WATERVILLE — Dirigo Labs, a central Maine accelerator program, plans to hold the Better Maine Conference: Building Inclusive Workplaces, a conference dedicated to educating, having conversations on, and taking actionable steps towards diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplaces.

Building Inclusive Workplaces is the first in a series of yearly conferences hosted by Dirigo Labs dedicated to DEIA practices. The conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, with sessions throughout downtown Waterville. The sessions will feature presentations, panels, and breakout conversations facilitated by expert speakers, including Laura Shen, the chief diversity, equity and inclusion Officer at WEX, and Marwa Hassanien, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Northern Light Health.

The organization has partnered with Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship to create the Better Maine Conference. “The Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship is proud to be a partner with Dirigo Labs in bringing the Better Maine Conference to our region,” said Patric Moore, business relations manager at Maine Street Skowhegan, according to a news release from Dirigo Labs. “The Center for Entrepreneurship strives to create a business ecosystem that empowers and includes all people who are entrepreneurs and small business owners. We view this conference as an opportunity to engage central Maine in the important topics of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility.”

The conference aims to bring together those involved with, and interested in, local businesses across Maine to participate in conversations on inclusion, belonging and accessibility in the workplace. Attendants will learn how to promote and extend supportive workplace values and practices through lectures and discussions.

Furthermore, employers and employees can gain skills to create and implement more inclusive workplace practices at every level.

The Better Maine Conference would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Kennebec Savings Bank. “[We are] pleased to support Dirigo Lab’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Conference,” said Andrew Silsby, President & CEO of Kennebec Savings Bank. “DEIA training is critical to building a safe and equitable workplace. This conference will help local businesses build awareness and skills to support marginalized employees and cultivate an environment where everyone feels valued.”

For more details about the conference, visit dirigolabs.org.

 

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