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SHRM24 Concludes with Inspiring Presentation from Sherri Shepherd on Pressing Issues Surrounding Workplace Inclusion and Diversity

Leaders Discuss Workplace Civility, Artificial Intelligence, Announce SHRM25 in San Diego

CHICAGO – The SHRM Annual Conference & Expo (SHRM24) officially ended today with an exciting presentation from Emmy award-winning talk show host, comedian, actress, and author, Sherri Shepherd, where she shared her inspiring experiences as a woman of color in the entertainment industry.

Shepherd spoke about addressing pressing issues of diversity, pay equity, and inclusion in the workplace while reflecting on building cultural competence.

“I was told no countless times.  If you can manage your fear and do it (take a chance) scared, there are so many blessings, if you can get on the other side of fear,” said Shepherd.

Breaking all-time attendance and revenue records, the McCormick Place Convention Center welcomed nearly 26,000 human resource professionals, executives, students, and others. Approximately 2,200 of those attendees registered to attend virtually. 

SHRM President & CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., made opening remarks on Monday, calling for HR leaders to raise the bar in addressing several key issues currently facing the HR industry, including the need for workplace civility.

“In a time of deepening societal division, HR must raise the bar for human-to-human civility. It’s bad – and it’s getting worse,” said Taylor. “We, HR leaders, are the lifeline [people] will hold onto. We and our organizations will give them a living and a future. We have to bring them through.”

Taylor discussed the importance of building AI-optimized workplaces that always put humans at the center and the need to build human potential by upskilling workers at the pace of innovation.

Additionally, Taylor announced the next SHRM Annual Conference & Expo, SHRM25, will be held in San Diego June 29 - July 2, 2025.

On Sunday, ‘America’s #1 Most Trusted Morning Show News Anchor’ TODAY Show Co-Host, Al Roker, kicked off the conference with a session as the keynote speaker. Roker spoke about his experience working in the broadcast journalism industry and the civility and resiliency he witnessed throughout his career. 

On Tuesday, SHRMLabs, a SHRM subsidiary, announced Ovida as the winner of the 2024 Better Workplaces Challenge Cup (BWCC), a competition to highlight the most innovative workplace technology solutions from companies across the globe, which awards the winner the cup and a $50,000 cash prize.

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund presented the third annual 2024 Ethical Leader of the Year award to Lowe’s Chairman, President & CEO, Marvin R. Ellison.

“It was an honor to present the third iteration of our organization’s Ethical Leader of the Year Award to Marvin Ellison, an extraordinary business leader who has not only navigated an exceptional nation-spanning company such as Lowe’s to continued financial success but also lent significant time and energies in serving his employees and greater community,” said Brian Peckrill, Executive Director for the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund.

Several SHRM Research reports were released during the conference, including the much anticipated 2024 Employee Benefits Survey, and the Military Spouse Report.

The next SHRM conference, INCLUSION 2024, will be held in Denver, CO, November 4 through November 7, 2024. Visit for more information.

SHRM25 will be held in San Diego from June 29 – July 2, 2025. Visit for more information.

About SHRM 

SHRM is a member-driven catalyst for creating better workplaces where people and businesses thrive together. As the trusted authority on all things work, SHRM is the foremost expert, researcher, advocate, and thought leader on issues and innovations impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With nearly 340,000 members in 180 countries, SHRM touches the lives of more than 362 million workers and their families globally. Discover more at 


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