Workplace Diversity Programs Critical for Employers Beyond Legal Compliance, SHRM Tells EEOC

Miami HR professional discusses challenges and best practices for equal opportunity

Apr 15, 2015
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IlianaCastillo-Frick

MIAMI — Diversity programs and strategies are critical for employers beyond compliance with equal employment opportunity laws, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a meeting held at Miami Dade College.

In a meeting that marks 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC heard from panelists who discussed current challenges and best practices to promote equal opportunity.

Speaking on behalf of the more than 275,000-member SHRM, Iliana Castillo-Frick, said, “In my experience, voluntary diversity efforts on the part of employers are to be encouraged and fostered. By fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, organizations will attract and retain the highest level of talent.”

Castillo-Frick quoted SHRM’s 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Survey, which found that 57 percent of HR professionals say their recruiting strategies are designed to help increase diversity in their organization. She also noted that diversity and inclusion is a key part of SHRM’s Body of Competency and Knowledge, the foundation for the SHRM professional HR certification.

Castillo-Frick, chief human resources officer for Miami Dade College, stated that a well-designed D&I policy will align with an organization’s key business objectives.

Yet, she explained that actually implementing diverse and inclusive workplaces presents internal and external challenges for employers. One of those challenges includes unconscious bias related to race, gender and age. Another challenge includes increased recruiting difficulties at a time when HR professionals are struggling to fill key positions.

“Effective practices for addressing these internal challenges include creating a voluntary diversity program that is flexible and tailored to the individual workplace as well as developing training to address gaps that are identified as the diversity program is implemented,” said Castillo-Frick, who has served as volunteer diversity advocate and community affairs director for Greater Miami SHRM.

Keys to creating an effective voluntary diversity program, according to Castillo-Frick, include:

  •  CEO and management team supportincluding specific goals for the program and periodically assessing progress.
  • Needs assessmentidentifying and addressing specific needs.
  •   Trainingdesigned to address specific issues that are later revealed.

Full testimony is available at www.shrm.org/Advocacy/PublicPolicyStatusReports/Courts-Regulations/Documents4%2015%2015(3)%20EEOC%20at%2050%20Barriers%20meeting%20Castillo%20Frick%20testimony.pdf.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Vanessa Gray Vanessa.Gray@shrm.org at 703-535-6072 or Kate Kennedy at Kate.Kennedy@shrm.org and 703-535-6260.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org. Follow us on Twitter at: SHRMPress
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