The Sassy Scientist – Including Inclusivity

The Sassy Scientist – Including Inclusivity

In a previous post I gave a cristal-clear explanation on what to write in a “teaching statement”, an essential document in your tenure-track application package. In this post I shall offer invaluable insight on an even more obscure document required for academic job hunters, by answering Inessa’s question:

What should you include in your “diversity, equity, inclusion statement”?

Dear Inessa,

To begin with, I suggest you refer to it as the DEI statement. As you know, we love acronyms and you won’t be taken seriously if you don’t use them, especially on the other side of the pond.

At the very least, the DEI statement must reassure the hiring committee that you are not a misoginist, an harrasser, a racist or a bigot. We will referr to this category of people as MHRB (pronounced merb, where the e sounds as the i in dirt). This is totally understandable, because universities cannot be expected to do their part and make an example of every single MHRB in their ranks. No, sir. Universities want to outsource the responsibility to hiring committees, who should not be hiring MHRBs in the first place. Hiring committees, in turn, satisfy their contractual obligation by asking you to write a statement that could be easily copied from the internet because, let’s be honest, nobody would check. Not that I am suggesting you do that. My editor would have my head on a platter if I were.

So here you are, having to write your original essay that should include the following:

  1. Why DEI matters to you? And don’t write `because you asked me to write this statement’. That is exaclty what a MHRB would say.
  2. How have you contributed to DEI in the past? Go ahead and write of that one time you graciously allowed a student to your class even though they were 2 minutes late. That is a very non-MHRB thing to do.
  3. How are you going to contribute to DEI in your future institute? a.k.a.: how are you going to make your future students believe that there are absolutely no MHRBs in said institute?

If you manage to avoid the temptation of plagiarism there is actually plenty of examples online from which to draw some inspiration.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist

PS: It was really hard to resist the temptation of copying this post from the internet

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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