Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
The Aging Center is fully committed to creating and maintaining a workplace community that is as diverse as our local and global populations. We strive to build a culture of inclusion that offers faculty, staff, and trainees an experience based on respect for the individual, trust in the institution, and a sense of belonging and cultural competence for all. Our goal is that all may feel at home in the Aging Center, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, faith, or other defining attributes.
What do Diversity and Inclusion mean?
We understand the term diversity to mean a culture of inclusiveness and mutual respect, a culture that accommodates multiple perspectives and can be a catalyst for change. In short, we are trying to be mindful of differences that result from our defining characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc.
Inclusion to us means that we are nurturing a climate and culture of our Aging Center that gives all a sense of belonging and respects and values all. Ultimately, we see inclusion as our active engagement with diversity.
The ultimate goal of embracing diversity and inclusion is to ensure that opportunities exist for all – the essence of equity.
The Benefits of Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
The quest for equity based on inclusive excellence (how we value, engage and include diversity in our professional lives) is not just driven by our desire for social justice, the recognition that some people are not treated equally. More than that, we can make a strong business case for diversity.
As a Center engaged in conducting research on a broad range of topics related to aging and geriatrics and training a new generation of medical providers and researchers in those fields, we acknowledge and respect our responsibility to embrace and promote diversity and inclusion. We know that our work is enriched by the multitude of perspectives and experiences of those affiliated with the Center.
Therefore, embracing diversity and promoting inclusion is clearly a win-win situation. We work hard to serve as role models and mentors who demonstrate their commitment to recruit, welcome, train, develop, and retain individuals from diverse backgrounds. Only an inclusive workplace allows researchers, trainees, students, and staff from all backgrounds and walks of life to achieve their fullest potential.
We realize that in order to build a vibrant culture that engages the individual and encourages fresh, innovative thinking, it is vital that we look at our differences as a source of strength. An inclusive culture allows people to bring different perspectives and ideas to the table – and feel welcome to do so.
It follows, then, that inclusive excellence is a commitment on our part, it is not just a set of strategies to improve quantitative measures of inclusion (numbers, quotas). Rather, diversity and inclusion are a way to transform the Center and compel us to be thoughtful about the way we look at our policies, initiatives, agendas, and future plans.
We welcome your insights and comments regarding issues of diversity and inclusion. Your opinion is welcomed and important as it offers us an opportunity to learn and improve. Please tell us how we are doing or how we can do better. Please tell us if you have ideas.