A Resource for Local Businesses
"The Perspective" is a monthly publication of the Chamber's Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Task Force, comprised of approximately 30 representatives with a passion for sharing information and learning best practices about diversity, inclusion and minority business development to improve our workforce.
This month's edition of The Perspective celebrates Pride Month by offering resources, stories, events, and more to encourage education about the LGBTQ+ community, and how to become an ally in the workplace.
If you have topics you wish to learn more about, or if you have any suggestions, comments, ideas, etc. on how we can continue to improve this publication, please, CLICK HERE. At the Chamber, we are constantly working with our Diversity & Equity (D&I) Task Force, community members, and other chambers to find share resources and topics that benefit community businesses. Finding new perspectives is the key to advancing the workforce.
Task Force Chair: Wesley Escondo, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wisconsin
Staff Liaison: Kaylynn Winegar, Vice President of Workforce Initiatives
Important COVID-19 Update
OSHA Updates Guidance on COVID-19 in the Workplace – Masking and Vaccines
On August 13, 2021, OSHA updated Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (Guidance) related to the COVID-19 vaccine and masking.
The Guidance now incorporates the new CDC recommendations including:
Chippewa Valley Equality Initiative
If you are looking for a great resource to begin or grow personal and/or organization development in EDI initiatives, check out the Chippewa Valley Equality Initiative website!
Equality of Opportunity Initiative: U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Re-watch the event and catch up on other Equality of Opportunity Initiative events you may have missed.
Mark your calendar for Equality of Opportunity In Action: The Power of a Second Chance. Join the Chamber and Chase for Business on Wednesday, August 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET to hear from leaders across the private and public sectors share successes and discuss best practices for workforce strategies related to second chance hiring. Keep an eye out for the formal invitation coming soon.
Please reach out to our team at EOI@uschamber.com with any questions or suggestions.
This Is What Racism Looks Like: A Series
SSIR’s second DEI series has one goal: To explain how racism operates within organizations.
United Way - 21 Week Equity Challenge
United Way is hosting a second 21 Week Equity Challenge starting in August!
Participants will receive an email at the beginning of each week from Monday, August 30, 2021 through Monday, January 17, 2022.
Weekly topics take participants through a journey to deepen understanding of inequity and racism, suggest ways to take action, and help launch what we hope will be a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our communities.
Individuals are encouraged to form groups for discussion and reflection - or take the challenge as an individual learning opportunity.
Toward One Wisconsin Conference
Conference Theme: Building Bridges and Breaking Barriers
October 12-13, 2021, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Wherever you are on your Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) journey, there’s something for you at Toward One Wisconsin. Whether you’re just starting out and overwhelmed, or you’re a leading activist in your community, this conference will provide best practices, insights and implementation tools to help you take the next steps. Across all sectors of business and life in Wisconsin, parallel efforts are underway to prioritize DEI. We may be in different places based on the diversity of our experiences, but we’re all traveling the same journey: Toward One Wisconsin.
Mark Your Calendar - Workforce Solutions Summit
The 4th Annual Workforce Solutions Summit will follow the Toward One Wisconsin Conference to continue the theme of coming together as one Wisconsin through EDI initiatives. The Summit is on Thursday, September 14, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Pablo Center at the Confluence.
There are no easy answers to tackling workforce challenges that our employers are experiencing right now all across Wisconsin. The Workforce Solutions Summit brings together the latest intelligence about key trends, best practices that really work, and workshops on specific strategies to implement and apply to your business or organization.
This year we will put a strong focus on Inclusion as it pertains to Talent Development, Attraction and Retention. If you are an employer or employee hoping to bring inclusive workforce solutions to your workplace, this event is designed to provide you with practical solutions to help attract, hire and retain employees.
River Prairie Cultural Festival
Sunday, August 22 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The River Prairie Cultural Festival is a community festival that celebrates the cultural diversity in the Chippewa Valley! The cultural festival is an event the whole family can enjoy. From traditional folkloric dancing to flowers from Lor Family Garden to local ethnic jewelry (and everything in between) there is something for everyone! And you can't forget to try the deliciousness that comes out of our local ethnic food trucks! Come and show your support for local community members and entrepreneurs!
The Eau Claire County Health Dept will also be having a Vaccination Pop Up site for those interested and there will be numerous organizational booths as well that promote the diversity within our community. Don't forget to stop by and say hello to the area police departments at their booths too!
DEI Happening in Our Own Backyard
Union Pacific’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Journey is Never Ending
A year ago, a teenager named Darnella Frazier video recorded the murder of George Floyd, which ultimately led to the conviction of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin. While witnessing the traumatic and terrifying episode, Darnella stood her ground for justice. Her courage is helping drive profound change in this country, and is a stark reminder for all of us - see something, say something, do something, because it will make a difference.
Darnella’s actions and the events that followed were a wake-up call for Union Pacific to reexamine our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). That meant undergoing an intense and rapid audit to find out what we were doing right, what needed improvement and what was missing.
Things we were largely getting right included:
In terms of things that could be better, we amped up our voice in our communities. As a 160 year old industry-leading company, we needed to use our voice to support those fighting racism and injustice because it erodes the strength of our communities and the well being of our employees. We also learned we needed to build more paths to create allies for those early in their understanding of diversity and justice issues. We needed a stronger channel for employees to speak directly to leadership on cultural issues.
As a result, we added some new efforts in our approach to DE&I:
UWEC: History professor helps build a more inclusive campus and community
For nearly three decades, Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history, has been working to make people and communities better through her work as a teacher, advocate, mentor, activist, community-builder and leader. Full story.
The Leader Telegram: Eau Claire Area School District to Create Equity Committee
EAU CLAIRE — The Eau Claire school district is creating a new committee to advise its equity efforts.
The district’s Equity Steering Committee will “seek members from groups historically marginalized in our system” and will include parents, middle and high school students, district staff and community members, the district announced in June.
The new committee will advise the school district as it reviews existing politics and forms a broad three- to five-year equity plan.
The district also hopes the committee will achieve goals listed in the Eau Claire school board’s new equity statement, which the board voted to formally adopt in March. That statement says the district will aim to eliminate “the systemic racism present in our society and schools while building an equitable and inclusive school community.”
Check out these local organizations that are working tirelessly to unite the Chippewa Valley through DEI initiatives.
The Path to Forming a Diverse Workforce
Unconscious bias can play a role in the hiring process without you even realizing. Unconscious bias was highlighted in an earlier publication of The Perspective, and it is encouraged that you take the time to browse through the posting as a refresher for this topic before exploring this month's publication.
Harvard Business Review: Toward a Racially Just Workplace
At most large U.S. and multinational organizations, diversity and inclusion (D&I) has become an imperative. Companies are pushing for minority recruitment, paying for antibias training, and sponsoring nonwhite employees for high-potential leadership-development programs. Research has shown, and a great many executives now understand, that a heterogeneous workforce yields more innovation and better performance than a homogeneous one does.
And yet 55 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and decades into these corporate D&I efforts, African-Americans’ progress toward top management roles and greater economic well-being and influence remains slow to nonexistent. Let’s look first at the demographics.
What the numbers say. Yes, we can point to the rise of several prominent black leaders, from media figures Oprah Winfrey, Robert Johnson, and Jay-Z to financiers Ken Chenault and Robert Smith and sports-stars-turned-businesspeople Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Most notably, America elected its first African-descended President, Barack Obama, in 2008 and reelected him in 2012. The number of African-Americans earning bachelor’s and graduate degrees continues to increase. And black people account for 12% of the U.S. workforce, close to their 13.4% representation in the general population.
However, in the words of leaders from the Toigo Foundation, a career advancement organization for underrepresented groups, such evidence merely gives us “the illusion of inclusion.” In fact, research shows that in the United States, the wealth gap between blacks and others continues to widen; experts predict that black families’ median wealth will decrease to $0 by 2050, while that of white families will exceed $100,000. Just 8% of managers and 3.8% of CEOs are black. In the Fortune 500 companies, there are currently only three black chief executives, down from a high of 12 in 2002. And at the 16 Fortune 500 companies that report detailed demographic data on senior executives and board members, white men account for 85% of those roles.
Northwestern Study: Evidence from Field Experiments in Hiring Shows Substantial Additional Racial Discrimination after the Callback
Our meta-analysis of studies that go to the job offer indicates that racial discrimination in hiring is substantially more severe than an analysis of solely callback outcomes would suggest. Majority applicants in our sample receive 53% more callbacks than comparable minority applicants, but they receive 145% more job offers than comparable minority applicants. The higher level of discrimination in job offers is a fairly consistent result: in thirteen of our fifteen estimates of discrimination against minority groups there is more discrimination in job offers than in callbacks. The job offer outcome represents the accumulation of discrimination from application to callback and from interview to job offer, and there is substantial, additional discrimination at the second stage.
The Economist: Racial Diversity - There’s More Work to be Done in the Workplace
Racial diversity in the workplace – from recruiting to hiring to promoting people of color – continues to move at an unimpressive pace. And if LinkedIn’s annual workplace diversity report is any indication, the needle is moving so slowly that it appears to be broken. Among the company’s 6,435 employees, 5 per cent are Latino, and 3 per cent are Black, representing only a 1 per cent increase over the previous year. LinkedIn’s leadership is 3 per cent Latino and 1 per cent Black.
The company’s diversity report is particularly disturbing because according to LinkedIn’s own stats, it has 433 million registered users, with two new members joining the social networking site every second. It’s safe to assume that LinkedIn has access to more potential employee profiles than any other organization, which begs the question: If it can’t find suitable candidates of color among hundreds of millions of profiles, who can?
McKinsey & Company: Delivering through Diversity
Delivering impact through diversity:
Our research confirms that gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity, particularly within executive teams, continue to be correlated to financial performance across multiple countries worldwide. In our 2015 report, our hypotheses about what drives this correlation were that more diverse companies are better able to attract top talent; to improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making; and to secure their license to operate--all of which we believe continue to be relevant.
Companies report that materially improving the representation of diverse talent within their ranks, as well as effectively utilizing inclusion and diversity as an enabler of business impact, are particularly challenging goals. Despite this, multiple companies worldwide have succeeded in making sizable improvements to inclusion and diversity across their organizations, and they have been reaping tangible benefits for their efforts.
We found that these companies all developed inclusion and diversity (I&D) strategies that reflected their business ethos and priorities, ones that they were strongly committed to. Four imperatives emerged as being crucial.
Stanford Social Innovation: The Racism of the ‘Hard-to-Find’ Qualified Black Candidate Trope
The hard-to-find qualified Black candidate trope is a flavor of systemic racism that also limits an organization’s incoming workforce diversity. It is understandably challenging to attract diverse talent without an existing heterogeneous staff. When organizations cannot provide examples of employees of color contributing, flourishing, and building their careers, applicants of color are justifiably skeptical of accepting a job within them.
Organizations that ignore workplace racism empower it, which hinders an employer’s ability to be productive. Awareness of the competitive advantage of equity and diversity is rising, with many organizations regarding inclusion and diversity as critical enablers of growth. Research has demonstrated the return on investment (ROI) of racial equity. Yet, even with the business case made, lower hiring and promotion rates for Black candidates and employees persist.
SHRM: 8 Diversity Recruiting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Employers are re-evaluating workplace diversity at their organizations, starting with being more thoughtful about recruiting from a broader range of talent.
"An effective diversity recruitment program involves taking a close look at every step of the recruitment process, from sourcing and recruitment marketing, to screening and interview practices, to how you present an offer," said Matt Marturano, vice president at executive search firm Orchid Holistic Search in the Detroit area.
Companies must commit to their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and hiring is one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle, said Liz Wessel, CEO and co-founder of WayUp, a New York City-based jobs site and resource center for college students and recent graduates. "Most employers think that the reason they aren't hiring enough diverse people is because of a 'top of funnel' problem—not getting enough diverse applicants. However, in most cases, an equally big problem is the funnel itself, meaning they have parts of their hiring process and criteria that don't bode well for underrepresented candidates."
WayUp produced a report identifying eight of the most common barriers to attracting and hiring diverse candidates for emerging professional roles, along with tips for eliminating bias and improving diversity in the hiring process.
Harver: 7 Actionable Tips for Building a Diverse Candidate Pool
A diverse team makes a better team. You get a variety of perspectives, you get increased creativity, you get an uplift in productivity, you get improved performance, and that’s just the team.
For the organization, a diverse workforce results in growth, a boost to your reputation, and a global impact. Having a diverse team is simply better all around. But to get a diverse workforce you first have to start with building a diverse candidate pool.
However, according to talent professionals, finding diverse candidates to interview is the #1 barrier to improving workplace diversity. To be able to interview such candidates, you need to start by attracting them to apply for your roles in the first place.
So how do you do this? Here are our 7 tips for building a diverse candidate pool.
SHRM: Can we set hiring quotas to meet diversity goals?
Selecting a candidate (and excluding others) based on the candidate's, sex, race, disability or other protected class can result in illegal discrimination. Employers should always seek to hire the most qualified candidate and choosing a less qualified individual over another simply to meet a diversity goal is problematic.
However, employers should seek to increase the diversity of the entire candidate pool by reaching out to groups that are underrepresented in the company and taking intentional actions to encourage individuals from these groups to apply. Employers should look internally to determine which groups to target for recruitment and then consider the following actions:
You Might Also Enjoy Reading:
McKinsey & Company - Race in the workplace: The Black experience in the US private sector
Center for American Progress: The State of Diversity in Today’s Workforce
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