Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). We hear DEI mentioned in the workplace and on social media all the time, but what does it actually mean? How do you actually encourage and embody DEI in your own practice?
The veterinary industry has people that come from all kinds of backgrounds, families, and places. Understanding the need for DEI in our industry allows veterinary professionals to better care for and provide for pets and owners in underserved communities. DEI can also aid in building a better veterinary future, as it opens the door for individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives to collaborate, ideate, and grow together.
Truly understanding and embracing DEI is a journey, and we are all still on it, so it’s important for us to take an honest look at where we are today and continue to learn and grow as much as we can. We aren’t experts by any means, but we want to provide as many resources as possible for us to continue bettering ourselves and our understanding of those around us.
Add it to your favorites, bookmark it or save the link. Whatever you do, use this page as a resource to learn more about Assessment, Awareness, and Advocacy for DEI!
Before you try to implement change in your practice, it’s important to know where your practice needs to see change. Here are a few resources for you to assess where your practice stands in regard to DEI:
According to builtin.com, Implicit (or Unconscious) Biases are prejudices and stereotypes individuals have about certain groups of people that they aren’t consciously aware of having.
A few common examples of Implicit Bias include:
- Affinity Bias: The tendency to connect with others who are similar to yourself
- Confirmation Bias: Drawing conclusions about someone based on your personal wants
- Attribution Bias: Making a decision about a person based on a prior observation
- Conformity Bias: The tendency to act similar to those around you; peer pressure
- Gender Bias: The tendency to prefer one gender over another
- Ageism: The tendency to have negative feelings about someone based on age
- Name Bias: The tendency to judge someone based on the origin of their name
When going through a hiring process, or even in your day-to-day activities in the practice, it’s important to get a proper assessment of where you may have implicit biases and work towards preventing them from impacting your hiring and operational decisions. To learn more about implicit/unconscious biases, check out builtin.com’s article here!
If you’re a reader, here are a few great books you can read to learn more about Assessment for DEI:
Now that you know where you stand, it’s time to get educated. Here are some resources we’ve found to help you learn and understand what DEI looks like and how you can start to celebrate it in your practice:
- According to BLS Veterinarians nationwide are 93.3% White, 1.2% Black or African American, 5.6% Asian, and 4.7 Hispanic or Latino
- In the AAVMC 2019-2020 Annual Report, there were 13,323 veterinary students of which approximately 8-10% identified as bisexual, listed sexual orientation as not answered, preferred not to answer regarding gender or did not list a gender (no data was reported for gay and lesbian individuals, non-binary, or gender non-conforming identities*).
- According to BLS 64.2% of veterinarians are women, but research shows that women still lag behind men when it comes to pay rates.
- According to AAVMC ADMISSIONS: REPORT OF 2019 STUDENT SURVEY ANALYSIS, unintentional bias occurred during the 2019 veterinary medical college admissions processes at AAVMC member institutions
Here is a great book and some articles to help walk you through DEI Awareness:
Be a Better Ally from the Harbor Business Review
How to Be an Ally from Today’s Veterinary Business
DEI isn’t just a day, month, or event. It should be found in the things your practice does beyond the hospital doors. Here are some resources to help walk you through what it means to advocate for DEI in veterinary medicine:
There are plenty of groups you can become a part of to advocate for DEI in the veterinary industry. Start today by joining one (or all) of the groups below!
Bettering yourself and your understanding of DEI is, in itself, part of DEI Advocacy! Here are a few books to help you as you walk through your journey:
Want to dive deeper into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
With DEI being a topic that is changing and growing constantly, we’re glad that you’re making the effort to continue bettering your understanding of DEI. Here are a few more places for you to look into as you continue your journey with DEI.
- Combating Racism in Veterinary Medicine
- Diversity, Marginalization, and Intersectionality
- Unconscious Bias: How it Affects Us and Our Teams
- Harbor.vet CREATING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE
- Wake Up Vet Med – Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association
- Veterinary Medical Association Executives
- Diverse Books by Diverse Voices Book Club – Iowa State University CVM
- Certificates for Diversity & Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine – Purdue University CVM
- American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges
- DEIB certifications for veterinary teams by Blend
DEI on Campus
Looking for ways to help spread awareness for DEI? See how you can get involved on your campus!
- Iowa State University
- University of Florida
- University of Wisconsin
- University of Minnesota
- University of Arizona
- University of Illinois
- Texas A&M
- Michigan State University
- Virginia-Maryland CVM
- The Ohio State University
- Louisiana State University
- UC Davis
- Washington State University
- NC State
- University of Georgia
- Oregon State University
- Cornell University
- University of Tennessee
- Colorado State
- Ross University
- University of Pennsylvania
- American Association of Asian Veterinary Professionals
- American Association of Veterinarians of Indian Origin
- Black DVM Network
- Latinx Veterinary Medical Association
- Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association
- National Association of Black Veterinarians
- Pride Veterinary Medical Association
- Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative