Diversity and Inclusion Committee Formed
Friday, March 16, 2018
Posted by: Brook Pritchett
AIS is excited to introduce the creation of a standing committee on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). The committee is responsible for reviewing D&I efforts with AIS, identify recommendations based on concerns brought to AIS Council members and staff, and examine the state of D&I on a periodic basis to identify problems, successes, and opportunities to serve AIS members.
The D&I committee was created in response to the changing global climate affecting IS scholars by the AIS Special Interest Group on Social Inclusion (SIG SI). SIG SI’s executive team formed a task force in early 2017 to help identify barriers to IS scholars' full participation in the AIS community, develop mechanisms for alerting AIS to issues that limit people's participation, and assist AIS in developing services and/or policies to promote D&I.
The task force engaged in several activities including examining the D&I practices of AIS and benchmarked D&I practices of similar professional associations, hosting a professional development workshop on social inclusion in practice and pedagogy at the 2017 Americas Conference on Information Systems, interviewing AIS members about their inclusion and exclusion experiences, and conducting a survey of AIS members to assess perceptions.
Based on the findings from these efforts, the D&I standing committee was formed. Members of the committee include Michelle Carter, president of SIG SI, Renee Pratt and Guillermo Rodriguez-Abitia from Region 1, Andreas Eckhardt and Emma Coleman from Region 2, Felix Tan and Rose Alinda Alias from Region 3, and Ryan Wright as AIS Council Representative.
“I want all community members to be able to participate fully in any AIS activities that they wish to without restriction or barriers on any grounds,” said Region 2 representative Emma Coleman. “I hope we can be a catalyst for developing a culture of inclusion within AIS that becomes part of our very structure, where each member, no matter what their standing or the activity they are participating in, is cognizant of inclusion issues and how their actions, or lack of action, may lead to exclusion, for example through lack of provision for access or lack of inclusion of diverse and widely relevant content. I share the sentiment of Sandi Toksvig regarding her Women's Equity Party: my ultimate aim for this committee is that it should no longer need to exist.”