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Nikeya Diversity Consulting LLC Licenses IDC's Globally-Renowned Diversity Certification System

Sarika Bhakta, CEO of Nikeya Diversity Consulting LLC

Sarika Bhakta & CDP Candidates at IDC's Classroom Prep Course in Indianapolis

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, UNITED STATES, February 14, 2020 / -- The Society for Diversity Inc. is excited to announce a licensing partnership with Nikeya Diversity Consulting LLC, a leading Iowa-based Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement (EDI&E) consulting enterprise. The collaboration is a part of the Society for Diversity's overall strategy to leverage the intellectual property of the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC)® and impart formal knowledge in a growing field. IDC designed its rigorous certification system to serve as a standard for inclusive excellence and to distinguish professional achievement in the field. As the number one global credentialing program for diversity and inclusion, IDC has thousands of certification candidates in 46+ U.S. states and 13 other countries. It is currently in discussions to license its diversity certification program to partners around the world, including in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Italy, Brazil, Uganda, China, and India, to name a few.

Nikeya Diversity Consulting was founded by Sarika Bhakta, CDE and its principal office is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The firm was created to offer comprehensive sustainable and strategic EDI&E solutions to transform organizational and regional cultures to attract/retain diverse workforces and businesses. Nikeya Diversity Consulting is executing the first of its kind model by partnering with regional entities to expand opportunities for diversity certification to ensure local professionals feel competent and confident to successfully execute EDI&E solutions. Such partners include Inclusive ICR Iowa.

“We are excited to partner with IDC in conjunction with Inclusive ICR Iowa to help navigate the region’s ED&I journey intentionally and strategically by jointly offering proven ways to tap into leadership development techniques via diversity certification,” said Bhakta. "By developing inclusive global leadership skills, individuals feel more competent to leverage diversity as an asset which drives engagement, and cultural transformation. Arming professionals with diversity credentials will benefit the individual and the workplace while collectively impacting and elevating the region/state as a whole.”

Prior to launching her consulting firm, Bhakta worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors across the US with expertise in management, strategic planning, talent recruiting and retention, community and economic development, organizational development, etc. Bhakta is also the co-host of Diversity Straight Up, a new podcast launched in fall of 2019, and a co-author of “Power Up, Super Women”, an anthology book on women’s empowerment.

Through IDC, the Society for Diversity owns the Intellectual Property for the Certified Diversity Professional (CDP)® and Certified Diversity Executive (CDE)® designations. It also owns the Federal copyrights and trademarks for both the CDP® and CDE® through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as several state trademarks. The company is in the process of securing the international trademarks and completing its accreditation process with the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Additionally, IDC is a current member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.

Bhakta was certified by IDC in 2016. Since then, she has facilitated CDP® and CDE® prep courses around the U.S. with Leah Smiley, President of the Society for Diversity Inc. This foundation has prepared Bhakta to facilitate the Nikeya Diversity Consulting Group's certification prep courses. Smiley says, "Sarika is such a wonderful trainer, but most importantly, her company's core values align with ours and her corporate background is a perfect fit for our business model. From problem solving and decision making to imagination and emotional intelligence, Nikeya Diversity's efforts advance important workplace skills for 21st century leaders. This work uniquely supports our mission."

As more employers establish formal diversity offices, IDC intends to ensure that Equity and Inclusion leaders are prepared for the rigors of working in a global and complex professional environment. For this reason, IDC serves to verify that D&I practitioners are distinguished by their leadership and learning with a formal professional qualification indicator-- similar to credentials in the accounting, healthcare, technology, legal, and human resource fields. IDC also wants to equip managers with the knowledge and skills to supervise globally diverse teams with competence and confidence.

Smiley says, "The field of Diversity has changed. Yet, some professionals and employers are using the same tools and strategies that they did during the 1980's. Certification offers the perfect blend of experience and education to propel organizations and their employees toward real progress. Not only does it provide mentors and up-to-date industry resources, but it equips organizations with talent that can skillfully use best practices and research-based tools to manage the next generation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at work".

In recent years, IDC has seen an increase in employers building bench strength by certifying more than the Diversity Officer. Nikeya Diversity Consulting will facilitate CDP® and CDE® prep courses in 2020 to accommodate the needs of organizations that require more classroom-based options. For a complete listing of classes, or to register for any of the Nikeya Diversity Consulting upcoming prep courses, visit

Leah Smiley
The Society for Diversity Inc.
+1 317-777-7632
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