News & Press: InSider

Report on Social Inclusion from AIS SIG Social Inclusion

Thursday, June 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brook Pritchett

The Association for Information System’s Special Interest Group for Social Inclusion has published a report, providing key information and tasks in which the organization must take to deliver a positive, inclusive work environment.

After the 2017 executive order putting restriction on immigration, the SIG-SI team was asked to serve as an outlet for members to actively promote diversity among the organization and sustain inclusivity. Since then, the group has hosted workshops, conducted surveys over the members perception of inclusivity, delivered recommendations to the AIS leadership council and set benchmarks based on similar organizations. AIS Social Inclusion Task Force Chair Jaime Windeler said the group put in extensive work and research to find exactly what the diverse population of AIS needs to increase inclusivity.

“The Task Force on Social Inclusion has been exploring AIS members’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion,” Windeler said. “AIS is already doing a lot to help members fully participate and we’ve compiled these efforts in our reports, but we identified some additional areas of need. Our report for AIS communities identifies these areas along with suggestions for addressing them.”

Based on the surveys, interviews and workshops, the group organized takeaways to could improve the organization’s goal of inclusivity. First, they found the more participation and involvement members had in the community increased their perception of feeling included. Those who were more involved in certain groups and activities inside of AIS, such as event planning and activities, leadership roles, etc., felt a greater connection with their peers. The group found multiple other takeaways in which they were able to focus to promote a larger and more inclusive community in AIS.

In these findings, the group organized several recommendations for the multiple communities inside of AIS. Their top three initiatives were for these communities to set inclusion goals for their specific communities, develop strategies for reaching those goals, and consider a variety of avenues to increase diversity and inclusion through member engagement.

“AIS can play a key role in helping each of us self-monitor for hidden biases and overcome tendencies to associate only with similar others. They can help ensure members have role models for diversity and inclusion, set and reach D&I goals, and encourage communities and members to surround themselves by those who look, act, and think differently,” Windeler said. “This role is important because there are so many benefits to diversity and inclusion—benefits related to innovation and performance, equity and policy, research and teaching, and simple self-preservation. We talk about these benefits in our community report.”

SIG-SI continues to act on ensuring global diversity across the three regions of AIS. To do this, they have included a member from each region in the group, rotated the annual conference to each region every year and make sure every demographic feels included in the organization. 

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