Innovative Ways To Use Higher Education Diversity Programs

March 10, 2017 by Meredith Brandt

Want to find an industry that’s making progress in creating a more diverse workforce? Take a look at higher education diversity programs and check out the results.


The importance and benefits of diversity in the workforce is not a new fact. Racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse ones by 35%. Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to earn above-average revenue. The statistics go on.

But for an industry like higher education, diversity really matters.

Within student populations in higher education, diversity has been a priority for quite some time. But, that priority was less emphasized among faculty and staff until more recently. Statistics show, however, that under 20% of the nation’s professoriate consists of persons of color, and in certain disciplines, that number falls to under 10%. Looking at gender, under 10% of STEM professors are women, and for women of color that number falls even more. “In the science and engineering fields that Nelson studied, only three hundred URM women populated the faculties of the top fifty research universities,” it states in an article titled Diversifying the Faculty on the Association of American Colleges & Universities site. “When the biological, social, behavioral, and economic sciences were removed from the mix, fewer than one hundred women remained.”

Higher education diversity programs are taking steps towards shifting these statistics.

For example, Careerminds’ has worked with institutions that use a variety of programs in order to aid their higher education diversity efforts.

Talent development is crucial in any industry, and especially in higher ed. Careerminds’ team has the capability to train and develop higher education talent with its Leadership Development & Executive Coaching service. In addition to external diversity recruiting efforts, higher education diversity measures can be taken to diversify the faculty from within.

Even Careerminds’ retirement planning program Evergreen, for example, can be an important tool for creating space for diversity. At 26% of the workforce, educational services is the #1 industry with the largest percentage of workers over the age of 55. And, as many of those pre-retiree faculty members are white men, their retirement makes room for more diverse candidates to fill their spots. Higher education institutions can use retirement planning programs to engage faculty and staff in conversations about retirement readiness and encourage reluctant retirees to make the jump.

Click below to check out this free eBook to learn how higher education diversity programs can be used to address the challenges facing higher ed HR!

higher education human resources

Meredith Brandt

Meredith Brandt

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