San Antonio was fortunate to receive four visitors from Japan on a program centered around "Promoting Workplace Diversity & Inclusion". From April 17th-22th, we welcomed them to explore perspectives in San Antonio on creating and maintaining inclusive workplace environments.
They first met with a Texas Diversity Council DiversityFirst Awardee, Mr. Otis Scott, to talk to him about his work promoting diversity and inclusion at a variety of organizations including the Air Force, CPS Energy, and most recently UTSA. Meeting at UTSA, the visitors were able to learn about a full range of diversity and inclusion policies from decades of experience.
Later, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce provided more insight into the challenges the Hispanic community can face in workforce discrimination. They especially highlighted the challenges facing Hispanic women. However, this was an area that Rackspace, an appointment the following day, has excelled at. Ranked as one of the 50 best companies for Latinas by LATINA Style Magazine, Rackspace and its Global Engagement and Inclusion Manager, PJ Lovejoy, shared their experiences in creating a diverse workspace and extolled their Rackspace Pride initiative which has been an important resource group for LGBTQ employees since 2015.
Learning from other companies, USAA and CPS Energy were able to share their employment policies and unique traits of their human resources departments that made them well equipped to promote diverse and inclusive spaces.
For a different take, visitors met with Haven for Hope. Working tirelessly to help homeless or disadvantaged populations find necessary social services, Haven for Hope explained their efforts to help introduce those who faced substantial setbacks back into the workforce. Staff members there also explained the specific difficulties differing populations faced whether they be due to disability, race, or sexual orientation.
Lastly, a visit with Chris Dial, Founder and President of The Basketball Embassy, allowed the delegation a more personal exchange of ideas on full-time care-giving. This role can often strain employment arrangements or force families into trying situations, but Mr. Dial was able to explain how his family worked to make sense of the situation.
Throughout these appointments, the visitors from Japan were able to learn about the full range of diversity and inclusion policies San Antonio's workplaces have built. Across many different business and organization types and sizes, our guests were introduced to many tactics for promoting a diverse work environment. Not only that, but they learned how those policies make local groups more innovative and competitive. Other individuals had the chance to share their stories about childcare support, flexible work policies, career on and off-ramping, and addressing unconscious bias. All of the resources in San Antonio who contributed this background made "Promoting Workplace Diversity and Inclusion" a successful program.