Jan 7, 2015

MadREP Announces Initiative to Measure, Recognize and Improve Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Practices in the Madison Region

Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) announces a new initiative designed to measure, recognize, and improve workplace diversity and inclusion practices.  

The inclusion of a diverse workforce is vital to the sustained economic growth of our region, and assessing the progress of diversity and inclusion efforts by Madison Region employers is a critical first step in improving our practices over time. This initiative is an outcome of MadREP’s Advance Now Strategy, which identifies Leadership & Diversity as one of its five planks for economic growth in the region. 

“The Madison Region’s changing population presents a momentous opportunity to engage employers around workplace diversity and inclusion practices,” notes Paul Jadin, president of MadREP. “We recognize the critical role that diversity and inclusion play in business and economic growth across our rural, suburban, and urban communities. This initiative is an important milestone toward advancing economic opportunity for all current and prospective employees.” 

Madison Region businesses are invited to participate in a survey that captures quantitative and qualitative data about workforce demographics, supplier diversity programs, and community engagement.  Individual workplace responses will remain anonymous, and will become part of an aggregated data set for the region.  

This initiative will allow the Madison Region to establish benchmarks and to begin taking the necessary steps to becoming a model for economic inclusion by promoting the advancement of a diverse and inclusive workforce. In addition, the initiative will:

  • Give companies a vehicle to self-assess their strengths and opportunities
  • Identify resources available through MadREP for companies seeking to improve diversity and inclusion practices
  • Establish a snapshot of the region’s workforce demographics
  • Track initiatives and best practices for the advancement of economic inclusion 

This effort was developed through the input of MadREP’s Leadership & Diversity workgroup, a committee of 20 professionals from the private and public sectors charged with steering implementation of the Advance Now Strategy’s Leadership & Diversity plank.

“Successful regions across the country have proactively measured and improved workplace diversity and inclusion practices for quite some time,” comments Anne Carter, chair of the Leadership & Diversity workgroup and Director of Corporate Diversity & Inclusion at Alliant Energy. “This effort builds upon best practices to position the Madison Region toward becoming a model for economic inclusion while reinforcing the impact of diversity within businesses.”

The Madison Region Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Survey can be found online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MadisonRegionWorkplaceDiversity

Surveys should be completed by February 28, 2015. Aggregated results will be shared at the Madison Region’s Economic Development & Diversity Summit on May 14, 2015. The event will be co-hosted by MadREP and the Urban League of Greater Madison.   

Upon completion of the survey and delivery of results, participating companies will have the opportunity to identify resources available through MadREP to improve their diversity and inclusion practices, namely through a partnership with The Davis Group, a local firm providing contract services in the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce and cultural competency training.