources of resistance to change and how it can manifest productively and unproductively
  • Identify strategies to incorporate resistance as a positive force to change initiatives


Speaker Bio

Maria  Velasco    Maria  is  a  strategic  organizational  development  and  leadership  consultant  for  organizations  seeking  transformational  change  in  the  area  of  diversity  and  inclusion.  She  has  over  15  years  experience  developing  and  implementing  sustainable  diversity  and  inclusion  initiatives  to  help  strengthen  and  leverage  diversity  for  organizations  from  a  variety  of  sectors  with  the  goal  of  reducing  bias,  increasing  cultural  competence,  promoting  inclusion  and  institutional  change.  Her  projects  include  those  in  education,  healthcare,  mental  health,  technology,  scientific,  government  and  non-profit  organizations  throughout  the  United States.  Maria  uses  Appreciative  Inquiry  and  Action  Learning  methodologies  to  build  cultures  of  inclusion  and  to  foster  intercultural  understanding.  Born  and  raised  in  Salamanca,  Spain,  Maria  has  a  BA  in  Business  Administration,  a  Master  of  Arts  in  Organizational  Development  and  Leadership  and  a  Graduate  Certificate  in  Organizational  Consulting  from  Fielding  University.  Her  Master  thesis  (2017)  focuses  on  defining  the  role  of  the  transformational  leader  in  leveraging  resistance  around  the implementation  of  diversity  and inclusion  change  initiatives.  An  adaptation  of  the  study  has  been  accepted  for  publication  in  an  international  peer-review  journal.

Engage. Educate. Empower.

Mile High SHRM
500 Discovery Parkway, Suite 125 | Superior, CO 80027
(303) 465-3522 | (303) 243-5075 fax