SIG: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Systems Sciences

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Systems Sciences
ISSS prides itself on being “among the first and oldest organizations devoted to interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems, and remains perhaps the most broadly inclusive.  There is an urgent need in society for greater systems literacy, and the more diverse the membership of ISSS becomes, the more likely systems literacy will increase across disciplines as well as genders and cultures.
The concept for the DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG emerged from discussions within the ISSS Circle of Women in Systems Thinking. This was in response to the desire to see a more gender-balanced and multicultural ISSS. The purpose of this SIG is to
  • Share research in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion particularly as it relates to the Systems Sciences;
  • Share examples of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion applications;
  • Examine how both the ISSS and the larger systems community can increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within and across their organizations;
  • Promote a sense of belonging, caring for others, acceptance of norms of behavior; and
  • Become an engine/enabler for providing tools, techniques and support to various ISSS groups and projects and to the larger systems community so as to affect an increase in DEI.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion has become an important aspect of organizational life globally. In response to this need, The Centre for Global Inclusion was formed in July 2017 with the mission to serve as a resource for research and education for individuals and organizations in their quest to improve diversity and inclusion practices around the world. The Centre has developed Global Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Benchmarks as well as definitions that the DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG will use to guide its work. In particular, we will use the following definitions:
Diversity: The variety of differences and similarities/dimensions among people, such as age, belief system, class/caste, culture, different abilities, education, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, generation, geography, job role and function, language, marital status, mental health, nationality, native or indigenous origins, parental status, personality type, race, religion, sexual orientation, thinking style, work experience, and work style.
Equity: Equity is about fairness and justice; about taking deliberate actions to remove systemic, group, and individual barriers and obstacles that hinder opportunities and disrupt well-being. This is achieved through the elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that create and reinforce unfair outcomes.
Inclusion: A dynamic state of feeling, belonging, and operating in which diversity is leveraged to create a fair, healthy, and high performing organization or community. An inclusive culture and environment ensures equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. It also enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, heard, engaged, motivated, and valued for who they are.
The goals of DEI in general, as defined by The Centre for Global Inclusion, and for the DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG in particular are:
  • Creating a better, equitable world for everyone
  • Advancing an inclusive culture
  • Improving organizational effectiveness
The DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG will provide larger DEI standards under which the SIGs, Exploratory Groups, and Projects will pursue overall ISSS DEI goals. The DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG will provide these various groups with support and guidance.
The DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG currently meets the fourth Monday of each month from 8:00 - 9:30 am PT, 11:00 - 12:30 ET, 6:00 - 7:00 pm GMT, 7:00 - 8:30 pn CET. Contact Marty Jacobs, SIG Chair (email in directory) for more information or to be added to the DEI in the Systems Sciences SIG email list.