With advisory board members gathered around a table at the Florida Holocaust Museum, the meeting began with a moving video–Inclusion Starts With I. Starring a diverse cast that shares how they are affected by bias in their everyday lives, the three-and-a-half-minute film “demonstrates that bias can appear in both expected and unexpected ways—and that each of us has the power to make a difference” (Accenture). As the film came to an end, Ronnell Montgomery with the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center noted that she liked how the video started with inclusion (rather than diversity). Others shared that they appreciated how those in the video were very honest about their lives.
The Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion (DI&I) Advisory Board was formed to ensure the presence of diversity and the practice of inclusion in everything the Chamber does. Currently in its first phase, the advisory board meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month. The advisory board’s July 26 meeting was hosted by the Florida Holocaust Museum.
Reviewing some preliminary data on diversity within the Chamber, the advisory board carefully evaluated what the findings meant and what additional data could be gathered. One insight the discussion uncovered is that the diversity of large businesses that have numerous diverse employees may not be reflected in data that classifies businesses as minority-owned or non-minority-owned. The group came to a consensus that this issue could be addressed by sending questions to large businesses that are different from those that are sent to small businesses in a future survey. For example, large businesses could be asked if they have a program that fosters inclusion or if they have any minorities in leadership positions, while small businesses could be asked if they are minority-owned. This data would help paint a clearer picture of diversity within the Chamber.
The advisory board also discussed ways to increase the response rate for surveys that are sent out. One idea that was raised was to ask people to take the survey at Chamber events.
Paul Carder shared that the Marketing Committee has completed the Chamber’s visual identity change and is working on creating a more permanent and sustaining intern program within the marketing department. He also suggested that developing a D&I recruiting plan could help the D&I Advisory Board accomplish its goals.
The next D&I Advisory Board meeting will take place on August 23.