Tips for Creating Inclusive Lab Environments

“Diversity without inclusion is an empty gesture,” writes David Asai, senior director for science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in a recent Nature article. In the op-ed, Asai writes about his own experience as a faculty member learning how to create more inclusive lab environments. Earlier in his career, Asai reluctantly attended a required multicultural faculty forum. The event proved pivotal to Asai’s understanding of diversity and inclusivity in higher education. He spoke with colleagues from different backgrounds, practiced respectful listening, and discussed how it feels to be in a disempowered position and a position of privilege. The experience has positively impacted his teaching career.

“The responsibility for creating an inclusive environment lies with those who teach, mentor, manage, recruit and hire the scientific workforce, and learning the skills of inclusivity demands opportunities to make emotional connections,” Asai writes in the article.