The GBC spoke with several Bridging the Gap committee members about their thoughts on the GBC’s first annual Bridging the Gap: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit, which takes place on October 21, 2019.
Marco V. Ávila, President & Chairman of the Board, Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, shared his views about the upcoming event.
GBC: Why is your company excited about the Bridging the Gap Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit?
Marco Ávila: The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is really excited for the new summit because our new leadership at the chamber has been working together to be able to bring big companies and close the gap with the minority, Hispanic, small businesses in Maryland. Not only Hispanic, but small businesses that need help reaching out to big companies to be able to get into projects that are taking place in Maryland.
What can attendees expect from the event?
Small businesses and attendees that are planning to come to the event should expect to meet other businesses, especially the majority firms that are looking for minority firms to team up with to be able to work together. They can also expect education and mentoring, which is important because a lot of businesses might not know what is available and the opportunities that are out there. The expectation is big. We are very excited to be able to connect and bridge the gap.
Who should attend the summit?
We are expecting to have minority firms at the summit. In our case, we encourage Hispanic and minority firms to sign up and attend the summit. It is going to be very, very beneficial for the minority firms to be here and meet the major corporations and the major firms that are out there that are actually looking for the minority companies to be part of their team. So I encourage everyone who has a minority business, or a minority firm, or even individuals who just want to come and just learn about what the summit will offer.
What is your desired outcome of the event?
The outcome of this summit will ultimately be to build partnerships, relationships and friendships.
Are you interested in learning more about making the workplace and community more inclusive? Register to attend the inaugural Bridging the Gap: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit on October 21.
Story by Zoe Adams