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Diversity and Inclusion Top Agenda at Chamber of Commerce Reception Hosted by School

March 25, 2010
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Diversity and Inclusion reception

(L-R) Barry E. Johnson, President and CEO, Greater
Miami Chamber of Commerce; Bruce Jay Colan,
Chairman, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce;
Barbara E. Kahn, Dean School of Business
Administration; Tiffani Lee, Partner, Holland &
Knight LLP, Chair, Greater Miami Chamber of
Commerce Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Diversity and inclusion is not just about big business, it’s about good business for everybody. That was the message from Tiffani Lee, a partner at the law firm Holland and Knight and chair of the diversity and inclusion committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce as she addressed a Chamber networking reception at the School March 25. Lee told members of the chamber and administrators of the School of Business that the Chamber is leading a campaign to urge its members to adopt diversity and inclusion guidelines in four core areas: corporate social responsibility, leadership development, supplier diversity and talent management. And she said the School of Business and University play an important role as educators of the leaders of tomorrow.

Barbara E. Kahn, dean of the School of Business, and Nerissa Morris, the University’s vice president for human resources, joined Lee in speaking about local diversity initiatives. Morris stated that this type of event – focusing on diversity and inclusion – is part of the core of what the University believes is important.

“Part of the University of Miami’s mission lies in reflecting and strengthening the diversity of our society,” said Morris. “It’s important in our workforce, it’s important in our student body, it’s important in our business relationships.”

Morris went on to cite statistics that show the diversity of the University’s more than 13,000-person workforce. And she noted the strides that have been made in recent years, saying that over the last five years, the percentage of minorities in the senior administration has more than doubled, while women in senior administration has increased by 28 percent.

Dean Kahn, who joined the University in 2007, spoke about the School’s diversity initiatives and its interest in working more closely with the Chamber and the wider business community. She noted that in 2009, Hispanic Business magazine ranked the School No. 3 in the nation among the best business schools for Hispanic MBA students, that The Princeton Review ranked the school No. 6 in the nation among business schools that provide the greatest opportunity for minority MBA students and that the Financial Times ranked the School No. 10 in the world for female Executive MBA students. Kahn said that the School is committed to attracting a diverse student body and creating a climate of inclusiveness on campus through various programs.

“We know that we can’t be complacent about diversity as a goal,” Kahn told the audience. “We know that we are creating the next generation of leaders and we know that the companies that you represent and that we partner with are not only looking top students but for a diverse pool of students and students who think differently, and we are very proud to provide you with our diverse and talented graduates.”

The Chamber’s diversity and inclusion initiatives continue in May with a roundtable discussion on supplier diversity, workplace diversity and diversity in leadership.
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