IDSA’s new Inclusion, Diversity, Access and Equity Task Force met for the first time at IDWeek. 1st row, left to right: Jasmine Marcelin, MD; Katie Bourgoin; Salandra Fleming; Tina Tan, MD, FIDSA. 2nd row, left to right: Raul Macias Gil, MD; Dawd Siraj, MD, FIDSA; Chris Busky, CAE; Janet Gilsdorf, MD, FIDSA, FPIDS; Ravina Kullar, PharmD, MPH, FIDSA; Paul Auwaerter, MD, FIDSA; Lilian Abbo, MD, FIDSA.
The task force, chaired by Tina Tan, MD, FIDSA, was appointed in September 2018.
Its first goal was to develop guiding principles for the Society to ensure that the IDSA Board and committees reflect the depth of diversity within our membership, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, geographic location, clinical vs. non-clinical, among other factors.
The following principles were approved by the IDSA Board on Dec. 6:
We are committed to build a Society based on the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Access, and Equity (IDA&E). To achieve this, we will intentionally:
- Cultivate a welcoming environment where differences are embraced, valued, and respected.
- Ensure that processes, policies, and practices foster fairness, belonging, equity, and reflect the views and values of our Society,
- Guarantee transparency to promote fair treatment and access to opportunities for all members within all levels of the organization.
The task force will also help develop professional pathways that expand the Society volunteer leadership pipeline and create a IDA&E roadmap that provides a clear definition, metrics and guidance on the Society’s ongoing efforts to achieve and maintain inclusion, diversity, access and equity.
At its March 2019 meeting, the IDSA Board of Directors approved the following Case Statement:
To promote unrivaled healthcare delivery, education, research and advocacy within our organization, IDSA embraces inclusion, diversity, access and equity (IDA&E) as key drivers of excellence and innovation. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment that recognizes the value of individuals with diverse backgrounds, talents, experiences and perspectives, and empowers them to fulfill their full potentials within the Society and in the community. We strive to build collaborative relationships with other organizations to further ensure the success of our Society's missions, and we serve as a champion for the principles of IDA&E in the global Infectious Diseases community.
We build our IDA&E principles on the foundation of published data demonstrating that:
- Diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes higher quality decisions, and enhances economic growth.1
- Diversifying leadership helps to cultivate, develop, and advance new talent and presents new opportunities for organizations.2
- Teams comprised of individuals with varying perspectives, ideas, and backgrounds outperform homogeneous teams on problem solving tasks.3
- Inclusive environments are intrinsically tied to collaboration, innovation, and ultimately intellectual excellence.4
- The primary way to diversify leadership is to systematically eliminate barriers for advancement for those traditionally underrepresented, cultivate the talent pipeline, and integrate IDA&E principles throughout our organization.
IDSA will lead by example on IDA&E in the following ways:
- IDSA recognizes and honors the histories, accomplishments and legacies of all people; seeks to secure the future excellence of an innovative and creative Society; and intentionally recruits individuals with diverse talents into the organization.
- IDSA cultivates leaders who respect and value differences and empowers our members, whose diverse perspectives and experiences strengthen their decision-making.
- IDSA supports cultural awareness in order to facilitate excellence in education, research and healthcare delivery to a global community with different backgrounds, values and attitudes in order to address their needs in a sensitive and competent manner.
- IDSA is committed to creating and implementing accountability strategies to ensure sustainable progress in achieving our IDA&E goals and to publishing the results of our assessments.