For Immediate Release
New Brunswick, NJ — “Diversity impacts each and every one of us,” said American Conference on Diversity President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley during the “Reflections on Diversity: Defining Moments” forum held on June 6 at L’Oréal USA headquarters in New Jersey. “Our differences intersect in our workplaces and influence the relationships we have with our colleagues and constituents creating defining moments in diversity.”
The event, which marked the mid-point of the American Conference on Diversity’s yearlong 65th anniversary celebration, brought together the region’s diversity thought-leaders from public and private industry for an evening of networking and education. “We’re providing you with resources today that can help you in your diversity work,” said Ms. Williams-Riley before an audience of nearly 100 chief diversity officers, EEO directors, educators, and media professionals representing more than 35 different agencies all eager to hear from the special guest speakers.
►L’Oréal USA Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Angela Guy: As the American Conference on Diversity’s newest Board of Trustees member, Ms. Guy brings a dynamic perspective to the organization through her business acumen and leadership skills. “Our mission is to provide the best of beauty for all because we truly believe that diversity within L’Oréal is a business imperative,” she said. “When we look at growth, we’re excited about the demographic changes within the marketplace.” By 2042, she explained, one-half of the US population will be multicultural, and diversity isn’t just about race or ethnicity. For example, people with disabilities are the largest diverse group in the United States at 19 percent of the population. Many, unfortunately, have not come “out” to employers for fear of being discriminated against. “My defining diversity moment is when all people can be themselves within the workplace,” said Ms. Guy, who prior to her current position served as General Manager of SoftSheen-Carson, the number-one ethnic hair care brand in the world.
►INSIGHT Into Diversity Co-Publishers Lenore Pearlstein and Holly Mendelson: Through their personal “defining diversity moments” – Ms. Pearlstein’s father is a Holocaust survivor and Ms. Mendelson missed out on a major career opportunity when a meeting was scheduled during her religious holiday – the audience learned what inspired these women to purchase their magazine and launch the new HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Awards last year. The awards, which are open to all colleges and universities throughout the U.S., measure an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff. “We knew there were other magazines measuring the diversity demographics of colleges,” said Ms. Mendelson. “But how can you draw a conclusion about a school’s commitment to diversity based only on numbers?” To apply or learn more about the HEED awards, visit http://www.insightintodiversity.com/heed-award/about-the-heed-award.
►New Jersey Department of Higher Education Chief of Staff Betsy Garlatti: Although New Jersey has a highly educated workforce, there are still achievement gaps and limited access to higher education for some. “Each of us matters,” said Ms. Garlatti. “All students desire access to higher education and we must help them complete their degrees.” Speaking on behalf of the Secretary of New Jersey Higher Education Hon. Rochelle Hendricks, she said, “We [aim] to make visions of a better future a reality and to address many of the useful findings from the report of the governor’s task force on higher education.” Ms. Garlatti outlined several initiatives being implemented to improve access, including GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and Access to Success, which strives to cut the college-going and graduation gaps for low-income and minority students in half. Another program seeks to provide high-achieving high school students with exposure to college through an intensive three-week summer experience.
►Rutgers University Associate Professor and Human Resource Management Department Chair Patrick F. McKay, Ph.D.: “We think diversity is magical…that people are going to magically work together — and it’s just not true. The bottom line is there’s still an ‘us versus them’ mentality,” said Dr. McKay, who shared the results of his research that intersects the perception and bottom-line impact of diversity at retail stores nationwide. “Diversity alone is insufficient to leverage business differences. You need to create an inclusive environment. It’s simple.” Among Dr. McKay’s numerous findings, he discovered that organizations that create inclusive environments make more money than those that don’t. In addition, employee turnover is lower at organizations where there’s a perceived inclusive workplace.
Various diversity resources were also available for participants, including recent issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, DiversityGlobal magazine, and the American Conference on Diversity newsletter and multicultural calendar to help employers plan better and avoid cultural scheduling conflicts. For copies, please visit http://americanconferenceondiversity.org/publications.
About the American Conference on Diversity
The programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing our workplaces; and helping to create inclusive communities. The American Conference on Diversity, which has been serving schools, organizations, workplaces, and communities in New Jersey since 1948, builds on a historic mission and creates programs and activities relevant and vital to 21st Century life. It is a journey we can all take together. The American Conference on Diversity operates eight chapters to help us to educate and empower leaders and bring our messages of inclusion and respect to communities throughout New Jersey: Atlantic County Chapter, Bayonne Chapter, Central Jersey Chapter, Essex County Chapter, Greater Bergen Chapter, Hudson County Chapter, Jersey Shore Chapter, and Mercer County Chapter. Visit www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.
L’Oréal USA, headquartered in New York City, is the largest subsidiary of the L’Oréal Group, the world’s leading beauty company. In addition to corporate headquarters in New York City and in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, L’Oréal USA has Research and Innovation and Manufacturing and Distribution facilities across seven other states including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey Ohio, Texas and Washington. The company’s portfolio of leading brands includes Lancôme, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, Cacharel, L’Oréal Paris, Garnier, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase and Shu Uemura Art of Hair. The U.S. is the base for product development, international marketing and advertising of L’Oréal’s thirteen American brands: Maybelline New York, Soft-Sheen.Carson, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Essie Cosmetics, Redken 5th Avenue NYC, Matrix, Mizani, Pureology, SkinCeuticals, Dermablend, Clarisonic and Urban Decay. For more information on our brands visit www.lorealusa.com or follow us on Facebook at L’Oréal USA – Corporate Facebook Page and Twitter @LOrealUSACorp.
Contacts: Rubenstein Communications, Inc. – Public Relations for L’Oréal USA
Robin Verges, 212-843-8075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Relations Consultant – American Conference on Diversity
Gail Zoppo, 732-745-9330, gail@AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org