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2018 Inclusiveness@Work Individual Nominee: Joi Simpson

Ms. Joi Simpson is the Human Resources Director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in Denver, Colorado. Joi joined CDPHE last  January and made an immediate impact to improve the diversity and inclusion at this agency of 1400 employees.

She championed the formation of a multicultural employee resource group (MERG), became the executive sponsor, and completed the charter by August of 2017. The group’s numerous activities have involved employees in the mission of promoting an environment that recognizes the multicultural interest of employees and customers, welcomes diversity, embraces employees from all walks of life, and encourages the department to establish relationships with diverse communities.

To address opportunities for improving the hiring of a diverse and inclusive workforce, Joi researched the best practices for inclusive hiring once she discovered a gap at CDPHE.  She then provided implicit bias training for the CDPHE Leadership Team of executive management. While all senior management will participate in the training, it will include a train-the-trainer feature so that the training can be shared with all of the hiring managers at CDPHE to improve the workforce demographics.

Joi is active collaborating with others as well.  In 2017, she helped with the “Non-Traditional Recruiting to Create a Diverse Workforce” session, a part of the Talent, Inclusion, Engagement, and Diversity (TIED) Symposium.  Recognizing that a diverse and talented workforce may begin developing at a very young age, Joi developed a working relationship with the Denver Public Schools (DPS) and arranged for CDPHE to have 10 employees provide career information at the DPS 8th Grade Career Fair last November with the fair serving over three thousand 8th grade students.

Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director at CDPHE has this to say about Joi, “Joi is one of the strongest advocates for inclusion and diversity I know. She practices what she preaches and is a role model for all of us!” Joi truly is a role model for diversity and inclusion not only at CDPHE, but throughout state government and beyond.

Share your thoughts on Joi’s nomination in the comments below.  Please join us when the recipient of the Inclusiveness@Work Individual category is announced on February 10th at our annual Ball for All gala. Tickets and sponsorships are available on the CLI Website.