By Tim Rivera
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Interim Program Manager & Advisor to the CEO
We are in the midst of a collective reckoning around questions of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), one in which we must face the stark realities of racism, inequality, and discrimination in our societies. World Learning is no exception.
World Learning and SIT are committed to doing the work required by this DEI journey, ensuring that our values are reflected in our internal practices and culture as much as they are in our external work. To be sure, it is a journey with a set direction, one that is constantly being negotiated, but without a firm destination or end date. It is challenging, takes time, and requires investment.
In broad terms, 2020 was about determining where exactly we were on our journey, principally through an independent analysis conducted by Diversity Abroad. We continued that work in 2021, reflecting on Diversity Abroad’s conclusions and recommendations. They found that World Learning’s staff and faculty were incredibly passionate about our mission, and that we could do better in several areas, from breaking down internal siloes and creating a more inclusive culture to moving toward a more proactive stance on DEI.
Strong commitment from leadership and a comprehensive strategy cutting across the organization—from core corporate functions to academic and student affairs—would be essential.
The coming year will focus on taking Diversity Abroad’s broad conclusions and turning them into concrete actions. We are embarking on a salary compensation project to ensure equitable pay, which is critical to attracting and retaining diverse staff and a key component of a truly inclusive organization.
We are also preparing to launch a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that will include a diverse group of faculty and staff from all corners of World Learning and SIT. This committee will help create an organization-wide DEI Strategic Framework and engage with senior leadership to provide support and accountability on its implementation.
The Strategic Framework will focus on people, programs, culture, and capacity, each with priority areas of work and specific timelines.
We look forward to reporting on our progress in a year’s time and remain committed to being transparent about our efforts so that you can help to keep us accountable as the organization continues its journey to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.