University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business offered a free, 14-hour (7 weeks), online certificate program to business and community leaders across the world to educate on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Sponsored by Florida local organizations Tampa Bay Lightning and Jabil – they focus on how organizations can build a substantial business model to create a more diverse workplace. They do this by addressing equity issues in and outside of the workplace and emphasizing the importance of fostering inclusivity in sustaining the longevity of your organization.

The program had so many keynote speakers from USF’s very own President to Jennifer Arnold, star of TLC’s docu-drama ‘The Little Couple.’ They all brought such knowledgeable and insightful takes on what it means to incorporate diversity amongst their own work and how impactful it is. Out of the 7 modules that were needed to pass this course; module #3: Understanding Your Organization, really touched on why creating an inclusive work environment is the way to go with any organization.

Organizations with above average diversity and level of engagement, which happens as a result of having an inclusive work environment, outperform organizations with below average diversity and engagement by 46%-58%. 67% of job-seekers and entrepreneurs consider diversity as an important factor when considering employment opportunities and doing business. That in mind; much of job seekers cohort are millennials – 92 million. This also happens to be the most diverse group with a 44% Latino population, 35% Black population, 30% Asian population and 27% white population. DEI in the workforce really matters, maybe now more than ever. It is time to be intentional with the work we do.

My biggest take away from this program and something I will consider while working toward CASA-EP’s DEI initiative is that this is a journey not a marathon. There is no completion stage when working through diversity, equity and inclusion. However, I do have a clear understanding of where this starts and that is the top. Aligning our diversity, equity, and inclusion vision and having accountability at all levels of our organization is the goal. CASAEP is an organization allows room for growth and this is a growing process – we’re excited to go on this journey and grow our diversity initiative by fighting anti-discrimination within our operations and governance.