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New Program Coordinator Explains Diversity is More Than a Black and White Issue

Date: Aug. 13, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: Staff Profiles

Karla Phillips is a new face among the staff at the College of Evening and Continuing Education, but she's no stranger to the University of Cincinnati community. Phillips came aboard in May as the new program coordinator at the Institute for Managing Diversity in the Workplace. She had previously earned her bachelor of business administration degree in marketing and real estate from UC. Phillips is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati and graduated from Walnut Hills High School. Karla Phillips

The institute, formed in 1991, develops, coordinates and disseminates knowledge and skills to enhance the workplace environment for people from diverse backgrounds. Phillips adds the institute reaches employees and their employers, including executives all the way up to the top of the corporation. Under the institute's umbrella, the African American Leadership Conference has featured national speakers including Tavis Smiley, Johnnie Cochran and former NAACP leader Benjamin Hooks. Each spring, the conference examines the changing workplace, from gender issues to the global community.

A two-day Managing Diversity in the Workplace Conference is held each fall, providing not only opportunities about gaining a new perspective on workplace diversity, but networking with those who are seeing successful results with their bottom line.

Phillips has an extensive background in the corporate field, including seven years working for Kelly Services, a worldwide employment network. She also spent three years working in the retail industry with McAlpin's. In addition to coordinating the conferences, Phillips is exploring expansion possibilities for the Institute for Managing Diversity. "I'm interested in developing more of a network with corporate reps and trainers who would have an impact on getting diversity entrenched in their organization."

She adds that diversity is an issue that reaches beyond the African American community. "When we talk about diversity, we could be exploring different cultures, ages or gender issues. For instance, we're seeing a more mature workforce now, and they want to know how to keep themselves marketable."

Continuing education keeps those skills sharp, and that's just one avenue Phillips is exploring as the institute stays ahead of the changing workplace. Look for Phillips to keep you updated on new developments in the near future.

To meet other UC people, go to the profiles archive.

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