For the next few months, we will look at the MnSCU leadership competencies associated with Leader as Relationship Builder. Our March focus is on valuing diversity. We’re pleased to start off with a two-part post by guest blogger Ka Vang, Diversity Programs Director.
How can leaders respond to diversity?
As leaders in higher education, we cannot ignore the changing demographic of Minnesota and the United States, which is directly impacting our system workforce and students.
- In 2004, 1 of every 2.5 Americans was a person of color and 1 of every 1.5 children under 9-years-old was a person of color (U.S. Census Bureau).
- Hispanic population is expected to triple from 2010 to 2050 (Pew Research Center).
- By 2050, nearly half of the U.S. populations will be non-whites (WorkforceDiversityNetwork.com).
- Non-whites are the majority in a significant portion of the largest 100 cities in the United States (WorkforceDiversityNetwork.com).
- There may be up to five generations of employees in the workplace (Society for Human Resource Management).
How can leaders address the changing demographics? How do we demonstrate that we value diversity? One solution that has worked at various higher education institutions is called the Diversity Scorecard. This model allows for strategic actions to be performed based on precise data, rather than assumptions and anecdotal evidence. In this age of evidence-based strategic planning and outcomes, the Diversity Scorecard engages higher education institutions to bring about equity by doing the following three things:
- Awareness: Engage in institutional self-assessment to provide a clear and unambiguous picture of inequities.
- Interpretation: Analyze and integrate the meaning of the inequities.
- Action: Develop strategic actions to achieve equity in educational outcomes based on data, not assumptions.
The Diversity Scorecard approach examines data through four perspectives:
- Institutional Receptivity
For more information on the Diversity Scorecard:
University of Wisconsin – library of articles on the Diversity Scorecard
University of Southern California – The Center for Urban Education in the Rossier School of Education
Reflecting on the scenario in Part 1, using this approach will help you have clear and concise answers for the reporter who asks you if you value diversity as a leaders – one that comes from the heart.