Tampa Bay-based businesses PNC Bank, Tech Data Corp., and PricewaterhouseCoopers are stepping up to make diversity and inclusion priorities, reports Margie Manning for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. All three companies sent representatives to participate in a panel on workplace inclusion, sponsored by Conscious Capitalism Florida. They were joined by Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida.

Cal Jackson, Tech Data Corp.’s director of diversity and inclusion global programs, spoke about the difference between diversity and inclusion. According to him, “Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Smith added a good way to make sure a workplace is inclusive: “Is the organization different because the demographics changed, because different voices and perspectives are now shaping the organization.”

Ashley Brundage, an inclusion consultant for PNC Bank, advises businesses to look beyond just race and gender when considering diversity, and to truly look for a wide variety of unique experiences.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Maureen Greene James spoke about PwC’s “Being Color Brave” program, which “invited people into a safe space where they could feel comfortable talking about what’s going on and more importantly, how is it impacting them.”

Likewise, PNC Bank holds “inclusive dialogue sessions” to help people become aware of their unconscious biases and work on correcting them.

Companies interested in pursuing similar conversations can contact Equality Florida, which offers inclusivity training through its Equality Means Business program. As Smith said, “your bottom line depends on a society where we can communicate.”

Read the Tampa Bay Business Journal article here.