Students and Employers Discuss Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace at First-Ever Diversity Roundtable Event
In the midst of career week, the Fleishman Center hosted the University's first “Diversity Roundtable” event, connecting talented students with employers that emphasize diversity in their workplaces.
Bringing together 62 students and representatives from 21 organizations, the Diversity Roundtable served as a platform for discussion on fostering work environments that value and promote workplace diversity. The event also gave students the chance to learn about the opportunities and resources organizations provide to recruit and support diverse talent.
“Many students aren’t aware of some of the programs and initiatives organizations are working on to create a more diverse and welcoming environment,” says Erin Wise, Career Consultant in Residence and organizer of the event. “So we felt that is was important to create a space to increase awareness.”
Showcasing diversity, the event delved into employers’ focus on fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment. Table discussions centered around the topic of accepting, understanding and valuing differences between people while keeping a collaborative, supportive and respectful environment in the workplace.
To kick off the event, Nicole Sirju-Johnson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Binghamton University, discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion, encouraging students to take advantage of professional development programs that help develop their skills and expand their networks.
With more time to engage in meaningful conversations, students could develop relationships with prospective employers who support their diverse backgrounds, and organizations who promote diversity and inclusion to showcase themselves.
“The Diversity Roundtable was a great opportunity for employers and students to network in a more intimate, discussion-based setting,” said Elly Deschamps, Campus Recruiter for the Sherwin-Williams Company.
“We had great discussions on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Students were able to freely share what they value in an employer.”
After learning about the event in hireBING, graduate student in economics Tamara Jere registered for the event.
“Talking with so many representatives showed me possible opportunities in companies I had not thought of as being related to my major,” says Jere. “It was nice to know that all of the companies in the room welcome various types of diversity in their teams.”
The first-ever Diversity Roundtable event proved that whatever your background, there is a place for you in the workplace-- and it doesn't stop with just one annual event. The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development offers support and resources for various student equity affinity groups.
“As a career center we want all students to find success in their professional lives,” says Wise. “We know that this is most likely to happen when you are in an environment where you feel comfortable, welcomed and respected.”