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Diversity the focus of leadership symposium

Agenda 360 and Vision 2015 are getting ready to roll out programs designed at increasing diversity in Cincinnati's business community.

A report last year found TriState companies have a hard time recruiting and retaining diverse employees. Agenda 360 executive director Mary Stagaman says the new programs will include helping employees with similar cultural backgrounds better connect with each other and teaching business leaders intercultural skills they can then share with their other employees.

"Companies that are more diverse - have more diversity in their executive suites and in their boardrooms - have been documented to have healthier bottom lines," says Stagaman.

She continues, "As companies here, and our global companies, look to build new markets, they know the way to do that is by having people on the team who understand the cultures and the attitudes and the buying habits of individuals in those new markets. So diversity and inclusion are not just the right thing to do, they're the smart thing to do and they've become bottom line imperatives."

The groups will discuss the initiatives during the 2013 Diverse by Design Symposium Wednesday at the convention center.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.