The Inclusive Leadership Institute at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business held its first conference this month, bringing together researchers and business professionals to define best practices and bridge industry and academia.
Housed in the college’s Department of Management & Leadership, the Inclusive Leadership Institute (ILI) focuses on inclusive leadership, family support, health support and social responsibility. The initiative launched at the college seven years ago and has evolved to encompass curricular and extracurricular offerings at both undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as certificates and outreach programs.
The inaugural conference included opening remarks from Dean Paul A. Pavlou, who noted the growth of the institute and its integral role in the overall Bauer College strategy. First Horizon Bank Executive Vice President and Chief DEI Officer Anthony Hood and Houston Methodist Hospital Vice President and Chief DEI Officer Arianne Dowdell each gave keynote speeches, and throughout the day, attendees fostered meaningful interactions through question-and-answer sessions and workshops, allowing for networking and discussion.
“The success of the conference was a testament to the dedication, hard work, and commitment of our entire department,” Department of Management & Leadership Chair Steve Werner said, noting that ILI has evolved under the leadership of many faculty members, including Dusya Vera, Barbara Carlin, Leanne Atwater, Tom George and most recently, current director Alex Fernandez.
He added: “We were thrilled to see an outstanding turnout, with participation of chief diversity officers, human resource directors and business leaders from various companies, with practitioners’ perspectives enhanced by academic points of view. We had very strong participation from Bauer College and the UH Department of Psychology and Hilton College, along with representatives from other universities, such as the Ivey Business School and Williams Wood University.”
Company attendees included First Horizon Bank, ROKU Inc., Chevron, SLB, Methodist Hospital, Deloitte, Brenntag, Greystone, Cy-Fair Fire Department, Phillips66, Amegy Bank, Dashiell Corporation's, Mantis Innovation, Fluor, JPMorgan Chase, TDECU, DHR Health, HP Enterprise, SCI Shared Resources, LLC, Fluor, CITGO Petroleum Corp and Rakuten Inc.
“The momentum generated by this conference has opened doors to exciting opportunities for further collaboration, growth and innovation,” Werner said.