University recognized for commitment to diversity, inclusion

The University of Miami gets a nod from Indeed, a top job website, for prioritizing a culture of belonging, and employees discuss the impact and importance of playing an active role in building a welcoming space for all.
University recognized for commitment to diversity, inclusion

In February, Indeed—an employment and career resource website—recognized the University of Miami as part of its inaugural list of inclusive companies, among organizations that value diversity and inclusion. This honor is based on the University’s commitment to a culture of belonging, which works to strengthen the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of the communities of South Florida and the world. 

Through a number of existing and new initiatives around diversity and inclusion, the University continues to foster respect for the differences among people, nurturing curiosity, and insisting upon high standards of thought, study, communication, and skills. “The diversity and inclusion workshops address the importance of action, even when the instance appears seemingly small,” said Ivan V. Ceballos Jr., executive director of Residential Life, Student Affairs. “Regardless of title or role, progress toward a more inclusive campus and work experience depends on everyone intervening and educating when opportunities arise or when we come across issues.” Ceballos is one of many at the University who, over the years, has successfully completed a variety of training and workshops centered around diversity and inclusion. 

“As the only university recognized on Indeed’s list of inclusive companies, we should all feel an immense sense of pride for the community effort put into the important challenge of promoting a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace culture,” said Mary Harper Hagen, vice president of Human Resources. “This solidifies our commitments, initiatives, and people that continue to be instrumental in ensuring the University is a welcoming place for all. I am particularly appreciative of Lisi Carreno, executive director of Talent Acquisition, and her team in HR for their focus on increasing the pool of diverse candidates.”

In July 2020, President Frenk outlined 15 University actions in pursuit of racial justice, which included the expansion of diversity and inclusion training opportunities for faculty and staff members. As part of the action plan, Human Resources has launched several new opportunities—Everfi online modules, Diversity Interactive Theatre program, and Racism and Inclusivity Awareness session—all designed to help employees understand various issues that impact diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

“The training sessions surrounding inclusion have been insightful and provide an opportunity to learn from each other as well as share our beliefs,” said Zuzer Calero, director of business operations, School of Nursing and Health Studies. “They have provided employees with a platform to think at a deeper level about the dynamics of our teams and the University.”

Calero believes that, through interactions with students and colleagues from different backgrounds, the University community has the opportunity to share and learn from diverse viewpoints and varied perspectives on life, work, and business. “We all have a story to share and we can all learn from each other,” she added.

For Titanya Ramsingh Pierce, director of strategic initiatives, Information Technology, the many employee resource groups and student organizations—made up of a diverse population from the University—provide opportunities for all groups, no matter their interests, to gather and form a community around these interests and help foster a culture of belonging. “It’s easy to be around all the same types of people, but it’s hard to be around people who are different from you and see things from their point of view,” she added, noting that attending diversity and inclusion workshops help her consider perspectives different from her own.

Initially piloted in November 2019, the well-received Diversity Interactive Theatre program was converted to a virtual format in November of 2020 to accommodate online working and learning environments and customized to address workplace scenes addressing bias and microaggressions. Almost 300 University leaders have since attended these sessions, with an overwhelming 100 percent favorable rating.

Since the launch of the programs, employees have had the opportunity to participate in additional facilitated sessions and workshops to continue enhancing and expanding their understanding of, and exposure to, a number of issues that impact diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including the Leadership Insights Panel held in honor of Black History month.  

“So often we read and hear of the importance of diversity and inclusion, but through the work of the University departments that host these trainings and workshops, each of us as employees is able to have an impact upon our own workplace and community,” said Michael Baumhardt, director of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement, Student Affairs.

Explore diversity and inclusion initiatives at the University. Stay up to date on inclusion events by joining the Inclusion News listserv. Learn how to join our team and browse available employment opportunities at the University.