In a June 17 announcement, the chamber said it is launching a multipronged approach to help the McKinney area define changes that can be made locally or at the state level.
“Prior to the recent conversations regarding race both at the national level and in our own backyards, the chamber had identified the need to prioritize inclusive practices both internally and externally," chamber President and CEO Lisa Hermes said in an email. "We began by looking at our board make-up, viewing diversity of race, gender, business size, industry, geographic location, etc. We also worked to incorporate programs that showed the business case for companies to embrace and foster a diverse and inclusive workforce. However, the small steps we were taking are not enough. Our community is vibrant because of the diversity and if we work towards honest authentic conversations, we can come together as a stronger community where everyone has a seat at the table.”
The chamber will continue to look internally to see if its membership as a whole reflects the diversity of McKinney, the announcement said. To do this, the chamber will look at specific sets of data, such as the number of businesses that are owned by minority groups and women.
In addition, the chamber plans to partner with other McKinney-based groups to enhance opportunities that are already available to support a diverse and inclusive workforce, according to the announcement.
Creating a chamber board task force that focuses on diversity and inclusion is another step the chamber is taking.
“We should all educate ourselves, engage in tough conversations, and acknowledge that there is a lot of work to do,” the chamber announcement said. “It is something we owe to not only ourselves and our society, but to those of future generations.”