Email sent: May 14, 2018
To: All IST Staff
Dear IST Colleagues,
As you know, we must become more focused on equity and inclusion in IST. Please know it is important to all of us that all members of our team feel respected, safe and welcome at work.
We have enlisted the help of a consulting firm, Civility Partners, whose founder is a well-respected expert in helping organizations create inclusive and healthy work environments. Civility Partners will help us:
- understand any cultural and underlying issues we face, and
- develop a series of strategic plans aimed at resolving current issues and creating equity and inclusion.
Civility Partners’ first order of business is a three-part assessment. They will:
- interview leadership,
- interview a random selection of employees,
- conduct an IST-wide survey.
Civility Partners has already interviewed the leadership team, and will be on campus next week, May 23-25, to interview employees. To ensure confidentiality, Civility Partners received a list of all employees and randomly selected 30 people on their own, at their own office. No one at UC Berkeley is privy to the names of interviewees.
If your name was selected, you will receive an email from a member of the Civility Partners team this week requesting you schedule an interview on the 23rd, 24th or 25th.
Interviews are completely anonymous and confidential, and again, Civility Partners will not disclose the names of those selected for interviews to anyone at UC Berkeley.
Please expect a link for the anonymous survey in the next few weeks. I encourage you to take the time to fill it out and be as honest as you can be. The more information obtained in the survey, the better able we will be to successfully improve our work environment.
Once the assessment phase is completed, a committee, made up of people from all levels of the organization, will be assembled to create a strategic plan to address any issues discovered and help us move toward becoming a more inclusive environment.
While leadership is responsible for leading change, culture cannot change without every single person in the organization being on board. The committee will be assembled in order to ensure change is not only coming from the top, but from all areas in IST.
Please let me know if you have any questions. You are also free to email the CEO of Civility Partners directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her name is Catherine Mattice Zundel.
Larry Conrad, Associate VC for IT and CIO
Email sent: March 28, 2018
To: All IST Staff
Recently you heard from Larry about the 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. Today we want to share with you more 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 are planning to engage an outside firm to help facilitate the start up and initial planning work of this committee. We want to start this work in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more information about how to get involved. 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. On Friday, we sent out a message about the Virtual Reality event exploring gender bias in IT that the OCIO is co-sponsoring. If this program is well-received 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 Michelle Bautista from CSS-IT and Barinder Flanagan from Haas have agreed to co-lead this strategy. Last Wednesday, at our day-long 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.
We look forward to continuing this conversation in the days and weeks ahead. We encourage you to continue to discuss these issues with your manager, team and colleagues. We welcome hearing from you directly, whether via email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) or by scheduling a meeting (contact Margarita Zeglin at email@example.com).
Email sent: March 9, 2018
To: All IST Staff
By now most of you have likely seen the Pando post--or the Daily Cal article based on that post--about gender-based issues in IST. While I understand the interest that people have shown in this matter, it involves private personnel information, and we owe all employees confidentiality and privacy, regardless of what they may have shared with others. As a result, I will not comment on the specifics.
The issues raised in the post are disturbing and touch on values that are personally and professionally very important to me: the fundamentals of equal opportunity in the workplace and the right of every staff member to demonstrate their capabilities and be assessed and recognized for their contributions regardless of gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other protected category. I strongly believe these are values that are important to our long-term success in IST as well as to that of the broader One IT community here at Berkeley. Indeed, I hope these are values are important to all of us. The implications from the Pando article are not the IST any of us want.
IST is a large organization with more than 300 people and it’s important to recognize there is not a single IST experience shared by everyone; each person has their own unique experience of the organization. That’s why it’s critically important to be proactive in demonstrating and adhering to the values mentioned above.
The IST senior management team takes this responsibility very seriously and is actively discussing how to best achieve our diversity and inclusion goals. We plan to take a programmatic approach, which will include education and training, work to increase diversity in our recruitment pipeline, and actively engaging our community to address the challenges and opportunities in order to ensure we have a climate which reflects our values. This will require careful thought and broad engagement with our community, as well as attention and monitoring over time. These are challenging issues across the entire IT industry, and indeed across our society. For example, the issues of diversity and inclusion have been widely reported to be highly problematic in Silicon Valley. That is the antithesis of what we want the IT experience to be here at UC Berkeley.
The culture of an organization is complex, and everyone has a responsibility for shaping it. As the leader of this organization and the campus CIO, I am committed to ensuring that IST creates and models a positive, welcoming, and inclusive climate. I take this responsibility very seriously, and I hope that you will join me in working to improve the culture of our division. In that spirit, I have two specific requests for each of you:
1. If you see or know of behavior that is contrary to the values we want to engender in IST, I am asking you to speak up. You can bring
these directly to me, either in person or anonymously, or to any member of the management team. And if you experience this behavior
directly, know that you have options available to you:
a. You can speak confidentially to the Staff Ombuds Office;
b. You can speak confidentially to Employee Assistance counselors;
c. You can report the behavior to me or to any member of the management team;
d. You can report instances of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression discrimination and harassment
to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.
2. I want to hear your ideas about tangible steps we can take to engender and support the values we want the organization to represent
and to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Please send me an email or contact Margarita Zeglin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
in my office to find a time to discuss in person.
I am committed to taking proactive steps to ensure IST is a welcoming and inclusive organization. I welcome your ideas, your support,
and your participation.
Larry Conrad, Associate VC for IT and CIO