Developed by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force
Abstract: The American College of Urology and Gynecology (AUGS) has identified diversity, equity, and inclusion as the cornerstones of excellence in governance and operations. Efforts to increase membership diversity have been ongoing for years, but there has been no adequate investment to ensure an inclusive environment that emphasizes equity across volunteers and programs. In June 2020, AUGS President Dr. Shawn Menefee and the Board called for a Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to examine the current state of our society and make recommendations for future directions. The we. The charges were intentionally broad. A survey of the literature showed little indication of how best to assess the current culture of inclusivity and bias other than conducting climate studies. The task force believed that the challenge was not only to describe the problem, but also to clarify the solution. We ultimately decided to rewrite our Diversity and Inclusion and Code of Conduct statements and create an action plan to accelerate AUGS’ efforts to promote inclusion through existing governance structures and improve equity. . This document describes how the Task Force was organized and undertook the work of developing a strategy aligned with the AUGS mission. , advocacy, and interdisciplinary collaboration. ”
In the summer of 2020, several racially motivated events in the United States catalyzed change, forcing everyone to consider the country’s past and present racial injustices. The American College of Urology and Gynecology (AUGS) has struggled to face that honoring past innovators in gynecology marginalizes many of its current members. In June 2020, Dr. Shawn Menefee emailed his AUGS members his presidential perspective, asking the AUGS community to “identify the divide and chart a course forward.” One month later, Dr. Menefy commissioned the AUGS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (DEI) to recruit volunteers. Together, they issued a “Joint Statement: Joint Action to Address Racism.” 3 The goal of the AUGS DEI Task Force (referred to as the ‘Task Force’ in this document) was to examine the history and mission of the organization and assess its current state of diversity, equity and inclusion. The task force sought to apply this knowledge to the areas of membership, leadership, education, research, and patient care to devise action plans to move the organization forward. The goal is to improve the equity and inclusiveness of AUGS members, address the need for greater diversity in research, and 4 others who are jointly aiming to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. It was to provide a useful roadmap for healthcare societies. This report describes how the Task Force was organized, collected data from its members, and developed an action plan that was ultimately adopted by her AUGS Board of Directors (“Board”).
This document will help inform AUGS members of the Task Force’s prudent process of assessing the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion in society and developing strategies to strengthen existing social paradigms. . Notably, the task force conducted a climate survey, developed a position statement on diversity and inclusion, updated its member code of conduct, and developed an action plan. The Governance Committee can incorporate recommendations into action plans to ensure that DEI is embedded in all her AUGS-sponsored initiatives. When embarking on the mission, the task force found it lacking guidance literature. Many societal membership surveys assess the needs, opinions and even diversity of their members, but more than characterize the current climate and call for change, they explore issues of equity and inclusion in depth. There are very few 5-7 Task Forces to develop their own processes and procedures to enact changes in the DEI culture and programs. In addition to this procedural roadmap produced by the Task Force, other lessons have been difficult to quantify. Her three lessons learned are worth mentioning. First, we learned that diversity and inclusion mean different things to different constituent groups. While we plan to present the results of our climate studies separately, we noted that our members had many ideas for improving the culture of inclusion. It was group-focused, but not mutually exclusive or at odds with other groups. I had to. Second, I learned that to significantly improve my DEI, I had to be prepared to engage in unpleasant conversations. There, we acknowledge how each of us has contributed to a culture of exclusion and racism. This was especially difficult given that not everyone was always ready to acknowledge the role they played in perpetuating harm to marginalized groups. We’ve learned that organizational change doesn’t happen unless leaders (such as the AUGS board and CEO) are involved in the process from the beginning. Including the AUGS CEO will not only help create recommendations that can be easily integrated into existing governance, but will also help gain buy-in from various constituent groups across society. The current Task Force report adds to the literature by providing a guide to help the group develop a comprehensive action plan aligned with its mission and specific processes towards resolution. Although the response rate was limited to 24%, the AUGS climate survey collected data from individuals of various races, ethnicities, nationalities, gender identities, and sexual orientations, as well as of various ages, abilities, educational backgrounds, and practice settings. represents the voice of Responses also indicated that the full diversity of membership must be included to consider a wide range of needs and perspectives. AUGS members include relevant medical professionals, physicians, medical students, trainees, and researchers. By using the AUGS survey responses to inform revisions to the Diversity and Inclusion Position Statement, the Code of Conduct, and the DEI Action Plan, the Task Force will seek to incorporate all perspectives on inclusion and equity. It highlights the need for a more purposeful strategy. The findings highlight the wisdom that everyone benefits from addressing the needs of the most vulnerable. The Task Force sought to ensure that the resulting product was fully aligned with her AUGS mission to “promote excellence in women’s care.” These recommendations are made to enhance member experience, education, research, and patient care. By sharing our work and processes, the Task Force hopes to provide a transparent path for our society. Additionally, this report may be useful to others who are striving to improve their own DEI culture. One of the most significant achievements is the newly formed AUGS Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. This standing committee will be responsible for setting strategies to ensure equity across all groups, monitoring her AUGS progress in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and disseminating results to members . Finally, it is important to recognize the difference between equality and fairness. Equality overlooks systems of prejudice and injustice. Equity recognizes that special efforts are needed to ensure representation and participation from groups affected by historical and systemic injustice. If the events of 2020 have inspired us to explore and change longstanding inequalities, this subspecialty’s annual celebration of the J. Marion Sims Lectures speaks to our collective history. It also shows one of the many symptoms of systemic racism today. This is an example of how past abuse continues to live on and perpetuate harm over time. The Task Force therefore concludes by acknowledging the importance of acknowledging and remembering the past.
1. American College of Urology and Gynecology. News: His message to the AUGS community on racial equality. 2020. Available at https://www.augs.org/a-message-to-theaugs-community-on-racial-equity/. Accessed 9 December 2021.
2. American Urological Association. News: The AUGS Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is looking for volunteers. 2020. Available at https://www.augs.org/augs-diversity-and-inclusion-task-force-call-for-volunteers/. Accessed 9 December 2021.
3. American Urological Association. Joint Statement: Collective Action to Address Racism. 2020. Available at https://www.acog.org/news/newsarticles/2020/08/joint-statement-obstetrics-and-gynecology-collectiveaction-addressing-racism. Accessed 9 December 2021.
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(Female Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery 2022;28: 127–130)
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