Workforce Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group


To be a top 20 region for employment, West Michigan employers must attract, develop, and retain diverse talent. CEOs and other executives must champion DEI efforts within their organization which includes implementing leading practices that build a more inclusive culture.


West Michigan employers are recognizing the importance in diversifying their workforce to meet current and future talent needs, understand business’ evolving consumer bases, and establish new markets. Additionally, systemic barriers exist that have led to unequal unemployment rates across racial groups and a lack of representation of both women and people of color in leadership and management positions. 


In 2017, we designed and implemented four strategies to help West Michigan employers make measurable progress in workforce DEI. The strategies are intended to act in support of one another and continue to be implemented today:

  1. CEO Commitment – Visible and genuine leadership results in successful DEI efforts. Progress toward this commitment is measured by the index/benchmarking survey.
  2. Benchmarking Survey – A practical tool for measuring the impact of a company's efforts, offering comparability by industry and company size data. Fundamentally, it provides community progress measurements, while preserving confidential company details and scores.
  3. Employer Toolkit (PIVOT) – In spring 2018 we launched a dynamic, searchable website of leading practices and West Michigan resources for organizations of every size, segmented by categories found in the benchmarking survey.
  4. Inclusive Leadership Development Events – Events for CEOs and their leadership teams that offer practical methods to advance their organization’s DEI efforts in hiring, retention, development, and company culture. 

  • CEO Commitments Signed

    Screenshot 36
  • Jeanette Hoyer, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, Inc.
  • Isabel Medellin, Steelcase, Inc.
  • Charisse Mitchell, YWCA West Central Michigan
Project Manager
  • Carly Smyly, TalentFirst
  • Amway
  • Corewell Health
  • Crowe
  • Grand Rapids Community College
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Liv Communities
  • Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Meijer
  • Paramelt
  • Rockford Construction
  • Trinity Health Grand Rapids
  • University of Michigan Health - West
  • Warner Norcross + Judd
  • Western Michigan University
  • YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids