Learning about diversity initiatives at Human Resources Management Conference
Human resources consultant Sybil Randolph gives a presentation Friday at the 2013 Cumberland Valley Society for Human Resources Management Diversity Conference at Fountain Head Country Club. (By Kevin G. Gilbert / Staff Photographer / June 28, 2013)
The conference, held at Fountain Head Country Club, featured five presentations.
“We are opening this up to an opportunity for people in the local community and H.R. (human resources) professionals in the community to learn more about diversity initiatives that they could do or just different offerings that are out there from a diversity perspective,” said Emily Kovaleski, diversity director of the Cumberland Valley Society for Human Resources Management.
Friday’s diversity conference was the third the organization has held, Kovaleski said, but it did not hold one in 2012. The previous two were at Hagerstown Community College.
Kovaleski, who also is the talent acquisition manager at First Data Corp. in Hagerstown, said the conference is for people involved in human resources to find ways to deal with the issue of diversity in the workplace.
“The majority of us are in the H.R. profession, so whether that be in manufacturing companies here locally, financial service companies, government, it’s different things that we can do or speak to our executive members about or just start different initiatives within our own organizations,” she said.
The first speaker at the conference was Leslie Keelty, who has her own consulting practice, Leading Engaging and Developing (LEAD) Consult LLC. She talked about creating a diversity and inclusion strategy in the workforce.
“A lot of organizations are trying to do things around diversity today because the workforce is much more diverse, so they’re trying to make sure they’re recruiting a diverse workforce,” she said after speaking. “The big issue is not just getting the people in certain targeted groups that you’re recruiting for to come to your organization, but what are the things that you do in your organization and what kind of programs do you have to make people feel included when they get there.”
Keelty talked about learning to connect with people in organizations across racial, ethnic, gender and age boundaries.
“The issues are there, so if you don’t talk about them, then you can’t consciously work towards improving it,” she said.
The Cumberland Valley Society for Human Resources Management is a local chapter that is part of a national chapter of the society, and offers programs from October through May, with different speakers coming in and talking about what is happening in the field of human resources every year.
Aleta Pasterkiewicz, president of the local chapter, said the diversity conference is a way to provide tools and resources to human resource managers in the area to help them run their businesses.
“From a human resources perspective, we want to take in people’s different ideas and have employees that are innovative and creative in the workplace,” she said. “That is the reason why we are looking to help provide resources to companies for diversity and inclusion.”
In addition to the diversity conference, Pasterkiewicz, who also works at First Data as human resources director, said the organization holds a Legal and Legislative Conference each September.