Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Issue Overview

Evidence has shown that a diverse healthcare workforce not only improves patient care outcomes, it also allows organizations to be more productive, creative and innovative. Still, minorities face slower promotion rates and are significantly less represented in leadership and academic career positions.

In addition to curated resources and events on diversity, HRA also has dedicated the Research Workforce and Early Career Development Working Group focused on helping HRA members build a diverse, motivated, and committed research workforce.

Statements by the Community
In response to recent events, many organizations in the scientific community have posted powerful statements condemning racism and committing to push for reforms.  Examples from the NASEM include a Statement by Marcia McNutt, the President of the National Academy of Sciences noting that “This nation is facing its second crisis of the year: a crisis of equality of opportunity for Blacks and African-Americans: opportunity for justice, for education, for freedom, for health, for prosperity, for quality housing and food, and frankly, for the American dream.”  There was also a strong Statement on Racial Equity and the Adverse Effects of Racism by NAM President Victor J. Dzau …”I commit to ensuring that all people and especially people of color feel safe and supported while working at the NAM, as well as to pursuing racial equity in our organizational policies and procedures. I commit to using our platform to improve the lives of people who experience disproportionate health disparities as a result of socioeconomic inequity, bias, and structural racism. I commit to listening, learning, and working with all of you.”…The National Academy of Engineering published a DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND EQUITY STATEMENT that others can use to help form their own policies.

Select HRA Activities
HRA has long been committed to increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce and decreasing health disparities. One example out of many events and discussions was a 2018 HRA Regional Members Meeting focused on Diversity and Inclusion. They keynote was from Dr. Hannah Valantine, NIH’s first Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity. This page has a summary of the 4 presentations which included 2 from NIH (Hannah Valantine and Michelle Jones-London). Patricia Frustace from ASH presented and Judy Glaven presented HHMI’s Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program.

HRA also had a main session at a 2018 Members Meeting titled Strategies for Increasing Diversity in the Workforce which focused on challenges and opportunities of diversity and unconscious bias that women and minorities face in peer review in academic science.  A summary of the presentations and links to the slides from the 3 presenters (Anna Kaatz, Shirley Malcom and  Sindy Escboar-Alvarez (from DDCF) can be found here.

HRA will be having another session (tentatively to learn about NIH plans to support scientific workforce diversity and inclusion efforts) at our upcoming virtual Members Meeting in September 2020.

Speakers at meetings, HRA’s member organizations, and other members of the community have called attention to some very important studies on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  Many of those are listed below.  These publications are listed not only to highlight the issues, but to mine for strategies HRA members can use to be more intentional in developing policies and practices to combat bias and discrimination in the workforce, the workplace, and in healthcare.  However, we know that we still have a lot to learn and to DO. HRA is committed to working with members and the community to identify and implement strategies to achieve a more inclusive and equitable scientific community.