Beyond the Degree, a Collaborative Conversation Series on Creating Culturally Competent Workplaces  

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) hosted its annual Board of Advisors Fall Retreat on Monday, October 31st. This year’s retreat was open to the public, and focused on an ever-important topic: preparing students and businesses for culturally diverse workplaces.

Academic institutions are increasingly diverse, yet minorities still represent a smaller percentage of the workforce than their peers. Companies recognize that it is in their best interest to hire and foster a diverse staff: diverse organizations not only make more money, but are more innovative, smarter, and retain more of their staff. Plus, they see a significant increase in ROI: 35% for ethnically diverse companies and 15% for gender-diverse companies[1].

USG welcomed industry leaders like Tami Howie, CEO, Maryland Tech Council, and voices from academia like Tom Sadowski, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University System of Maryland and Dr. Jack Smith, Superintenadant, Motgomery County Public Schools and Dr. Derionne Pollard, President Montgomery College and Dr. Kim Schatzel, President Towson University.  They were joined by more than 75 other attendees, including leaders in business, academia, alumni, current students, and community supporters.

“We recognize that our location in Montgomery County provides a unique opportunity to convene industry, academia and students to discuss the challenge of creating, fostering and maintaining culturally competent workplaces that are beneficial for the economy at large,” said Stew Edelstein, Executive Director of The Universities at Shady Grove. “By highlighting these three perspectives, attendees left the retreat with an increased understanding of the complex challenges surrounding integrating diverse cultures and employee perspectives, as well as new ideas for a path forward.”

1 Forbes.

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