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, […]
Appearances can be deceiving
A professional look means different things to different people. Does your clinic’s policy reflect core values and a commitment to diversity?
Many years ago, my office initiated a dress code review. During our working group meetings, my male colleagues bemoaned how women could wear sleeveless shirts and sandals during the summer, while men were limited to sleeved shirts, neck ties and hot, confining loafers and Oxford shoes. Conversations quickly devolved into a gendered discussion about equity […]
Pipelines and pathways
Veterinary professionals can do more inside and outside of the practice to expose young people to potential careers in animal health and plug the leakage of talented students to other industries.
Annual studies conducted by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges find that prospective veterinary students routinely express interest in the profession before age 10. In those 10 short years, they develop a love of animals and a desire to help them. The profession, however, can seem one dimensional to young people: Veterinarians take care […]
Your gift to the future
Underrepresented and low-income students are determined to earn admission to veterinary school and thrive afterward. You can help them achieve their dreams.
Last fall, young people from all over the United States applied to veterinary school. Their applications represented a significant step toward their lifelong goal of becoming a veterinarian. At the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, where I work, we survey applicants and use the data collected to recommend recruiting and admissions practices. The veterinary […]
Practice without prejudice
Discrimination in the workplace takes many forms and is destructive emotionally, mentally and physically.
I read a blog post by a Hispanic veterinarian who shared her experience of navigating racial and gender discrimination in practice. I found myself nodding along at her story and pondering all the similar stories I have heard over the years from practitioners who said clients told them their animals “didn’t like [insert group of […]
The price of harassment
Employers must step up and wipe out abhorrent workplace behavior in all its forms. Education and clear reporting protocols are key.
Sexual harassment has been a part of daily news for more than a year now. Mostly, but not exclusively, women are taking primarily to social media to share stories of harassment or assault happening in schools, workplaces and even on the street. The resulting #MeToo movement has toppled careers, launched legal investigations and nearly derailed […]
The language of medicine
Health care is harder to access when someone doesn’t speak English, but you can bridge the gap by becoming multilingual, hiring a diverse staff and embracing numerous resources.
A Harvest Public Media article on demographic changes in production animal medicine made the social media rounds recently. The article, available at http://bit.ly/2BS9gT1, noted how a 2015 study by Texas A&M University found that roughly half of the dairy and meat-processing workforce is composed of immigrants, many of whom speak something other than English as […]