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Message from CIO Jessie Minton: Celebrating Our Diversity in IT

Throughout the month of June, we honor the richness of our diverse backgrounds. We recognize Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, and Juneteenth, now a federal holiday commemorating African American freedom, and highlighting achievement and education.  

When we place a high value on diversity, it demonstrates we recognize and appreciate each other’s contributions and perspectives. Not only is honoring diversity the right thing to do, but studies show diversity in the workplace drives organizational success. When we embrace diversity, it boosts morale and productivity, inspires decision making, sparks innovation and creativity, and enhances the overall customer experience.  

As an institution, Washington University works deliberately to develop and support a welcoming, diverse culture where ideas and viewpoints, and the professionals who offer them, are valued. This requires a commitment from each one of us to offer a safe environment for coworkers to bring their whole selves to work, so they may feel seen and heard. 

Informed by the university’s Here and Next and the IT ImpacT strategic plans, WashU IT’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee has engaged through broad collaboration since last summer to identify what equity, diversity, and inclusion mean to us. I invite you to review our definition of diversity, borne from those discussions:  

“At WashU IT, we recognize and appreciate the distinct talents, experiences, and perspectives of each team member. We are committed to cultivating an environment that embraces and celebrates the richness of our collective background, driving innovation, and expanding problem-solving capabilities.”  

As we reflect on ImpacT, how does this definition help us develop a clear understanding of our role in fostering a culture of inclusivity and collaboration? I encourage you all to consider what our definition of diversity means to you, professionally and personally. Please share your insights. 

As our EDI Committee continues its important work, please join me as we consider what it will take to become an equitable and inclusive organization where all people are motivated to reach their full potential. It is vital to embrace and respect the diversity of our teams, and ensure time is dedicated to education, self-reflection, and personal growth. This is necessary as we charter an intentional course for our individual and collective journey toward a destination that is an inclusive community.