Queens College joins initiative to advance workplace diversity

Queens College has joined the nationwide initiative to advance workplace diversity and inclusivity on campus.
Photo by Michael Shain
By Carlotta Mohamed

President Felix Matos Rodriguez is committing himself and Queens College to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as one of the more than 450 CEOs that have come together for CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, The CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion is the largest nationwide-driven business commitment with a coalition of CEOs pledging to cultivate diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.

Rodriguez joined the coalition to create an even more welcoming environment for all members of the Queens College community.

“Since the college was founded in 1937, we have offered an outstanding education to talented students without regard to their background or financial status and maintain a campus that is diverse, inclusive, collegial, and respectful,” said Rodriguez. “We attract a multi-ethnic, multi-faith, and multi-lingual student body, which allows people to break down cultural barriers through shared activities. This experience prepares individuals to enter—and appreciate—the global economy.”

Rodriguez added that Queens College is making every effort to increase the diversity of its students and faculty to better reflect the population of their home borough, which draws residents from all over the world.

Nearly 35 percent of the Queens College student body enrolled for Fall 2017 were born outside of the United States, come from over 145 countries and speak nearly 80 languages. Nearly 55 percent are women and more than 30 percent are the first in their families to attend college.

Four years ago, just over one quarter of the new faculty hired at Queens College were from underrepresented groups. As a result of the college’s efforts to expand the diversity of the faculty, the number is currently approaching 45 percent with an increase in new hires who are Asian, African-American, Hispanic, and Italian-American, according to Queens College.

In Queens, approximately 48.5% of the population was foreign-born as of 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

Rodriguez pointed out that the Office of Compliance and Diversity Programs prepares the college’s annual Affirmative Action Plan and provides on-campus information and training about discrimination prevention, including sexual harassment prevention.

Organizations joining the pledge are taking a step toward effecting positive change.

CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion is cultivating a new type of ecosystem centered around collaboration and sharing. The actions, available via CEOAction.com, showcase real-life examples of the open and transparent conversations to cultivate more diverse and inclusive workplace environments. The addition of new signatories expands the impact of this work beyond the office to communities and industries.

“We are so proud that we are continuing to build momentum and support for the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ across companies, industries, and regions,” said Tim Ryan, chair of the steering committee for the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. “This collaboration expands our reach and brings in unique values, actions and perspectives to continue to raise the bar for the entire business community.”

Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmohamed@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4526.

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