Diversity program encourages everyone to bring something to table

ITD’s workforce is evolving, like workforces across the nation. Employees are applying fresh ideas and different perspectives to the ambitious goal of being the best transportation department in the country.

Great energy comes from people with different backgrounds and viewpoints working together in new combinations and situations.

The department is committed to supporting this climate by ensuring a workplace where diverse talents can develop and flourish without encountering barriers or biases.

As part of that commitment, the Human Resources Division is planning a series of brown-bag lunch programs that will explore how each of us is different and how much we are alike.

The first of the programs will be July 29 in the Headquarters Auditorium. Other programs will follow on a quarterly basis throughout the year.

“ITD has a very strong stance on diversity,” said Senior Human Resource Specialist Michelle George, “that we must seek to learn from and respect others regardless of age, color, ethnicity, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion and veterans status.

“These presentations will allow each of us to understand, value and celebrate our differences, as well as all that we have in common,” she added. “By embracing diversity throughout the department, we help encourage a culture where new ideas can be cultivated and flow freely.”

George emphasized that each employee has the opportunity to contribute to a work environment where respect for others is both rule and custom.

“It’s as easy as showing respect for co-workers in daily conversations, participating in ITD diversity activities like the brown-bag lunch programs or volunteering for the department’s Outreach Partnership Program,” she said.

Diversity is about learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect and about supporting a work environment that values unique perspectives.

“Seek to understand your co-workers. Be consistent and fair in the way you treat people and be a leader in diversity by not tolerating disrespectful behavior when you come upon it,” George advised.

“Finally, get involved and check out events planned near you. If you know of an event that can be featured at ITD, let HR know.”

For more information about the department’s diversity initiatives or brown-bag lunch programs, contact George at 334-8845 (7-8845).

Published 7-22-2011