Diversity is an important role in each person’s life. We understand diversity from things as simple as trying a new food, designing buildings in new ways, and knowing people who differ from ourselves. Simply put, without diversity, life would not be like a box of chocolates (and really, who wants that).
HOK is certianly the type of firm the appreciates the dedication that people make to HOK, which is in fact what makes HOK the great organiztion that it is. It is important to recognize the diversity of each of these individuals that make up the greater part of HOK. To celebrate and enhance our diversity, as well as to show appreciation for the hard working employees of Corporate and the North Central Region, HOK St. Louis’ Diversity Task Force decided to hold a coffee break to bring coworkers together and to announce the task force plans for the year.
In an effort to remove some barriers, get people away from desks and talking, the “Where Were You Born?” coffee break brought everyone out for coffee, juice, doughnuts, and fruit and to put a pin in a map to show where each person was born. It was fun to watch people go up and put a pin at their birthplace which always started a conversation, “oh, you were born in Texas also”. While there was a lot of speculation that most pins would be placed in the St. Louis region, it turns out that is not the case. There certainly was that expected concentration, but nearly half the pins were placed elsewhere in the United States and a considerable handful of international birthplaces.
You’ll have to stay tuned for the Diversity Task Force 2012 plans which include Diversity Week in July with possible events like Leaders of Today/Tomorrow Panel, Speed Mentoring, Lunch Lottery, HOK Art Show, and a Taste of Diversity Cook Off. The year will be topped off with what will hopefully be a North Central Region Diversity task plan that takes our St. Louis hope to a larger realm with Diversity Training, Commitment to Mentoring, making diversity part of the HOK DNA. With all of this will come the opportunity to support other initiatives like Wellness and HOK Impact all working towards a more common goal.
I know other HOK offices as well as non HOK companies are out there are doing similar things, we’d love to hear about them! Please share how you promote diversity!
A Sampling of Other Diversity Posts:
Diversity in Action – HOK Supports 2011 NOMA Conference Atlanta
DC Diversity Task Force
Women Across HOK | Jaki Jefferson
Women Across HOK | Penny Malina
HOK-STL KIDZ in Action!
And a quick shout out to the St. Louis Diversity Task Force: Co Chairs Donovan Olliff, and Teresa Bridges; Members: Ben W., Heather L., Jacquie W., Julie D., Kaven S., Sebrina B., Kelly H., Mike J., Rebecca N., David C., Penny ., Jaki J., Maddy R., Dianne B., Sherita B., Stephanie S., Peter M., Jeff Y., and thanks to Michelle O. for the map! And for Kyle B. making sure I don’t say too much with too little.