Beau Rivage Launches Diversity Program

There's a new emphasis on diversity at Beau Rivage.

The casino resort recently hired someone to deal with issues like minority promotions among its workers.

Maurice Singleton has been named director of diversity.

Part of the initiative involves regular meetings with a new diversity council, made up of Beau Rivage directors and supervisors.

Leaders say one important aspect is creating a work environment that offers opportunities to all employees. Another is individual growth.

"To at least be forced to think a little bit. To think a little bit, maybe it's me and maybe I can do something better. Maybe I can improve myself. So, it's going to provide opportunities for individuals to grow, for our organization to grow and it's important for those reasons," said Maurice Singleton.

Brenda Blount began working at Beau Rivage when the resort opened. She appreciates the emphasis on diversity and the opportunity to be a part of the council.

"We are taking the initiative at Beau Rivage to start a council and it's been exciting and exhilarating to be a part of it. And we're the first here on the coast and we're excited about it," said Blount.

Corporate leaders say one key issue will be the advancement of minorities to management positions.

Punam Mathur is vice president of diversity and community affairs for MGM Mirage, the parent company of Beau Rivage.

She says diversity is a challege throughout corporate America.

"The higher up you go, the less diversity you see. And that's not just an issue for us as a company, that's an issue for us as society. I think the only thing that sets us apart is we've made a commitment to try and do things that very specifically increase those opportunities," said Mathur.

Those involved with the diversity initiative consider it a long term commitment for Beau Rivage. They say diversity awareness and management is not so much a specific program, but rather an ongoing process.

That process is now underway in Biloxi. Beau Rivage is talking with a national consultant about helping with diversity education and outreach at the casino property.