Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

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Global Connections

At some point, most corporations invest in their employees, whether they are entry-level or executives. They want the best from staffers, and the most effective way to attain it is through training. Employees who receive the necessary training have a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their roles, which builds confidence. And confidence enhances their overall performance.

Also, according to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), corporations that offer comprehensive training programs have 218 percent higher income per employee than corporations that don’t have formalized training. These corporations also enjoy, on average, 24 percent higher profit margins than those who spend less on training.

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I am passionate about increasing the number of women and people of color in the tech industry. To that end, I am a national spokesperson for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and speak all over the world advocating for diversity and inclusion in the tech workforce. I was bestowed a White House Champion of Change in STEM award from President Barack Obama in 2011, and in 2017, published the book, ‘Necessary Inclusion: Embracing the Changing Faces of Technology to address the need for more women and people of color in the STEM field.

I want to go in another direction and discuss a “shocking” fact: According to a survey from the Founders Club, “Women-led tech startups hire more women.” Their teams average 38 percent women, more than double the average of companies without a female founder.

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Last November, 30 women business owners met at Shell’s Robert, Louisiana facility to get an in-depth view of what it takes to succeed in the complicated oil and gas supply chain. Shell joined with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as the founding sponsor of the inaugural WBENC Executive Energy Program (WEEP). According to Shell Sr. Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Fred Whipple, “It is a part Shell’s expanded effort to increase the amount of spending we do with minority and woman-owned businesses.”

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I’ve worked in the multicultural and diversity and inclusion (D&I) space for over 20 years. On two occasions I’ve served as the diversity leader for organizations who were still in the very early stages of establishing the function or did not previously have a dedicated resource. As a result of those experiences, I arrived at an astounding conclusion: Diversity leaders have the hardest jobs in any organization. Now, you may want to argue that should only be said of the CEO given the vast amount of critical responsibilities that they direct on a daily basis.

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One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to supplier diversity. That is probably no truer than in the case of ethnic minorities, considering what constitutes an “ethnic minority” in different countries. As corporations look to expand their supplier diversity programs globally, it’s not just a matter of rolling out what works in the U.S. to other parts of the world. It is important to understand the various definitions of the term and their contexts so that initiatives can be designed to meet each country’s needs.

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I just returned from a week of networking, education, and celebration in Dallas with the awesome women (and a few good men) of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council network who attended the annual Summit & Salute. As usual, the programming was nonparallel and the conversations stimulating.






Minority-owned Jacobsen|Daniels, an airport consulting and operations firm, and Haley & Aldrich, an engineering and environmental consulting firm, announced that, through a joint venture, they have been awarded a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract to work with the City of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation (DOA). The Haley & Aldrich Jacobsen Daniels Joint Venture (HA-JD JV) will develop and implement a comprehensive world-class sustainability, facilities, and asset management strategy for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport , and will focus on helping the city develop a long-term roadmap for sustainable growth at the world’s busiest airport.

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The third annual Asian American Business Roundtable explored “The New Majority is the New Normal for Businesses” at a two-day Summit recently held at the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Conference Center in Manhattan, led by John Wang, founder and president of the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC), the Summit host. The announcement of the New Majority Alliance was a major part of the Summit, which is formed by the AABDC, the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR).

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Conference Round Up

At a black-tie Gala wrapping up its annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange, held in Detroit, October 23-25, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) honored member corporations and minority business enterprises (MBEs) for their contributions to NMSDC’s goals in advancing business opportunities for minority-owned companies of all sizes. The organization also named the 50 year old ChicagoMSDC as Regional Council of the Year

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Master Your Brand

From a new administration to mass violence, many of us were busy watching the headlines in 2017. The national and global challenges our country faced carry with them long-term, if not permanent, consequences for our children’s children.

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