When writing your diversity, equity and inclusion statement for faculty applications, highlight any involvement with existing programs for underrepresented students at the institution where you’re applying. This shows you’ll be ready to support and expand upon existing dimensions of diversity and equity as part of its faculty.
Identify Your Purpose
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Statements serve to demonstrate how a candidate’s values and experiences contribute to inclusiveness, rigor, and excellence in research, teaching, or scholarly works. They are often included as part of applications for positions within higher education or the research industry.
Writing an effective diversity statement requires prioritizing clarity and authenticity in its creation. A great diversity statement should sound as though it came directly from the applicant themselves rather than coming across like something written by an outsider like an attorney or recruiter, using legal language can cause it to seem disembodied from their true values and motivations.
If you’re feeling lost when it comes to diversity and inclusion, begin by identifying what your core values are in this regard. Next, write a statement linking those values with specific actions you are already taking or are planning on taking in order to demonstrate your passion for creating more inclusive environments. This can help show people why diversity matters so much to you!
Though including your specific identities in a diversity statement is entirely optional, those who do so are encouraged to demonstrate how these have affected their approach to teaching, research, disciplinary/university service and student mentoring activities. For instance, being of color might prompt you to seek out and mentor junior scholars from marginalized communities within your field or being disabled could reveal how an impairment has altered how you engage with both your students and colleagues within the classroom environment.
Finally, it is also essential that you identify how your contributions have enhanced diversity, equity and inclusion within higher education or your field of study. Perhaps you have served on committees aimed at diversifying curriculum or working toward equity among historically underrepresented student populations by adopting more inclusive teaching practices into your lessons.
Last but not least, you should outline your vision for inclusivity and diversity in higher education. This could involve supporting a diverse workforce or creating products to better meet the needs of marginalized groups.
Identify Your Goals
Your DEI statement should clearly articulate what diversity, equity and inclusion means to you as well as how you incorporate these values into your everyday work – such as creating inclusive learning environments or working towards equity and inclusion in higher education – or outlining future research that promotes the wellbeing of marginalized communities.
Your personal DEI goals may also involve taking steps to combat racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism as forms of oppression. Perhaps sharing personal stories of bias, discrimination or injustice due to one’s identity could also show courage and determination as you attempt to overcome obstacles that stand in your path.
Your DEI statement could also provide an assessment of your company’s current state in terms of diversity and inclusion, from an honest evaluation of existing culture and policies, or its plans to make changes that have lasting impacts – perhaps public-facing initiatives like setting clear and time-bound targets for diversifying leadership or creating employee resource groups for underrepresented communities.
Consider how your DEI statement can promote internal dialogue and action regarding these issues. Many companies publish their statements online as either “About Us” sections or standalone links – making the information quickly and easily available and showing that commitment to these values.
If you are applying for a job or fellowship, your statement should highlight any involvement with diversity-related activities on other campuses. If, for example, you have participated in programs targeting under-represented students such as McNair Scholars Program it would be pertinent to mention it here. Furthermore, indicate whether you would be willing to contribute pre-existing programs or start new ones based on what has been seen elsewhere.
Identify Your Actions
As well as setting goals, it is also necessary to take an inventory of what actions have been and will be taken towards reaching these objectives. Positive sentiments alone won’t suffice – concrete steps must be taken toward making your workplace more equitable.
For instance, if your commitment is to make your classes more inclusive, include it in your DEI statement and describe ways that you are working toward this end. This could involve simple measures like asking students to use preferred names on assignments or more involved initiatives like incorporating antiracist pedagogy. You should also mention your participation in any existing diversity-related programs on campus or any new initiatives you might consider starting based on models you’ve seen elsewhere.
DEI statements do not require disclosure of personal identities; however, you may wish to do so. For instance, you could explain how your racial identity influences and motivates your work by mentoring students from underrepresented communities to succeed in your field. You could also discuss how disability shaped how you navigated higher education as an undergraduate and graduate student as well as mitigating barriers to learning for your students with disabilities by employing inclusive classroom practices like NameCoach.
Your DEI statement can be as short or as long as necessary; regardless of its length, however, it must remain clear and concise with minimal use of buzzwords – instead focusing on facts and values as appropriate. Furthermore, make sure it aligns with your overall business strategy as well as being measurable so it can be measured effectively.
At its core, a strong diversity equity and inclusion statement is designed to attract and retain top employees and customers. To do this effectively, it should reflect your core beliefs and values while being integrated into your organizational culture – which is why prior to releasing your DEI statement publicly it’s so crucially important for organizations to invest in its planning process.
Identify Your Successes
To make an impressionful diversity statement, it’s crucial to include examples that demonstrate how you have worked toward its goals. This shows that your diversity statement goes beyond mere principles by showing you have taken proactive steps toward improving workplace diversity and equality.
Many individuals avoid writing about their DEI work out of fear it will sound political, leading to an inauthentic diversity statement that fails to meet its goal of diversity, equity and inclusion. Instead, focus on providing concrete examples of how your efforts and research have advanced these goals.
As an instructor at a university, it would be worthwhile to highlight your efforts at creating more inclusive classroom environments for your students and incorporating DEI-oriented teaching materials. Furthermore, as an accomplished scientist who has long championed gender and racial equality in your lab environment, such efforts should also be highlighted in your diversity statement.
As important, it’s also vitally important to be truthful when discussing both your successes and areas where there is room for growth. A realistic picture of where you currently stand in terms of DEI experience is more meaningful and credible to potential employers, colleagues and students than presenting lofty ideals that cannot possibly be fulfilled.
Building an effective diversity statement takes time and effort, but is essential to any effective job application. To maximize its value, collaborate with colleagues or supervisors before soliciting feedback from others in your field before finalizing your statement. For assistance or guidance in creating one yourself, CO-OP’s experts are on hand – reach out now and let’s see how we can help!