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Professional Development and Training Working Group


To support our institutional commitment to create and sustain a diverse work environment we must provide ample opportunities for employees to increase their understanding of and competency with a range of diversity issues; equip managers with the skills to hire, train, and manage a diverse staff; and encourage a culture that supports and affirms all employees.

Specific recommendations related to orientation, training, and professional development include:

  • Provide training for diversity awareness/sensitivity for the entire campus
  • Create welcoming and orientation programs that focus on issues of diversity
  • Conduct regular surveys or assessments to determine whether employees consider the workplace to be supportive and respectful of diversity
  • Support and encourage opportunities for all staff to attend diversity-related workshops, MLK events, etc.
  • Create mentoring opportunities for minority staff members as part of the overall mentors network described in the report of the Hiring and Retention Working Group
  • Support employee-led cultural heritage events and celebrations
  • Develop and support diverse affinity groups
  • Expand diversity outreach efforts to include membership in professional associations (e.g. Black MBA Association) and partnerships with local, regional and national organizations. The latter not only creates a pipeline for new hires but also provides a support network for current employees and managers.

We recognize that the coordination of several of these efforts would require significant resources. For instance, Cornell has an Office of Workforce Diversity, Equity and Life Quality at Cornell, which oversees “equal opportunity, affirmative action, diversity, and the ‘balance’ between work and personal life. The office serves as a liaison to local community organizations that address the employment interests of individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups.”

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Last updated: 01/31/07