Schmidthorst College of Business Features Toyota, Plante Moran, and Northwestern Mutual in Diversity and Inclusion Workshop

Written by Sydney Flora, Schmidthorst College Communications Intern

On March 30th, the Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODI) hosted a virtual panel covering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Toyota sponsored the event with Plante Moran as a co-sponsor. Northwestern Mutual was also a participant. The mission of DACODI is to “promote and foster a culture that embraces the diverse backgrounds of all students in the Schmidthorst College of Business at Bowling Green State University through academic initiatives and hands-on experiences.”

For the first half of the event, panelists presented their companies and how they incorporate diversity and inclusion into their missions. Each company emphasized the importance of educating employees about diversity and inclusion through mandatory training programs. All three companies have a Diversity and Inclusion Council, or Advisory Board, dedicated to educating and leading their company to be more inclusive.

Toyota bases its approach to incorporate diversity and inclusion on the “Toyota Way”, a set of principles grounded in respect for people and continuous improvement. Plante Moran recently participated in an initiative called the Year of Understanding, a firmwide journey created in response to social and racial unrest from 2020 to educate staff through monthly content. Northwestern Mutual was named one of Forbes 2020 Best Employers for Diversity due to having multiple programs dedicated to different minority groups, such as the Multicultural Affinity Summit and Women’s Affinity Summit.

For the second half of the event, students had the opportunity to ask questions to the panel of  representatives. The questions ranged from how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives to general advice about how diverse students can be successful in the business world. Panelists agreed that the best advice is to be confident in your skillset, embrace the learning curve, and to get involved across the company to build a support system.

Janae 2Janae Johnson, a senior specializing in Finance and Business Analytics and the Council Organizer for DACODI said, “I am extremely grateful that our students got to hear how three amazing companies are ensuring their employees feel safe, heard, and appreciated for their uniqueness. The incorporation of diversity and inclusion into daily routine assures our students that there are places where they’ll be welcomed with opened arms.”

Updated: 04/16/2021 05:30PM