On Wednesday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Panel Event on the topic, Diversity in The Workplace. A huge thank you to our panelists; Karen Loeks, VP at Bluestem Brands, Mitali Mathur, Senior Director, Merchandising at Target, Jackie Hartman, Global Data Management and Governance Lead at Cargill, and  Susan Auer, AVP, IT Sourcing and Supplier Relationship Management, and Culture Champion at TCF Bank for sharing their company’s diversity initiatives and thoughts with the group. A huge thank you to everyone who joined us as well! 

How are you, as an individual, getting educated on diversity, inclusion, and equity challenges in our society, companies & communities? 

Many of us have more questions than we do answers about diversity and inclusion. We are not experts but are starting with curiosity to learn and understand. The panelists agreed that they are all looking at how to give to the community in the right way in terms of what is needed. They are taking some of their own time to sit back, learn, and get educated. Reading and listening to things that make you feel uncomfortable is an excellent way to get more comfortable with diversity and inclusion.  

What are some specific actions each of us are willing to commit to that will make a meaningful difference in D, I & E? 

Some actions organizations are taking are holding themselves accountable and being intentional about equality in their organizations. These organizations are also working on spreading opportunities between all their team members and ensuring everyone gets those different opportunities. Another action organizations are working on is having a more diverse talent pool. For the team members in the organization, leaders are ensuring that everyone has access to the resources they need. They are starting to build a good foundation and practice diversity and inclusion initiatives. To make a meaningful difference in D, I, & E, organizations understand that bias can affect many different aspects of their organizations. They are learning how they can better the diverse population.  

Some of the diversity initiatives that the panelists are their companies are taking are:  

  • Diversity movements within their company 
  • Having lectures and workshops that talk about goals and factors women experience in their career 
  • Learning about having a diverse workforce 
  • Providing team members and customers with a positive and helpful experience  
  • Taking their own time to read, listen, and educate themselves 

We are all learning to be comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. To learn more about how to have these tough but necessary conversations, see the Flip the Script, Respond with Heart document here.