INROADS Takes Major Step in Fulfilling its
CEO Action for Diversity and InclusionTM Commitment
ST. LOUIS, MO, August 21, 2017 — In response to the recent CEO Action for Diversity and InclusionTM pledge — taken by more than 270 corporate CEOs since June — INROADS hosted more than 400 diverse, college seniors at its annual three-day Leadership Development Institute (LDI). INROADS focused its LDI on professional development to prepare its leaders to enter Corporate America as change agents for diversity.
The LDI honed in on the importance of diversity in the workplace and ensured that graduating seniors are ready for the workforce. Students gained professional unconscious bias training from Dr. Vanessa Weaver, founder and CEO of Alignment Strategies (ALS), one of the country’s premiere organizations and among the first to focus on diversity as a business driver. “The data is clear. Diversity is proven to increase employee engagement and loyalty and drive bottom line results. The current climate is evidence of the downside of unconscious bias. Never before has it been more important to remain focused on the upside of diversity, inclusion and engagement, and the tremendous benefits it offers organizations and individuals. INROADS is aware of the need for leadership in Corporate America to look at the talent and potential of all its team members in a way that’s fair, unbiased and culturally sensitive,” said Dr. Weaver.
In addition to receiving unconscious bias training, INROADS’ emerging leaders received professional development from alumni; interview tips from Bank of America’s Ebony Thomas; morning motivation from Pierre Campbell, founder and CEO of The Leadership Network Inc.; words from INROADS regional directors; and inspiring discussions with corporate leaders about workplace development and corporate social responsibility. “Past experiences from others help us prepare to enter our careers,” said Tyler Gorman, INROADS Intern. “Learning from what others have done helps us in our development process.” Gorman interns at Jeppesen as a Software Test Engineer and is a senior at the University of California, Irvine, majoring in aerospace engineering.
“This Leadership Development Institute is about getting INROADers prepared to lead, now,” said Forest Harper, INROADS president and CEO. “Imagine a room full of over 400 prepared, capable, 21st century leaders. Corporations and communities need this type of leadership to take them into uncertain worlds and to elevate our corporate social responsibility.” As students completed the LDI training, they were pinned by alumni, and senior interns officially walked away as a part of INROADS 28,000 alumni — ready to create a more diverse workforce.
“I often hear that INROADS students can walk from the classroom to the boardroom,” said Donald Comer, Vice President, Operations Analysis, FedEx Corp. and an LDI corporate sponsor. “That’s a bold statement, and INROADS knows how to transform bright students into innovative leaders.”
The 2017 LDI sponsors included Badger Meter, Bank of America, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, FedEx, Vulcan Materials Company, Washington Gas and Wells Fargo.
Founded in 1970, INROADS develops and places talented underserved youth in business and industry, preparing them for corporate and community leadership that affects community renewal and social change and elevates economic status and quality of life. INROADS has placed students in over 135,000 paid internships throughout its history, and graduated over 28,000 alumni into full-time professional and leadership positions with over 1,000 corporate partners. Currently, INROADS serves nearly 1,300 interns and 200 corporate clients. Learn more at INROADS.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn: @INROADS Inc.