Dear Roundtable Members,

I want to take this opportunity to introduce Lauren Jones, the Roundtable’s new Executive Vice President. We have hired Lauren to fill Chris Kealey’s position and I am excited for you to meet her and work with her, and I am thrilled that she has joined us.

Lauren is a seasoned policy and communications professional with extensive experience in workforce and economic development policy. She has worked with the Patrick-Murray Administration, Mayor Marty Walsh in the City of Boston and most recently as the Massachusetts State Director of Apprenti. READ more about Lauren.

Please join me in welcoming Lauren to the Roundtable!


Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education Launches with Support of Roundtable MembersThe Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education launched this month with the support of over 70 companies, including many Roundtable members. This coalition was founded by CEOs and leaders of Massachusetts employers, coming together to make early childhood education more accessible, affordable, and stable for Massachusetts workers, more rewarding for early childhood professionals, and a point of differentiation in attracting and retaining a strong workforce across the Commonwealth. For more information on the coalition, please reach out to Tom Weber.

READ feature in Boston Globe

READ feature in Boston Business Journal




Roundtable Hosts Open Forum on Vaccine Rollout featuring Health & Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and McKinsey

Roundtable members participated in an Open Forum featuring briefings from McKinsey and the state’s COVID-19 Command Center—and an opportunity for Roundtable members to share their own experiences and best practices on rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Roundtable members engaged in an open conversation with Secretary Sudders and were able to ask questions and offer support as the Commonwealth works to distribute the vaccine. Roundtable member Lucy Pérez and Dr. Pooja Kumar of McKinsey provided insights on what employers can do to facilitate in the vaccine rollout including:

1) defining guidelines within the organization
2) helping employees navigate the system (e.g. reducing financial barriers and logistical barriers)
3) provide opportunities for employees to get vaccinated (e.g. through onsite clinic)

STEM Starter Academy—An Opportunity to Advance Equity in the STEM Talent Pipeline
Roundtable members gained insights on the STEM Starter Academy, a program that can both enhance and diversify the STEM pipeline while working to ensure a future for all Massachusetts students. The Open Forum featured a conversation with Commissioner of Higher Education, Carlos Santiago, Greenfield Community College President Yves Salomon-Fernandez, and students from the STEM Starter Academy, as well as a progress report of STEM Starter Academy from Jeremiah Johnson of the UMass Donahue Institute. Roundtable members were able to engage in a conversation about the need to make the STEM talent pipeline more equitable and how companies can play a crucial role.

For more information on the STEM Starter Academy, please reach out to David Cedrone at DCedrone@dhe.mass.edu or Allison Little at ALittle@dhe.mass.edu.

Roundtable members receive briefing to increase supplier diversity through Boston Chamber Pacesetters Program
During a recent Open Forum, Roundtable members got the opportunity to learn about increasing supplier diversity through the Boston Chamber Pacesetters program. Pacesetters understands the economic case for inclusion by increasing supplier diversity spend across local, state and national partnerships with businesses of color. Through the Pacesetters program, procurement practices emerge as an equity tool and a runway for action on creating systemic and economic opportunity. To get involved, visit Pacesetters online.

Roundtable Welcomes New Member Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
We are pleased to welcome UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco to the Roundtable. Dr. Suárez-Orozco assumed the role of chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston on August 1, 2020. Prior to coming to UMass Boston Suárez-Orozco served as the inaugural UCLA Wasserman Dean, leading two academic departments, 16 nationally renowned research institutes, and two innovative demonstration schools at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. His research focuses on cultural psychology and psychological anthropology, with an emphasis on education, globalization, and migration. His award-winning books and edited volumes have been published by Harvard University Press, Stanford University Press, University of California Press, Cambridge University Press, New York University Press, and others.

READ full biography

Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition hosts webinar on “Innovations in Caregiving: From Unmet Needs to Measurable Outcomes”
As part of the Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition’s webinar series, Coalition member and Massachusetts caregiver support innovator, Torchlight, will present with their client and Roundtable member, iRobot, a closed-loop story of caregiver support innovation in the Commonwealth on April 29th. Partnering human capital solutions firm, Leading Indicator Systems, will also join for the presentation. The webinar will feature a range of topics such uncovering unmet needs, scaling a solution across employee families, and driving measurable outcomes amidst unprecedented pressures brought on by COVID-19. REGISTER online.

Roundtable member Nutter McClennen & Fish hosts Webinar with the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund
On Friday, February 26 from 12:00–1:00 p.m. Roundtable member Bill Kennedy of Nutter McClennen & Fish will host a webinar featuring members of the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund. The panelists include Linda Dorcena Forry of Suffolk Construction, Damon Hart of Liberty Mutual, Quincy Miller of Eastern Bank, and Rebekah Splaine Salwasser of the Red Sox Foundation and will be based in a discussion around systemic racism and social inequity in Massachusetts. EMAIL to register.

Inclusion is more than a word: It’s a Mindset
By: Julia Geisman, Founder and CEO, CareerAgility LLC
I have attended and participated in numerous panel discussions, presentations, conversations and webinars and have read 100’s of articles about measuring diversity, equity, and inclusion. Invariably, the metrics presented are based on such things as the number of hires and promotions, training programs, employee or business resource groups in addition to salary audits. However, they reflect diversity and equity; they say nothing about the state of inclusion. While it is recognized as an important part of the equation, inclusion is a word without dimensionality. READ more
Eastern Banks hosts Special Film Screening and Conversation with Boston’s Premier Black Business Leaders
Eastern Bank hosted a virtual screening of “Grounded—Black Professional Couples in Boston: a film presentation” followed by a conversation moderated by Callie Crossley of WGBH and joined by Legacy Inc. Writer/Producer Wanda Whitmore. This new film brings Boston’s Black Business Leaders—who happen to be married—together to reflect on the impact of their relationships and how that bond has strengthened and shaped their path to success, and their hope for grounding the next generation of Black leaders in Boston. VIEW the film.


Citizens Bank Announces 2021 Champions in Action Program
Citizens Bank is accepting applications for the next round of their Champions in Action program focused on nonprofits committed to social equity and inclusion and addressing inequities within their communities. The deadline to apply is February 26. LEARN more

Blue Cross Blue Shield Contributes $1M to Support Transportation to Vaccination Sites
To help provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced a $1M contribution to pay for free rides to & from vaccination sites to support the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers & the transportation needs of the state's most vulnerable populations. LEARN more

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation Partner to Educate Communities on COVID-19
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation have partnered to provide $1 million to expand COVID-19 vaccine education, awareness and outreach in communities of color. This investment is an immediate response to emerging needs in Black and Brown communities across the region disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. LEARN more

Comcast Business Hosts Virtual Panel Discussion on Securing Your Business and Engaging Your Workforce
Comcast Business will host a virtual panel discussion on March 5 at 1:00 p.m. centered around how businesses have been adapting to our collective “new normal’’ with technology, security and agility, while also launching vital DE&I initiatives for employee engagement and brand elevation. REGISTER online



BRT on Advancing Racial Equity and Justice

BRT on the introduction of the of the US Citizenship Act of 2021

BRT on Covid-19

#DYK that STEM Starter Academy has served over 30,000 students throughout the Commonwealth and over half of those are students of color? MBR members were briefed on the impact of #STEMStarterAcademy on achieving equity in the #STEM talent pipeline @MassDHE

The Massachusetts Business Coalition for Early Childhood Education @MassBiz4EarlyEd is officially launched! Please visit here to learn more READ more #Massbiz4ealryed

“Even though it’s getting safer to bring people back, our members haven’t settled on back-to-work policies, and a lot of it is due to the availability of school and childcare,” said @JDChesloff of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. @MassBiz4EarlyEd #MassBiz4EarlyEd @WSJ Quote Tweet

The Wall Street Journal
@WSJ Feb 14 The New York City and San Francisco areas have return-to-office rates of only about 13%, according to a security company that monitors access-card swipes in buildings. In Dallas and Houston, where most workers drive to work, return rates are much higher. READ more