There is near universal consensus that paying attention to diversity and inclusion is beneficial for student, staff, and faculty engagement and organizational success. Often, organizations employ mentoring programs to effect inclusion, or to help promote diversity within the organization. Rarely, however, do participants in these mentoring initiatives understand how much difference in culture, background and perspective can impact the mentoring relationship or how to leverage those differences to maximize the effectiveness of mentoring. In this session, Deborah Besser, director of the Center for Engineering Education at the University of St. Thomas, will introduce a model of cultural competency, create deeper understanding of the pillars of culture, and offer concrete strategies on how to leverage differences to create understanding, trust, and results in mentoring.
Lisa Fain is Center for Mentoring Excellence’s incoming CEO and Leadership Development
Services’ Vice President and lead in diversity strategy, cross-cultural competency and conflict resolution. Her passion for diversity and inclusion work fuels her strong conviction that leveraging differences creates a better workplace and drives better business results. As Senior Director of the Diversity and Inclusion function at Outerwall, Inc., Lisa spearheaded
the development, establishment and implementation of its diversity initiative. Prior to assuming that position, she worked as Outerwall’s in-house counsel, coaching leaders and
partnering with Human Resources to establish fair and effective policies and practices that would sustain the organization as it grew in size, revenue and renown. For almost a decade, Lisa practiced law in the Chicago office of a major multinational, where she counselled employers on creating inclusive policies and practices. While in that role she served a Master Trainer, training thousands of employees at a variety of companies, large and small, on how to create a better workplace. Lisa founded and runs Vista Coaching, which provides group coaching for professional women looking to design and live their best lives. She is a certified mediator. She graduated with a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University and holds a JD from Northwestern University School of Law. A move to Seattle, WA is providing Lisa a welcome opportunity to hike and explore the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.