Let's Start and Keep the Discussion Going! Increasing Innovation and Productivity by Building a Diverse Workforce

Get the conversation started with Gillian Steele before our session by answering the question below! Leading up to the event Gillian will monitor and post to this Forum.

Search your professional experience and reflect upon how do you build and retain a diverse workforce? How does diversity and inclusion lead to increased innovation and productivity? What does diversity and inclusion look like in the 21st Century?

A diverse panel from higher education, industry and the community will address these and other critically important questions in the study of diversity today. Start the discussion and keep it going.

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Nice resource shared by one of the panelists. Good research on relationship between diversity/inclusion practices to business success: http://www.diversityinc.com/

What other resources can others share?
I was a bit disappointed that the topic of diversity was almost exclusively focused on ethnicity.
Very little was mentioned about other aspects of diversity.
For example, age diversity.It is directly connected to innovation, and that was our topic today...
We tend to almost accept that our workforce is made only of young people, and if they are over 50-60 years old, they are either the CEO or the janitor. Nothing was mentioned about having a well represented and diverse workforce, made of all ages and experiences.
Recruiters automatically reject any resume with expertise that spans over 30 years for being "overqualified"...which is a code word for: "you are too old!"...
This is a sure formula to abandon experience led innovation, and creates a real unemployment rate of 15% in our country.
We know of 10%, only because the other 5% who are probably "old people", have given up the chances of being hired.
I agree; I was also disappointed the discussion was focused mostly on ethnicity.

I would have liked to hear more information on age diversity, sexual orientation, and SES. I thought those topics would have brought about importation discussion, just as the race discussion did.
Perhaps we could convene a follow-up panel on these more inclusive approaches to diversity? If you and others are interested, please share your ideas with us.
Pam,
I think that if there's interest in continuing this topic, and covering it 100%, we can do this.
Invite two of the previous panel members, and two new members, who will talk on any other aspect of diversity, except ethnicity. I think that subject was well covered in the first session.
I personally am interested to hear about the contribution of people over 50 to the workforce, and what are the real/honest policies of corporations in this economic climate.
My personal experience points to nothing but extreme age discrimination that no one bothers to even deal with.
I agree that the open house would have been enhanced by addressing the other types of diversity, and I believe Ilan's on-target with respect to age discrimination and a large segment of the older workforce quitting, rather than continuing to contribute.

At the same time, the richness of experiences with respect to ethnicity that the panel displayed made for an inspiring discussion.
This is wonderful as a follow up. Diversity is to be sought in many different areas in order to represent customer expectations and to enable creativity and innovation. Difference in thinking styles is an important diversity to include in the discussion. The tendency in hiring in companies is to choose people who fit the culture or match the interviewer. If an organization can admit that thinking different can lead to different, more innovative results, then they have to seek people that don't automatically 'fit in.'
Diversity is such a rich topic with so many spokes. The interesting thing about the topic is everyone has an opinion and approach to how we should effectively manage, create, discuss and celebrate it. Ethnicity is only one area, age another. Each organization is wrestling with different aspects from the school yard to the White House. I applaud those willing to have a healthy discussion yet understand that while our diversity matters, so does every one elses. There are no easy answers here or quick fixes. As the global economy continues to evolve so will this topic.
I just wanted to let everyone know that we will pick up on some of the themes from this discussion at this Friday's Learning Leader's Book Discussion. Please check out the Events page for details!

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