Three power players in the Tampa Bay business community have joined together to educate business and community leaders on the essential practices and tools designed to increase employee diversity and to create a sustainable business model that embraces equity and inclusion. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) have partnered with the University of South Florida Muma College of Business to offer a free, seven-week certificate program that will focus on ways organizations can create a more diverse workplace as well as address equity issues and foster inclusivity.
The certificate program begins March 24 and runs through May 5. It consists of seven two-hour modules and those who successfully complete the program will receive a digital certificate as well as a Credly badge they can display on LinkedIn. The certificate program was developed by a team of faculty across the university and leaders from Jabil and the Tampa Bay Lightning helped outline the program modules and recruit guest speakers.
Participants will learn how building and growing a workforce that includes differing races, religions, ages, genders and sexual orientations, and persons with disabilities can not only improve broad society issues but can also help companies develop novel business practices, increase revenue and improve performance. While the certificate is well-suited for human resources professionals and C-suite leaders, organizers designed the program for people across levels and across industries.
“Having a good diversity and inclusion plan is the right thing to do and it makes business sense,” said Moez Limayem, the Lynn Pippenger Dean of the USF Muma College of Business.
“As a business school, we want to educate employees at all levels on tools and practices that can help companies build and implement sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion programs,” said Limayem. “We, like our partners at Jabil and the Tampa Bay Lightning, strongly believe that companies must examine the business case for inclusion and understand how it is relevant to their business as it can be a competitive differentiator in many ways when it is part of the corporate culture.”
“Assuring a diverse and fully inclusive environment is a key attribute of our culture here at Jabil,” said Jabil Chief Executive Officer Mark Mondello. “Voices are heard each and every day throughout the company as we serve our customers. Voices are also heard each and every day across the multitude of communities worldwide, where our employees call home, as they serve families and organizations in need. We’re excited to partner with the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Lightning as we look to make a positive difference and to do so in a manner that makes us all proud.”
“We are excited to partner with our friends at USF and Jabil to offer this training program at no cost for members of the Tampa Bay community and beyond,” Vinik Sports Group and Lightning CEO Steve Griggs said. “Having a diverse and inclusive workplace in which all employees feel welcomed and accepted benefits everyone, and the Lightning is honored to help provide this opportunity so that all of us can become better educated about business practices and tools that can foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all levels of the workplace.”
Alexis Mootoo, assistant vice president in USF’s Office of Student Success, said that the certificate will guide participants through a journey that begins with self-discovery and emotional intelligence and ends with transformation. It includes modules that are designed to help companies shift from awareness to action and to ensure that diversity and inclusion is part of the organization’s long-term focus. Participants will gain the skills and knowledge to perform an organizational assessment and make plans for inclusive change.
“We believe this will help business leaders and employees at all levels experience transformational change by potentially recognizing their own unintentional biases to actively supporting and creating a workplace where employees of every race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability and religious beliefs help create an innovative, competitive, profitable and sustainable workplace,” said Mootoo. “It may not be easy or comfortable, but we believe the potential benefits of stronger business performance are well worth this critical work.”
While the program is free, advance registration is required. Visit usf.to/DiversityCertificate to learn more and register.