About the Event
Why is embracing diversity such a challenge?
The simple answer is-cultural bias is deeply rooted into the body and soul of a human being.
One solution is to utilize your business mind to obtain the competitive edge you need to succeed in business by going beyond the black and white of diversity to address the gray areas. This requires an in-depth understanding and appreciation for the differences in people to extract their full potential as a contributing member of a team or society.
For many years addressing diversity meant taking into account an individual’s race/ethnicity religion and/or creed. But, in recent years diversity sensitivity has taken into consideration a person’s mental and physical abilities or disabilities as well as their gender and sexual orientation.
Addressing the gray area of diversity is more than just recognizing the difference in individuals because of age, education and family status. It also means delving deeper into their personal background to understand their diverse perspectives such as first language, country of origin and nationality which now, more than ever, are the real differences we find in today’s society. Other more subtle differences include military experience, communication style and household income.
About the Speaker
Carolynn Brooks currently serves as Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer for OfficeMax. Ms. Brooks provides the strategic direction for Workforce Diversity, Supplier Diversity, Workforce Compliance and Community Relations. She is chairman of the OfficeMax Diversity Council and President of the OfficeMax Charitable Foundation.
Ms. Brooks joined OfficeMax in 2001 in human resource and helped drive the integration of the merger and consolidation of OfficeMax and Boise Cascade. In 2006, Ms. Brooks was promoted to Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer to create a culture of inclusion and a dynamic work environment that promotes diverse perspectives and solutions to help our customers do their best work. Under her leadership, the OfficeMax Diversity Council oversees the strategic plans, metrics and practices that make diversity and inclusion a business imperative.
Ms. Brooks also led in the creation and launch of OfficeMax Associate Resource Groups in 2008. These associate led-groups were developed to help OfficeMax promote broader associate understanding and appreciation of diverse experiences and perspectives. She also oversees OfficeMax’s community outreach to ensure that the company expands into the communities where we do business through our associate volunteer program and community outreach.
In 2009, Ms. Brooks was awarded the Diversity Officer Leadership Award by Diversity Best Practices in Washington, DC for her focus and innovative work to grow and strengthen outstanding diversity and inclusion programs. The National Diversity Council named Ms. Brooks as one of the recipients of the 2010 Most Powerful and Influential Women of Illinois for her leadership excellence, commitment to the community and her accomplishments in diversity and inclusion. Ms Brooks has recently been recognized and profiled in Diversity Business Journal as a 2011 Executive Woman Worth Watching.
Ms. Brooks attended Howard University and is a Board member for the Chicago Metropolitan YWCA and on the Board of National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC) and serves on the national Diversity Best Practices Leadership Council l. She is a former member of Du Page County Workforce Board and the Board of Exceed Financial Credit Union.
The meeting is held at the Carlton Hotel 1110 Pleasant Street Oak Park, IL 60302-3093. The cost is $35 in advance for members with guest pricing of $35 through 5:00PM, December 7, 2011. Late registrations will be accepted through 1:00PM, December 9, 2011 for a cost of $40 for members and guests.
Reservations are required prior to 12:00 PM, Thursday December 9, 2011. Online payment options include CREDIT CARD and PAYPAL Payment is not accepted at this event.