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FEATURED NEWS ITEM
Commitments by Community Members to Not Participate in Speaking Invitations Where Inclusiveness is Not Evident
Letter From UCAR President, Antonio J. Busalacchi
November 1, 2019
Recently, it was brought to my attention that Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, put out a statement regarding the importance of ending all-male speaking panels (aka “manels”) and his decision not to accept any speaking invitation where attention to inclusiveness is not evident.
At UCAR, we have established a formal program to support and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is real progress for our organization, and an important part of our process to be more inclusive. A significant area for us to look at is implicit bias because we know it is often the cause of exclusion of people from underrepresented groups. Since we are often not conscious of these biases, cultivating awareness of them is key to reducing their impacts be it on search committees or how we interact with colleagues.
Our commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment also extends to the composition of advisory panels at NCAR and UCP. In this regard, I do know that both Everette Joseph and Bill Kuo are sensitive to the importance of having those that advise us be representative of the community we serve.
When Dr. Collins issued his powerful statement, he challenged other leaders in the biomedical enterprise to join him. Although diversity within and among meteorology, oceanography, and hydrology is different than the health sciences, I accept his challenge. As a leader of this organization I will “walk the talk” and lead by example. From this point forward, I, too, will decline to serve on any speaking panels for which attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion is not evident in the composition of the panels.
If women, people of color, and other traditionally marginalized groups are passed over for panels we lose a diverse range of perspectives. Not only that, it can do real harm to careers. Failing to provide these opportunities means women and people of color cannot demonstrate they have a national or international profile. It can lead to further disadvantages with grant applications, promotions, and ultimately to selection to important bodies such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
It is now my turn to challenge other leaders in Earth system science to join me.
A version of this personal statement will also be posted on the UCAR web site.
Antonio J. Busalacchi
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Letter From University of Colorado President, Mark Kennedy
I have long believed that life is a game of addition, not subtraction. And when that addition involves interacting with or surrounding yourself with people with different views, different backgrounds, different experiences, all the better.
Diversity is often viewed narrowly through a lens of race and ethnicity. While those are part of it, they are by no means all of it. Diversity to me is the sum of a variety of things – a person’s demographic characteristics, life and work experiences, viewpoints and interactions, among others. And what I have seen over and over – in my own upbringing, my educational experiences and my careers in business, government and academia – is that it is not only imperative to respect the dignity of each individual, but to recognize that diversity is a powerful asset, both personally and professionally.
The Wall Street Journal, in its article “The business case for more diversity,” noted that a diverse and inclusive culture in business provides a competitive edge. It leads to better products, more innovation, fresh ideas and a stronger bottom line.
My own experiences echo that. Homogeneous groups tend toward homogeneous ideas and strategies. Diverse groups challenge, question and view problems from different angles. They arrive at better outcomes.
Embracing diversity is the right thing. It’s an important aspect of everything we do at the University of Colorado. We strive to foster a learning, living and work environment that mirrors the society we serve and makes all feel safe and included. We also know that infusing diversity throughout our activities enriches the learning experience and makes our graduates better prepared to succeed in life.
That’s one of the reasons we recently elevated our strategic plan’s diversity working group to be the plan’s fourth pillar. Our original thinking was that diversity must be part and parcel of each of the areas we identified as focuses of planning. It needs to be. But after broad input from the university community, we agreed that it also is appropriately recognized as a pillar.
Anything judged important should be measured. Our diversity engagement survey in the field now with students, faculty and staff across our four campuses will guide our action. It will give us insight into the climate and culture on our campuses, and identify areas where we can improve.
Incidents, such as the recent racist incident on our Boulder campus, remind us that there is always work to be done in this area, and that diversity must be a constant focus. It is important for all of us to build on the work of generations before us to embrace diversity and to achieve a more inclusive environment.
All the best,
Mark Kennedy President
We are excited to share with you a few mentoring and career development opportunities.
- Campus Spotlight: Women in Tech Initiative - The new Women in Tech Initiative was established through a monetary gift from Craigslist founder and Case Western alumnus, Craig Newmark. The initiative seeks to build a strong community of female students in technology fields. Future plans of this initiative include a mentorship program, professional development opportunities and a podcast series. For more information about this new initiative at Case Western University, click here.
- Women in CyberSecurity - WiCys is a community of engagement, encouragement and support for women in cybersecurity. It is a premier organization with national rach dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring. To learn more about WiCys and related news, click here.
- Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) Mentoring Programme - This is a new programme. This opportunity offers a year-round mentoring programme, providing a framework for women around the world to provide and receive a mentorship in the HPC space. The WHPC mentoring programme will be open 3 times a year and will last for 4 months. During the prescribed mentoring programme, both mentors and mentees will receive training on how to make the most of mentoring, as well as the opportunity to participate in webinars on key skills. Mentoring will be provided in both one-to-one and in groups, typically consisting of 3 people from different organizations and career-levels. Each formal mentor-mentee engagement session lasts for 4 months. We accept mentor/mentee applications year long and we will pool you into the next cohort. Sign up to be a mentor/mentee here, https://womeninhpc.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=007abbb94048819c6eb6815c9&id=f1d557f318&e=b3bdfca1fd. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarvani Chadalapaka, WHPC Mentoring Programme Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.