The First Step: Acknowledge Inequality
Ensuring diversity in veterinary medicine requires reframing our thinking and actively helping all children to achieve their dreams.
Did you know that the word “meritocracy” has been used pejoratively? While the root, “merit,” has always meant achievement based on intelligence and performance, “meritocracy” has been used as a satirical critique of an overreliance on selection processes that lack transparency and depend upon inherently biased tools such as standardized testing. Michael Dunlop, a noted […]
The Great Political Divide
Let’s find the middle ground in the interest of free speech and mutual respect. Clinic leaders can play a key role.
I’m sure we can agree that the last decade in the United States has been politically polarizing. Despite constant calls for unity, we have seen increased sociopolitical unrest, broken friendships, shattered familial relationships and much, much more. The data bears this out. Ahead of the November presidential election, Pew Research Center studies found that 90% […]
Videoconferencing has been associated with an uptick in discriminatory and marginalizing behaviors.
A colleague instant-messaged me a few months ago to ask for advice. She shared that she was trying to renegotiate hotel contracts as her organization was moving to virtual meetings due to COVID-19 restrictions. Before the pandemic, most of her day-to-day work involved emails and phone calls. Once COVID-19 struck and the world embraced or […]
Colorblindness Is Not a Cure
Not seeing or acknowledging race serves as an exit ramp from discussing or participating in advancing social change.
I remember years ago in grade school when kids stood in front of classmates, especially on movie day, and blocked their view. A common retort was, “You know your parents aren’t glassmakers, right?” It was a smart-aleck way of communicating, “You are blocking my view!” Years later, I have repurposed the adolescent retort when anyone […]
The gender divide
Truth be told, misogyny is a problem in veterinary medicine. Our increasingly female profession can take constructive steps to even the playing field.
Back in late July, U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho of Florida and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York had a bit of a run-in on the steps of the Capitol. The episode stemmed from policy comments that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez made during a speech and that Rep. Yoho strongly disagreed with. He used strong words when confronting her. […]
How to be an ally
It is not the job of people who are marginalized to educate you; it is your job to catch up.
This seems to be a crucible moment in our history. We are in the midst of a pandemic that brought most of the world to a screeching halt. We also were faced with the horrific video of an African American man, George Floyd, being killed on camera by law enforcement. For many of us, these […]
The problem with tone policing
Focusing on the delivery of information rather than the content can impair efforts to have substantive discussions about diversity and inclusion.
Have you ever found yourself in an argument with someone and as the argument progresses you become more animated? Your voice might rise. You might talk a bit with your hands. It is clear you are passionate about your position and really want your companion to understand your point. At a critical point in the […]
Mentoring, sponsoring and diversity
Sponsorship opens additional doors for underrepresented veterinary professionals.
At a fall conference on women leaders in veterinary medicine, Dr. Samantha Morello from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine called for more sponsorship of women and minorities in veterinary medicine. I immediately tweeted out support —http://bit.ly/2Qx4SwO — which led to a short online discussion about the difference between mentoring and sponsoring and […]
Where are the men?
Veterinary medicine is slowly becoming a female-dominated profession. The reasons are many. Having more role models and promoting the value of a college education are ways to draw males back in.
Every so often I field a call from a veterinarian inquiring about the declining numbers of men in the veterinary profession. These callers are mostly genuinely interested in the factors that have led to just under 20% of DVM students identifying as men. Occasionally, such calls devolve into suggestions that diversity programs have disadvantaged young […]
Step outside your comfort zone
Starting conversations about diversity and inclusion isn’t easy, but the payoff is well worth the time and effort.
Talking about diversity and inclusion is hard; it is uncomfortable sharing your innermost thoughts about how you see difference, what it means for you (or not) in day-to-day interactions, and how you think that might affect the way individuals move through the world. Talking about diversity sparks strong emotional responses around how we view fairness, […]