Upcoming Training Makes the Business Case for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Registration underway for Feb. 24 event through Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

(FLINT, Mich. – Feb. 16, 2021) Diversity, equity and inclusion—also known as DEI—is an important topic for business and organizational leaders throughout Flint, Genesee County and beyond. To assist local employers in ensuring that DEI is treated as a top priority in the workplace, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is hosting a two-hour virtual training focused on the subject on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

The Diversity & Inclusion Workshop, scheduled for 9-11 a.m., will make the business case for implementing DEI efforts in the workplace. Attendees will learn how to build more inclusive environments where employees are able to thrive as their authentic selves. Additionally, they will learn to check and control their implicit biases and effectively facilitate critical conversations.

Graci Harkema
Graci Harkema

The two-hour training will be led by Graci Harkema, who specializes in diversity, inclusion and implicit bias training and talent management within Fortune 500, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. The owner of Graci LLC, Harkema was recognized as a 2015 and 2020 ‘40 Under Forty Business Leader of West Michigan’ and named a 2020 honoree of ‘200 Most Powerful Business Leaders of West Michigan’ by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

“I know what it feels like to work in environments where I couldn’t be my authentic self, which presented barriers towards me reaching my potential,” Harkema said. “Research shows that team performance increases by 50 percent when everyone feels included. This workshop will provide a safe space for participants to learn how to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment.”

The training is $40 per attendee, with discounted rates available for teams of five or more. According to Brianna Mosier, director of Organizational Development at the Flint & Genesee Chamber, workplaces are bound to see a greater organizational impact if they have multiple employees participate. That way, they will have a common knowledge around the subject and be better prepared to continue that discussion internally.

“We want to help businesses and organizations maximize their internal efforts in developing inclusive and equitable workplaces,” said Brianna Mosier, director of Organizational Development at the Flint & Genesee Chamber.  “At the same time, we hope to see a positive, external effect on our community as we have more and more businesses and organizations adopt this mindset.”

This isn’t the only professional development opportunity to be hosted by the Flint & Genesee Chamber this spring. The organization will also host Leading from Every Level, which begins March 2 and runs through April 13. The four-part virtual series is designed to help attendees find their influence and adopt daily leadership practices, regardless of role, title or seniority.

To learn more or to register for these training opportunities, visit flintandgenesee.org/training.