News

Diversity & Inclusion Conference: Morning Recap

Today the 2014 Baystate Health Diversity & Inclusion Conference is underway at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, Mass. More than 400 attendees descended on Main Street to participate in a day of meaningful conversation. Here's what happened this morning:

Diversity & Inclusion Conference: Morning Recap - Lioness MagazineToday the 2014 Baystate Health Diversity & Inclusion Conference is underway at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, Mass. More than 400 attendees descended on Main Street to participate in a day of meaningful conversation. Here’s what happened this morning:

Opening Remarks

The morning started with a special keynote from Springfield native Mark A. Keroack, the new president & CEO of Baystate Health. He talked about growing up in the 16 Acres section of the city and how his professional travels have opened his mind to connecting with others, adding that Diversity and Inclusion opens your mind and broadens your point of view.

Baystate Health continues to strive to create a workplace where all feel welcomed. Keroack said, “Baystate has done a lot but we’re not where we need to be.”

Diversity Council Panel

Panel moderator Philip Berry, executive director of the Association of Diversity Councils, talked about there being three dimensions to the panel’s discussion:

  1. Leveraging diversity councils to get results.
  2. How are we attracting & developing talent.
  3. Looking at the policy and procedures that we have within the workplace that help us.

“We can’t just focus on the D (diversity), we have to focus on the I (inclusion),” Berry said.

“What is your ultimate outcome?” prompted Joelle A. Murchison, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at Travelers. “We’re a very results based, execution-oriented company. We have to ask ourselves have we been as engaging as we could have been … the conversation around those things [needs to be] consistent as we think about the impact of diversity on our work everyday.”

Audience members were then able to participate in a Q&A with the panelists. Some of the questions revolved around ways to engagement middle management and setting the tone on inclusion in the workplace.

Breakout Sessions

Diversity & Inclusion Conference: Morning Recap - Lioness MagazineMidmorning attendees parted ways to head to breakout sessions. The four sessions offered:

  1. Leveraging ERGs
  2. Mentoring Across Difference
  3. Disability Etiquette & Awareness
  4. Collaborative Relationships

Inside Tony Orange and Joseph Wheeler’s Mentoring Across Difference breakout session, they personally greeted guests as they arrived.

“We are not going to be talking about how to create a formal mentoring program. This is about how to be a mentor across differences,” Wheeler clarified from the start.

Nuggets of wisdom from the session:

  • Diversity is present in any relationship between two people.
  • Every mentoring relationship should be time limited.
  • Listen to learn.
  • Mentees want mentors to share their personal experiences.
  • When stressing the importance of doing what you say you’re going to do, Wheeler said to remember that “The first value [principle] of Enron was integrity.”
  • To make your relationships work: As a mentor you need to identify what you want to get out of the relationship.
  • Can a mentee lead the mentoring relationship? An audience member said it’s possible because they can lead the process and setting the goals.

About the author

Natasha Zena

Around age eight Natasha Zena was told it was a woman’s job to take care of the home and since then she has built a career out of telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do. She is the co-founder of Lioness, the go-to news source for everything female entrepreneur. Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She has mentored women entrepreneurs and moderated panels at a number of national accelerators, Startup Weekends and conferences such as The Lean Startup Conference, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Women Empower Expo and Smart Cities Connect. Natasha is also the author of the popular whitepaper, "How To Close The Gender Gap In Startup Land By 2021." In her spare time, she writes short fiction and hangs out with her son, Shaun.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.