Our local Diversity & Inclusion council members are key to spreading the message of diversity and inclusion across our network. The challenge is to empower council members and encourage participation. Representatives from each council were provided training and a Diversity & Inclusion toolkit to present these messages at the local level.
The Norfolk Southern Diversity &Inclusion Council hosted an Inspire! Summit Feb. 15-16, 2017, in Atlanta. The summit brought together representatives from 11 Diversity & Inclusion councils – each operating division, plus Atlanta and Norfolk office councils – for workshops, discussion, and messages from executive leadership about the important role the councils play for NS.
Highlights from the Inspire Summit:
- Automatic thinking – Unconscious Bias training from Cook Ross, Inc.
- Dinner and networking with executive speakers – Jim Squires, president, chairman and chief executive officer, and Cindy Earhart executive vice president, finance and chief financial officer)
- Diversity & Inclusion thrive at Norfolk Southern
- Building the Diversity & Inclusion brand and increasing council awareness
- Managing difficult discussions
- Tools and techniques for running effective Diversity &Inclusion councils
- Council best practices and action planning
The summit was a huge success. Several of the attendees often refer to the event and use its resources to spread the message of diversity and inclusion across the network. Alberto Rios, senior accountant and member of the Norfolk Office Diversity & Inclusion Council, said, “It was a great time for learning better practices, sharing success stories, getting trained in diversity and inclusion issues, and meeting council members from all NS divisions and different departments, all facing similar challenges to build a more inclusive workplace.
I feel very strongly about diversity and inclusion, not only as a personal value but also as a corporate value. Diversity and inclusion are keys to our corporate success and to our bottom line.