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Joining the Conversation About Diversity and Inclusion

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I am excited to share with you that Southwest Airlines is hosting our very first Diversity Summit at our Headquarters in Dallas today.  This Summit is sponsored by the Diversity Council volunteers to create an open dialogue about Diversity and Inclusion between our Council and Leaders from local Fortune 500 companies.  The Diversity Council encourages our Employees to embrace Diversity and celebrate and recognize our common interests.

At Southwest Airlines, we believe Diversity is a source of opportunities.  Our rich mosaic of experiences and backgrounds gives us the competitive advantage we have in the national marketplace.  Southwest Airlines has an outstanding network of more than 35,000 Employees systemwide in 35 states, and we are still growing. This means more richness in the Diversity of ideas, knowledge, and actions, which has made us the only consistently profitable airline in the world!

Joining the conversation as our keynote speaker today is Dr. George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University.  Dr. Wright will be sharing his personal diversity journey and the impact it has had on his life.  The Diversity Summit will focus on dialogue, education, and strengthening relationships to support an ever-changing workforce. The Summit also will provide participants with a workshop hosted by Pamela Teagarden, founder of the Soluna Institute.  Pamela will engage participants in the conversation about raising the tide on Gender Diversity.  Tegwin Pulley, former Vice President for Workforce Development, Diversity and Work-Life Strategies at Texas Instruments, will hold a panel discussion regarding, “Diversity, Employees, and the Bottom Line.”

We are proud to be hosting this great event, and as a Diversity Council Member, I have to say we are headed in the right direction.  I encourage you to talk about Diversity and Inclusion with your colleagues, your family, and your friends. 
9 Comments
Anonymous709
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I am a Diversity trainer for CSUSB. I would like to share a diversity poem that I wroteSmiley Very Happyiversity Poetry by Carmen Carswell In many ways we're different also many ways the same. Don't judge a book by it's cover or either by it's name! Firs open up and look inside you just might be surprised to find there's not much difference in all of humankind! Just treat each person you encounter with fairness and respect, I do believe that what you give is also what you get! So treat me the way you want to be treated and I will do the same, then maybe we can start a wave and help our world to change!!
Gretchen_L
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This conference seems to reflect a late-20th century view of corporate diversity - primarily encompassing women and people of color. The 21st century workforce includes folks of varying age, national origin and race, as well as a range of gender identity and expression. Here's hoping that the next Southwest diversity conference includes a greater number of thought leaders to share their expertise in an even more expansive view of diversity. Please remember that while your 35,000 employees are diverse, so are your millions of customers!
Anonymousguy
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Cool! A summit to discuss the diversity of planes Southwest uses? Or perhaps the diversity of decor in the cabins? Or maybe the diversity of beverages that are being served? Sadly, no. In today's culture diversity actually means "non-white races" or minorities. I know my opinion is very non-PC but I'm ok with that. The "Diversity Summit" sounds like a laugh-out-loud episode of "The Office". I just wish Steve Carrell was hosting it.
Anonymous3330
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Sounds like another guilt bandwagon from the left. I'm disappointed Southwest. You seemed smarter than that.
Paula_Atkins
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SWA has always been at the forefront for diversity. Never noticed otherwise. Just waiting for my opportunity to share in the LUV, call me, huh?
Anonymous4441
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Good for you, Southwest! You are setting the tone for your corporate culture and it's one to be proud of. I knew I luved you for a reason besides your great fares and your bags fly free policy!
hbeachman
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I'm a gay former employee (Customer Service & Support, fka Reservations). When I joined SWA I looked in vain for a GLBT affinity group all over SWALife, the company Intranet. Given that SWA has scored highly on the Human Rights Campaign index and the extensive marketing that Southwest does to the GLBT community I was certain I was missing something. I contacted the woman who spoke about diversity during our new employee orientation in Dallas (her name escapes me). She informed me there was no GLBT affinity group and that the needs of gay employees were addressed through the Diversity Council. WTF! Oh, and if I wanted to contact the (only) gay representative, she would have to pass the message along and he/she could decide if they wanted to respond. Obviously I'm agreeing with the posters above who feel that Southwest is but one of the many companies that pays lip service to the concept of diversity & inclusion, yet fails at actually demonstrating it.
Paula_Cooper
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Thank you folks for participating in our Nuts about Southwest blog! As you may well know, at Southwest, Diversity is more than a word or a group; it is an expression of our operations in every way. From the first call, the first click on our website, to our Executive Office, there is a Diverse workforce that keeps this Company running. Our 35,000 + Employees are our most powerful asset in this highly competitive industry. And to address the ever-changing world that affects our Employees and our Customers, we have created the Diversity Council. This Council is comprised of a group of volunteers from all levels in the Company who meet monthly to discuss the issues that affect our Employees and potentially our Customers. We are proud of their work and the passion they bring every day to make Southwest the best place to work. If you need more information about the Diversity Council or any of our many efforts to create a better workplace, please visit www.southwest.com/cares
Anonymous4503
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Will the discussion include Judeo-Christian values?