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CAMW! Diversifying Business Environments to Attract and Retain Talent

Michigan Business Beat
June 15, 2017 2:00 PM

EHW1.jpgJeffrey Mosher speaks with CAMW! (Capital Area Michigan Works!,CEO Edythe Hatter Williams. She discusses how organizations and communities must seek to globalize and diversify.

Fostering diversity and inclusion is essential to prosperity, as it breeds innovation and empowers creativity. In fact, according to a 2011 Forbes study, 85 percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation in the workplace.

Diverse cities, like Lansing, often have a deep appreciation for the arts to foster creativity, faith communities, multicultural events that celebrate our differences and renowned colleges and universities that attract the best and brightest minds. The business environment and community needs to be diverse, too, in order to thrive.

To encourage diversity in the business world, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) launched an initiative (Diversity Lansing) to increase conversations about how diversity helps our region be a place where people can thrive, succeed, prosper and explore, and I sit on the advisory committee as a senior advisory committee member. According to LEAP, Diversity Lansing’s mission is, “To encourage and leverage partnerships that celebrate and embrace the core values of a diverse, welcoming and affirming region, which will strengthen our economy, help businesses attract and retain world-class talent and create opportunities for all the residents of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties.

Recognizing and engaging others in the rich tapestry of diversity and cultural experiences that exist will enhance our positioning to compete for talent globally.” Over the last year, the Executive Leadership Diversity Workgroup presented a four-part series to provide the community with the necessary tools, resources and best practices to embrace a diverse and inclusive culture at an organization, as well as teach them how to adapt to changing demographics and how to attract top talent who feel welcomed and valued.

The series also focused on the importance of strengthening and leveraging diverse partnerships for new ideas, strategies and ways of thinking. While the Lansing community is on its way to increasing diversity, we can and need to do better for the future of our region. In order to propel the mid- Michigan community forward, it’s vital for every organization to implement and embrace diversity practices. And in today’s day in age, it much more than a multicultural issue. Embracing individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, generations, ideas and thinking will be one of the most important drivers of success for your organization and our region.

Employers want the best talent, which means they need to have a working environment that’s inclusive to everyone. Creating an environment where each and every employee feels like they belong is how businesses will attract and retain top talent. And cultivating a culture in an organization that leverages diversity and the unique talents of your workforce doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes time and dedication to ensure your business has a diverse foundation and fosters an environment that will attract a diverse group of individuals. To help guide your organization to continue on the path to diversity, leaders throughout Greater Lansing created Lansing’s Diversity Toolbox, a comprehensive and complimentary toolkit with human resources and operational resources on inclusion, talent acquisition and talent retention.

Visit http://www.purelansing.com/diversitylansing to learn more about the organization and to access the toolbox. We are fortunate to have LEAP in our region spearheading this initiative, as well as the various community partners that are involved, but it’s something every single greater Lansing business needs to be a part of.

For more information about Capital Area Michigan Works! American Job Centers and the services we provide to both businesses and career seekers, visit www.camw.orgCapital Area Michigan Works!, a proud partner of the American Job Center Network, offers services in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties at our Lansing, St. Johns and Charlotte American Job Centers.

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Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman, discusses economic development, new or unusual entrepreneurial initiatives, and successful business practices from different regions and industries around Michigan with a wide range of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

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