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Meeting in a Box: Veterans Day

Veterans Day takes place Nov. 11 to honor the bravery and sacrifices members of the military have made throughout history. This Meeting in a Box is a valuable tool to help you spark conversations with your employees about veterans and continue their cultural competence training.

We include

  • A timeline of military history, including wars troops have fought, legislation that has affected them and barriers underrepresented individuals in the military have overcome
  • Facts and figures regarding veterans in the U.S. and their contributions to the workforce
  • A company spotlight on veteran leaders in DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity
  • A tip sheet on transitioning veterans into your workforce.

Click HERE to download a PDF version of the Veterans Day Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.

1. Timeline

We recommend that you begin your cultural competency discussion by outlining the history of veterans in the U.S., the wars they have fought, legislation that has impacted them and the barriers to equality many military personnel have overcome.

Discussion Questions for Employees

  • In what ways have veterans been valued — or devalued — in this country? With many wars being politically controversial, how can we honor the sacrifices military personnel have made while still holding the military accountable for controversial actions?

  • What obstacles have underrepresented people in the military — like women, LGBTQ people and people of color — overcome? How might services offer additional challenges to underrepresented individuals?

  • What do you know about the challenges veterans face when transitioning back to civilian jobs and life? How has this transition changed historically? In what ways can our company support veterans reentering the workforce?

Download a copy of the timeline HERE.

2. Facts & Figures

After discussing the timeline, the next step is to review available data and understand demographics of veterans, which is especially important for diversity recruiters.

The data we have chosen to present here represents information of relevance to corporate America, such as racial/ethnic, gender, age, education and economics. We also feature the Top 15 Companies for Veterans.

Discussion Questions for Employees

  • Does our company have an employee resource group for veterans? If not, how would this group benefit us in increased hiring, engagement and promotion rates? If so, does the group communicate regularly with other employee resource groups, such as groups for people with disabilities? Is the group tasked with improving recruitment, retention and leadership development, as well as community outreach?

  • Does our company have a supplier diversity program aimed at veterans and/or veterans with disabilities? Veteran-owned businesses are a valuable part of your procurement chain and can bring important skills and criteria to your organization. Similarly, vendors owned by people with disabilities, especially veterans with disabilities, are increasingly included (and targeted) as vital pieces of the procurement budget.

  • Does our company publicly support veterans? If not, how can we?

Download a copy of the facts and figures HERE.

3. Supporting & Transitioning Veterans Into Your Organization

This tip sheet can be used as a tool for all employees and leaders to further their cultural competence training and learn how to best support veterans in your organization. It outlines challenges veterans face adjusting to corporate and civilian life and provides ideas to help employers help veterans with the transition and tap into their skill sets.

Discussion Questions for Employees

  • What programs and initiatives do we already have in place to support veterans? How do we promote these programs? Is it widely known what resources are available? If we don’t have any programs currently in place, what are some ideas on that implement?

  • How can we turn something that veterans may struggle with into a strength? How can we tap into their unique experiences and points of view to help our organization thrive?

  • What are some skills and attitudes a veteran employee may have that our organization could learn and benefit from?

Download a copy of the tip sheet HERE.

4. Veteran Leaders in DiversityInc’s Top 50

Humana (No. 42 on DiversityInc’s 2019 Top Companies for Diversity list and No. 15 on DiversityInc’s Top Companies for Veterans specialty list) has an employee resource group for veterans called the Veterans Network Resource Group. They launched a Veterans Hiring Initiative in 2011 and have made a commitment to hire 500 new veterans and military spouses each year. As of 2018, they had hired more than 4,500 military members and spouses. In 2018, DiversityInc spoke to Humana senior talent management professional and Veteran Hiring Initiative leader, David Best who is also an Army veteran.

Discussion Questions for Employees

  • How does our company help promote representation across the board in different areas of expertise? In what ways can we improve?

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