Students share stories and businesses show promising interest
The Santa Clara
February 28, 2019
Six students were awarded prize money for sharing their experiences with diversity, how they have overcome adversity and how their identities have shaped their career development. Winners delivered speeches to the crowd at the Diversity Works Awards and Expo, held in the Locatelli Student Activities Center on Feb. 20. It was sponsored by the Career Center to celebrate and provide opportunities for marginalized students.
This was the second year the Career Center held this program, with six students winning a $200 prize as opposed to five recipients last year.
Applicants submitted an elevator pitch describing how their experiences with diversity affected their identities in their careers. This year, the option of submitting a video response in addition to or in place of a written submission was added.
The event was split into three parts, the first consisted of the awards ceremony and presentation of winning speeches.
“I think it is important for companies to be intentional about diversity and inclusion because societal change is only going to happen when lots of individual groups buy into the value of diversification,” award winner and junior Annalicia Anaya said.
The second part of the event consisted of the Diversity and Inclusion Industry Panel, which intended to discuss the role of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The panel featured Noel Kreidler, a disability advocate at Kreidler Solutions; Michelle Park, an equal employment opportunity manager for San Mateo County; and recent alumna Natalie Simmons, who works in diversity and inclusion programming at Zendesk.
The panel was run by students and moderated by the award winners. Each award winner had prepared a question to ask the panel. Senior and award winner Shikiko Washington asked how panelists continue to create environments where they celebrate and uplift the diversity of thought and identities within their companies.
This query sparked insightful advice from the diversity and inclusion professionals.
Ariana Rivera, a graduate student career coach at the Career Center, had some advice for students who are planning their careers and have not yet thought about diversity.
“You should care about diversity if you want to work in an environment that is going to be nontoxic to you,” Rivera said. “I mean working long hours, you want to think about diversity in the terms of what does the board and the top look like, are they diverse, and how are their experiences impacting my work standards and expectations.”
Other award recipients were first-year Remi Schreder, juniors Joycelyne Cardona and Kimberly Dong and senior Alexander Moran.
The final part of the event included a career fair with more than 40 employers that feature diversity and inclusion in their companies.
There was a range of companies in different industries, which included Accenture, Oracle, Gap, Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, International Rescue Committee and Symantec.
“Even if you are not thinking about diversity, it is everywhere,” Rivera said. “We need to be thinking about how we can create safe spaces for people to work in.”
Contact Sasha Todd at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.