Diversity: the wide variety of shared and different personal and group characteristics among human beings. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio- economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
A focus on diversity entails seeking to increase the numbers of underrepresented racial populations and retain them once they are a part of the campus community. It asks questions like:
- Of those who seek to be at Pitt, who is actually selected to be here?
- How do various groups fare through every step of our admissions and hiring processes?
- Which criteria, formal and informal, determine who gains entry to Pitt?
- Who opts not to even try to be here, and why might that be?
- Establishment of URM recruitment goals with timeline
- Pipeline programs within Pittsburgh or region
- Evaluation of use of standardized tests
- Review student debt burden by race
- Establish URM representation goals at the highest levels of the organization
Equity: the proportional distribution of desirable outcomes across groups. Sometimes confused with equality, equity refers to outcomes while equality connotes equal treatment. More directly, equity is when an individual’s race, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, etc. do not determine their educational, economic, social, or political opportunities.
An equity focus seeks to ensure that underrepresented racial groups “move” through the organization as freely as those who are proportionally/over-represented. It asks questions like:
- How do we know that everyone is treated fairly?
- What skills or behaviors would managers / educators need to adopt to be prepared to engage their employees / students?
- Do our systems of justice or conflict resolution treat everyone with equal dignity and respect?
- What systems track these interactions, and how often are they reviewed?
- Establishing regular salary equity reviews
- Establishing unit turnover review
- Infrastructure to monitor interactions between URM communities and justice systems
- Adding DEI competencies to performance evaluation systems, particularly for managers
- Establishing regular review of employee and student sanctions for potential race inequity
- Targeted professional development
Inclusion: authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals / groups into processes, activities and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. Inclusion promotes broad engagement, shared participation, and advances authentic sense of belonging through safe, positive, and nurturing environments. Inclusion is key to eliminating systemic inequality.
An inclusion focus seeks to understand the campus environment with an emphasis on how underrepresented racial groups experience other people and the spaces they inhabit. It asks questions like:
- What visual cues do our campus spaces convey about who “belongs” here?
- Where, how, and with whom is informal knowledge shared?
- What does our organization assume about a community member’s home life with respect to housing, transportation, childcare, technology, etc.?
- Which people, including which groups of people, are given deference, authority over others, or the “benefit of the doubt?”
- Including DEI competencies in all job descriptions
- Examine named gifts to establish goals for diversification
- Establish and support employee resource groups
- Intentionally inclusive campus art
- Regular, university-wide DEI programming that employees can attend without using personal leave
- Review of media and publications for equitable representation
- Explore teleworking options for those with elder or childcare concerns