Riikka Salonen

Program Manager, Diversity Talent Acquisition

Company: Oregon Health & Science University
Role: Session Presenter
Sessions: Training Leaders for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity Accountability: A Road Map for Designing, Facilitating and Sustaining an Organizational Change Initiative (S5-G)  |   Navigating Conscious and Unconscious Bias in Customer Care (S3-D)

Riikka Salonen, M.A., a bi-national native of Finland, brings more than 25 years of experience as a diversity talent acquisition and talent development professional and an inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) strategist. Riikka’s current interests include a cultivation of cultural curiosity and equity accountability for leaders; a reduction of unconscious bias in hiring through artificial intelligence; a navigation of bias in customer care situations; and a development of innovative strategies to diversify and train a culturally-adaptive health care workforce.

Riikka is the program manager of Diversity Talent Acquisition at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the only academic medical center in Oregon and the largest employer in Portland. Riikka leads OHSU’s diversity recruitment and diversity talent development initiatives, aiming to increase people of color, immigrants and refugees, women, people with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ community members in OHSU’s workforce. In addition, she has designed and facilitated hundreds of workshops related to culturally-responsive leadership, diversity and inclusion strategic planning, diversity talent acquisition, cultural competence in patient care, multicultural customer service and intercultural communication around the globe. Riikka has partnered with Kristen Wong and other OHSU colleagues in offering Intercultural Communication for Leaders workshops to more than 200 OHSU leaders since 2015. Riikka and Kristen will be co-facilitating a session called Training Leaders for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity Accountability: A Road Map for Designing, Facilitating and Sustaining an Organizational Change Initiative at The 2019 Forum on Workplace Inclusion.

Riikka co-leads the Portland Metro Diversity Employment Network, which supports local employers by providing a safe space for tough conversations about IDEA topics and belonging in the workplace. The group’s goal is to increase workforce diversity by developing culturally-responsive talent acquisition practices. Riikka is also a member of the DEI Futures Project, an in-person and virtual convening of contributors worldwide to influence the vision for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) industries for 2030.

Prior to joining OHSU is 2008, Riikka served as an intercultural program specialist and a faculty of intercultural communication at The Scholar Ship. This global assignment took her to 17 different countries and involved intercultural teaching, training, coaching, and research within an academic community comprised of more than 50 nationalities. Prior to this, Riikka was the associate director of Assessment and Research at the Intercultural Communication Institute. Riikka received her graduate degree in intercultural relations, organizational and speech communications from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She wrote her master’s thesis on intercultural customer service, exploring the role of culture in the customer service encounters in hotels. Riikka’s research was published by the Finnish Tourism Board in 2001. Leslie Aguilar has been Riikka’s mentor and thought partner since 1999. Riikka and Leslie will be co-facilitating a session called Navigating Conscious and Unconscious Bias in Customer Care at The 2019 Forum on Workplace Inclusion.

LinkedIn: @RiikkaSalonen

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion
University of St. Thomas
1000 LaSalle Ave, TMH 444
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2005
workplaceforum@stthomas.edu
(651) 962-4377

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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