Business & Finance

Sobel & Co. Executive Women's Breakfast Focuses on Diversity in the Workplace

159af89cb9dc51194ab0_20180124_085732.jpg
Alycia Banks, training and development officer from Columbia Bank give presentation entitled The "D" Word Credits: Jessica Marrone Parkes
2e56c996e2accd905f3a_20180124_084855.jpg
Sally Glick, Sobel & Co chief strategic growth strategist with speaker Alycia Banks Credits: Jessica Marrone Parkes
02fb78fac1afe76726f7_33e18bec75be64fea828_20180124_083634.jpg
Several Organizations representing the music and arts community of Newark at Sobel & Co's Executive Women's Breakfast Credits: Jessica Marrone Parkes
25be1e07be1f97ba5977_e4e4358d05bd0c93101e_20180124_083125_HDR.jpg
Several Organizations representing the music and arts community of Newark at Sobel & Co's Executive Women's Breakfast Credits: Jessica Marrone Parkes
610d508ea1cb5de1279c_2eb35f4b54adce217009_b442bf6db00cb8b8aaad_20180124_083516.jpg
Several Organizations representing the music and arts community of Newark at Sobel & Co's Executive Women's Breakfast Credits: Jessica Marrone Parkes
159af89cb9dc51194ab0_20180124_085732.jpg

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Diversity in the workplace (The “D” Word) was the central theme of Sobel & Co. LLC’s Executive Women’s Leadership Breakfast last week, where businesswomen gathered in Livingston to hear a presentation from Alycia Banks, training and development officer for Columbia Bank.

Following some networking and a light breakfast, Banks opened a conversation on how to create a diverse and inclusive environment in the office. In her presentation, she identified why diversity matters, demonstrated how diversity impacts the bottom line, shared inclusive behaviors in the workplace and provided the “how to’s” of fostering innovation through diversity and inclusion.

Livingston resident Holli Ehrlich, Isagenix Personal Success Coach, said she was inspired by Banks’ message that “women are masters of embracing diversity because [they] are nurturers and cultivate conversations to be inclusive.”

Sign Up for E-News

“We need to be active listeners and have an open dialogue, which will lead to increased productivity, improved customer service, and a better understanding of those you work with,” said Ehrlich. “Becoming more aware of who you are and your cultural perspective will help shape your interactions. Being open to learning about others, respect, and effective communication is the key to building stronger relationships personally and professionally."

Banks has had many opportunities to teach and create diversity initiatives over the 22 years that she has worked in learning and talent development, but said that she has always run from it, thinking of diversity departments as “a sinking ship.”

“Diversity is a topic that everyone tries to avoid,” said Banks. “There tend to be programs that we run, but we have failed tremendously in many efforts as a whole Corporate America. We have tended to wrap [diversity initiatives] into multicultural days, employee resource groups, but ‘have we really moved the dial forward’ is the big question.”

Banks said she always ran from it because of the stigma that was associated with it.

“Being an African American woman, I only saw people in Corporate America teach diversity that were people of color, and so I felt that many of them were very preachy…and that’s really not me,” said Banks, adding that she felt she was only offered the position because she was a woman of color. “As I approached my last eight years, I have taken a different approach, realizing that diversity is really lived out when there is transparency and it’s about telling your story. We have to get comfortable in telling our story and being comfortable in our own skin in a professional way that makes us credible and in a way that allows us to share our diversity.”

Banks stated that diversity exists in everyone and that there is “not one person in this world that is the same person as the person sitting next to them.”

As one of 10 children, Banks overcame her fears and became an advocate for diversity after some of her siblings married outside their race and others married individuals of the same sex. She said she learned first-hand how “joy and love comes in many forms,” and she can now embrace diversity with passion.

In order to embrace diversity in the workplace, Banks said a business or organization has to demonstrate behaviors that are inclusive, which involves addressing common patterns like making assumptions based off premonitions, misunderstanding others due to poor communication, giving into prejudices and naturally fearing the unknown.

Stating that diversity is the opposite of discrimination, Banks discussed techniques to overcome each of these patterns, and also spoke about the significance of equal employment opportunities and affirmative action plans.

During the breakfast, Sobel & Co. also hosted a “Newark Arts Showcase,” highlighting some key organizations from the music and arts community of Newark, including Barat FoundationHave You Met Newark ToursGlass RootsNew Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Newark Arts Council.

To become a part of the next Executive Women’s Breakfast conversation, join the Sobel & Co. Executive Women's Breakfast group on LinkedIn or contact Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co., at sally.glick@sobel-cpa.com

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Lola's Buy 1 Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off With Coupon

May 26, 2018

FAIRFIELD, NJ - Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is offering Buy One Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off with coupon. Lola's Sprinkles are always FREE! 

The coupon expires on June 18, 2018, and coupon offers cannot be combined. All guests must present this coupon to redeem.

Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is located at 244 Route 46 East ...

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice

*Gelato 

*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_28c899d8572458eda4f7_mini_magick20180422-110109-8dtxfl

Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline

Carousel_image_28c899d8572458eda4f7_mini_magick20180422-110109-8dtxfl

Tue, June 5

Essex County

PRIMARY ELECTION

Government

Carousel_image_a95462779786ad34c46c_swain_nicole_02_med

Wed, June 6, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Mindfulness Approach to Stress

Health & Wellness

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Stands in Newark

May 26, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site—the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to ...

Still Time to Register for Livingston's Fall Intown Soccer

May 14, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Although a late fee may be applied as of May 13, registration is still open for the Fall 2018 Intown Soccer season in Livingston, including the high school co-ed program.

Livingston Soccer Club's (LSC) Intown program is all about sportsmanship, making friends, getting some exercise and learning a bit about soccer along the way. LSC provides the following ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...