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.
Committee Co-Chair Phil Croskey, CEO & Co-Founder, MD Energy Advisors and PointClickSwitch.com, was the first to share his insights.
GBC: What can attendees expect from the event?
Phil Croskey: Attendees can expect a half-day summit, and they will hear from a phenomenal speaker, Steve Robbins, who is an expert in diversity and inclusion. There will be breakout sessions available, as well, where we can really drill down and really discuss in great detail why diversity and inclusion is important and why it matters to not only your business, but to the entire Baltimore region.
Who should attend the summit?
CEOs of organizations, the HR managers, diversity and inclusion managers and other key managers within the organization. It is important that the conversation is not just held at the top, but it is also held among the middle management teams within respective companies and organizations. It’s imperative that all individuals that have a want or a desire to really be a part of this conversation attend this summit. I don’t think they will be disappointed.
Have you experienced workplaces where Diversity, Equity and Inclusion were not part of the conversation and it negatively impacted the company and those working for it?
When diversity, equity and inclusion are not part of the conversation in the workplace, what it does is it creates low morale within the organization. I’ve witnessed this first-hand. When colleagues and coworkers are not trusting one another, or they come with their own biases, it really creates low morale and confidence among a team. If you are in business — and many of us are — really the goal is to move the entire team toward the goal. When we are not operating as a team, and there’s dissension within ranks, that creates for a very toxic climate and environment.
With your own experiences in mind, what do you hope is the top take-away attendees have once leaving the summit?
What I hope attendees take away from the summit is a more conscious and intentional way of being inclusive, not only within their organizations, but also outside of them. Our goal, and hopefully the take-away, is that they left there with something that they did not come with, and that they can now take that to not only their workplace but in the community to make for a more inclusive and equitable environment here in the Baltimore region.
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.
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Story by Zoe Adams