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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

September 16, 2021

By Rodneikka Scott, Chief Membership & Diversity Programs Officer; and Kirsta Suggs, Associate Director of Professional Development 

The Endocrine Society is committed to developing and supporting a diverse and inclusive membership of clinicians, researchers, and educators. Our common goal is to promote health equity among all populations, and eliminate endocrine health disparities in our local, national, and global communities.

We strive every day to achieve these goals, but they are not new. The society’s objectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have been a topic of discussion among Society leaders for well over 25 years. 

In the early 1990s, the Society established a Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) — now known as the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CoDI) — to provide a framework for our efforts in this area.

Over the years, much of the focus was on “who’s in the room” — looking to ensure a balanced representation of different groups, as representation is a bedrock factor in achieving DEI goals. We have made strides in this area and continue working to ensure all decision-making bodies and programs across the Society reflect our diverse membership and the communities we serve. 

Working with CoDI and other groups, we also have advocated for DEI principles in the broader health care arena. Among recent activities, we:

Bringing Everyone Into the Picture

But the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion is not a solo job. It’s not just CoDI members or the Chief Membership & Diversity Programs Officer saying, “This is the way we are going to move forward.” 

To make enduring progress, we must clearly articulate the Society’s DEI mission and make sure its goals are understood and carried out by member leaders. We must establish programs and policies to create a cohesive vision that result in tangible and measurable outcomes. And we must harness the power of our DEI values to strengthen the Society’s collective scientific and clinical excellence.

In this next phase, we will begin to partner with member groups and staff to conduct DEI audits to establish baselines while reviewing policies, practices, and procedures. Our leadership is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that will enable the recruitment and retention of a diverse membership that reflects the communities served. 

Over the next 24 months, you will see such things as: 

  • Increased investment in initiatives to support members at varying stages of their careers;
  • Expanded resources to support an enterprise-wide strategy and vision around DEI; and 
  • New pipeline programs that not only will facilitate a more significant examination of systemic barriers, but will establish structures, strategies, and tactics to bring about needed change. 

The Society aims to empower all members to advance high-quality, equitable health care — while addressing health disparities — through practice, education, advocacy, research, and leadership. Together, we will continue to make headways in promoting an environment that helps members of all backgrounds feel valued for the diversity they bring to the profession. 

Please keep the following programs on your radar for the fourth quarter of 2021:

  • The Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology (FLARE) program will soon launch applications to identify our next cohort of talented early career scientists.
  • The Excellence in Clinical Endocrinology Leadership (ExCEL) program which has as its goal to cultivate a diverse cadre of physician leaders will also be accepting applications this fall. 
  • Special programming intended to showcase health disparities research will be available online.
  • Join conversations on important DEI related topics in a safe and supportive environment at the DEI Forum on Community Connect
  • News on our ENDO 2022 DEI events, including outreach efforts, awards, scientific sessions, and networking and mentoring events will be coming soon. 

To learn more about some of our previous efforts, visit the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage under Our Community. 


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