Graduate School Equity
& Diversity Committee
Best Practices / FAQ
The Graduate School Equity & Diversity Committee hopes that the following list of best
practices will be a helpful resource for others across the University of Wisconsin-Madison
campus who are looking for ideas to improve workplace climate, equity and diversity.
Based on July 2007 and February 2008 center reports from the GSE&D Committee members,
common themes across the centers were identified. The following center best practices
and success stories were key to improving climate and creating inclusive environments that
provide opportunities for all individuals working in the Graduate School centers.
What is meant by equity?
While fairness of salary is an important part of equity, our focus is on fairness: how
employees are treated in the workplace and creating inclusive environments that provide
opportunities for all individuals through recruitment, retention, climate, mentoring and
What is meant by diversity?
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means
understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing our individual
differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender,
sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious
beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies.
Why focus on equity and diversity?
Focusing on equity and diversity is important because it:
- Promotes recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff
that better represents the U.S. population
- Promotes the creation of work and learning environments that
support excellence for all
- Better prepares our undergraduate and graduate students for productive
work and better citizenship in a multi-cultural global economy
- Ensures our institution's competitiveness with funding agencies
Graduate School centers worked on improving office climate by building community, equity and
fair treatment, providing flexibility for employees, and communicating well and establishing a dialogue.
Read what they did and the results.
- How can I help build community?
- What are other departments doing to improve equity and fair treatment of employees?
- How can I provide more flexibility for employees?
- How can my office improve communication?
- How can we improve recruitment/hiring practices?
- Who is responsible for equity and diversity issues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison?
- Where can I find information on professional development?
- How does my department/center compare to others in terms of overall satisfaction?
- How does my department/center compater to others in terms of diversity?
- How do we design and conduct climate surveys? (Review examples, templates, descriptions of other climate surveys).
- Who can I contact to become more involved in equity and diversity efforts?
- How do I conduct an exit interview?
- What recruitment resources are available?
- What can I do about discrimination or harrassment?
- What can I do about low workplace morale?
- What are some of the other problems departments/centers are experiencing?
Am I the only one feeling ________________?
- How do I know if we have a problem at my department?