The rapid pace of globalization has all but settled questions about whether there’s a business case for diversity, concluded participants in the “Diversity 2.0” panel at the Milken Global Conference last week in Los Angeles.

Fran Durekas, founder and chief development officer of Children’s Creative Learning Centers, led the panel. Joining her were Deepika Bajaj, president of Invincibelle; Steve Bell, executive vice president of global human resources for Diamond Resorts International; Randall Lane, senior leader for global inclusion and diversity at Cisco Systems; Debra Nelson, vice president for corporate diversity and community affairs at MGM Mirage, and Alicia Winckler, chief human capital officer at Chicago Public Schools.

Several key themes emerged in their discussion:

  • Diversity is an increasingly complex concept. The focus now is on diversity of skill sets, not just gender and ethnicity, Winckler said. And even in terms of ethnic diversity, the lines are blurring. “When we look toward the future, the U.S. will grow to mirror the world,” said Lane.
  • Accountability is crucial. It isn’t enough to say you value diversity, Nelson said. “If there isn’t commitment from the top, it won’t work,” she pointed out – and that commitment includes budgeting and staff. And publishing your results publicly. At Cisco, diversity goals are discussed in every employee’s performance evaluation, Lane said. And he monitors the results. Unless you measure results, things don’t change, he said.
  • Technology can help. Online networks have been a boon for women in particular, Bajaj said. Family commitments make it difficult for many women to go out for a beer and other traditional networking activities, she pointed out. “Social media helps them build those relationships.” Virtual job fairs can also help employers find the best workers – no matter where they live.

Watch SmartBrief Senior Editor Mary Ellen Slayter’s interview with Deepika Bajaj after the Milken session.

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Is workforce diversity a priority at your company? How are you putting those ideals into action?

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3 Responses to “From Milken: Is your company ready for Diversity 2.0?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Meghan M. Biro and SmartBriefWorkforce, SmartBriefWorkforce. SmartBriefWorkforce said: Is your company ready for diversity 2.0? http://ow.ly/1HGvn #gc2010 @invincibelle @connectcclc @cisco @diamondresorts [...]

  2. ajut lumiere says:

    Here is another platform demonstrating the impact of diversity.Not just as "cliche" or "buzz word" the use of social media to effectively integrate the concept of art meet science meet tech ect. without labels creating a free-flowing exchange of ideals and ideas.If you ask people in a highly structured traditional organization what is the largest obstacle to innovation on a corporate level they will tell you insularity between departments.This removes the barrier via technology.Diversity is evolving as well, formerly encompassing cultural sensitivity as it mainstay it moves into the realm of the creative allowing the veil to be lifted without fear of reprisals. For the many highly creative,yet reticent employees in place, permitting growth and understanding on personal and professional fronts.

  3. [...] they will use it when hiring. Different means of recruitment are available, as pointed out by the “Diversity 2.0” panel at the Milken Global Conference in May. Virtual job fairs have been used by employers to find workers who are interested in social [...]

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