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 […]
Fairness and equity for all
While we cannot always know every back story to every situation, approaching decision making from an equity framework can help mitigate disparities.
U.S. citizens who pledge allegiance to the flag finish with the phrase “and justice for all.” This month, let’s explore the concepts of justice and equity as they relate to diversity, inclusion and veterinary medicine. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines justice as “the quality of being just, impartial or fair.” We all aspire to be fair and […]
With minimal effort, you can act affirmatively to increase diversity in your applicant pool.
I attend many meetings on diversity throughout the year. Most often, the meetings focus on sociological concepts, critical race theory and cultural trends. This information is critical to understanding larger diversity issues, but sometimes it misses the mark in terms of what people really need to know on the ground about how to “do” diversity. […]
The anatomy of privilege
If we are not mindful and deliberate, privilege and rankism can result in toxic work environments.
The term “privilege” has become one of the hottest buzz words in the diversity and inclusion lexicon. The word is often considered provocative in discussions due to a fairly abstract notion of who has it and why. I’d like to break down the concept of privilege and how it might be seen in and around […]