Creating Inclusive Organizations

The goal of inclusion is to create an organization and environment where diverse and unique individuals feel welcome and supported.

These resources are intended to provide education and examples to assist departments in reaching their inclusivity goals.

Workshop on Demand

The Impacts of Racism and Bias on Black People Pursuing Careers in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: A Workshop

This video from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines the “historical trends of the enrollment of Black students, and of Black faculty representation, in medical and engineering schools and the sciences, as well as the efficacy of explicit bias training.”

Listen: Inclusive Leadership Podcast

In this episode of Cleveland Clinic’s Learning to Lead podcast, James Hekman, MD, discusses the strengths of diverse teams.

Articles on Inclusive Organizations

Tools for Discussing Identity and Privilege Among Medical Students, Trainees, and Faculty

Candace J. Chow, PhD, Gretchen A. Case, PhD, Cheryl E. Matias, PhD. MedEd Portal. December 2019.

Measuring Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: The Diversity Engagement Survey

Sharina D PersonC Greer JordanJeroan J AllisonLisa M Fink OgawaLaura Castillo-PageSarah ConradMarc A NivetDeborah L Plummer. Academic Medicine. December 2015.

Three Daily Steps to Start Meaningful Change

In January 2021, University of Michigan’s Matt Wixson, MD, remembered U-M alumna Susan Moore, MD, who died after battling COVID-19 after video surfaced of her trying to advocate for her care. Like many, he couldn’t shake the question: “What is it going to take to get equitable care in America?”

Dr. Wixson provided three ways in which we can acknowledge the processes, procedures, and policies that promote and maintain these inequities as we strive toward our ideal — an inclusive and equitable organization that is focused on the well-being of its patients and employees alike. This can be part of Dr. Moore’s legacy — that in her unjust death, she spurs positive change at health care institutions around the country.

Speak Up: I find speaking up when one sees injustice or inequities incredibly daunting. It’s much easier for me to speak up about macroaggressions — the death of George Floyd, the profiling of Christian Cooper in Central Park, the mistreatment of Dr. Moore.

However, I have found that microaggressions — like a racially-tinged joke or questioning where someone is “really from” — play an outsize role in derailing progress. Whether it’s your supervisor, a colleague, or a patient, gently but firmly correcting misstatements and misbeliefs can elevate the entire organization. It is also a sign of solidarity and ally-ship with those who have regularly experienced such actions.

Reach Out: Every person you interact with has a distinctive life story, experiences, and perceptions. By getting to know those around us on a deeper level, we build community that is focused on celebrating our unique contributions. In doing so, we can eliminate a “them versus us” mentality, and create a cohesive “we.” Building a safe arena in which individuals can share their personal stories takes considerable work. I am always impressed by the depth and breadth of those around me, and appreciate the many forms of diversity from which I can learn.

Look Within: Arguably the hardest, this step can be the most powerful. Despite my commitment to forming diverse teams, promoting inclusive community, and providing equitable care, at times I have found myself falling short. I, like most people, have found myself in situations in which I have made an insensitive comment, shirked the opportunity to call out bias, or failed to acknowledge and respect differing opinions. However, those moments, though difficult, have taught me important lessons and inspired me to improve. They have also taught me grace — despite our best intentions, we will at times make mistakes. It is our response to those mistakes that defines us, not the slight misstep made.