Here’s a closer look at some of what was covered during the panels and discussions.


Sahar Andrade from Sahar Consulting captivated the audience with an interactive and informative presentation focusing specifically on human capital and how important the Millennial population of “Generation Y” are to future business developments. As Andrade pointed out in her presentation, Millennials are continuingly marking their presence in the work force and can no longer be marginalized or ignored as they are debunking negative myths about their work behavior and commitment. Despite this, Andrade explained that a negative connotation is still prevalent when it comes to Millennials and it’s not until we overcome the myths surrounding them and understand why they do what they do that business and industry will fully benefit from their potential talent.

It is projected that by 2030, 75% of employees will be Millennials (according to Soo Key group) and that the 80-million-strong baby boomer generation will exit the work force within the next 10 years. The beauty of the diversity of the Millennials is that they come with a whole new toolbox of skills, talents and strengths. In order to lead Generation Y, businesses must start showing them accountability, give exposure to senior leaders, and utilize feedback and assessments. Andrade drove home that giving Millennials the accountability they deserve will progress into creating a more diverse and inclusive culture.


The event’s supplier diversity panel kicked off the Diversity and Inclusion Summit by helping define supplier diversity and the strategies used by successful businesses to procure minority contracts and secure access to capital. Representatives of Skanska (Mel Jones), PCL Construction Services (Priscilla Chavez), and California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics (Lois Shelton) each shared their thoughts on the matter and how their specific organizations use supplier diverse organizations to enhance their businesses. The conversation was moderated by Kymberly Garrett, President and Principal Consultant of GarrettSpioni Group, who encouraged the panelists to talk about ways in which their business’s revenue and supply chain have shifted by using minority owned businesses, and also what resources are offered to small business owners.

Highlights of the discussion included Lois Shelton’s description of the positive aspects of supplier diversity aside from job creation. She outlined that supplier diversity is a strategic choice that provides both business and social benefits in that it builds a base of current and future customers and increases the flexibility of a supply chain; and that it is also promotes stable, safe, and thriving local communities and engages some of our fastest growing population groups.


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