Shirley Davis

workforce and Reinvention speaker

Shirley Davis

workforce and Reinvention speaker


Global Workforce & DEI Expert; Corporate Executive and CEO; Best-selling Author; Popular LinkedIn Learning Author; Master of Reinvention

Speech Topics Include:

  • Cultivating Cultures of Inclusion and High Performance
  • Strategies for Getting Living Beyond “What If”?
  • Inclusion 2030: Global Workforce Trends that are Redefining the Workplace, the Workers and the Work
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Tips for Tackling Taboo Topics
  • Mastering Your Reinvention in an Era of Disruption

Dr. Shirley Davis is a sought-after global workforce expert, and is president and CEO of SDS Global Enterprises, a strategic development solutions firm that specializes in human resources strategy; talent management; leadership effectiveness; culture transformation; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Davis has over twenty years of experience in a variety of senior executive leadership roles in Fortune 100 and; 50 corporations and in her last role, served as vice president of global diversity and inclusion and workforce strategies for the world’s largest human resources association, the Society for Human Resource Management. Her work has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, NBC’s Today Show, USA Today, NPR, CBS News, Fox News,, Fast Company, HR Magazine, and many others. In May 2022, her story was featured on the front page of Oprah Daily.

As a result of her contributions and expertise in the HR, Leadership, and DEI fields, she was inducted into Inclusion Magazine’s Hall of Fame for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in November 2021, and in August 2022 in Nashville, TN she was awarded The Golden Gavel Award which is Toastmasters International’s highest and most prestigious award given to one person each year based on Leadership and Communication Impact. Additionally, she was nominated for Forbes 2021 Women 50 Over 50 list and again in 2022.

Dr. Davis has worked in more than 30 countries on 5 continents and delivers more than 100 speeches a year to a wide range of industries, sectors, and sizes, including Fortune 10s-500s corporations, large membership associations and non-profit organizations, and federal, state, and local government agencies. She continues to consult, coach, and train leaders at all levels, including Corporate CEOs, C-Suite executives, Board of Directors. She served on the Board of Directors and the Foundation Board for the National Speakers Association (2017-2021) and led their first-ever NSA DEI Task Force. She is currently a member of the NSA Million Dollar Speakers Group, and a member of the Global Speakers Federation. In 2021, she was named to the national board of the Make-A- Wish Foundation and will serve a four year term. She holds a Bachelor’s in Pre-Law, a Master’s in Adult Education; a second Master’s in Human Resource Management, and a Ph.D. in Business and Organizational Leadership.

Dr. Shirley Davis is the author of the recently released book Living Beyond “What If?” Release the Limits and Realize Your Dreams (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, August 10, 2021). She’s also the author of Reinvent Yourself: Strategies for Achieving Success in Every Area of Your Life and The Seat: How to Get Invited to the Table When You're Over-Performing but Undervalued. Additionally, she is a popular author for five LinkedIn Learning courses on Leadership and DEI, and in January 2021 was sought out by another global publishing company–John Wiley & Sons to write the first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Dummies book (released January 10, 2022 as Amazon’s #1 New Release in its category and #7 Best Seller).

She is a former Miss District of Columbia National Teenager, Mrs. Oklahoma-America, Ms. Richmond Virginia, Ms. Virginia, and in 2000 she won the national title of Ms. American United States. But among her many accomplishments and titles, the one she holds dearest is “mom” to her daughter, Gabrielle Victoria.

Cultivating Cultures of Inclusion and High Performance

Many companies tout how much progress they have made in their diversity efforts because they have recruited more diverse talent and offered D & I training. But if achieving representation, counting heads, and raising awareness is all that you do, and you don’t have a welcoming or inclusive workplace culture, your efforts will not be sustainable. So what does it take to create this kind of culture—one that attracts top talent, increases performance and engagement, fosters collaboration and trust, and creates a WOW experience that makes great workers want to stay?

Dr. Shirley Davis, a recognized authority on the global workforce and leadership effectiveness will detail the latest research and future trends on the global changing demographics and the implications for how the workers and the work will be impacted. She will also outline innovative strategies for how winning cultures are created and become great places to work. More importantly, she’ll identify what new leadership skills and competencies will be needed in order to achieve high performance, innovation, and inclusiveness.


Strategies for Getting Living Beyond “What If”?

We all dream. We all imagine. And we all plan. But why is it that some people achieve their dreams and most do not? Experts say that when we are living a life of meaning, purpose, and significance we are happier, healthier, more productive, and come up with better solutions. So, what makes us press the pause button on our dreams and live our lives by default versus by design? What makes us settle for a life of mediocrity versus a life of greater meaning and fulfillment? What keeps us unable to get beyond “What If?”

In this life transforming session, Dr. Davis will expose the many limits that we place on ourselves that can hijack and sabotage our purpose, our power and our possibilities. She will reveal the common disempowering “What If?” questions that keep our dreams on pause and our destiny delayed. Dr. Davis will take participants on a journey of self-discovery and a search for significance that will enable them to release the limits so that they can realize their dreams and begin living beyond “What If.”


Inclusion 2030: Global Workforce Trends that are Redefining the Workplace, the Workers and the Work

The work, workers, and workplace of the future will continue to undergo dramatic transformation. Research suggests that by 2030 workers will be older and younger at the same time, more educated and less skilled, hyper-connected through new technologies, and more ethnically diverse. How can we ready our organizations for this new workforce reality? What new strategies, competencies, and skills will be necessary to harness the benefits, yet counter the negative effects of these global disruptions? More importantly, what new leadership models will be needed in order to achieve high performance, innovation, and inclusiveness?

Dr. Shirley Davis, a recognized authority on the global workforce and leadership effectiveness will answer all of these questions as she details the megatrends and business implications that will shape the workforce of the future. Additionally, she will provide practical strategies that business leaders should employ if they expect to achieve greater Inclusion in 2030.

Tips for Tackling Taboo Topics

Many organizations invite employees to bring their full selves to work. And with that, comes many specific aspects of their identity. Let’s face it, some topics are just tough to have. In fact, many organizations urge employees not to talk about certain issues such as religion, race, politics, their sexual identity or any other sensitive issue because if they are not handled with care, they can leave a person feeling offended, devalued, demotivated, and misunderstood. But there are healthy and effective ways to talk about these taboo topics. In this session, Dr. Davis will outline the key challenges and common issues associated with taboo topics that workplaces face today but are reluctant and unskilled at addressing. She will also detail a framework for how to keep these conversations professional and respectful.

Inclusive Leadership

Never before has inclusive leadership been more important than it is today. Recent research reveals that inclusive leaders create inclusive work environments. Inclusive work environments produce higher performance, increase employee engagement, fuel innovation and creativity, increase retention, and positively impacts the customer service experience. The demographics of the 21st century are dramatically different than 20 years ago as the workforce has become more diverse, global, multi-cultural, multi-generational, hyper-connected, and are working more virtually. As a result, the ability to lead across differences, create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and high performance will be a key lever for attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent, new customers, clients, members, and donors. This kind of leadership requires new competencies, skill sets, and strategies.

In this engaging and interactive session, Dr. Shirley Davis, a global workforce expert, successful business executive, leadership coach, and best-selling author will highlight key demographic disruptions and their impact on employee performance, satisfaction, and retention. She will guide participants through a model called the 6 C’s of Inclusive Leadership, reveal the most common pitfalls that leaders should avoid, and describe key competencies and skills needed today and for the future workforce of 2030. Participants will discuss the key challenges and common issues that leaders and workplaces face today but are reluctant and unskilled at addressing (e.g., religion, politics, different thinking styles, male/gender roles, LGBTQ, etc.), as well as the effects they have on talent acquisition, employee engagement, communication, and building high performing teams.

Through real-world case studies, group discussions, leadership assessments, trivia, skill practices, and an application exercise, participants will walk away with practical tips, skills, strategies, and inclusive leadership behaviors necessary for effectively leading a global workforce.


Mastering Your Reinvention in an Era of Disruption

Given the current state of affairs, it couldn’t be a more opportune time than now to reinvent yourself. We’re currently living in an era of disruption–experiencing accelerated change, increased competition and overwhelming complexity in the marketplace, workforce, and in our personal lives. As leaders, we must not only effectively help our organizations to navigate through the waters of uncertainty and change, but we have to manage our own major life disruptions.

In this session, Dr. Shirley Davis CSP, will assume her role as a certified life coach, success business executive, and the author of the best-selling book, “Reinvent Yourself: Strategies for Achieving Success in Every Area of Your Life,” and describe some of the most pressing challenges/issues that business leaders face at work and beyond. She will also outline how these issues have a significant impact on how we show up every day in life (e.g., sense of self-worth, self-confidence, attitude, performance, etc.). Be prepared to laugh, learn, and be inspired, as she shares from her 25+ years of experience some proven strategies and tips for how to become the master of your own reinvention, take control of your destiny, and live a life of significance and fulfillment at work and in every area of your life.

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