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Poole Pre-Career Fair Breakfast Discussion: Inclusive by Design

VF is sponsoring Poole College’s 2018 Pre-Career Fair breakfast discussion on the topic of diversity and inclusion in business, industry
Students, recruiters engaged in conversations about diversity, inclusion at 2017 breakfast session.

NC State Poole College of Management is hosting its second pre-career fair discussion over breakfast on the topic of diversity and inclusion in business and industry. The Inclusive Leader Breakfast, scheduled for 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, February 2, is sponsored by VF Corporation, a new NC State industry partner. The breakfast and career fair will be at the NC  State McKimmon Center.

Participants in the inaugural breakfast discussion in 2017 said the event provided an opportunity for necessary conversations.

“This breakfast series is part of Poole College’s commitment to providing opportunities for validating the various intersecting identities of our community; it is an example of what makes Poole inclusive by design,” said Tayah Lin Butler, director of diversity and inclusion at Poole College. “We very much appreciate VF’s commitment to sponsor and participate in this event,” she said, noting that the breakfast is open to all students at NC State. Registration and other details are in NC State’s ePACK career development site.

In addition to sponsor VF, the following companies are also participating in the breakfast: Aerotek, Bank of America, C.H. Robinson, Cintas, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Edward Jones, Enterprise Holdings, EY, Genworth Financial, Georgia Pacific, IBM, Lord Corporation, Smithfield, Vangard, and Volvo.

Inclusive by Design

Poole College adopted the phrase “inclusive by design” to reflect the college’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through both leadership and program development.

“While we are facing the same challenges that many business schools face, we are doing something that others do not do,” said Butler, who joined Poole College in September 2016 as director of diversity and inclusion. “When I talk about my role with parents, people in business and industry, our students, I explain that my job position was written to take an integrated approach, built on discussions with our faculty and our students,” she said

“I came to Poole College because this was the only place that said, ‘We want to change the messaging, to support an inclusive mindset throughout the college, to have it permeate the college brand’,” she said. And that, she added, fits with her personal passion: championing organizational culture change through conversation.

“We are trying to be Diversity 2.0,” she said. “We want our students to go to the career fair and to be validated in that space.” That was the impetus for last fall’s Inclusive by Design pre-career fair breakfast, where conversations focus on what the participating companies are doing to make their work environment more inclusive. “This is helping our students to help change the conversation,” she said.

Campus-wide Engagement

“What we are doing here at Poole College complements what is going on across campus,” said Butler, who serves on the university’s Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) which provides the campus community a system through which a person can report incidents of bias on and around campus.

NC State was recognized in fall 2017 with its second Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award presented by the publication, INSIGHT into Diversity. It is the only national recognition for colleges and universities in the area of diversity and inclusion. NC State was previously recognized in 2014.

Poole College faculty research also shows the positive impact of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. A recent research publication by Poole College professors Roger Mayer, Richard Warr and colleague Jing Zhao of Portland State University, found that corporate policies that promote more pro-diversity cultures, specifically treatment of women and minorities, enhance future innovative efficiency. The study, which contributes to a growing body of knowledge on this topic, was reported by the mass media, ranging from Fast Company to WUNC/NPR radio.

“Inclusive by Design is a mindset everyone can play a role in,” Butler said. I am happy to be the catalyst to set ideas into action.”