Scripps PRSSA was more than pleased to welcome four professionals to speak to the Chapter on the topics of diversity and inclusion in the industry.
We heard from Dr. Edmond Y. Chang, an Assistant Professor in the English department at Ohio University with research interest in technoculture, race and sexuality; MaryKathyrine Tran, the Assistant Director of the Ohio University Women’s Center; Dr. Lisa Beeler, the Director of Diversity and Internships for the Schey Sales Centre; and Anna Kaye-Rowe, teaching assistant for the Global Leadership Center.
Here are some takeaways:
- The field of women’s and gender studies is very interdisciplinary. MaryKatherine Tran focuses on the areas of media literacy and helping women and girls navigate digital and social landscapes.
- Having many years of experience as the only female at a C-Level amongst all men, can be eye-opening. One of the questions she poses is, “How do you survive as the only female in the ‘good ole boys club’?” Dr. Liza Beeler left the corporate selling world and works within the Schey to continue studying concepts of D&I.
- Diversity can be used as a buzzword that trivializes what diversity is. Cultural context helps influence a more true-to-life definition. Checking boxes is not diversity, but rather it is a reflection of an embodiment of knowledge individuals obtain through learning. – Anna Kaye-Rowe
- Diversity is numbers, inclusion is putting the numbers into action. Remember that intersectionality is a thing. For example, Dr. Liza Beeler is a women, a first generation college student, married, a religious person, from Tennessee and more.
- As a higher education institution, change can take time, but it is important to communicate with the student body about the progress campus faculty and leaders are working towards. There are programs available in the Global Leadership Center and beyond already, but working towards a more inclusive university environment is an evolution.
- In the near future, OHIO’s College of Business will be introducing it’s first diversity and inclusion centered course. This is valuable to students in order to equip them to enter the professional world with an understanding of how the ‘good ole boys club’ inherently supports an inequitable world.
- If there is a way to provide more dimensional characters in the media will have a far-reaching effect on greater society. Both media and ourselves have the power to challenge stereotyping rather than reinforce them. Privilege allows people to advocate for this type of change; whereas, those oppressed by this system do not always have the same power.
Cade Fleming is a senior Journalism-Strategic Communication major and current Scripps PRSSA VP of PR. Keep up with him on Twitter @cade_fleming