Minnesota Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative
Workforce diversity, equity and inclusion: a business imperative
The Minnesota Chamber’s Board of Directors and the Chamber’s Foundation understand that Minnesota’s workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, making the effective engagement of underrepresented demographics in the workforce an economic imperative. This is why we have committed to being one of the first state Chambers in the nation to launch an innovative and unique diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative. Consistent with the mission of the Chamber, the Chamber Foundation’s DEI initiative is designed to bring a simplified and attainable approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, and workplace belonging by delivering practical solutions to business leaders.
Delivering solutions to workforce challenges
Minnesota - and the nation - is struggling with a historic worker shortage. Minnesota: 2030 A Framework for Economic Growth provides extensive strategies with actionable recommendations to ensure no one is left on the economic sidelines in our state and highlights the importance of addressing disparities and attracting and retaining employees from underrepresented demographics (including, but not limited to, people of color; veterans and service members; formerly-incarcerated individuals; members of the LGTBQ+ community; individuals with disabilities; women; youth and senior workers). It also speaks to the need to strengthen communities by supporting diverse and inclusive workplaces and strong community assets through welcoming culture that embraces all Minnesotans.
The Chamber is here to help
The Minnesota Chamber Foundation’s DEI initiative can help you define a unique and tailored pathway for your business. Whether you have not yet started, are in the infant stages of your DEI journey, or are simply interested in understanding what the opportunities are in this space, we have the tools, resources, and connections to meet your business where it’s at. If your business is interested in taking meaningful and intentional action toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace or is interested in participating in our DEI assessment pilot, please contact Whitney Harvey, Senior Director of Workforce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
"Whitney Harvey in her role as Senior Director of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion at the Minnesota Chamber Foundation is instrumental in assisting with the identification of valuable resources and tools to continue on your business DEI journey. Whitney engages in challenging conversations as you explore the opportunities and challenges with leading DEI efforts in the workplace. I highly recommend contacting Whitney and the Minnesota Chamber if your business community is interested in developing and implementing DEI action steps for success." - Toby Spanier, Extension Educator, Leadership & Civic Engagement, Center for Community Vitality, Mid Central Research & Outreach Center, University of Minnesota
Inclusive workplaces are necessary to build and welcome the workforce of the future
The Minnesota Chamber is uniquely positioned to play a more active role in the statewide advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion through building upon existing relationships and engaging and supporting the Minnesota business community. By building upon the work already underway at the Chamber, we want to expand our reach to become the clearinghouse of expertise, techniques, and proven methods to engage in meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion work across the Chamber’s vast and diverse membership. To do so, we need the input, support and guidance from member companies that have built successful programs to learn from them, gather business best practices, design a system, and exponentially multiply the number of companies engaging in this work.
Delivering practical solutions to business leaders
To serve the needs of the business community, the Chamber Foundation launched a Workforce Solutions DEI resource site intended at connecting business leaders with DEI resources, partners, and experts. In addition to providing resources, we plan to provide targeted support for business leaders through outreach, assessment, and consultation. This is an effective model that, to date, the Minnesota Chamber has done through existing programs such as Grow Minnesota!, Waste Wise, and Energy Smart.
Your opportunity to help
In contributing to this important initiative, you are not only supporting the statewide advancement of workforce diversity and inclusion but also helping to ensure this program is successful, sustainable, and continues to meet the needs of the business community. Investing in this initiative is investing in the future success of Minnesota’s economy.
Only through a comprehensive, purposeful and persistent program will we be able to address this need for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging across business sectors and around the state.
Kathy Bray, SFM
The Chamber’s DEI resource site is a rich repository of shared ideas and resources, helping businesses foster an inclusive culture that reflects the increasing diversity of the communities they serve and support. SFM is proud to support this initiative that recognizes the important roles businesses play in creating safe and welcoming workplaces for employees.