“We have committed to doing better.”
Following a series of events around the country, including the death of George Floyd, some of the largest electrical distributors and manufacturers in the country have joined together to create an organization called “I Belong Here.” The organization is hosting its first Inclusion and Innovation webinar on November 16 at 10am Central time.
David Rosenstein, President and CEO of Connexion, is one of three founding members of I Belong Here. He joined the “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast to talk about his career, and why he decided this topic needed to be addressed right now. Rosenstein explained that he started his career in a major city, where a diverse group of people came to work with him every day. As a result, he never really thought much about diversity early in his career. Following the death of Floyd, Rexel USA CEO Jeff Baker and Van Meter President and CEO Lura McBride reached out to him.
“We were looking for like-minded people to join us,” Baker said on the podcast. “We knew David and it really began with just the three of us sharing ideas and what can we do within our businesses. It didn’t take long to say we are on this journey and we need to invite the rest of the industry.”
Soon after, Schneider Electric, Schaedler Yesco, nVent, Rockwell Automation, and Border States joined the I Belong Here group. Rosenstein said on the podcast that there are no limits to how many companies and people can be a part of “I Belong Here”.
“We are all industry veterans, we have been at this a long time,” Rosenstein explained. “Maybe we need to make an impact on an industry that has been so good to us. We want to make a bigger splash, and have a bigger impact on the industry as a whole.”
“We are resources for each other,” Baker added. “We want to get our industry together, whether it is manufacturers or other distributors. If you attend the webinar and you think, ‘what more can I do?’, you can reach out and we will help.”
Baker said that for Rexel USA, “I Belong Here” means any Rexel employee can walk into any Rexel location and know that they deserve to be there.
The webinar is free to all attendees. Dr. Steve Robbins will be the keynote speaker for the event. Dr. Robbins describes himself as “A life-long student of human behavior. For him, issues of inclusion and diversity are fundamentally issues of human behavior in a world filled with human differences.”
Dr. Robbins will provide insights on human behavior related to issues of inclusion, belonging, and diversity. He brings multiple perspectives from his background in communication, social psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Attendees will also learn more about “I Belong Here” and how to become more involved in the program.
“This is an opportunity to have a discussion,” Rosenstein said. “Everyone will walk away with a few things to advance diversity in their organization.”
You can register for the November 16th event at www.ibelonghere.net.