The Council’s industry-leading Inclusion & Diversity Business Champion Program brought participants together for a structured best practice sharing session to discuss ways to move inclusion and diversity forward and overcome possible obstacles.
Participants broke into small groups that facilitated discussion of questions about inclusion and diversity challenges, cultivating a safe environment in which employees or team members feel they can communicate their needs, and how individuals can advance inclusion and diversity each day within their organizations.
“Listening to your employees and communicating is a huge start. Sometimes we’re so operations driven that we get the job done but forget to listen to employee ideas.”Event Participant
Participants agreed that an effective way of advancing inclusion and diversity within their organizations is to start by setting a good personal example. Another suggested taking a comprehensive view of what inclusion and diversity means.
“Creating a respectful environment that appreciates diversity of thinking is really valuable. Having different perspectives on an issue can lead to innovative solutions that no one way of thinking could have found.”
Maintaining trust with intentional and controlled responses and reactions is important as well, said a participant.
“I challenge myself in how I react. Because it’s easy to tell people ‘come into my office with anything anytime’ but if I blow someone off because I’m busy, I’m eroding that trust.”Event Participant
Participants agreed that one way of earning and maintaining trust is being accountable.
“One thing that helps is being able to admit and to acknowledge when we fall short,” said a participant. “To be able to say, ‘I messed up, let’s try that again’ is an important skill to have.”
The program, which includes interactive seminars, peer coaching and executive sponsorship, guides participants in developing detailed plans to lead meaningful changes within their companies.
The group meets next on May 25 where the focus will be on Unconscious Bias. The Council remains a leading resource in the inclusion and diversity sphere and looks forward to continuing to expand on this important initiative.
For more information about the program, contact COO Molly Determan.