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Inclusion and Diversity

In keeping with a tradition of respect for the individuality of our members and our role in workforce development, SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities.

 

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Champions at Work

Frequently Asked Questions About
SkillsUSA Regarding Inclusion and Diversity

In keeping with a tradition of respect for the individuality of our members and our role in workforce development, SkillsUSA strives to ensure inclusive participation in all of our programs, partnerships and employment opportunities.

Q. What is the difference between diversity and inclusion?
A: The word diversity represents a large group comprised of different people with different experiences. These differences include race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status or citizenship. However, “diversity” does not address how these different people function or work. Inclusion enables us to strive to have all people represented and included in the SkillsUSA family, and make all members, partners and employees feel welcomed and valued, not only for their abilities, but also for their unique qualities and perspectives.

Q. Aren’t diversity, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action the same?
A: SkillsUSA is firmly committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action certainly support our inclusion and diversity initiative, but are different than the inclusion and diversity concept.
The focus of inclusion and diversity is to create a culture that encourages all members, partners and employees to be successful, regardless of their differences.

Q. Why is SkillsUSA inclusion and diversity important to SkillsUSA?
We want SkillsUSA to be regarded as a “membership organization of choice” — one that encourages all individuals to be involved. We believe the wide array of perspectives that results from such diversity promotes innovation and success. Managing diversity makes us more creative, flexible, productive and competitive.

Q. How is inclusion and diversity defined at SkillsUSA?
A. Our mission is to contribute to SkillsUSA’s success by helping students to be able to live and work in the 21st-century workforce. SkillsUSA believes in treating all people with respect and dignity. We strive to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment in which all individuals realize their maximum potential within the organization, regardless of their differences. We recognize the importance of reflecting the diversity of our members and stakeholders.

SkillsUSA’s diversity encompasses differences in ethnicity, gender, language, age, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, physical and mental ability, thinking styles, experience and education.

Q. I don’t consider myself "diverse," so how do I fit in with diversity?
A: Although individuals may be of the same ethnicity and gender, their age, family status and experiences may be quite different. These unique differences add to a culture that nurtures the leadership development of America’s workforce.

Behaviors

Avoider: Aware of biases and prejudices but does nothing and plays it safe. Tolerates unjust behavior.

Perpetuator: Looks around to see who’s watching first, then tells the joke, makes the offensive comment, etc.

Naive: Acts with no knowledge or awareness of biases and prejudices and their impact.

Change Agent: Acts as a role model. Takes action when appropriate and addresses behaviors when important. Takes risks.

Fighter: Attacks all negative or inappropriate actions and confronts all behaviors. Always on lookout for injustice.

PAUSE

To ensure SkillsUSA promotes an inclusive culture both inside and outside of headquarters, always consider the unique needs of all individuals when developing and scheduling programs, creating new materials and planning activities.  

PAUSE whenever possible.

PAUSE

  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  • Analyze the various perspectives involved.
  • Understand and validate by listening carefully and summarizing what you’ve heard to validate that you understand.
  • Select the best solution based on the various perspectives involved. Make sure all parties understand the options before proceeding.
  • Engage others with fairness and respect not just tolerance.

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