The "Business of Diversity" Summit
Washington, D.C., October 27, 1999
"Recruiting, retaining, and advancing a diverse engineering workforce is more than a moral imperative, its good business." Phil Hall, Chairman, CH2M HILL and Honorary Chair, National Engineers Week 2000.
Featured speakers at the summit declared that a diverse workforce is crucial to success in todays business world. Some of their comments:
"National Engineers Weeks diversity summit gives us a vision of whats out there in our real world. As our population becomes more diverse, so does our labor pool. The firms that succeed in serving heterogeneous markets usually have the benefit of a diverse staff. Creating a heterogeneous workforce also has other benefits for business:
we increase our employee retention
lower the cost of doing business
make our company more flexible and adaptable
(and) leads to greater creativity."
Jack Shaw, Chairman & CEO, Hughes Network Systems.
"Do we look like our customers? If the answer is no, then we still have work to be done. The gap between supply and demand is most prominent in the technology world. In our industry, 350,000 jobs in America are going unfilled today. The challenge for the world is where are the workers, where is the talent? My leadership team must look like my customers, the citizens of the world."
Ted Childs, Director, Global Diversity Workforce, IBM
"Fewer and fewer clients for our services will be white male Americans, as they have been in the past. More and more clients, and by definition our competitors, are going to be from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The dollar value of services exported.
is far greater than product export. We have to deal with people in other countries on a relationship basis. The way we sell services is through relationships. If you cant relate, someone else is going to. Dont think for a minute that only the big firms will have to address diversity."
Diane Creel, CEO, Earth Tech
"Its vitally important for our military forces who defend our nations interests to fully represent the broad cross-section of our nations people
.Theres enormous benefit to bringing more women and minority engineers into this (Naval Nuclear Propulsion) Program. If these talented, well educated, highly-achieving young men and women dont see minority officers and women in command of our warships, the harsh reality is that they probably wont view the military in general, or my program in particular, as an opportunity to succeed in life and this program will risk losing them to (industry)."
Admiral Frank L. Bowman, U.S. Navy, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion
"Minorities and women are essentially absent from the top leadership positions in engineering organizations, whether they be public, private or educational. How can we expect young people to come into our profession if they dont see people that look like them at the top?"
Delon Hampton, Chairman & CEO, Delon Hampton & Associates, Chartered
For more details and a photo gallery of summit participants, click here.