It was the last meeting of the year for the Partnership’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, but this was no wrap-up session. Instead, the focus was on what’s next for the Council in 2019.
A lively group participation exercise lead by Marc Burt – Team Leader at Inspired Global Resources and a former vice president of Inclusion and Diversity at Honda North America –produced ideas to help set strategies and action items for the Council next year.
“How can we continue to move the needle on diversity and inclusion issues and build on what the Council has achieved so far?” asked Burt as he started the meeting. “Today, we are going to set some goals and strategies for each Center of Excellence to determine how we conduct business in pursuit of our mission.”
The session broke into three groups or Centers of Excellence (COE) to focus on specific strategies in:
- Human Resources
- Community Outreach & Philanthropy
During the session, each COE was instructed to prioritize goals – measurable milestones of success – and then develop strategies to meet the goals. In doing so, the groups were to also develop progress reporting mechanisms – what Burt explained as dashboards that clearly present the goals. Those dashboards will then be used at the next Council meeting to define what each COE is working toward.
From this input, Burt explained that the Council will develop a white paper as an opportunity to detail its work and mission and inform Partnership members, local business and government leaders on diversity and inclusion goals and strategies.
Following the Council meeting exercise, each group will finalize goals and strategies to be the focus of discussion in January. While still in development, here are what the goals and strategies of each COE may look like.
Goal – Assist companies in retaining existing workforce diversity while strengthening recruitment of diverse candidates in mid to senior level positions.
Strategies – Determine reasons why diverse candidates may leave an existing workforce – whether voluntary or involuntary – and work on ways to retain and attract diverse candidates while providing career development opportunities for existing employees.
Community Outreach & Philanthropy
Goal – Identify common diversity and inclusion outreach programs in Buffalo Niagara and coordinate efforts over common goals.
Strategies – Develop a framework for identifying these programs and create a repository for public and non-profit agencies to access and share information
Goal – Align Council communications strategies with our mission of promoting diversity in business and raising awareness of the competitive advantages of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Strategies – Establish a communications plan to look at current efforts and develop common messaging among the minor diversity and inclusion partners.
“The resulting white paper will be designed to update all stakeholders on what we are doing in diversity and inclusion and aid in implementing strategies,” Burt concluded. “The Council meeting gives us a good start on the important work we have ahead of us.”
Learn more about our Diversity & Inclusion Council here.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our Council sponsors who make our work possible.