• November 2020
  • A PUBLICATION OF THE GREATER SIOUX FALLS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Creating pathways for more inclusive workplaces

By Kira Kimball

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce is an effective influencer to all levels of government on major issues affecting business. Our team regularly attends local government meetings, along with having "boots-on-the-ground" in Pierre during the legislative session. At the federal level, the Chamber is a convener of conversations between our members and our congressional delegation.

Pathways
DE&I is also a business, economic and workforce development issue.

Conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) have been amplified over the last eight months as a social issue. But the reality is, DE&I is also a business, economic and workforce development issue. More and more business leaders and organizations are recognizing the importance of creating diverse workplaces that center on inclusion and equity, but they have also said they need help with knowing what to do. Pathways helps to bridge this gap.

Pathways, a group of local professionals, formed to educate businesses on how to craft policies, procedures, practices and workplace cultures that are inclusive and equitable for all employees. Through a new partnership with the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Pathways will offer an educational series available to Chamber members. By being intentional about creating work environments that celebrate and invest in diversity, business leaders can realize improved employee retention, a more engaged workforce and increased productivity.

Questions

What is Pathways to Inclusive & Equitable Workplaces?

Pathways is a community coalition, led by business leaders, professionals, community advocates & diversity, equity & inclusion educators. Its mission is to engage employers in the development of inclusive & equitable workplace practices.

How did Pathways come to be?

After 100+ conversations with businesses and individuals about diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I), Pathways emerged from a demonstrated need, articulated by employers, for skill building related to creating inclusive & equitable workplaces.

Why is its mission important?

With changes in demographics in the Sioux Falls area, coupled with aspirations for continued economic growth for our region, a business commitment to DE&I is a workforce development solution, economic development strategy, community brand differentiator and an opportunity to create a community that not only celebrates diversity, but also values it is a success driver.

Why should businesses engage with Pathways?

Pathways equips workplaces with practical strategies to create and build upon their own DE&I vision, empowering businesses to take the knowledge they learn and apply it directly in their workplaces to inform recruitment, retention, engagement and culture. Some topics include:

  • The Business Case for DE&I
  • Intercultural Competencies
  • How to Build a DE&I Strategy
  • Building a Culture that Supports DE&I
  • Inclusive Leadership Development
  • Recruitment, Retention & Engagement DE&I Strategies
  • Unconscious Bias
  • Creating a DE&I Scorecard

As partners, what do the Chamber & Pathways plan to accomplish?

By offering DE&I best practice education to employers of all industries and sizes through Chamber membership, Pathways helps create workplaces where individuals of all identity, background and worldview are welcome and given the opportunity to thrive at work, increasing engagement, work outcomes and work well-being for all employees.

Kira Kimball serves as Chief Innovation Officer for Marsh & McLennan Agency Sioux Falls & Fargo operations and is a National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional. Kira leads MMA's national DE&I team, and she is able to equal this effort in her Sioux Falls community as the leader for the Pathways to Inclusive & Equitable Workplaces community coalition.

Thank you to our Chamber News Premium Sponsors

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