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2019 Cleveland Internship Summit Preview: How to Expand from Inclusion to True Diversity

Written by Shawn Turner

In the lead up to the 2019 Cleveland Internship Summit on Feb. 21, we are previewing some of the sessions taking place at this year’s event. Today’s article focuses on how to create a truly diverse internship program.

The new generation of potential job candidates who are emerging on the scene are looking for organizations that stand for more than only making a profit, says Camila Negret, Midwest Diversity & Inclusion Leader in PwC’s Cleveland office. Rather, they want to work for organizations with a higher sense of purpose, which includes organizations that embrace the value of diversity & inclusion.

With that in mind, it’s important that companies create a sense of belonging for all of their staff, which extends to the company’s internship program, said Negret, who will go into more detail on this subject during a session at the 2019 Cleveland Internship Summit, taking place Feb. 21 at Corporate College East from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In the days leading up to the Summit, we sat down with Negret to talk more about diversity within organizations, why it’s important, and what takeaways attendees will walk away from her session with. Here’s what she had to say:

Diversity vs. inclusion

While they might sound similar, Negret said there is a difference between diversity and true inclusion within an organization. “Diversity is a state of being”,” she explained. “Inclusion requires action and engagement.”

Further, she said diversity is an acknowledgement of who do we want at the table and who is currently represented. Inclusion, on the other hand, moves closer to the creation of a sense of belonging for all people and giving everyone on your staff the permission and confidence to be themselves.

Inclusion benefits

As mentioned above, one of the most obvious benefits of an inclusive work environment is it can help companies attract qualified talent who will help the business succeed.

Beyond that, Negret said, another impact of an inclusive culture is that when it creates an environment that is safe and comfortable for all, that kind of environment is conducive to business benefits such as innovation, creativity, best practices and accelerated learning and development for employees.

Session takeaways

Negret said her goal for the session is to make it a practical conversation and arm attendees with no-cost resources that they can take back to their own organization.

For example, one such resource Negret plans to mention is the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, an organization of business leaders seeking to advance diversity within the workplace. She will also touch on the “I Act On” pledge and why that pledge should matter to your business.

Learn more about this topic, as well as other ways to build and improve the internship program at your company, at the 2019 Cleveland Internship Summit on Feb. 21. Click here to learn more and register.

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