Over 80 individuals representing a cross section of New Jersey businesses and industries attended a conference at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Park campus on March 5 to discuss a topic that keeps many a “C” suite and managers awake at night: How do we create a workplace culture that is diverse and inclusive so that we satisfy the five generations in the most diverse state in the United States?

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is seen as essential in the modern business world to attract and retain good talent, and, of course, positively impact the bottom line.

For answers, the event turned to thought leaders from Lakeland Bank, Kessler Foundation, Allergan, New Jersey Monthly, iLearn Schools, UPS and Wells Fargo. Representatives from those organizations joined NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka for a panel discussion on diversity.

By sharing current practices and first-hand experiences, the theme was consistent: Creating a diverse and inclusive culture needs to be owned from top down and must be reinforced continually. Culture change cannot be achieved overnight, but must be a sustained message that all organizational members are held accountable for promoting and practicing.

The event also offered attendees robust networking roundtables to learn about many different industries. The subject matter not only addressed D&I initiatives, but also the key characteristics, skills and talents of ideal candidates and employees for today’s workforce.

The event was a collaboration between NJBIA and Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies, University Advancement and Career Development.

If you’re interested in D & I, mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 18 for a similar event at the Metropolitan Campus in Teaneck. You can register at www.myfdu.net/facesofdiversity19