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Equity and Inclusion Program (EQUIP)

Our Equity and Inclusion Program (EQUIP) aims to equip all departmental faculty members with the tools to overcome bias, discrimination and systemic inequities in academia. EQUIP recognizes that professional success of faculty is vulnerable to many factors beyond their control, including their unique membership and identity. In an effort to provide a more equitable platform for scientific and professional growth, EQUIP offers a needs-based program to nourish and support faculty, as well as educational and organizational efforts to deconstruct barriers to their success.

EQUIP offers targeted scientific and professional support in a variety of ways. These include support for grant-crafting and editing through our Office for Strategic Research Development, leadership skills training through the Yale School of Management, as well as individual professional coaching sessions.

EQUIP aims to bring about fundamental cultural change to deconstruct the barriers faced by historically underrepresented and oppressed groups in academic research. As such, EQUIP calls on all faculty to engage in anti-racism and anti-bias educational initiatives. Creating a shared partnership by bringing together all community members to explore and address the underlying factors that limit the professional development of faculty from under-represented groups and vulnerable memberships is key to the effectiveness of the program.

EQUIP is built around four central pillars:

  1. Increasing opportunities for leadership:

    We aim to create a leadership that reflects the diversity of groups, identities, and memberships of our society; however we recognize that some individuals experience far fewer opportunities to leverage their leadership potential. To this end, we offer access to leadership building through networking, sponsorship, and 1:1 career coaching, as well as the opportunity to take formal leadership courses.
  2. Citizenship as impact; burden as a barrier:

    We recognize the disproportionate assignment of roles and responsibilities to under-represented identities – also known as the minority tax. This entails work that is under recognized and undervalued and represents a burden that impacts the capacity to invest in career growth. To address this issue we are developing a process to assess and communicate the roles, responsibilities and reporting structure associated with key administrative positions in the department. As a starting point, these include Director of Graduate Studies, Track Directors, Course Directors, and other executive level roles. The aim is to develop clear guidelines and expectations so that each faculty member contributes the intended amount to each role and is held accountable for their performance in line with these expectations. We also include an evaluation of burden as part of the annual review process.
  3. Work and non-work balance:

    Organizational cultures that value work above all else force individuals to make a choice between work and life outside of work. This can have a disproportionately negative effect on some individuals, particularly those with caregiver responsibilities. We are working to define and make public policies and procedures to promote healthy attitudes towards work. These include restricting departmental meetings and functions to core business hours wherever possible, and the use of flexible working options and a locum PI model for parental leave supported by our Office for Strategic Research Development. We also work to reduce stigma associated with use of these policies and normalize life outside of work as a healthy and important priority.
  4. Education, sensitivity and awareness:

    To foster deep cultural change it is necessary to involve all community members in efforts to deconstruct stereotypes and biases. We engage faculty in seminars, workshops, anti-bias training and other educational forums to create community-wide partnership committed to ending bias, discrimination and harassment in academic medicine and research.

EQUIP grew out of a pilot program in the department - the Program to Support and Retain Women Faculty - as a way to ensure that all departmental faculty members are equipped with the tools to overcome bias, discrimination and systemic inequities in academia. EQUIP will continue to evolve as we learn how to better support all memberships in academic medicine in an equitable manner.

EQUIP is directed by the Vice Chair for Diversity in Genetics. For more information including how to access these opportunities please contact