To create a welcoming workplace and city, more and more companies have come to realize that inclusiveness and diversity are critical to their continued growth and to the overall social and economic health of the Milwaukee Region.
But many companies don’t know where to start or what these initiatives will ultimately entail. The Milwaukee Business Journal recently assembled a panel of experts to explore how the Milwaukee Bucks, Rockwell Automation and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce are working to promote inclusion and diversity.
MODERATOR: WHY IS RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF DIVERSE EMPLOYEES IMPORTANT AND WHAT IS YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY FOR ACHIEVING THAT GOAL?
MICHELE MATTHAI: Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative at Rockwell Automation because it leads to innovation and better decision-making. For a long time, we focused on recruiting diverse talent, but found we were not always able to retain diverse talent. Ten years ago, we shifted our focus from recruiting efforts alone to working with our existing employees and leadership team to create a workplace where all employees want to come, to stay and to do their best work.
ALEX LASRY: Diversity allows you make better decisions. You are cutting yourself off from a vast part of the world if you only talk to and relate with people who look like you. You miss out on ideas and opportunities that only come from looking at the world in different ways. Michele, Jason and I each have our own perspective that is based on where we have lived, how we are brought up and what we believe. The Bucks want to be an inclusive both as employer and as an entertainment attraction. We want to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to our fans and customer base, and the best way to achieve that is by having a diverse group of people within our organization.
JASON RAE: When it comes to talent, we compete with Chicago and Minneapolis, cities that can offer more because they are bigger. So what can we do to set ourselves apart? We can create a culture of inclusion through companies that not only support their LGBT employees, but also LGBT organizations and LGBT businesses in their corporate supply chains.
Read the full story here.