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Ann Arbor SPARK Launches New Inclusive Workplace Event Series for Small Businesses

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Ann Arbor SPARK is launching its new Inclusive Workplace Series of educational events on Wednesday, January 19, at 11:30 a.m., with DEI Awareness. This free online event series is designed for small business owners and will cover a range of topics: DEI awareness, unconscious bias training, navigating workplace harassment, building a diverse workplace, and cultural competency. Each session will drill down into a specific topic and participants will benefit from the event’s interactive format.

The Inclusive Workplace Series provides training and guidance to growing companies in the greater Ann Arbor region who want to incorporate various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as they grow and develop their business. The series helps executives, HR professionals, team members, and all champions and allies learn how to build a more inclusive workplace culture that can result in improved hiring, employee retention and engagement, and deliver ROI in terms of innovation, performance, and growth.

“Given our work with startups, we know that the seeds of future success are planted early on,” said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. “The Inclusive Workplace Series is designed to help early-stage businesses incorporate DEI principles into their company culture and practices from the start, so that they are part of standard operations as they grow. The more that DEI is reflected within our business community, the more successful we will be in attracting and retaining both job seekers and companies looking to start and grow here.”

In the kick-off DEI Awareness session on January 19, participants will:

  • Define diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Understand individual differences and diversity domains
  • Gain awareness of unconscious bias and where it comes from
  • Identify instances of devaluing others through small, subconscious behaviors, micro inequities, and attribution errors
  • Learn how to address conflict, and foster a culture of inclusion and respect

Each of the Inclusive Workshop Series events is free, but registration is required. Participants can choose to attend as many events as applicable; attending the entire series is not required. Due to the interactive nature of this series, participation is limited and recordings of the events will not be publicly available.