CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - In 1999 Jim Rector published the first diversity magazine in the country, which is now recognized internationally.
Rector is the publisher and founder of Profiles in Diversity Journal. The international magazine is dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in corporate, government, nonprofit organizations and more.
“So I said what if I publish a magazine and I got stories from all over the country, over the world about how successful initiatives are developed, how they’re run,” said Rector. “How they are managed and you can take my magazine up to the C-suite and show the CEO, look this is how it’s done this is what everybody’s doing and he said we like the idea, a white guy doing diversity.”
Rector said he was inspired to create the magazine decades ago after meeting the late Dr. Roosevelt Thomas Junior at a seminar in Cleveland. Thomas was considered the pioneer of diversity management. The two became close friends.
“It’s important to show many people that Black leaders exist,” said Rector. “There’s many of them, they’re actively engaged the community and organizations and nonprofit corporations. They’re CEOs and I just thought it was a wonderful opportunity to recognize and acknowledge them.”
Rector said over the years Profiles in Diversity Journal’s helped promote organizational change. He said many companies have used his magazine as a guide on how to better their business.
“We need to focus on leadership. We need to show that the people at the top were endorsing the initiatives that the diversity people were trying to put into their companies.”
He created a diversity leader award, as well as honoring women worth watching.
“He is to be commended for having the vision to identify and celebrate what’s going on in the diversity footprint,” said Inajo Chappell.
Chappell was one of the women worth watching award recipients featured in the magazine.
Chappell’s a lawyer and chair of the diversity equity and inclusion committee at Ulmer and Berne. The Cleveland firm was recently recognized for their teams contributions.
“He is chronicling the successes that organizations have had in doing this work and creating opportunities for attraction, retention and advancement of women and minorities in organizations,” said Chappell.
Rector had a vision for diversity decades ago. He said the mission is the same, but now more than ever the message must resonate even louder.
“Once you sit down with somebody and you share your story, all of a sudden a lot of the preconceived prejudices and biases seem to just float away, hey we are a lot alike.”
Profiles In Diversity Journal will recognize Black leaders with its first ever Black Leaders Worth Watching Awards. You can submit the nomination of someone who showcases talent, ambition, and achievement of a diverse and inclusive workplace by heading to their website.