Colette Hands, Ed.D., Recognized by Crain's Chicago Business for DEI Leadership

Colette Hands, Ed.D., has been named a 2023 Notable Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Des Plaines (Oct. 2, 2023) - Colette Hands, Ed.D., has been named a 2023 Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for her work as Oakton College’s Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. The Crain’s Chicago Business announced the 2023 honorees in the print edition and on its website, Oct. 2.

“Colette is a dynamic leader, dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workplace environment where employees across the institution are able to thrive,” said Oakton College President Joianne L. Smith, Ph.D.

As Oakton’s chief Human Resources officer, Hands has led the full range of HR services across the College, including succession management, performance management and coaching, policy development, and equal employment opportunities. In addition, she has helped recruit and retain a diverse workforce that mirrors Oakton’s diverse student population through intentional recruitment practices. These include requiring anti-bias training for all search committee members, offering professional development to all college employees pertaining to equity and inclusion, and providing coaching for supervisors to support diverse employees.

Oakton’s intentional focus on equity and inclusion from recruitment to onboarding and ongoing professional development has led to an increasingly diverse workforce. The racial diversity of Oakton’s administrative team and the full-time faculty has increased by 5% in the last five years.

"Creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture is some of the most important work anyone can do in their organization, and I'm honored to have been part of it at Oakton and for this recognition by Crain's," said Hands.

Hands serves as the vice chair of the Board of the YWCA Evanston/Northshore – and has served on the board since 2016.

Oakton's commitment to its students begins with a dedicated team of skilled and passionate professionals. To learn more about employment opportunities, please visit Oakton’s website.