March 26, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Aug. 8, 2018) — Public and private sector leaders from across Minnesota will gather at two events this week to share best practices for bolstering Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

Hosted by the State of Minnesota and 3M, the ‘Different Minds Inspire – I’m In, Are You?’ event on Friday, August 10th will give employers a chance to share their successes, ideas, and challenges as Minnesota seeks to build a workforce that better reflects and includes the rich diversity of its people. Before Friday’s day-long event, private-and public-sector employees who are engaged in Diversity and Inclusion work are invited to attend an ‘Adult Night Out at the Minnesota Zoo’ on Thursday, August 9th to help build long-term networks across public and private sectors to continue sharing best practices for improving the diversity of our state’s workforce.

“Minnesota’s public and private sector workplaces must better reflect the rich diversity of the people and customers we serve,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. “I thank all the organizations participating in this week’s events for their commitments to improving diversity and inclusion in Minnesota’s workplaces. Working together, we can do even more to connect all Minnesotans with better career opportunities and make our state a place where everyone wants to live, work, and do business.”

“Many organizations in Minnesota are working to connect employees and increase diversity and inclusion, but currently those efforts are happening in silos,” said James Burroughs, chief inclusion officer for the State of Minnesota. “This event will provide leaders with the opportunity to come together and talk about what’s working and where they see room for improvement. We want to create a public-private network, where people can share best practices in a way that ultimately benefits every workplace.”

“We are delighted to partner with Minnesota companies and organizations that share a commitment to inclusive workplaces and communities,” said Ann Anaya, chief diversity officer for 3M. “We hope to enhance existing efforts through sharing best practices and collaborating on new opportunities to strengthen Minnesota companies and communities.”

These two events are the first steps in creating a network for leaders in both the public and private sectors. In this inaugural event, other participating companies include Best Buy, General Mills, Medtronic, Target and US Bank. The State of Minnesota and 3M hope these partnerships extend into the future, cultivating a network across Minnesota that allows leaders to continuously learn from each other’s successes.

  • Adult Night Out at the Minnesota Zoo [Thursday, August 9] – A pre-event networking opportunity will take place at the Minnesota Zoo on Thursday, August 9th, from 6:00 – 9:00pmAn Adult Night Out at the Minnesota Zoo will give employees engaged in Employee Resource Network, community engagement, and Diversity and Inclusion work the chance to socialize and expand their professional circles. The event is also being sponsored by Best Buy, General Mills, Medtronic, the Minnesota Lottery, the Minnesota Zoo, Target, and US Bank.
  • Different Minds Inspire – I’m In, Are You? [Friday, August 10] – Friday’s ‘Different Minds Inspire’ event will take place on the 3M campus. In addition to workshops and networking sessions, participants will have the chance to hear from Governor Mark Dayton and 3M CEO Mike Roman. Registration for this event is closed.

What are Employee Resource Networks?

Employee Resource Networks (also known as Employee Resource Groups) bring employees and leadership within an organization together to work toward the common goal of promoting a culture of diversity, respect and inclusion. These networks are shown to increase employee engagement and help gain insights into diverse perspectives in the workforce.

In May 2018, the State of Minnesota launched a new initiative around Statewide Employee Resource Groups, seeking to not only connect employees within agencies, but also across all state government. These groups will provide employees a structured system to identify relevant issues and offer recommendations to agencies across the state.

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