Editor’s Note: This was the introductory presentation at the 2021 Diversity Town Hall in partnership with the Gary W. Rollins College of Business /U. of TN at Chattanooga (Moderator Dr. Gail Dawson) and the American Diversity Report.
I appreciate both the eagerness and anxiety about the future of the diverse workplace and I’m often asked to predict what that future will look like. Predicting the future requires looking at the past – at the history of the diversity field and how it developed. I’ll get personal here and go back to New York City 40 years ago. I had just graduated college with a degree in anthropology based on cultural structuralism along with the science of storytelling. I was excited about getting a job, but was considered esoteric and irrelevant. And female. No one would hire me. Still hopeful, I went to an employment agency in Manhattan. As soon as I walked in the door, the office manager insisted that I sit at the all-women’s table and take a typing test. I said no and moved to sit at the all-men’s table where they were interviewed for executive positions. The manager said no. I insisted, he physically blocked me. I insisted again, he threatened to call the police.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) of the future
October 2021: American Diversity Report presented its 2nd annual Diversity Town Hall in partnership with the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Speaking virtually, the panel of business leaders explored the relationship of business and community in creating the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) of the future.
Dr. GAIL DAWSON Associate Professor of Management
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Gary W. Rollins College of Business/UTC
President and Chief Executive Officer – U.S. Xpress
DEBORAH LEVINE Founder/Editor/Consultant – American Diversity Report
DAVID ORTIZ Corporate Diversity Officer, former board member – La Paz
LORNE STEEDLEY Vice President for Diversity and Inclusive Growth – Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
NOTE: The Town Hall is also the October Black-Jewish Dialogue in partnership with: American Diversity Report, Chattanooga News Chronicle, Mizpah Congregation, Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda (C.U.R.B. )