The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences hosted our Fall 2016 symposium earlier this month; the event was co-sponsored by Portland State University and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC). Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: Impact on Worker Health and Well-Being was among our most popular symposia yet. Almost 130 attendees from industry, government and academia joined us for discussions facilitated by researchers and industry leaders on workplace diversity.
Our keynote speaker, Dr. Eden King (George Mason University), presented a talk titled “Understanding and Reducing Bias at Work” which highlighted the science behind prejudice and addressed the importance of recognizing bias when battling discrimination in the workplace.
Dr. Larry Martinez’s (Portland State University) talk, “Beyond Race and Gender: The Unique Experiences of Under-Represented and Under-Researched Employees”, emphasized the significance of allies in the experiences of minority workers.
Nichole Guilfoy’s (SAIF Corporation) presentation, “Deconstructing the Language of Wellness,” stimulated small group discussions on diversity and its role in workplace wellness programs.
Ian Jaquiss (OHSU) gave a talked titled “Workplace Health and Safety for Employees with Disabilities” which underscored that diversity initiatives must also be inclusive of those with disabilities, both visible and hidden.
Finally, Dr. Charlotte Fritz facilitated a panel discussion, where attendees raised important questions with the speakers and shared experiences from their own workplaces.
The need for diversity and inclusion is pressing as we continue to make meaningful efforts toward worker health and well-being. In all, our symposium wouldn’t have been the success it was without the thoughtful and insightful contributions of our speakers and attendees. Visit our symposium website to access webinar recordings and presentation by mid-December.
Submitted by: Rachel Matsumoto, Senior Research Assistant