By Wendy Ross | STC Associate Fellow
The STC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Panel (DEIAP) was developed to provide advice, insight, and recommendations on matters of diversity and inclusion to both the STC Board of Directors and the STC staff. The goal of the DEIAP is to ensure not only equitable access and treatment of all persons and a diversity of voices in all things STC, but ultimately to create a pervasive experience of inclusion and belonging for all who interact with STC.
The panel provides guidance on a range of diversity, equity and inclusion areas, so that the Society can consider and take actions that include members and potential members of different age, nation of origin or nation of residence, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, marital status, education, language, physical appearance, and ethnic identity. The DEIAP seeks to impact how STC members, leaders, and guests feel about engaging with STC at the international and local level.
Early Work: Clarifying STC Stance and Policies
The DEIAP formed in the summer of 2020 under the leadership of Chair Wendy Ross, with inaugural members Andrea Brennan, Agnes Crentsil, Viqui Dill, Liz Fraley, Toni Mantych, Mak Pandit, and Roger Renteria.
Its first action was to develop the following policy statement, adopted by the board, to express STC’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the broadest terms:
“STC is committed to supporting the participation of all members, volunteers, and guests across the globe. STC policies and training will ensure we all respect, encourage, and develop our colleagues’ perspectives, ideas, and efforts, while providing opportunities for growth to all members.”
The DEIAP is currently working on updates to the STC Ethical Principles. A link to these principles can be found in the References section at the end of this column.
In 2021, to help STC fully realize its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the DEIAP will develop recommendations for educating leaders, members, and guests about unconscious bias and ways to practice inclusiveness. This work will include guidelines on how to use more inclusive language in all our communications—at home, at work, online, and in STC meetings and programs. The panel will also recommend or conduct content reviews to ensure that STC websites, publications, presentations, and webinars are inclusive.
How You Can Get Involved
You can help us meet our DEI goals! First, if you have ideas for diversity, equity, and inclusion programming, articles or resources you’d like to see, or if you have leads on effective educators or resources, please contact Wendy Ross or any member of the DEIAP.
Second, keep your eye out for upcoming training programs and articles and let us know if they are impactful.
Third, help us model inclusiveness by being aware of STC’s commitment to DEI and treating everyone with respect, celebrating differences, and asking people how they want to be treated, rather than making assumptions.
Fourth, be an ally and speak up if you see behavior that you consider harassment or not inclusive. If you do not feel comfortable intervening in a situation, support the victim in private and ask STC how the organization can help.
Finally, participate as a leader in your Chapter, SIG, or run for STC office. Diverse candidates and leaders who support DEI initiatives are critical for our success.
WENDY ROSS (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an STC Associate Fellow and former President of the STC Rochester Chapter. She is the Chair of STC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Panel (DEIAP), Former Director of the DEI Committee for the PMI Rochester Chapter. Wendy is a senior project manager and a doctoral candidate at St. John Fisher College, focusing on leadership and DEI.
Society for Technical Communication. n.d. “STC Ethical Principles.” Accessed 7 April 2021. https://www.stc.org/about-stc/ethical-principles/.