Establish a working group that includes key stakeholders & members of leadership
We are all biased. What can we do? The ALBA Declaration on Equity & Inclusion advises to commit to recognizing & counteracting bias, by establishing a working group that includes key stakeholders & members of leadership. This article provides useful tips & resources on best practices about working groups.
Academic institutions, recruiting, and personnel systems have entrenched biases that systematically disadvantage and disincentivize women and underrepresented minorities. Too often organizations marginalize EDI efforts as a stop-gap measure to remedy complaints or respond to episodic incidents. When top leadership recognizes the problem publicly, declares support, becomes accountable, and serves as a role model, the rest of the organization gains authorization to follow suit.
- Ensure members of working group include institutional core leadership as well as EDI representatives
- Match or exceed your diversity goals in the composition of the working group.
- Solicit input and participation by women and underrepresented groups.
- Gather statements and endorsements by affinity groups and other leaders.
- Enlist diverse leadership when setting up task forces for shorter-term discrete goals and projects.
Guideline to build a working group:
- Building a Self-Assessment Team; Athena SWAN Charter (UK)
Examples of working groups:
- Inclusion & Diversity Advisory Board; Elsevier Journal
- Diversity and inclusion task force; Utrecht University (NL)
- Faculty of Arts & Sciences Equity Report; Columbia University (US) – This reports include their code of conduct
- Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging; Harvard University (US)
- Task Force on Diversity, Excellence and Community Engagement; McGill University (CA)
- Task Force Impact of Race on society; Stanford University (US)
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS); The Francis Crick Institute (UK)
- Equity and Inclusion Committee; Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ) (CH)