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Chamber of commerce forms diversity council 

diversity in business stock imgCouncil has published a handbook on increasing workforce diversity, maintaining fair work environments

– In order to promote equity and inclusion in Atascadero and to assist local businesses with the acquisition of talent and creating healthy workplaces, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce has formed a diversity council comprised of community volunteers.

The council has published a handbook with tools and recommendations to assist businesses in increasing workforce diversity and maintaining fair work environments. The handbook can be accessed for free at www.atascaderochamber.org.

“As a community builder, we are dedicated to making intentional, actionable strides to ensure our city is one of increased equity and inclusion,” said Chamber President and CEO Josh Cross, “It is important for us to focus on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) through the lens of business, because incorporating DEI will create a positive impact on our community and can help businesses compete in this era of labor shortages and talent retention. Incorporating DEI practices in a business and marketing plan can also increase customer base.”

“There’s definitely a shifting priority about workplace happiness,” said Chair of the Diversity Council Raechelle Bowlay. “Because of technology, work can follow people wherever they go. Employees are not just focusing on monetary and medical benefits. Now workers seek balance and connection to their community. Employers who offer flexible schedules and family-friendly workplaces are retaining more employees than their counterparts.”

Bowlay recently presented the program at a SLO Public Safety meeting and at the Regional Equity Roundtable. She encourages business owners and nonprofit leaders to join the growing list of local people who have taken the DEI Pledge, also found on the chamber website. Those who pledge commit to ensuring that there are no barriers to success in their workplace based on gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, or economic standing. They also commit to the ongoing work of learning and educating about diversity and inclusivity.

“DEI is not just about race; it’s also about being thoughtful about age, culture, gender, and family dynamics,” says Bowlay. “We’re all human beings and therefore connected,” says Bowlay. “We want to be inclusive as a community. If people don’t feel like they belong at work, they may feel like they are not part of moving Atascadero forward. We’re all different and we all can offer empathetic compassion. I am hopeful.”

If you are interested in volunteering on the Diversity Council or taking the DEI Pledge of responsibility and accountability, register and learn more at atascaderochamber.org/committees/diversity-council/.

 

About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@accesspublishing.com.

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