Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Inclusion: good for people and good for business
Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a sure ticket to boost productivity, to retain talent and to foster a more positive professional environment. Companies should make sure women, LGBT staff, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, etc. should feel valued and an integral part of their professional environment.
Examples that inclusion is good for business abound, as Gap's recent media appearances attest to. The company's policy of including domestic same-sex partners in their employee discount program created a buzz in social media after a user posted the policy on Reddit. The company also made waves with its Be One campaign featuring a same-sex couple.
Another company that recently sent out a clear message of support for LGBT equality was Clorox, which produced a video featuring gay staff supporting the It Gets Better campaign, aimed at conflicted teens.
A discussion on diversity recently took off as Southwest Airlines held its 3rd Annual Diversity Summit. The event is designed to celebrate the contribution from the company's diverse community of employees. 200 participants from across the country were present, besides leaders and employees.
The theme of the 2012 edition was LUVing Employees, LUVing Communities and included talks about the company's culture, its commitment to diversity and inclusion, LGBT issues and what the company does to include its Asian-American staff members.
Angeles Valenciano, from the Texas Diversity Council, was invited to speak about diversity, inclusion, and engagement as a way to achieve success
Colleen Barrett, the company's President Emeritus, also spoke and his talk was followed by a panel discussion that included Director of Culture Services, Cheryl Hughey, Director Community Relations and Charitable Giving, Debra Benton, and Senior Manager Community Affairs and Grassroots Laura Nieto. The panelists spoke about the practical applications of the Summit's theme.
The summit was closed with remarks delivered by Executive Vice President and Chief People & Administrative Officer Jeff Lamb. Lamb urged participants to put into action what they had heard during the day and create their own diversity and inclusion flight plan.
Image credit: Southwest Airlines