Are businesses in Indianapolis doing enough to increase the diversity of their talent pool? It’s a topic that is brought up frequently, especially in our tech ecosystem. We often look to the companies that are the largest and most established to pave the way, and last week, it was Genesys who stepped up to announce their commitment to diversity.

On March 21, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett joined leaders from Genesys and several business and community groups to announce Genesys as the title sponsor for the 17th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity luncheon. This is the second year that the event has raised funds for Mayor Hogsett’s youth summer jobs initiative, Project Indy, which connects teens with jobs and mentorship opportunities.

Since its acquisition of Interactive Intelligence more than a year ago, Genesys has been both a beneficiary of and a contributor to the vibrant tech community in Indianapolis. Their annual conference was held in Indianapolis last year, and as one of the tech companies in central Indiana with the largest global footprint, Genesys now serves over 10,000 companies in over 100 countries.

“With 55 offices around the world, we must have a global mindset which is inclusive in every way, but most importantly we must be diverse in thought,” Todd Pedersen, vice president of corporate affairs at Genesys, said during the press conference. “This is how we have become the world’s number one customer experience platform. And this is how, through any channel of communication, we continue to help our customers build meaningful relationships with their customers.” Nearly 20 percent of Genesys’ global employees live and work right here in Central Indiana.

The Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity, first hosted by Mayor Bart Peterson in 2001, recognizes local businesses and organizations that embrace and prioritize diversity in the workplace. Now, in addition to celebrating recent achievements, the luncheon presents an opportunity for Indianapolis institutions to contribute to Project Indy, building a stronger future for the city and bolstering the pipeline of local talent. Genesys’ title sponsorship of $50,000 will support this initiative to strengthen the pipeline of our local talent.

“The generosity of Genesys and the collective efforts of all of our partners are essential components of our mission to create meaningful summer employment for youth, as they spark their careers, while obtaining industry skills and also at the same time earning a paycheck,” Mayor Hogsett said.

Recently, the Mayor and his team have focused their attention on increasing corporate participation and financial support of Project Indy. “Genesys responded to that call with unequivocal enthusiasm.”

The program also included the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) Executive Director Beth White, the Office of Minority and Women Business Development Director Camille Blunt, and the Indiana Chamber’s Vice President of Policy and Legislative Affairs Tim Brown, who each played a critical role in collaborating and convening businesses and individuals who have a desire to progress Indy’s moving forward agenda. Genesys is a member of GIPC, and the organization helps to coordinate the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Awards, which takes place on Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Downtown Marriott Indianapolis.

For the first time in the history of the event, an Excellence in Youth Employment award will be presented to a business or company that has made a meaningful investment in Indianapolis youth through employment or workforce development opportunities. Nominations were submitted to the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Minority and Women Business Development and vetted by a panel of civic leaders.

Genesys’ efforts for increasing opportunities for Indianapolis minority youth is an investment in our community in a way that is not as visible as building a park or cleaning up the streets. “Indianapolis is better equipped than ever to provide avenues of achievement for every child in our community,” said Mayor Hogsett. “Genesys understands it is all about responsibility to draw and execute a roadmap that guarantees Indy’s success throughout the 21st century.”