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Diversity and Organizational Culture Survey: Useful Methodological Tool or Pandoras Box

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Title: Diversity and Organizational Culture Survey: Useful Methodological Tool or Pandoras Box


1
Diversity and Organizational Culture
Survey Useful Methodological Tool or Pandoras
Box?
  • Laura Lillard
  • UW Libraries Diversity Officer
  • and Education Librarian
  • University of Washington, Seattle

2
Diversity and Organizational Culture/Climate
Surveys
  • Several other academic libraries have done
    surveys and some have posted results on their
    homepages
  • Penn State Duke UVA Tennessee Arizona
    Maryland, others?
  • Only a handful have published in the
    literature…why?
  • If we survey we must be prepared to act upon the
    results

3
What is Diversity at the UW?
  • The Libraries doesnt have its own definition of
    diversity so we used the Universitys
  • Diversity can include attention-sensitivity to
    race, gender, disability, class, sexual
    identity/orientation, religion, national origin,
    age, ethnicity, culture, region/geography,
    indigenousness, language and ideology in
    hiring/retention practices or in service policies.

4
University of Washington Libraries
  • I-200 State law prohibits the consideration of
    race, color, national origin, ethnicity and sex
    in admissions and employment decisions
  • 2004 student population compared to 2000
  • Up 15.6 for Asian Americans (6,900 to 8,180)
    16.2 for African Americans (879 to 1,049) 14.1
    for Hispanic Americans (1,168 to 1,361).
  • Down 7 for Native Americans (421 to 418)
  • 18 of Classified and Professional Staff are
    minorities
  • 13 of Librarians are minorities (17 Asian 2
    Black 1 Hispanic)

5
The UW Libraries Bumpy Road to Diversity
  • Diversity identified as key action area in 2001
    strategic plan
  • Diversity and Organizational Culture Task Force
    formed 2001 and reformed 2002
  • Task Force reconstituted 2004
  • All 3 were charged to conduct a survey and write
    a diversity plan

6
The UW Libraries Diversity and Organizational
Culture Survey 2004
  • Created a unique survey instrument
  • 33 Questions, 7 of which were open-ended
  • 3 Sections
  • Demographics Diversity Organizational Culture
  • 5 point scale
  • Excellent Good Average Fair Poor NA
  • Participants included
  • Classified Staff Professional Staff
  • Provisional Librarians and Permanent Librarians
  • Anonymity maintained

7
Overall response rate was 60.6 with 231 out of
381 responding
8
Percentage of respondents self-identified as
from an underrepresented group
9
Most Important Diversity Issues
  • Question 8 asked users to choose which diversity
    issues within the Libraries are most important to
    them

10
Diversity Performance
  • 45.5 of respondents rated both the Universitys
    and the Libraries performance in addressing
    diversity as Excellent/Good
  • The Libraries performance in recruiting a
    diverse workforce was rated Excellent/Good by
    only 27.6 of respondents
  • Only 32.4 of staff think we are doing
    Excellent/Good at retaining a diverse work force

11
Comments from staff on the elements of diversity
important to them
  • Racial/ethnic/cultural diversity should be given
    remedial attention as a top priority
  • Handicapped accessibility could be better
    addressed
  • English as a second language - how do we help
    staff work with patrons where language is a
    barrier
  • The retention and continual acquisition of
    materials in non-English languages is essential.
    While this is obviously going on at the moment, I
    feel that it may be at risk with declining
    budgets
  • Libraries doing a good job creating a welcoming
    atmosphere for GLBT staff
  • And that leads to one of my pet peeves - our
    tendency to be intolerant and thus exclusive - of
    views and approaches that are different from our
    own

12
Internal Communication
  • 70-75 of staff at all levels responded that
  • communication within your workplace
  • relationships among staff in your work area
  • communication with your supervisor
  • are Excellent/Good

13
External Communication
  • Less than half (47.6) of respondents indicated
    Excellent/Good regarding communication between
    different library areas (laterally)
  • Even fewer (36.6) gave that high rating to
    communication between library administration and
    your work area
  • All communication ratings tended to be higher
    among Professional Staff and Librarians Permanent
    than among Classified Staff or Librarians
    Provisional

14
Staff Development and Training
  • 57.2 of all respondents rated training and
    development support for promotion and advancement
    as Excellent/Good

15
Presentation of Results
  • The survey was conducted August 2004 and results
    presented December 2004
  • 2 Town Hall Meetings
  • Most questions addressed communication and
    organizational culture not diversity
  • Dean of Libraries made commitment to address
    those areas

16
Diversity Plan 2005
  • Diversity and Organizational Culture Task Force
    used results to craft Libraries Diversity Plan
  • Goals
  • To increase diversity at all levels
  • Promote inclusive and supportive workplace
  • Incorporate awareness of value and importance of
    diversity
  • Connect people of diverse backgrounds and
    ethnicities with knowledge
  • Appointment of Diversity Officer and Diversity
    Advisory Committee

17
Keys to Success
  • Library management must first view diversity as
    a business issue that affects the library
    industrys ability to compete effectively
    second, library management must view diversity as
    a top-down initiative that requires overhauls in
    the librarys traditional culture third, library
    management must create an environment that
    reflects this commitment.
  • Reese and Hawkins
  • Stop Talking Start Doing

18
Diversity Officer and Diversity Advisory
Committee
  • January 2006 a Diversity Officer was appointed
    half-time for a 2 year term
  • A Diversity Advisory Committee was appointed
    March 2006
  • The Officer and Committee will assist in
    realization of the Diversity Plan and its renewal
  • Realization of the plan depends on ALL staff!

19
Communication and Organizational Culture
  • Dean of Libraries and Libraries Cabinet responded
  • Communications Consultant brought in to assess
    communication and offer recommendations for
    improvements
  • Launched the Communication Enhancement
    Initiative
  • Appointment of an Organization and Development
    and Training Officer (and Advisory Committee) to
    oversee the initiative

20
Leadership, Community and Values Initiative
(LCVI)
  • This was a survey conducted by the University on
    workplace satisfaction
  • Some results analyzed and posted online
  • Unit specific results have not been shared
  • Desire for increased transparency in
    decision-making also a theme in LCVI

21
Survey! Share! Act!
  • Survey!
  • Surveys reveal unexpected information
  • If you dont ask, you wont know
  • Share your results!
  • Share even if they illuminate some unbecoming
    qualities
  • Act on the results!
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