Denise Reid is director of talent strategies and recruitment for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. She also is co-chairwoman of the 2012 Return on Inclusion Summit. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Campbell Hotel & Event Center, 2636 E. 11th St.
1. What are the goals of the Return on Inclusion Summit?
This is our third ROI Summit, and the goals established for the original event in 2009 remain constant:
2. Can you tell us more about your featured speaker, Dr. Steve Robbins?
- Raise inclusion awareness among area business leaders.
- Provide an opportunity for discussion and exploration on how diversity and inclusion create a competitive advantage in the business world today.
- Increase the understanding of what being an inclusive leader means.
- Equip participants with tools to enhance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Dr. Robbins presented at one of the Tulsa Area Human Resource Association's program meetings in 2011, and the overwhelming response was to invite him back for a more in-depth session. He moves the conversation away from a social justice framework and into diversity of thought and innovation, which lines up perfectly with the goals of the ROI Summit.
Dr. Robbins helps people better understand the brain science behind what drives our behaviors, thoughts, actions and reactions. His approach is engaging, interactive and fun - not something you typically associate with diversity and inclusion training.
3. Why is diversity and inclusion important for companies?
In order for area businesses to continue to grow, all of us - employers, employees and citizens in general - must become more aware of what it means to be diverse and inclusive. Diversity is present in every aspect of our community.
The following are a few examples of Tulsa's various faces of diversity: minorities account for 60 percent of students in Tulsa Public Schools; recent college graduates' expectations of work-life balance are very different than previous grads; today's workforce spans five generations; and Tulsa has a very strong LGBT community.
Area businesses, both small and large, must understand how to engage, recruit and retain such a dynamic population. This is no easy task, but the first step in this process is dialogue.
4. What have you learned or discovered since the first ROI Summit?
Diversity and inclusion work is always evolving. It will never be finished.
We - you, me, our co-workers - won't always say the right thing; we'll make mistakes, but it's through our mistakes that we learn to navigate situations better. We all need to be vulnerable, own our mistakes and acknowledge when we hurt someone. This isn't easy, but it's worth the journey.
Over the past four years, I've met an incredible network of colleagues, diversity professionals and friends that have opened my eyes to so many things. It's a privilege to be invited to the diversity conversation.
5. Who should attend the ROI event? How do you register?
The CEO Breakfast is ideal for senior level executive or CEOs. This breakfast meeting is a great way to learn about diversity and inclusion and how it can impact your company or organization. We're excited to have Dr. Robbins presenting to business leaders and sharing new perspectives and ideas related to diversity and inclusion.
The boot camp facilitated by Dr. Robbins is a fantastic workshop for HR/recruiting professionals, managers, community organizers/volunteers, education partners, and city, state or county government employees. In a nutshell, we'll learn how to understand and leverage human differences in order to achieve organizational goals.
You can learn more about the ROI Summit and register for the event at tulsaworld.com/roiok