After this summer’s tragic events, it was clear that much work needed to be done to close the gap on racial inequalities and create more diverse and inclusive practices. In response, the UGA Career Center created a statement to reflect our commitment to DEI work through career programming, services, and resources. Six months later, we are looking back at our efforts in order to track our progress. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we would like to communicate the highlights of this important work. While we are proud of our efforts, there is certainly more to be done.


Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The UGA Career Center reaffirms our commitment to providing programming, services, and resources for our Black Students and Students of Color that address diversity, inclusion, and equity. Our department’s area of influence is career development. As such, we will continue considering and discussing the ways in which racism impacts career decision-making, access to employment, and continuing education practices. Specifically, the UGA Career Center will:


1

Commitment #1

Continue to expand career-related programs to address diversity, inclusion, and equity in the job search and workplace to help Black Students and Students of Color find meaningful careers.

ACTION

Created and executed 12 DEI programs, partnering with employers, the Office of International Student Life, the LGBT Resource Center, the Office of Multicultural Services & Programs, the Disability Resource Center, the Black Male Leadership Society student organization, and The Industry student organization.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Arch Ready Programming
    • Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
    • Diversity & Inclusion Internship Panel
    • Identities in the Workplace
    • Disabilities in the Workplace
    • Men of Color in the Workplace
    • Women in the Workplace
  • International Coffee Hour, sponsored by the UGA Mentor Program
  • Created new series, D&I Employer Spotlights, to highlight the D&I commitment from our employers (3 events; 13 employer participants)
  • The Value of Mentorship: Developing Identity Based Relationships, partnered with Black Male Leadership Society (3 Alumni Mentors of Color served as guest speakers; 61 student attendees)
  • Breaking Barriers: Being Black in the Entertainment and Media Industry, partnered with student organization, The Industry (4 Black alumni speakers; a Black student moderator; 71 student attendees)

2

Commitment #2

Prioritize collaborations with employers and UGA departments seeking to address employment inequity.

ACTION

Engaged 53 employers through a newly developed series, D&I Employer Spotlights (13), and through our existing UGA Career Center Virtual D&I Fall Recruiting Event (40).

  • Partnered with employers and D&I campus partners for D&I Employer Spotlights
    • 13 employers and 3 campus partners (Disability Resource Center, LGBTQ Resource Center, Multicultural Services and Programs)
  • Increased the diversity of Arch Ready panelists to provide students with examples of various identities and experiences
    • 98.3% of students who completed the Arch Ready Professionalism Certificate strongly agree/agree: I was provided with examples and materials that helped me feel included and that applied to my situation or my identity.
    • 99.58% of students who completed the Arch Ready Professionalism Certificate strongly agree/agree: I learned from panelists of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities on career-related topics.
  • Suit Up Scholarship (380 scholarships awarded in fall 2020)
  • Virtual D&I Fall Recruiting Event: Connected 40 employers with ~130 UGA students
  • SGA Clothing Closet promotion and partnership

3

Commitment #3

Continue our efforts to recruit and hire professional and student staff members who reflect our diverse student body.

ACTION

Created a more inclusive recruitment and selection process for Career Center staff vacancies.

  • Consultant Search Process DEI Updates
    • Created search committee open to all Career Center staff members
    • Included external DAR Talent Management representative in search committee
    • Worked with our staff to clarify “fit,” resulting in the creation of a document that outlined explicit skills and qualities required for the position
    • Updated candidate interview questions and evaluation form to reflect job description and fit document

4

Commitment #4

Listen, learn, and educate our staff about the career development challenges faced by Black Students and Students of Color.

ACTION

Provided three professional development opportunities for staff to learn and hold candid conversations on how to best meet the career development needs of Black Students and Students of Color at UGA.

  • Career Center Leadership Listening Sessions with Black team members
  • Career Work is Justice Work Career Center Staff Roundtable: facilitated by Kyle Poe
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE) Virtual Annual Conference (12 staff members participated)

5

Commitment #5

Continue to develop new ideas, programming, resources, and innovations to address the career development challenges faced by Black Students and Students of Color.

ACTION

Six Career Center staff members have participated/are participating in institution-wide programs, committees, and task forces to help address the needs of Black Students and Students of Color and bring about positive systemic change at UGA.

  • Mentor Program Informational Interview feature, a new program to provide better access to mentors for all UGA students
  • 60th Anniversary of Desegregation Fundraising Committee participant, Toria Carter
  • UGA Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community Recommendation Submission, Camille Liverpool – Rising Sun Career Academy
  • UGA Staff Council subcommittee - Dismantling Systemic Racism participant, Kyle Poe
  • DAR DEI Working Group Members, Kyle Poe and Bethany Mills
  • MSP Lecture Series: Positive Activism in the Professional World, presented by Brianna Bennett and Destiny Loyd

Next Steps and Continued Commitment

While the UGA Career Center is proud of the work we are doing, we know that work in diversity, inclusion, and equity is ongoing. Over the next semester and year, we hope to create new resources and processes to ensure we are providing diverse, inclusive, and equitable services to our students, employers, campus partners, and staff. Below is a list of action items that we hope to complete.

Employer-related:
  • Create an “Employers' Guide to D&I Hiring at UGA” website section/guide
  • Organize DEI training for employers interested in recruiting UGA’s diverse talent
  • Update current hireUGA.com diversity resources for employers
Staff-related:
  • Plan a Spring 2021 DEI training workshop for all staff
  • Create a checklist of diverse marketing strategies to hire student employees (language to use and places to promote to enhance diversity hiring)
  • Implement ongoing DEI training and development for student employees
Student-related:
  • Update career.uga.edu diversity resources for students
  • Create a best practices guide for consultants to incorporate DEI into presentations
  • Provide career development resources from diverse authors/speakers to continue supporting the career development challenges of our students
  • Facilitate a diverse student focus group to learn about their experiences, career development needs, and programming ideas
Campus Partner-related:
  • Participate in campus-wide Diversity Collaborative group, Toria Carter
  • Form a campus-wide Diversity working group, statement, and strategies, facilitated by Career Center Mentor Lab

We look forward to new partnerships, new innovative programs, and finding new ways to best meet the career development needs of our students and the hiring needs of our employers. We welcome feedback and accountability from the UGA community as we continue this important work.