An Update on SRCD’s Inclusivity Efforts
Dear SRCD Members,
Last fall, SRCD issued a survey inviting members to share your thoughts and opinions on how welcoming and inclusive the organization is. The survey, drafted by our Equity and Justice Committee and refined in consultation with leadership from our other Committees and Caucuses, asked about a broad range of issues including how effectively our organization, journals, meetings, communications, and programs address inclusion and diversity in all its forms.
The data generated from the survey were rich and our use of the data to inform our policies and practices is ongoing. I am writing today to share with you a general overview of what we learned from that survey, and how we have been responding. As I shared at the Member Meeting during the Biennial Meeting in Baltimore, we have focused on two key statements from the survey that represent our inclusivity values as an organization:
I feel comfortable and welcomed at SRCD events.
I feel that I am valued as an SRCD member.
Here were the composite responses from the Fall 2018 Inclusivity Survey:
Although many respondents indicated feeling comfortable, welcome, and valued, there were key demographic groups who reported less positive experiences. We identified a need to improve our inclusivity practices around several key areas of diversity including underrepresented international, racial/ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, and career-track groups.
In response to these concerns, we have introduced or supported a variety of initiatives to strengthen our inclusivity. Some examples include:
- Developing a Rapid Response process to enable members to nominate issues for SRCD engagement and potential response
- Introducing a Code of Conduct for our meetings to maximize inclusive engagement, and an onsite ombudsperson at the Biennial Meeting to facilitate safe and confidential reporting of adverse incidents
- Adding inclusion features to the Biennial Meeting including all-gender restrooms and a reflection/prayer room (in addition to existing features to support attendees with disabilities and those who are nursing)
- Offering dedicated meeting spaces for our Caucuses at the Biennial Meeting
- Committing to a Biennial Meeting in Europe in 2025
- Providing professional development sessions to support non-academic career tracks
- Obtaining external funding to support diversity support activities such as a diversity mentoring program
- Launching the new Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression (SOGIE) Caucus
We were pleased to receive encouraging feedback after SRCD’s Biennial Meeting in Baltimore -- a much greater percentage of respondents reported feeling comfortable and valued than on the survey last fall.
There is clearly still work to be done. SRCD’s Equity and Justice Committee is currently conducting further analysis on the data from both the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 surveys to identify further opportunities to foster an inclusive climate, and these efforts are enthusiastically supported by the Governing Council and SRCD’s leadership staff. Other recommendations and proposals are being developed by our Ethnic and Racial Issues and International Affairs Committees and by our Caucuses.
We invite you to contribute to the conversation by submitting a suggestion via the feedback form on the SRCD website. You may also send me a message (LNAMY@srcd.org) or contact a member of Governing Council, our Committees or Caucuses. Feedback on ways to continue to support inclusive practices and foster support for our community’s diversity is always welcome.
As we continue our efforts to respond to the needs of our community, please be on the lookout for a new survey in the coming weeks that will focus on member opinions on Open Science and other issues of importance to our organization.
Thank you for your membership and participation in SRCD!
Laura L. Namy, Ph.D.