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:
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:
- Leveraging diversity councils to get results.
- How are we attracting & developing talent.
- 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.
- Leveraging ERGs
- Mentoring Across Difference
- Disability Etiquette & Awareness
- 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.