Diversity and inclusion have been brought to the forefront of workforce dialogue, and it’s a conversation that is long overdue. As I meet with Chamber members, it’s clear that the business community is thirsty for more information on this important topic.
As individuals we know that being intentional in developing a more inclusive community is the right thing to do. It just makes sense. Who doesn’t want to feel welcome and respected in their communities, and to be accepted for who they are?
And from a business standpoint we need to do a better job of creating environments and a culture that are welcoming to all. As our economy grows, so does the need for more workforce, and we want a welcoming community to attract and retain the workforce of the future. We want newcomers to love this community and build their futures here. We want everyone to feel comfortable in their neighborhoods and where they work. And we want to empower leaders to be as well-equipped as possible to properly embrace diversity in the workplace, and to hire from all backgrounds and help them be successful.
Last year the Ames Chamber of Commerce began a new partnership with the City of Ames Human Relations Commission and Iowa State University Division of Diversity and Inclusion. Together we developed A Symposium on Building Inclusive Organizations and are pleased to host our second annual event next month.
This year’s half-day symposium will take place on October 29 and will provide practical strategies towards building more inclusive workplaces in Ames and Story County. We are excited to welcome internationally-renowned author and speaker Ritu Bhasin as our keynote speaker, and several experts from across central Iowa will lead our breakout sessions.
Our partners in presenting this symposium are telling us how important this topic is today and the impact it will have on our future. What a great opportunity if those who are here from around the world can stay and build their lives here. Creating a welcoming community is an ongoing discussion and process, and everyone’s responsibility.
We are mindful of how important this conversation is to our community moving forward, and hosting this symposium is just one thing we are doing. We will continue to be advocates of NAACP, Ames Pride, the Ames Miracle Park and other initiatives that help build community, foster mutual respect and ensure equality of rights for all.
Join us on October 29 to build more diverse and inclusive organizations and help Ames and Story County be the most welcoming place to live, work and do business.