Owens develops diversity with June Owens and Associates.
Creating a workplace that supports diversity is essential, not just to avoid conflict, but also to create an environment that welcomes workers regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation, according to June Owens, president of June Owen and Associates L.L.C.
“Having a diverse workforce that is inclusive and supportive helps companies to recruit top employees they need,” Owens said. “It give them a competitive edge.
June Owens and Associates, which began in July 2002, provides diversity consulting and training, human resources consulting, conference and event planning, association management and other services. Owens runs the business out of her home while raising three children, including her 7-month-old son, Austin.
She says she maintains the balance between work and family by having set work times and using discipline to resist distractions, and “when Austin sleeps, I work.” She also credits friends and family for watching her children when she has to leave home for meetings and other business-related events. Owens hopes to someday have a corporate office with 10 or 12 employees. For now, she revels in the challenges and flexibility of her company.
Owens grew up in Des Moines. She has an associate’s degree in Spanish and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grand View College and a law degree from Drake University. Owens worked in human resources for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, where her primary responsibilities were co-managing the diversity committee and finding entry-level jobs for people who had difficulty finding employment. She then joined Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines as a diversity coordinator and employee relations specialist. Eventually, Owens realized she had to make her lifelong dream of starting her own business come true.
“I just thought about my passions and what I had experience in,” she said. “I combined my skill sets with what was needed by the Greater Des Moines community.”
Owens’ focus on the community is evident. She is chair of the Drake University National Advisory Board on Diversity, a member of the 2002-2003 class of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and has served on many boards of directors. Running a new business, raising a baby and two older children, and maintaining her high level of community involvement isn’t easy, but as Owens says, “anything worth having and doing takes a lot of hard work and determination.”