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Conference discusses diversity

Adam Llorens | Friday, March 23, 2012

The Mendoza College of Business kicks off its fifth-annual diversity conference this weekend in hopes of exploring diversity found in the workplace.

Graduate student Jay Xie, co-chair of the conference, said the event is geared toward building awareness of diversity both on campus and in the business world.

“We want to look at what diversity means in the global environment,” Xie said. “With the information and technology we have, the market is moving at a quick rate and organizations have to make decisions quickly. We want to see how diversity plays a part in these decisions.”

Several companies will participate this weekend, including Ernst & Young, Coca-Cola, Bank of America and Deloitte.

“Diversity is a really important issue for the participating companies,” Xie said. “A lot of these companies want to talk about the success and challenges they face by working with a diverse employee base.”

Xie said the conference would allow these companies to strengthen their connection with Notre Dame students.

“They are coming here to hopefully establish a deeper relationship with us,” he said. “A lot of these companies are actively recruiting or considering recruiting on campus.”

Based on the success of the conference in its previous four years, Xie said he hopes it continues to generate dialogue among professionals, faculty and students.

“We want a wide array of people to be able to share their experiences,” he said. “But I think the ones that will get the most out of it will be students.”

Xie said the conference would help Notre Dame students understand the benefits of employees and co-workers from a multitude of backgrounds.

“I think students would take away from this conference a greater appreciation for what diversity offers in the workplace,” he said.

Although the diversity conference is hosted by the College of Business, Xie said the event is designed for students of all majors.

“The undergraduate population can get the most from this conference,” he said. “I think when these conferences pop up, they are really good opportunities for all students to learn from the experts, build up their network and find opportunities.”

The conference will commence Friday at 1 p.m. in the Mendoza College of Business and a closing address will be held Saturday at 3:15 in the Jordan Auditorium of the College.