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SCS DEI Update

Jan. 7, 2022

The SCS DEI Team wishes you a Happy New Year and a healthy and productive spring 2022 semester!

How Can an Organization Achieve Inclusion?

The U.S. has a long history of implementing diversity initiatives in industrial and military settings. Early initiatives — as early as the 1960s — took the form of sensitivity training. By the 1980s, the notion of diversity as a business case was operationalized, popularizing the idea that diversity hiring would make a company more profitable.

While numerical representation is certainly an important part of diversity within an organization, it is critical to also focus on the inclusion portion of DEI. Inclusion work means moving beyond interventions aimed at the individual, and instead looking systemically at an organization. For example, looking at the language that an organization uses, such as in job advertisements, or how promotions and opportunities are conveyed to people, may be indicative of types of bias that may exist within the organization.

Often these investigations take the form of contextualizing an issue as part of a larger system. (For example, the Iceberg Model is a useful mechanism for doing this). A single event or example can be connected to patterns and trends, structural issues, and even mental models that represent beliefs, assumptions and traditions in an organization. A systemic understanding can help connect issues and help to develop lasting solutions that address the larger system, rather than short term solutions. In this way, the hard work of developing a sense of inclusion and belonging might be attainable.

What We’re Up To

  • The DEI team is updating SCS's NSF Broadening Participation in Computing Plan and will follow up with new guidance for faculty and business administrators, once approved.
  • The DEI team will be reaching out to schedule meetings with departmental DEI committees.


This semester, Women@SCS and SCS4All meetings will be held every other Monday at 4:30 p.m. (virtually to start). A new group, SCS4A11y, will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays (virtually to start). If you are interested in joining these meetings, email the DEI team and we will direct you to the right place!

Thank you,
The DEI Team