The IST senior management team, led by CIO Larry Conrad, has developed an approach we want to take to address concerns about equity and inclusion issues in our organization. These are issues we feel strongly must be addressed programmatically, over time, in tangible and specific ways on a number of fronts. This website shares details about what we are working on and what to expect over the coming weeks and months. These ideas represent our initial thinking and we welcome all ideas and feedback for how we can ensure our organization is a positive and safe working environment for all.
Track 1: Education and Awareness
There are many education and awareness programs, on a variety of E&I-related topics, available at Berkeley as well as through UCOP. These include resources like the Multicultural Education Program (MEP) workshops, the UCOP implicit bias series, KEYS classes, and more. We are in the process of planning to bring a customized MEP program to IST, and are also discussing different trainings and awareness activities that we will make mandatory for all supervisors and managers, and strongly recommend for all. We are also planning to include a diversity and inclusion track in our 2018 OCIO/IST Workforce Development Plan. One resource we recommend everyone look at is Harvard’s Implicit Bias tests; these are confidential and free to take.
Track 2: Positive and Safe Working Environment
Part of our approach must include voices, and indeed leadership, from all levels of our organization. We intend to kick off a standing committee to discuss and provide recommendations about how to improve our climate. Based on feedback from several of you, we have engaged an outside consulting firm, Civility Partners, to help facilitate the start up and initial planning work of this committee. Civility Partners follows a proven process that aims to eradicate bad behaviors and create a positive work culture where people thrive. Another resource we expect to take advantage of as part of this conversation is the Strategic Planning for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity toolkit, which helps units develop an E&I plan for their organization.
Track 3: Applicant/Hiring Diversity
We are all aware that there are significant gender and diversity imbalances in our IT workforce; this is a problem across the IT industry, not just at Berkeley. We have had several discussions with the campus Recruitment manager and there are a number of ideas we are pursuing to try to address this issue. These include looking at different ways to source applicants and ensuring hiring managers have received implicit bias training (e.g., there is a UCOP implicit bias class called “Managing Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process” that we will be requiring all hiring managers to take). This issue is something that will take time to address, but we must become more intentional in our hiring process if we expect to see change.
Track 4: E&I for One IT
In April, we sent out a message about the Virtual Reality event exploring gender bias in IT that the OCIO co-sponsored. We will look to do more sessions, as well as to sponsor additional events focused on gender equality and diversity in IT more broadly. We also plan to offer anything we do for IST more broadly to the One IT community when it makes sense for a larger audience beyond just IST.
More generally for the campus One IT community, we are planning to add a 7th strategy to our Reimagining IT strategic plan that will address equity, inclusion and bias issues. We are pleased to announce that Barinder Flanagan from Haas, Gabe Gonzalez from Law, and Liz Marsh from the OCIO have agreed to co-lead this strategy. At our March Reimagining IT planning workshop (this included 50+ IT leaders from around campus), we held an exercise to facilitate a conversation about bias and inclusion in the workplace. The debrief from the exercise resulted in many great suggestions for how we can address these issues; these will be incorporated into the E&I Reimagining IT strategy as it takes shape, as well as the local work we’re doing in IST. The exercise was so well-received that many of the participants have plans to run the exercise with their own teams.