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diversity

Centers, Events, Newsroom

How to Manage a Workforce with Many Identities

In the early days of diversity, the work focused on race and gender. Then it broadened and  became more complex. Laws change, attitudes are continually evolving and the newest generation in the workforce does not want to be put in a box of one race, ethnicity or group.

Each person is an individual and may or may not hold the traditional values associated with his or her primary culture. How does a manager create an inclusive environment given the evolving multiple dimensions of diversity?  On Tuesday, June 18 Wednesday, July 17, Mary-Frances Winters, president and founder of The Winters Group, will lead a Diversity Insights session that will provide tips for managing the complexities and paradoxes of individual identities: Continue Reading

Centers, Events, leadership, Newsroom

Highlights of the 2013 Multicultural Forum

mcf25The Multicultural Forum was held April 10-11, at the Minneapolis Convention Center with a spring snowstorm adding another dimension to the conference, especially for out-of-state visitors from warmer climes.

The Forum celebrated its 25th anniversary, culminating with a name change to The Forum on Workplace Inclusion.  This new moniker reflects societal changes and a refocusing of the Forum’s agenda. Inclusion leads to engagement, innovation, productivity, and employee retention.  Does your workplace value these variables?  If not, what is the cost of not including, valuing, and listening to “others”?   Considering business’ focus on financial outcomes—follow the money.  Organizations and businesses are recognizing the economic benefit to the bottom line when they value and practice inclusion.

I was able to attend a variety of sessions.  Highlights: Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Events, leadership, Newsroom

25th Annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity Begins Today

MCF Logo 25The 25th Annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity kicks off today with a full day of informative sessions and discussions on the theme, Our Time to Lead. This reflects the legacy and evolution of diversity and inclusion over the last 25 years:  opening doors of opportunity, igniting change, and challenging organizations to respond to an ever-changing landscape of social, political, economic and technological realities.  Today, the unprecedented shifts of our time call us to meet these challenges.

Four signature events, or general sessions, offer a path to strengthen individual and collective leadership capacity for the challenges and opportunities ahead. The conference will also feature 58 concurrent learning sessions, a Resource Expo, free Career Fair and Career Services Center. Pre-Conference Professional Development Institutes took place yesterday.

If you’re unable to attend the conference, follow @MCFdiversity and #diversityforum on Twitter.

In addition three champions of workplace diversity will be honored during a Thursday, April 11, luncheon. Each year the forum honors individuals or organizations for their exemplary efforts to address workplace diversity issues. Recipients are: Continue Reading

Environment, Ethics, Events, leadership, Newsroom

L2L Summit Asks Students “Leadership. Why me? Why now?”

Saturday March 1 marked the date of the Fourth Annual Learners to Leaders Summit. The annual summit is a unique event hosted by the Opus College of Business but targeted to a wide range of future professionals with connections to area colleges, including current juniors and seniors, as well as recent grads. The mission of L2L? To provide high-potential students and young professionals of color with perspective and resources that will position them for success in graduate school and in their careers.

The theme of this year’s summit was “Leadership. Why me? Why now?” The theme was chosen as a reflection of the reality that while everyone is capable of playing a valuable leadership role, it’s all too common to assume that the responsibility of leadership belongs to someone else, based on title, personality, or amount of past experience.

Did this year’s L2L Summit achieve its objective of providing content relevant and valuable to future graduate students from a broad range of backgrounds and interests? Here’s what some of the participants had to say.

Continue Reading

Ethics, Faculty, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Does gender and racial identity no longer matter in business?

By Teresa Rothausen-Vange, Ph.D., Professor of Management and Susan E. Heckler Endowed Chair in Business Administration

coverThe presence of female and minority leaders in America today has some people thinking that gender and racial/ethnic identity no longer matter in business and society today. In fact, these issues have just become muted and difficult to talk about due to political correctness and fear. Who benefits from this? Not most Americans of color, not most white Americans, not men, not women, and certainly not children.

If you want an example of how powerful gender norms still are, and how our society lashes out when people violate them in the business world, check out this post on Salon about the negative reaction to the new book by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” out today. Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

General Mills Takes a Stand

On Wednesday June 13 General Mills CEO Ken Powell made a brief announcement that General Mills as a corporation is in opposition to the marriage amendment that will be on the Minnesota ballot this fall. His decision is explained and discussed in this blog post written by Ken Charles, Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion for General Mills.

While, General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees.

I am proud to see our company join the ranks of local and national employers speaking out for inclusion. We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy – and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it.

We value diversity. We value inclusion. We always have … and we always will.

While we all have our own beliefs and feelings about this issue, and we all need to respect the beliefs and values of each other, but what makes the decision of General Mills significant is that they are basing it on the business case, saying that for them to continue to attract and retain the best possible talent of all cultures and orientations, it is imperative that everyone feel valued and included in the society where they live. By constitutionally excluding any group from fully participating in the local society, General Mills believes they will not be able to continue attracting and retaining the best people to make their corporation succeed. Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Local business, Newsroom

100 Strong Who Care: Building Bridges for the Next Generation of Leaders

burroughsDiversity partnerships between businesses and schools are leading the way towards re-engaging students. 100 Strong Who Care is an initiative of Minneapolis Public Schools that has developed partnerships with employee resource groups and other business units to provide “inspirational models” for students and encourage them to graduate college and pursue successful careers.

100 Strong Who Care has also designed and developed a business case competition for high schools that will provide businesses with opportunities to mentor the next generation of leaders for business careers.

James C. Burroughs II, Executive Director of Equity and Diversity, Minneapolis Public Schools will be speaking about 100 Strong Who Care at the Opus College of Business Diversity Insights breakfast on June 14, from 8-10 a.m. Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, leadership, Newsroom

2012 Multicultural Forum Wrap-up

The 24th annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, A Time for Innovation, was held last month at the Minneapolis Convention Center. More than 900 participants joined by over 750 exhibitors and career fair candidates filled the convention center halls and meeting rooms to hear presentations by diversity experts and to interact with each other. Attendees came from 26 states and more than 300 organizations. The 162 presenters in 64 sessions represented more than 114 corporate, educational, government, legal and nonprofit organizations.

Highlights included keynotes by Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, Steve Frost, head of diversity and inclusion for the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics and Sergio Rial, CFO of Cargill. Each had a unique perspective on the global implications of diverse and inclusive workplaces and the impact that has on innovation.

Conference director, Steve Humerickhouse, along with OCB Dean, Christopher Puto, welcomed the assembly on the first morning. In his address, Humerickhouse spurred on participants with these words: Continue Reading

Environment, Ethics, Newsroom

2012 Diversity Awards Winners Announced

Four champions of workplace diversity were honored during the 24th annual Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, the nation’s leading conference on diversity and inclusion,  March 22 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The forum is designed for professionals who manage a diverse workforce, are responsible for diversity within their organization or work with a multicultural clientele. The Diversity Awards are given to individuals or organizations that show exemplary effort in addressing workplace diversity issues. 2012 Recipients include:

Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

“Them vs. Us”—8 Ways to Bridge the Gap

Workplaces are one of the few places in society where we don’t get to choose who we associate with. With this in mind, understanding different backgrounds and viewpoints is important for being successful in business. Each person’s background defines their world, said Howard Ross. When we hear “diversity,” for many it brings up a “them v. us” feeling, rather than one of inclusion.

Over the past 20 years, we have seen a steady polarizing trend in our country…a movement toward a “them vs. us” way of thinking and acting. The resulting impact on our organizations, our political structure, our economy and our communities threaten the foundations that we hold most dear. A recent Diversity Insights Series conversation brought Howard Ross to campus to discuss why this dynamic happens and what we can do to begin to bridge these gaps in our lives.

ReInventing Diversity Howard Ross is one of the nation’s leading diversity training consultants and a nationally recognized expert on diversity, leadership, and organizational change. He founded Cook Ross in 1989 as a consulting firm dedicated to developing and implementing innovative solutions in diversity and inclusion. In his 90-minute talk, to a (diverse) group of business people from around the Twin Cities, Ross explained how our culture has changed and provided 8 ways to impact our unconscious reactions to “us vs. them.” Continue Reading