On Tuesday, June 29th Extension Professionals took part in a virtual chat to discuss and share how they incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into their position descriptions. The chat was attended by professionals from across the country and facilitated by LeChé McGill, the Human Resource Business Partner at UC ANR. The attendees in this chat were at various levels and stages of incorporating DEI into position descriptions, yet everyone had a strong desire to engage in the work. The first question garnered input on how DEI actions and behaviors can be evaluated in employee reviews. Suggestions such as translating materials into multiple languages to reach target audiences, tracking the number of DEI related training staff participate in and discussing how it can be applied, new partnerships or collaborations, and workplace actions such as inclusion in discussions and professional development were all mentioned. One participant succinctly summarized evaluating DEI work as four categories including 1) Action- relationships, 2) Relevance 3) Responsibility, and 4) Recruitment. An important factor addressed in the chat was the need for supervisors to be trained and engaged in this work. The participants noted that while it can be challenging to ensure supervisors are trained in understanding these concepts, they agreed it is critical for supervisors to be engaged and establish the work and incorporate it into the work culture.
Participants also shared suggestions on how to reflect DEI actions and behaviors for both internal and external work and asked important questions such as, What does our institution put their funding and resources toward? What do we say we value and then actually sustain and support? Methods in how to train employees to understand and/or garner engagement regarding DEI benchmarks as well as actions and behaviors were also brainstormed. One idea was to implement a daily email prompt that would help create awareness and train people to take notice of DEI actions and behaviors. In addition, several resources were shared for participants to reference, including Extension Foundation’s E-Fieldbook on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Thank you to all of our participants for the thoughtful discussion. We hope to continue these important conversations in the very near future!
To read the full conversation and see the resources shared please click here.
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