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Best Practices on Diversity Recruitment Agenda


Goals for Event:

  • Address increasing gap in skilled workers – by 2020, global shortage of 95 million employees predicted, with US labor-force participation dropping from current low of 62.9% to 61.6%
  • Analyze why majority of Millennials, who now represent 1/3 of workforce, aren't studying STEM or choosing STEM jobs
  • Learn from companies that have successful recruiting strategies for diverse, STEM and Millennial talent – and what results they obtain

8:00–9:00 a.m. Networking Breakfast

9:00–9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks

9:15-9:45 am. Sourcing Talent

Speaker: Alexa Merschel, US Campus Sourcing Leader, Diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Session Content:

*PwC has had significant results in sourcing young talent from under-represented racial/ethnic groups and will share results

*Hires are based on available labor pool. For example, if 22% of accountants are Black and Latino, company hires at least 14% Black and Latino accounting college graduates

*Discuss specific college-recruitment programs (and results), such as Start, aimed at Black, Latino and Native American freshman; and Explore, a one-day introduction to the profession

9:45–10:15 a.m. Social and Online Recruitment

Speaker: Charlie Hall, SVP, Talent Acquisition, MasterCard

Session Content:

*MasterCard will demonstrate specific methods of social media and online recruitment that have yielded results in recruiting diverse talent (LinkedIn, special training for recruiters)

*Company will show the results of these efforts to find talent, especially tech talent, globally and domestically

*Discussion will include experienced hires – MasterCard has included 16% more women and 18.5% more Blacks, Latinos and Asians in management than the Top 50.

10:15–10:45 a.m. National Strategy, Executing Locally

Speakers: Carlos Figueroa, Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Christine Curtin,Director, Talent Acquisition, Strategic Workforce Planning and Diversity Recruitment, Travelers

Session Content:

*Travelers will demonstrate how it sets national diversity goals but allows local offices to use their available labor pool to determine and reach goals. Emphasis will be on how to successfully work with local campuses and community organizations to find talent

*The relationship-driven recruitment strategy will be showcased, with results of non-profit partnerships showcased for organizations such as the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Panel: Finding Talent—Recruiting People With Disabilities and Veterans

Panelists: Carol Glazer, President, National Organization on Disability (NOD); Steve Abel, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), Director of Student Veterans Services, Rutgers University
; Christina Schelling, Vice President, HR Strategic Initiatives, Prudential Financial

Session Content:

*Analyze why and how these two under-represented talent groups can be used to fill the increasing gap of skilled workers – nearly 20% of Americans have disabilities, yet 80% of working-age Americans with disabilities are not employed (NOD); 21.2 million Americans (9% of US workforce) are veterans, yet the average company hiring rate for veterans is 2% (BLS)

*Analyze best practices and programs, such as employee-resource groups, campus recruiting and resources like the Employer Assistance and Resource Network can help find workers from these groups

12:00-1:15 p.m. Networking Lunch

Lunch Speaker: Morris Dees, Co-Founder and Chief Trial Counsel for Southern Poverty Law Center 

1:15–1:45 p.m. Recruitment Sources: Employee-Resource Groups and Websites

Speaker: Jennifer Terry-Tharp, Director of Global Talent Attraction, AT&T

Session Content:

*Specific ways AT&T has used its employee-resource groups to develop recruitment content for its websites — and results from these efforts

*AT&T has doubled employee-resource group membership in recent years and relies on resource-group members to reach their communities

1:45–2:15 p.m. Linking Recruitment to Talent Development

Speaker: Teresa Sankner, Head of Talent Management, Organizational Development and Staffing, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Session Content:

*Demonstrate how Novartis increased its year-to-year recruitment of women, Blacks, Latinos and Asians and successfully on-board talent

*Data and career trajectories for employees for 3-5 years after hiring will be analyzed with best practices for engagement, retention and promotion, including mentoring and employee-resource-group membership 

2:15–2:45 p.m. Finding — and Keeping  — Top Talent, IBM

Speaker: Jacelyn Swenson, Manager, IBM Brand Systems and Branded Content Programs

Session Content:

*Analyze gaps in available labor force of technical women

*Examine IBM's best practices, including partnerships with educational organizations and technical mentorships, to see how the company has increased recruitment, retention and promotion of technical women

2:45–3 p.m. Closing Remarks

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DiversityInc's primary event focus is on our corporate customers, who are in attendance to network and enjoy the event. Soliciting business is not permitted. Consultants are welcome at our event dinners but are not permitted at the learning sessions.

The Conversation

Diversity Leaders: 6 Things NEVER to Say About Disabilities

How can you adopt a vocabulary that's inclusive and respectful of everyone? This EY exec, an advocate for people with disabilities, shares her insights.

"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." —Mark Twain

As diversity leaders, we understand that disability is just another kind of difference, like culture, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. We recognize that diversity is a valuable source of insight and adaptability, generating better business ideas and high-quality service. Differing abilities are a part of that healthy diversity. It's our business to promote inclusiveness throughout our organizations and to advocate for policies and programs that support it.

In building an inclusive culture, we're on the front lines and need to be visibly living our organizations' values every day. It's important that we set the tone not only in what we do and say, but how we say it—in formal messaging as well as everyday conversation. This is where even diversity leaders can get stuck.

Sometimes inclusive language can seem a bit cumbersome, but with a few simple changes each of us can make a significant difference—helping to promote an inclusive culture while setting an example both inside and outside our organizations.

Here are six ways never to talk about disabilities:

1. Never say "a disabled person" or "the disabled." Say a person or people "with disabilities."

Put the person first. A disability is what someone has, not what someone is. For instance, "mentally ill" is less respectful than "person with mental-health issues." "Retarded" is never an appropriate term. Say "intellectual disabilities" or "cognitive disabilities."

2. Never use the term "handicapped parking." Use "accessible parking" instead.

Handicapped parking is still in use (e.g., when referring to parking placards), though the word "handicapped" is offensive and has been virtually eliminated in most other contexts. Remove it from your organization's vocabulary completely by using the term "accessible parking." (It's also more accurate, as accessible describes the parking and handicapped does not.)

3. Never use the term "impaired." Use terms such as "low vision," "hard of hearing" or "uses a wheelchair" instead.

Though it may be used in legal contexts, the word "impaired" can be offensive, as it implies damage. Many people with disabilities do not see themselves as damaged, but simply as different.

4. Never say "hidden" disabilities. Say "non-visible" or "non-apparent."Many disabilities are not apparent, such as serious illnesses or chronic health conditions, sensory limitations, or mental-health and learning disabilities. When referring to these disabilities, avoid using hidden, as it has negative connotations, implying purposeful concealment or shame.

5. Whenever possible, don't say "accommodations." Say "adjustments" or "modifications."This can be tricky, as accommodation has a specific legal meaning and must be used in certain contexts, like policy or government communications. However, accommodation suggests doing a favor for the person who has a disability. An accommodation is a workplace or work-process modification made to enable an employee to be more productive. It is necessary and not a preference or privilege. The terms adjustment and modification capture this idea without suggesting a favor or special treatment, so are preferable whenever specific legal terminology is not required.

6. Never use victim or hero language; describe situations in a straightforward way.

Don't use language that portrays people with disabilities as victims, such as "suffers from," "challenged by," or "struggles with." Say "someone who uses a wheelchair" or "wheelchair user," not "wheelchair-bound" or "confined to a wheelchair." On the flip side, don't use heroic language when people with disabilities complete everyday tasks and responsibilities. People with disabilities don't see themselves as inspiring simply because they're going about their daily lives. We all have challenges—working around those challenges is not heroic, it's just human.

What Terminology Should I Use?

It's worth noting that even in the disability community (yes, that is how advocates for inclusion of people with disabilities refer to ourselves), different people are comfortable with different terminology. Some are fine with the descriptor "disabled," which is in common use in the United Kingdom. Others may freely use "impaired." However, as diversity leaders, it is our job to promote behaviors that make all people feel valued and included. Knowing that some people are offended by these terms, I feel strongly that the most inclusive course is to avoid them and adopt a vocabulary that feels respectful to everyone.

As champions of diversity, we have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to set standards for how our people, organizations and society speak and think about people with disabilities. By shifting our language, we can help shift perceptions and promote the culture of inclusion that is the backbone of healthy diversity in all aspects of life.

— Lori Golden, EY, Abilities Strategy Leader

Golden leads EY's internal initiatives in the Americas to create an enabling environment and inclusive culture for people working with disabilities.

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