September 14, 2012

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International Delegation Visits Utah

Press Release

September 14, 2012

The Utah Human Resources State Council (UHRSC) hosted part of a visit to Utah by a delegation of Israeli business people hoping to learn more about Diversity in the Workplace. The visitors were invited to the United States under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program and were escorted while in Utah by the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD).

The three-week United States Department of State-sponsored project brought together eight government, business and NGO leaders from Israel to focus on strategies and policy that advance diversity within the workforce.

Jeanine Wilson, UHRSC State Director, and Roger Tsai, UHRSC Diversity Director hosted a roundtable discussion and lunch with eight visitors from Israel. UHRSC is an affiliate of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). As the world’s largest professional organization devoted to human resource management, SHRM represents more than 250,000 members in more than 140 countries worldwide. In Utah, SHRM has more than 1600 members in organizations of all sizes, located in all areas of the state, representing workforces in a vast array of industries.

Joining Wilson and Tsai at the roundtable discussion were representatives from two major employers in Utah: Rita Offrett from American Express and George Myers, from Zions Bank, both winners of the Utah Diversity Connections annual awards.

The panel shared with the Israeli visitors some research and key points focused on Diversity in the Workplace, including:

  • For Human Resource professionals, the Diversity aspect of the job deals with the qualities, experiences and work styles that make individuals unique – age, rage, religion, disabilities, ethnicity, etc., - as well as how organizations can leverage those quality in support of business objectives.
  • Studies show that teams or organizations made up of individuals with a more diverse mix of qualities, experiences and work styles tend to have available a richer set of ideas, perspectives and approaches to a business issue.
  • Diversity has many definitions. While organizations may adapt the definition to their specific environment, generally, diversity refers to the similarities and differences between individuals accounting for all aspects of one’s personality and individual identity. An organization’s diversity efforts typically include, but are not limited to:
    • Age
    • Color 
    • Disability
    • Ethnicity/National origin
    • Family status
    • Gender
    • Gender identity or expression
    • Generation
    • Language
    • Race
    • Religion, belief and spirituality
    • Sexual orientation
    • Veteran status
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