Required training isn’t great, especially for #DiversityandInclusion - it doesn’t have good uptake and may even backfire.

A better alternative is a behavioral “nudge” that reminds you of typical issues at the moment you need them, or on an ongoing basis.
I’m working on a list of #InclusionNudges to improve the institutional environment for diverse faculty and students. Great nudges will make things better for everyone.

This is a starter list: What else can we do to up our game?


At oral exams:

Give committee a note reminding them that we often judge people on appearance & perceived confidence. Also confidence impacted by bias in entire school system up to this point. So judge based on science, not confidence.

For course faculty:

Reminder that we often engage/call on students who seem more like ourselves. Try random rotation to catch everyone.

Names matter! Focus more on unfamiliar names, challenge yourself to learn them.

Speaking of names, pronounciation matters too! Every institution has a directory of faces and written names. It’s time to add audio so we can get the pronounciation.

Mentors for jr faculty & students:

Reminders (Monthly, super brief) that we tend to mentor differently for people who are more like us. ALL mentees need informal time, networking, funding to support research, added to papers, suggested for stuff.

All mentees need connection with mentor, too. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe you both like sports, or cooking, or photography. Ask, check in, talk about family, ask about challenges in life and with getting stuff done. And Do Not Act Surprised, no matter what is said.

360 reviews:

We have to remind people that minorities and women often get terrible feedback. Either very harsh and without grounding in changeable behavior OR highly generic and not mentioning real issues. Ask for constructive criticism focused on specific behaviors.

Also consider who is asked for 360 feedback. Is that list inclusive? Are some people getting lists that are more inherently friendly? These things are fraught.

Also remind the supervisor who reads the 360 of the same typical problems. They should consider that occasionally the problem lies with bias in the person giving feedback, or just differential wording & expectations.


Many places now have written promotion criteria, but there are always unwritten rules - and different gatekeepers have different ideas of those rules and may apply them differently to different folks.

@JoanCWilliams showed minorities & women face the “prove it again” bias, which gatekeepers often unknowingly impose.

We can level the playing field with a *blinded* assessment of readiness for promotion for everyone in an area/department.


Others? Where else can we move the needle?

Many folks want to help right now. We need to capitalize to make real change!

You can follow @FelicityEnders.
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