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Amber Stark

Diversity Climate Survey Results Now Available

In 2019, the Committee for Ethnic and Minority Affairs (CEMA), the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN), and the LGBTQIA+ Committee began collaborating on a diversity climate survey to determine perceptions of inclusion among the SIOP membership. Later that year, the survey was sent to all current SIOP members who attended a SIOP annual conference at least once since 2017 and/or a SIOP Leading Edge Consortium since 2016. The survey consisted of quantitative and qualitative questions.

Results from this survey will be used to make recommendations for how SIOP can improve in supporting a climate for diversity and inclusion.

Some key takeaways from this report are that members with marginalized identities have lower perceptions of inclusion than those who are majority group members. These results were consistent across social identity groups (i.e., gender, race, disability status, and sexual orientation). Additionally, individuals who identify as majority group members are less likely to perceive negative bias and lack of parity in access to different opportunities (e.g., awards, leadership) within SIOP. Finally, some members reported a lack of awareness around what diversity-related initiatives exist within SIOP.

The recently released findings are available to SIOP members.

The first step in changing our culture is to recognize and acknowledge where we are falling short,” said former WIN Chair Alexandra Zelin. “These results show us that people are experiencing conferences and consortia differently based on their identities.”

“As Alex noted, the SIOP experience is not the same for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we cannot make it better for everyone,” said Enrica Ruggs, former CEMA Chair. “The results of the survey provide a starting point to which we can all turn to understand how we can individually and collectively help improve the experience of SIOP for a larger swath of our members.”

Suggestions from the committee include:

  • Following through on the SIOP Anti-Harassment Policy
  • SIOP leadership demonstrating actionable support for diversity and inclusion
  • Regularly monitoring the diversity climate
  • Increasing transparency in how opportunities (e.g., awards, fellowships, committee membership) are distributed
  • Increasing awareness about available opportunities and resources.

“One of the most important things we can do as a society is to follow through on recently published guidelines for expected conference behavior [the SIOP Anti-Harassment Policy] and enact those principles in our daily lives, including, but not limited to, mentoring, researching, and consulting,” Zelin said.

“I challenge everyone to think beyond our familiar networks,” Ruggs added. “SIOP is a great place to reunite with our old friends in formal and informal SIOP settings, but in order to really support inclusion, we must all intentionally create space and opportunities for new faces to join our SIOP circles comfortably. Before the conference, I encourage members to think about ways to invite new voices to sessions you are planning. During the conference, challenge yourself to meaningfully make five new connections. Some ideas for doing this include have lunch with someone you just met; invite a graduate student to a reception and spend time talking with them; go to a session that’s outside your primary area and engage in conversations about research that excites them. After the conference, follow up with your new connections throughout the year, and truly integrate them into your circle.”

“I appreciate these committees coming together on this important project,” said SIOP President Steven Rogelberg. “SIOP is committed to maintaining a welcoming, safe, professional community for our members, and it is clear that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to continue to seek out positive changes. We are approaching this issue from several angles, including efforts from the working group focused on SIOP’s Anti-Harassment Policy and the creation of a highly comprehensive diversity pipeline initiative just approved enthusiastically by the Executive Board, but I encourage all members to keep sharing their suggestions with us; we want to get this right.”

Members can email questions about the Diversity Climate Survey to Alexandra Zelin or Enrica Ruggs.

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