Our 2020 webinar series continues with “The Workplace Needs Work,” happening Tuesday, June 23, at 11 am ET. Registration for the event remains open with a discount available for SSP members.
With every upsetting instance of scandalous or simply uncivil behavior in our workplaces, every conversation with a struggling student or colleague, and every external review that finds we aren’t doing enough for diversity and inclusion in our business as usual, it’s easy to wonder—how to begin?
How can we understand and quantify the problems and successes in our workplaces, and then use the results to move forward? The issues don’t go away in a virtual workplace. These days, some of the problems have become even more exacerbated in a remote or hybrid environment.
Developing an inclusive workplace climate requires a clear understanding of the current situation. Taking action requires buy-in and a data-driven improvement strategy. This presentation will discuss elements of a successful workplace culture assessment and some strategies to address the results, now and into the future.
Our speaker is Susan Sullivan, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder, focused on atmospheric aerosols. She co-founded and then directed the CIRES Education and Outreach group, where she led projects connecting scientists and science with students, teachers, and public audiences. In her role as CIRES D&I Director, Dr. Sullivan works to attract and recruit a diverse CIRES workforce, and to build an inclusive workplace culture where all may thrive in their chosen profession. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Diversity and Inclusion committee, a member of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Executive Committee and a past president of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).
Ms. Sullivan took the time to answer questions about the event:
Who is the intended audience for this webinar and why should they attend?
People in the academic and scholarly publishing world are more interested than ever before in understanding how their workplaces can be more inclusive, equitable, and functional. This webinar will provide some first step ideas in how to move forward.
Why do you think this topic is important and timely?
The topic couldn’t possibly be more important and timely. We know that our academic cultures and ways of doing business end up excluding people, especially people of color. This reality harms people in our organizations and harms our respective missions.
Is there a particular topic you’re looking forward to seeing discussed?
I’d like to hear what actions attendee’s organizations are doing to support change.
What do you, as a speaker, bring to the discussion?
My organization is taking concrete steps to improve the diversity and inclusion practices of our large research institute. Changing culture and business practices within a large complex organization is a long-term process. I am able to share the steps we’ve taken and point to other resources for making change.
What can attendees expect from the webinar?
We’ll discuss some of the options for assessing workplace culture in order to support evidence-based change, some actions organizations often take to respond to workplace culture issues, and have some discussion about issues that are timely now.
What do you hope attendees will take away from the webinar?
I hope attendees will come away with a better understanding of how to take the first steps to actually understand and change workplace culture for the better.
News contribution by SSP member, Heather Kotula. Heather is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Access Innovations, Inc.