Friday, October 18, 2019

Draft "Climate" Guidelines from American Economic Assn.

Draft Guidelines from American Economic Association (AEA), the leading academic/professional association for economists:

Best Practices for Diversifying Economic Quality

Conducting Research

1. Organize inclusive conferences, seminars, and visitor programs.
Each conference, panel, seminar series, or other forum should feature a diverse group of economists.

2. Host constructive conference and seminar discussions.
Setting and enforcing rules of responsible behavior by attendees at conference and seminar presentations can increase the quality of the intellectual exchange.

3. Provide equitable access to journals. 
Ensuring that boards of editors at journals are diverse and that referees follow appropriate instructions may help reduce the documented biases in the editorial process.

4. Read and cite diversely. Think inclusively.
Committing to citing a diverse set of authors on syllabi and bibliographies, to naming all authors, and to finding value in alternative research approaches can improve your research and the discipline.

5. Share research opportunities broadly.
Seeking diversity when identifying research assistants and potential collaborators can help counter existing biases.

Serving as Colleagues

1. Discuss and enforce a code of conduct.
Establishing rules for unbiased conduct facilitates important conversations, sets clear expectations, and creates a more productive and inclusive environment.

2. Be an effective bystander.
Signaling a willingness to listen and speaking up when you observe poor behavior can help set norms for fair conduct.

3. Be a good mentor.
Improving your mentoring ability encourages those around you to do the same. A more supportive environment attracts better colleagues and creates productive work relationships.

4. Create room for your colleagues' work-life choices.
Supporting each other's need for fulfilling professional and personal lives makes for good mental health and efficiency.

5. Meet your colleagues where they are.
Valuing difference helps individuals, and the profession, thrive. There is no set profile of what an economist should look like and there is no rulebook for what constitutes economics research.

Working with Students

1. Teach your students to hold a growth mindset.
When students and faculty understand that ability is malleable and is developed through education and persistence, academic performance and enjoyment increase, and race and gender gaps decrease.

2. Use outreach to counter stereotypes about economics and fix other information gaps.
When faculty provide more information about the breadth of the field of economics upfront, more students from underrepresented groups study economics. Simple changes can help students who arrive with less information about academia.

3. Offer course content that is relevant for diverse students.
Students come to our classes with a wide range of life experiences and interests, but standard economics curricula often fall short of engaging diverse students.

4. Employ effective and inclusive classroom techniques.
Active learning and other evidence-based pedagogical approaches are effective, inclusive, and straightforward to implement. These techniques have especially large benefits for members of underrepresented groups.

5. Build a sense of belonging for all students.
The extreme demographic imbalances of economics departments present an unhealthy environment and an unlevel playing field. When students from underrepresented groups receive explicit and implicit messages that they belong in the field, their performance and persistence increase.
Leading Departments and Workplaces

1. Establish and use a structured and fair recruiting process.
Adopting best practices in recruiting can increase the diversity of candidate pools and decrease the influence of human biases on hiring decisions.

2. Conduct promotion, tenure, and annual performance reviews in a transparent and equitable manner.
Clear and consistent communication about the criteria that determine evaluation outcomes, and giving careful thought to what those criteria are, can reduce the myriad of biases that are known to infect evaluation processes.

3. Establish and use an inclusive process for admitting and developing graduate students.
Departments can structure admissions and advising processes to identify, recruit, and develop a much wider range of talent.

4. Be proactive in creating an inclusive, constructive culture, and deal firmly with instances of exclusion, harassment, discrimination, or disrespectful treatment.
Clear and consistent communication about what behavior is expected, and firm action when someone does not live up to those expectations, facilitates the emergence of a positive, productive, and inclusive culture.

5. Structure  inclusive meetings and workplaces.
Establishing new procedures and practices can help elicit a wide range of perspectives and avoid marginalizing some voices, increase the sense of collective ownership and understanding, and ensure all members of the community can access the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

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