Antonella Spinatto, Jackson Budnik, Prea Rahman, Alayzia Harris
Warrington students (from left) Antonella Spinatto, Jackson Budnik, Prea Rahman and Alayzia Harris share about their experience at the Diversity in the Workplace event.

Virtual event highlights the importance of diversity in the workplace

Students from across the Warrington College of Business and UF were invited to a new event from Business Career Services designed to showcase the importance of diversity in the workplace. Over the three-night event, called Diversity in the Workplace, students had the opportunity to hear from Dr. “Bowtie” Todd Jenkins on why inclusivity is important to everyone, a team from Proctor & Gamble (P&G) on how diversity influences their business decisions, Margo Downs on creating inclusive workplaces and a game night centered around the value of employee resource groups.

We asked four students from across Warrington what takeaways they had from Diversity in the Workplace. See what they had to say about this event from Business Career Services, UF MBA, P&G and student groups Black Students in Business, Gator Tech and Latin American Women in Business.

Antonella Spinatto | BSBA-Finance ’21, MIB ‘22

“I was lucky enough to attend an event that reflected the work and effort the UF business school and BCC is putting in to improve diversity and inclusion. My favorite night had to be when Dr. Bowtie came to talk to us and left us with a lot of wisdom. I didn’t realize how important accountability is until he explained why. I was able to realize that you can’t change mindsets, but you can hold people accountable and even though we’re just students we hold so much power in that and can cause change through holding others accountable.

Additionally, I really loved how he said we should always ask back to any interviewer who asks us about diversity, what they/their company has done to include and improve diversity and inclusion. As a student who needs diversity and inclusion, that is something I will always ask back now, holding them accountable too. Not only was he giving us a lot of valid and powerful points, but he also brought so much positive energy that he was able to put on smiles on our faces throughout the night. I hope this is just the beginning of events and actions that improve and encourage diversity and inclusion and I can’t wait for the next events!”

Jackson Budnik | MAcc ‘21

“The thing I found most valuable about the event was that it brought together a diverse group of students both inside and outside of the business school in an environment that allowed people to grow.

 I attended the Dr. Bowtie and PNG speaker series. A couple of my takeaways from the Dr. Bowtie presentation were the importance of focusing on behavior change before trying to change mindsets and the need to lead from wherever you are in an organization and to motivate the middle of a group as that’s where the largest impact can be made. From PNG, I really took away how important it is to be active once you start working and that if you are willing to put yourself out there you will be put in positions to make a difference. I also liked how PNG emphasized the importance of actually listening and meeting people where they are.”

Prea Rahman | BABA ‘21

“I found the virtual lobby on Remo to be very valuable as it gave us the great opportunity to network with several employers and discuss what groups, programs, and events they’ve developed to focus on diversity and inclusivity within their companies. Remo was very easy and convenient to use, and I greatly appreciated utilizing this specific platform to engage with numerous people during the event.

I attended the first event, ‘Painting Your Own Inclusive Canvas’ with Dr. ‘Bowtie’ Todd Jenkins, Gamification Night with the Employee Resource Groups from various companies, and ‘Creating Inclusive Workplaces’ with Margo Downs. One of my biggest takeaways from the presentation was when Dr. Jenkins mentioned the difference between equity and equality. He stated that equity is much more important in the sense that it recognizes that people are all different and have different situations and circumstances going on in their lives. Therefore, we should all keep in mind to distribute resources or give some type of assistance based on the needs of each individual. We need to give people what they need in order to make things fair. That is what really stuck out to me and something I will remember and apply not only during my academic and professional career, but in my personal life, too.

I am also grateful to have heard from wonderful leaders like Dr. Jenkins and Margo Downs, as well. Getting to know more about their perspectives and opinions on the many areas within diversity was very insightful and I definitely learned a lot from them.”

Alayzia Harris | BABA, BA-Economics, Pre-Law ‘22

“The two events that I was able to attend for Diversity in the Workplace were the speaker presentation of Dr. “Bowtie” Todd Jenkins and the DEI company event of Gamification Night in Remo.

The value in the Diversity in the Workplace events arises from the power of relatability and empowerment with both events I attended I resonated strongly with the obstacles expressed by the leaders I heard, especially being a first-generation student, and deepened my understanding of how to grow from my experience as a minority whether its within school or beyond to the corporate environment.

I left the presentations feeling a new understanding of what leadership means and how to better serve my community. Through Dr. Jenkins, I realized the need to associate titles with leadership is a limiting view that is prevalent in our society. The introduction of leadership by servitude has been a major takeaway and has even helped with conflicts that can come from desiring the validation left by Imposter Syndrome. In addition to shaping my view of leadership, I appreciated learning more about DEI as a whole. Although, I have heard it discussed on multiple occasions, the in-depth explanation of concepts, such as Equity vs. Equality and how inclusion impacts corporations and their productivity, allowed me to better see DEI in practice with the results. Thus, Diversity in the Workplace is a series of events that I recommend to anyone with a passion for DEI and learning how to improve their community/workplace.”