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Female Founders Announce Partnership to Deliver CDP® and CDE® Credentialing Prep Courses

Sarika Bhakta, CDE®, Founder of Nikeya Diversity Consulting

Felicia Johnson, CDP®, Founder of The Gatson Group Inc.

Nikeya Diversity Consulting and The Gatson Group Launch Virtual and In-Person Classes Using Proven DEI Certification System

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, UNITED STATES, March 4, 2022 / -- While there are many things that a company can get wrong about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), it can be difficult to determine what exactly can be done well. DEI is something that companies strive to achieve in the workplace, however developing a realistic plan, executing the DEI strategy, and measuring the impact are all areas that require expertise. The larger the organization, the more complex DEI becomes.

Nikeya Diversity Consulting and The Gatson Group are partnering to facilitate Certified Diversity Professional (CDP)® and Certified Diversity Executive (CDE)® prep courses that will help organizations lay the proper foundation for DEI and/or pivot to the next generation of DEI work. The program is a part of a global effort to provide professional credentials to DEI practitioners and executives through the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC). Since 2009, IDC has conferred credentials to thousands of DEI leaders in 49 U.S. states and more than 30 other nations. Leah Smiley, President of the Society for Diversity (IDC's parent company), says, “Sarika and Felicia are a dynamic team, and have facilitated classes together for IDC. Both DEI experts bring something unique to the table, and Women’s History Month presents a great opportunity to support female Founders who are making a difference around the world.”

Born in India and raised in the United States, Sarika Bhakta, CDE®, Founder and President of Nikeya Diversity Consulting, recognizes herself as a global citizen. She understands what it is like to grow up experiencing cultural differences. As an individual who experienced exclusive, as well as hostile and toxic work cultures, Bhakta recognizes which organizational environments stimulate the most professional growth. She also recognizes that the challenges she faced throughout life allows her to realize the value in self-introspection. Bhakta states, “Most people jump into DEI work with all sorts of ideas of what others can do to improve belonging, inclusion, and fairness. However, I believe that others become more engaged when DEI leaders understand that the journey starts with them.” IDC’s research-driven and highly effective certification blueprint backs this strategy up. More than two-thirds of people who have completed the CDP® and CDE® certification programs stated that they experienced more support for DEI after achieving professional credentials.

Felicia Johnson, CDP®, Founder and Managing Director of The Gatson Group, was raised in a household where her parents always positioned themselves to help others. As she watched this growing up, Johnson desired to be a voice for those who did not have one. Johnson says, “This heavily influenced my career, as I recognize the value in aligning yourself with an organization that is aligned with what you believe, as well as in what you wish to accomplish.” With over a decade of experience working in DEI for companies such as Cabela’s, Toyota, and Goodyear, Johnson acknowledges the need for authenticity, expertise, and progress in this field.

As global leaders, DEI competencies are vital 21st-Century skills that are required in today’s Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) business environment. Both firms are small, minority and women-owned enterprises. Collectively, they are partnering to make an impact while pushing their DEI knowledge to new heights. The women foster safe spaces for individuals to discuss their authentic DEI journeys, as well as learn how to execute DEI strategies more effectively. Nikeya Diversity Consulting and The Gatson Group strive to have every individual that they encounter connect with the word diversity when- and wherever they engage in conversations.

Employers can schedule a custom DEI certification prep course for their entire team and/or register individuals for existing CDP® and CDE® classes at or

Leah Smiley
The Society for Diversity Inc.
+1 800-764-3336
email us here