22 ISE Magazine | www.iise.org/ISEmagazine
Supporting DEI actions at IISE
By Diana Berry
More companies are learning about the
importance of increasing diversity, eq-
uity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Positions
such as chief officer of diversity and inclu-
sion are increasing as DEI officers learn
the role’s responsibilities and challenges.
A chief diversity officer is a point per-
son for diversity and inclusion initiatives
and is responsible for creating, managing
and optimizing efforts to make a com-
pany fair, equitable and inclusive for all
employees. The officer develops and
implements strategic planning support-
ing diversity and inclusion, and must
build consensus in an organization.
In 2019, the IISE Board of Trust-
ees approved the “Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion Statement and Core
Commitments” available at link.iise.
org/diversity-inclusion. The last part
of the statement reflects the expectation
of all industrial and systems engineers to
uphold the values and priorities associated
with DEI when we engage in the profes-
sion, with the public and in research and
practice. The creation of this statement,
the DEI committee and the commitment
from the board of trustees and president
provide a great start for our efforts.
However, we still have much to learn
and implement as we work to engage
everyone. At past Annual Conferences,
diversity and inclusion panels generated
a lot of interest from different audienc-
es. We also held an event in partnership
with the Girl Scouts to encourage young
women to consider ISE as a career.
Now we look toward strengthening
our DEI strategy, which provides us with
a lot of benefits. DEI creates and fosters
an environment where we can learn from
each other, embrace differences and be-
come better-rounded professionals. If we
can work with a wide range of people,
this will increase membership represent-
ing different genders, races, ages, sexual
orientations and cultures.
The IISE DEI strategy should be in-
tegrated throughout the entire organiza-
tion, not focused only on a few isolated
events or activities. In general terms, a
well-developed organizational strategy
should show the application of DEI con-
cepts across six areas: board and gover-
nance, human resources, procurement,
product development, community out-
reach, and investment and marketing.
In board and governance, the DEI
committee has the support of the board
of trustees and the president to continue
moving the strategy forward. In human
resources, DEI orientation training for
new IISE members and staff to reinforce
diversity efforts would be beneficial. This
training could help us all build awareness
of unconscious bias, cultural competence
and other barriers to belonging. IISE can
also partner with educational organiza-
tions to provide DEI training.
In procurement, IISE could concen-
trate efforts on using businesses owned
by minorities, women and veterans to
provide services and include more tradi-
tionally excluded groups. In product de-
velopment, it would be beneficial to offer
diversity-related courses in online train-
ing platforms and continue to feature
DEI topics at the Annual Conference.
In community outreach, minority en-
gineering organizations such as the Na-
tional Society of Black Engineers, Society
of Hispanic Professional Engineers and
Society of Women Engineers, could be
great partners in efforts to advance DEI
events. For investment, IISE could
explore sponsoring more minority
students to attend Annual Confer-
ence. In marketing, we could reach
out to student members through
online workshops on topics such
as inclusive classrooms and leader-
ship, difficult conversations and women
in engineering. The DEI committee also
could dene a communications strategy
with ISE magazine and social media.
Maintaining communication about
DEI efforts with different stakeholders,
including societies, divisions and influen-
tial groups, is important. With all mem-
bers’ collaboration, we hope to put action
behind the words and provide more vis-
ibility on the DEI initiatives IISE mem-
bers are working on.
Diana Berry is a global supply chain specialist
and licensed customs broker at Harsco Rail in
Columbia, South Carolina. She recently was
appointed IISE Diversity, Equity and Inclu-
sion chair. Contact her at linkedin.com/in/
DEI creates and fosters an
environment where we can learn
from each other.