Advancing the Image of Engineering One Audience at a Time

Organizational Ombudsman

Building A Better Workplace through the Organizational Ombuds – #WE12 Conference Presentation – by Debra Kimberling (SWE Fellow, SWE Magazine Editorial Board) and Charles Howard (Shipman & Goodwin LLP) – Thursday, November 08, 2012, 10:00 am CST – George R. Brown Convention Center, Room 352E – Inclusion and Cultural Awareness Track – Houston, Texas

Research shows that working as a woman in a male dominated workplace has its challenges. Human Resources has morphed into a compliance role precluding it from being a source of guidance to employees when they run into an issue that they cannot resolve by themselves. An Organizational Ombudsman provides employees with the confidentiality to help them sort through the issues in an objective manner while providing guidance in navigating the corporate structure. It shores up that missing corporate link in providing a supportive environment that can improve retention.   

This session provides visibility to a viable option that can help companies with a positive option to address the multitude of negative micro inequity findings from the latest research on women engineers: “women leave managers not corporations”, “women are in a double bind of either being competent or liked – not both”. Women Engineer’s retention is less than 50% in the workplace.  Debra Kimberling will introduce the research in support of adding a position like the organizational ombuds to a corporation. Charles Howard, as the legal expert in the field of corporate compliance and author of the book ‘The Organizational Ombudsman’, will present the main body of the presentation, what an organizational ombuds is, what it can do for your organization, and the best means and resources to promote and set up an office in your company.  This presentation is geared for executives, diversity and inclusion, human resources, and anyone who wishes to improve corporate compliance and employee engagement within their companies.  While the material is framed around supporting women in engineering, an Organizational Ombuds supports the engagement, retention and compliance for all employees.  Attached are some additional supporting references on the subject and on the speaker.


Additional Reference Links: 

  1. SWE Magazine – The Organizational Ombudsman (pdf) (Full Winter 2012 Issue)
  2. International Ombudsman Association (webpage) & The Ombuds Blog
  3. The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles & Operations, A Legal Guide (ABA 2010 Book by Charles Howard)
  4. Yale Dispute Resolution sponsored lecture by Charles Howard- March 4, 2011 – Quinnipiac (youtube) 

Comments on: "Organizational Ombudsman" (2)

  1. […] those tough workplace hurdles. The one hour session will be  Thursday, November 8, 2012, 10am.  Here are the presentation materials. To help us prepare, provide us with some of your toughest workplace issues you have faced by […]

  2. Great executive summary. Chuck will give a great intro to the ombuds concept. Hope it goes well.

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