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Update on IDEAL initiatives for staff

University-wide and school and unit-specific initiatives to create a more inclusive community advanced in 2022; plans for 2023 include expanding the IDEAL Learning Journey and improving the focus on diversity and inclusion in staff recruitment and retention.

A number of university-wide and school or unit-specific initiatives to create a more inclusive community advanced in 2022, including the university’s inaugural conference for DEIB professionals. New IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in a Learning Environment) programs, services, and support for staff are underway for 2023, including a program to strengthen the recruiting experience, and improvements to the IDEAL Learning Journey.

Improvements in recruiting

Four schools and units are piloting Inclusive Talent Acquisition (ITA), a new program designed to create a more inclusive recruiting and hiring experience.

The initiative was developed by the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee in partnership with University Human Resources (UHR) to accelerate the process of locating highly qualified and diverse potential staff and to provide support for hiring managers, interview teams, and external and internal candidates.

As part of the process, units work with a recruiter from the Talent Management & Workforce Strategy department in UHR to build more diverse talent pipelines and ensure that recruiting processes and tools are inclusive. Managers in the Graduate School of Business and the School of Engineering, and in the offices of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research and the Vice Provost for Student Affairs are among the first to use the new set of services.

Throughout 2023, the ITA program will expand to more schools and units as resources allow, and tools developed as part of the program will be made available to people managers across all schools and units. Visit the inclusive recruitment resources webpage to learn more.

Enhancements to the IDEAL Learning Journey

The IDEAL Learning Journey, a DEIB learning experience for staff that was designed to build awareness of racial equity and strengthen allyship skills, launched in the spring of 2022. More than 5,000 community members have completed or are in the process of completing the series of self-paced courses and virtual workshops.

Staff surveyed after completing the journey reported a positive experience with both the self-paced and the interactive components, rating them an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 points, and were highly likely to recommend the workshops to others.

One participant commented that the combination of “didactic, role plays, breakout discussions, and group discussions was a perfect balance to keep thoughts flowing and to learn while listening.” Another said they learned through the workshops “to be mindful and intentional. Instead of jumping right into solutions, taking a step back and saying, ‘How can I show up for you?’ ”

“I’ve heard a tremendous amount of positive feedback – excitement at the learning taking place and optimism for broad culture change – as well as frustration by members of marginalized communities because of the need to discuss topics that have caused them harm,” said Patrick Dunkley, vice provost for institutional equity, access, and community and a strategic advisor to the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee. “I believe all discussions and viewpoints are opportunities for growth and a shared understanding; that understanding and empathy for the lived experiences of others are what will lead to change. I hope all of us can turn our learnings into positive action, which benefits all of us.”

To improve the Learning Journey experience and make the program more widely available, a number of enhancements based on participant feedback have been made or are in process this year.

  • Improved accessibility: A modified version of the Learning Journey launched in the fall of 2022 in partnership with HR leaders in Athletics; Land, Buildings, & Real Estate; School of Medicine; and Residential & Dining Enterprises. The modifications, which include workshops held outside of standard office hours to accommodate staff members’ schedules and in-person workshops for staff who do not use technology in their work, will allow approximately 1,000 more staff to participate.
  • Coordination with STARS: Improvements in the STARS program took place in December 2022, based on participant feedback. Staff can now click on “Program Progress” to see their progress status on a single page. The appropriate learning track will now be automatically assigned when staff have a role change, and newly hired staff are automatically enrolled during their first week of employment.
  • Increased availability: The addition of hundreds of virtual, interactive workshops in 2023 will enable up to 6,000 additional staff to participate.
  • Open discussion groups: In 2023, discussion groups will be added before and after the workshops to support applying new skills in the workplace.
  • Guides for meaningful dialogue: In development are guides to help managers facilitate discussions within teams and bring Learning Journey concepts to the workgroup.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging support for staff

The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in University Human Resources (UHR-DEIB) was created in late 2021 to provide consolidated services for staff. UHR-DEIB works closely with the Office of Institutional Equity, Access, and Community to ensure alignment with IDEAL.

The UHR-DEIB team, led by Ayodele Thomas, associate vice president for DEIB, works with leaders and community members across the university to align efforts, lead and support staff initiatives, and embed DEIB in systems, policies, and practices for staff while fostering a culture of belonging and inclusive excellence.

Recently, the UHR-DEIB team established new DEIB communities of practice (DCPs) to facilitate cross-collaboration with Stanford DEIB professionals, and held Reset 2022, the university’s first conference for Stanford DEIB professionals to network, collaborate, and share the work they are engaged in around campus. The team also allocated additional resources to support the efforts of the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee.