08 May 2013 11:15 AM |
Tennessee Economic Council on Women’s Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, Fifth Third Bank and Nashville International Center for Empowerment recognized for diversity commitment
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Cable recognized one local business, one local non-profit organization, and one local individual for their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the Middle Tennessee community with the 2013 Power of Inclusion awards. Fifth Third Bank, the Nashville International Center for Empowerment and Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, the executive director of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, received the 2013 honors at this month’s Cable awards luncheon, which took place May 8 at the Airport Marriott hotel.
The eighth Power of Inclusion awards acknowledge individuals and corporations who “walk the talk” with their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the local community. The honor is awarded by Nashville Cable, a network of nearly 600 local professionals committed to connecting women and opportunity.
The individual Power of Inclusion award recognizes a person who demonstrates his or her passion and commitment to inclusion through the use of personal influence, knowledge and resources to ensure an inclusive environment in their personal and professional lives.
Qualls-Brooks is a long-time advocate for women’s issues, diversity, inclusiveness and what she calls “a sense of otherness.” Her dedication to achieve economic autonomy for Tennessee women is demonstrated as she continues the Economic Council’s tradition of research in preventative health care, pay equity and workforce development. Qualls-Brooks currently is leading a project to expand the council’s domestic violence focus by including issues like the effects of human sex trafficking in its study of the Economic Impact of Violence Against Women. The statewide initiative will examine the economic impact of these preventable and costly crimes.
A Mississippi native and former broadcaster, Qualls-Brooks covered the Mississippi legislature and general interest stories that involved promoting, and, in some cases, exposing issues concerning education, housing and Civil Rights.
The business Power of Inclusion award recognizes a business that values and demonstrates commitment to diversity through intentional strategies based on accountability, succession planning, strong inclusion practices, ongoing evaluation of recruitment/retention activities, and community outreach and empowerment.
Fifth Third Bank fosters employee development and empowerment through its business synergy teams representing African Americans, Hispanics, women, young professionals, and the GLBT community. Don Abel, affiliate president and CEO, has stated “All types of people bring value to our bank and their relationships are paramount to our success in our employees’ engagement and our customer’s loyalty.” As an engaged workforce, the Fifth Third Bank team has embraced middle Tennessee and has brought highly sought after quality customer service and banking access to both popular and underserved areas in our community.
The Fifth Third commitment to developing a diverse workforce dedicated to middle Tennessee has brought forth business successes and recognition including finishing in the 85th percentile in all of Gallup’s Financial Services Industries, a No. 1 ranking in Customer Experience Index and the No. 1 affiliate within Fifth Third Bancorp. Attributing the bank’s success to its diverse employee community and customer base, Abel recently said: “If you are not on board with diversity, then you are not on board with me.”
The non-profit Power of Inclusion award recognizes an organization that promotes and facilitates equitable education, opportunity and social engagement with people from various backgrounds.
The Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) is dedicated to reasoned and effective practices that encourage and facilitate the integration of new arrivals into the Middle Tennessee community. According to founder and president, Gatluak Ter Thach, “NICE gives refugees and immigrants a chance to embrace America as their new home. Refugees are created when things go wrong. It was due to wars and prosecutions that made refugees flee their former homes. But, we are trying to make things go right with a smooth transition from the time we pick them up from airport, getting them into a furnished apartment and into our classes.”
Since 2005, NICE had guided individuals through their personal journey toward productivity, community contributions and personal happiness. Serving clients from 50 different nations, NICE has helped countless immigrants and refugees develop personal and professional skills that include reading and writing the English language, maneuvering complex U.S. healthcare and political systems, learning job skills and how to find employment, and how to effectively parent in a new culture. NICE leads individuals to become independent supporters of their families and valuable contributors to their community.
Nashville CABLE is Tennessee’s largest and most established network of professionals with over 600 members and a 32-year history of helping women reach their full potential. The organization’s mission of “Moving Women Forward” has shaped its networking programs and advocacy initiatives and created a forward-thinking infrastructure to effect positive change. Cable’s hallmark initiative is Women on Corporate Boards (WoCB), with key programs also including The ATHENA Awards, the Cable Civil Leadership program in partnership with Lipscomb University, and the Power of Inclusion Awards and Luncheon.