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World Diversity Leadership Summit Kicks Off

Friday, October 15th, 2010

World Diversity Leadership Summit in Boston, Mass.

The World Diversity Leadership Summit, a conference focused on U.S. and global diversity issues, was held at Harvard Medical School in Boston from September 13-14. This well-attended conference gave participants the chance to discuss the complex challenges and opportunities related to U.S. and international diversity management.

Hire Disability Solutions’ founder and chief executive officer Jeff Klare spoke on a panel around hiring people with disabilities. He was joined by top human resource professionals including Kathryn Komsa, Chief Diversity Officer at Marsh and McLennan Companies.

Hire Disability Solutions and Colgate Palmolive also received the Company of the Year Award. World Diversity Leadership Summit CEO Doug Freeman said these two companies “have led the way towards true inclusion and have set the bar for other companies to strive towards.”

The World Diversity Leadership Summit is sponsored by diversity-forward companies like EMC, Walt Disney World, Cisco, and Major League Baseball. Sessions included topics that addressed the competitive advantage of diversity and inclusion; how companies can create successful multicultural and global-friendly organizations; nurturing global multicultural media and sports entertainment models; and promoting globally diverse supply chains. There was even a track for executives in Boston to learn how to create a world-class city for business.

One of the hottest topics at the summit was the inclusion of veterans with disabilities into the workforce. America’s newest veterans face serious employment challenges, as they return home to an economic recession. There are more than 400,000 service members who have been seriously injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to the National Organization on Disability. For employers, the benefits of hiring disabled workers are many. The unemployed veteran tax credit is accompanied by a permanent tax credit for the hiring of disabled veterans, worth up to $4,800 per hire.

Some employers surveyed expressed concern about the ability of a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) to perform their job, but there are a variety of resources to help them deal with these conditions, and accommodations in the workplace are usually as simple as providing better lighting or a flexible work schedule. This is good news for employers, and more information can be found at Hire Disability Solutions.