How are Employers Addressing Diversity and Inclusion?
On January 29th, we welcomed professionals from various industries to share their company’s diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives.
With diversity and inclusion being a topic heavily discussed both on campus and in the workplace, we aimed to create an environment where students could learn how some employers have addressed this need in the workplace.
What do diversity and inclusion mean to you?
110 students joined to hear our panelists’ advice and experiences. Our panelists from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, and Oliver Wyman began the discussion by sharing their personal experiences, career trajectories, and personal definitions of diversity and inclusion.
“Diversity and inclusion means an unrestrained acceptance of all of your abilities in the organization in order to achieve a goal.” — Panelist
What Employers are doing, and Why it matters
Employers discussed multiple initiatives and programs that are currently in place to address diversity.
- using blind hiring
- conducting unconscious bias training
- hosting forum events
- offering affinity groups and employee resource groups
- providing sponsorship programs
- taking a stand on policy issues
- organizing celebrations to recognize diversity
Panelists emphasized the importance of inclusion within an organization. They shared that leading with inclusion helps employees bring their “full authentic self” to work.
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance” — Panelist
Commitment to Diversity Needs to Start at the Top
Panelists were in agreement that executive leadership’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to creating a responsive culture.
One panelist shared their recent experience of speaking to leadership about the need to focus on the intersectionality of employees’ identities, backgrounds, and life experiences. As a result of their presentation, this initiative is moving forward into action. One panelist shared, “If you believe in something, you can make an impact.”
Panelists also shared their experience of creating and designing their own roles within the organizations.
“An inclusive organization is one that embraces your idea and works with you to make it happen.” — Panelist
Know Your Story: self-reflection goes a long way
Panelists encouraged students to take time to practice self-reflection before applying to an organization.
“We underestimate the value of understanding ourselves.” — Panelist
Students should ask themselves, “What’s important to me?” Invest time in figuring out what kind of person you want to become, and then search for organizations that align with that. A panelist encouraged students, “when applying, show off your EQ, IQ, and TQ…make it part of your story.”
Who Else was in the ROom?
The panel was followed by a networking hour where students connected with panelists as well as representatives from these additional companies: Agency Within, BlackRock — Investments, Bustle.com, Citi, Facebook, General Dynamics, Electric Boat, Morningstar, Inc., Northwestern Mutual, NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, and Troy Law, PLLC.
What Else is Out there and how do I find it?
Check out our Diversity Recruitment Programs resource to learn about additional organizations with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Meet with a career counselor to discuss strategies for discerning whether an organization has a culture of diversity and inclusion.