On July 9th, Ambassador David Freidman hosted the closing ceremony for the “Diversity Works” project – a joint initiative led by the itworks nonprofit organization and supported by the U.S. Embassy’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Diversity Works contributed to a dramatic 150% increase in employment diversity in the 47 participating companies by integrating various communities including the Arab, Haredi, and individuals with disabilities.
The program focused on raising awareness within the industry to employment diversification as a growth engine for the business sector, promoting awareness of diversity as a social value, and creating a positive discourse on diversity among the participating companies through workshops for CEOs and forums for HR professionals, as well as encouraging the companies to act as ambassadors of the program within the business sector. Ambassador Freidman stressed that diversity is one of America’s great strengths – in society, in government, and in business. “The Embassy is proud to join forces with itworks, the Israeli government and private companies to help spread the economic and social benefits of the Startup Nation across sectors that have been under-represented. This is key to a healthy society and a real benefit to the companies,” he added.
During the event Ambassador Friedman awarded the “Leading in Diversity” prize to Procter & Gamble, Nokia, and Citibank in recognition of their excellent work in promoting diversity, recruiting employees, and raising awareness.