Developing scientists as champions of diversity to transform the geosciences
Quardokus Fisher, Kathleen
Simmons, Denise R.
Dixon, P. Grady
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To address complex geoscience questions, communities with a variety of experiences and perspectives are needed in local workplaces and institutions across academia and government. To achieve this goal, geoscience needs leaders who are champions of diversity and who have positive attitudes toward others and act upon these attitudes to become change agents in advancing diversity and creating inclusive environments. We established a professional development workshop, Geo Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD) Institutes, to provide geoscience leaders with the tools and skills necessary to be self-reflective of their own ideas and to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their respective institutions. Our objective was to equip senior geoscientists, who are at the core of local communities of practice (CoPs), with knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion theories and practices to lead change across the discipline. In this preliminary report, we investigate institute participants’ perceptions of allophilia (love of the other) and identify actions taken by senior geoscientists to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within local CoPs. Results indicate that senior geoscientists who participated in the institute had high scores on the allophilia scale and took steps to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into their day-to-day activities, and in a few cases created new workplace support structures for diversity and inclusion. Future work will build on these results by refining professional development opportunities that target the needs of geoscience champions of diversity.