Diversity, equity and inclusion: organizational strategies during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Sangeeta Lamba, M. Bishr Omary, Brian Strom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented health, economic and social ramifications. Cumulative stressors for healthcare organizations during the pandemic have an impact on the morale of the workforce. The impact of magnified health disparities with ongoing disproportionate loss of lives of people of color combined with the racial injustices has left many colleagues and communities traumatized and seeking solutions. This is a moment in time for organizations to lean into the strengths of their diversity leadership to strengthen a culture of inclusion and build resilience for their employees. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use an organizational case study to describe the initiatives and experiences related to fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging at an academic health center during the initial epicenter of the pandemic. Findings: The authors weekly community building virtual cafes, leveraging funding for diversity initiatives and visible ways to showcase the work of colleagues have been feasible, sustainable and had positive outcomes. Similar processes may assist other institutions and organizations seeking to enhance efforts for inclusion while distancing. Research limitations/implications: Strategies described are generalizable but the authors report on one organization's experience. Originality/value: Intentional strategies that help build a deeper sense of community are essential for institutions during the disruption of pandemic related physical distancing. Inclusive decisions anchored in equity and inclusion as core institutional values will be essential to sustain resilience as the authors seek to build the new “equitable” normal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Health Organization and Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy

Keywords

  • Belonging
  • COVID-19
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Inclusion
  • Leadership

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