What is the most important step in promoting diversity and inclusion among JHM’s leadership and staff?

What is the most important step in promoting diversity and inclusion among JHM’s leadership and staff

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }


M.Raphael Jennings July 14, 2014 at 4:12 am

I read what Karen L. posted and was shocked because, over the weekend, I was talking to a co-worker who just graduated with a degree in Therapy. She has also applied for positions which she is now qualified or over qualified for, but has been denied over and over again. It makes me wonder if Hopkins does want its lower paid workers to really advance or just to make the claim that they have the most educated patient reps, security, and environmental services in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

I do not feel that there will be a easy solution to Hopkins diversity problem. Sadly those who claim that we do not have a problem are part of the problem. Many of the students and medical personnel come from segments of society and varying cultures which are in essence, the void of diversity. While Hopkins has its minority physicians and upper management, for many Hopkins employees, I feel it is still a sudden shock to see a Hispanic or African American on campus who is not pushing a mop or passing out security badges. In my ten years I have met some of the nicest upper tier employees, here at Hopkins. I have also met some of the cruelest members of our Hopkins family. There are ones who, when they find out that you are in college, are happy for you. Then there are also ones who are not only shocked that you dare to aim higher but, offer up more questions of why you are not happy in your low tier job. I wonder if some members of the Hopkins family know how hurtful it is when they see some of us on campus carrying our textbooks and wondering if we will be turning what they feel is medical student's property, to Lost and Found.

So, to Hopkins, if you want to make steps towards promoting diversity in our Hopkins family, in the same manner you post images of people receiving their G.E.D.s ... post, with the same energy, images and stories of the low tier workers who graduated from college. Let the promotion of diversity come with the person promoted from answering the phones and serving food, to at least the ground level of the upper tier jobs. Promoting diversity and inclusion should offer, for those employees who so desire, a more defined pathway up from parking, security, evs, nutrition, and other similar jobs.

Currently, the feeling that so many others have stated, is that Hopkins is so desperate to find "capable" and "dependable" lower tier workers, that it is not in the hospital's interest to lose the ones who do have the capability to gain the skills to allow them to rise to higher paying jobs here at Hopkins. When I read Karen L's post, I finally felt that there were others outside of my circle, here at Hopkins, who shared possibly the same concerns. I am blessed, because I do have a supervisor who does offer never ending encouragement to his workers to rise higher. Unfortunately others, here at Hopkins, I fear have supervisors who know if a good employee advances, then they will have to “roll the dice”, and hope to get another.

Lastly, during African American History month, bringing in a famous African American to speak in Turner auditorium is not promoting diversity. Most, will feel that the speaker is the exception and not the norm. Next year, possibly consider opening invited speakers up to meet the workers in Hopkins who actually need to be lifted up. The message of minorities achieving is worthless unless the words fall on the ears of those who need to hear that achievement is possible and that such is very possible here at Hopkins.



Bonnie C July 8, 2014 at 9:27 am

We also need to recognize talents at all levels of employment (from housekeeping & dietary to CEOs). There are many immigrants who have come to the US for a better life, and even though they were in highly skilled occupations in their home country (engineers, doctors, etc.), they've been relegated to janitorial staff (which they took, thinking it would be a step towards climbing the ladder to a better job). We need to open doors of opportunity for people coming into Hopkins at entry-level jobs (primarily non-white employees), so that they have the option of finding a "better" position within the organization (currently primarily held by white men). (In case you can't tell, I'm a white woman, and have a good position within Hopkins, making a better-than-minimum wage, am respected in my job, and find ways to use most of my skills and talents.)


Karen L. July 10, 2014 at 1:40 am

Thank you Bonnie you have said what I have been thinking for my entire 12 yrs. at Hopkins.started working at the hospital in 2002 as a floor tech in 2003 I became a support associate went to college and earned an associates degree in business. I had a great mentor Diane R. in SICU I love her she's like my own mother. She encouraged me to apply for positions she knew I would succeed in and I did but every job I applied for I was denied even positions that became available on my unit. Diane convinced me to talk to my nurse manager and what she said to me was discouraging I hired you as an S.A. (support associate) What did that mean was she saying that this was all I can be. If management felt that way what chance do I have. Sorry to say it but in 2013 I went back to EVS I now work in the CVOR cleaning operating rooms. I guess diversity and inclusion didn't mean me or others like me who go to school get the education to move up the ladder. I want to thank you for being one of many who don't see those of us in entry level jobs us too stupid to better ourselves. Truth be told most of us are educated were just not given the chance to prove our value to Hopkins.


Greg July 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Without a clear direction from leadership...how do we know what we are doing is correct?


Nikki July 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

I think a spirit of inclusion once women and minorities are in positions is also what is needed. Sometimes such populations' contributions are marginalized. When people are denied access to management and other staff during work and social gatherings, they are rarely seen as team players, which means that consideration for promotions becomes less likely. This exclusion of certain populations sometimes occurs purposefully but, more often than not, happens due to others' subconscious biases.


Bonnie C July 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

I completely agree that the isolation of some employees ("lower tier") from upper management only exacerbates the situation. It's too easy for those higher up to think that everyone is being treated fairly, when that sometimes is far from the truth. My husband (who works for another institution) works 12-hour shifts over the weekend, when most of the supervisory staff are gone. Too often he is pretty much alone on his shift, and has to resolve some fairly serious issues alone, and he doesn't always get recognition for problem-solving (no witnesses means it didn't happen). Not only that, but most of the team meetings and notifications happen during the week (outside of his shift), and he frequently doesn't even know about the meetings until he sees something after-the-fact (minutes, notice on the bulletin board, etc.) giving some review.


Pam July 7, 2014 at 11:54 am

I would like to see Johns Hopkins expand its definition of diversity to include people with disabilities. Specifically, I am concerned that faculty and staff hired with Autism or Aspergers may need additional assistance to reach their full potential. Although, I agree with david zee that everyone could benefit from career guidance and mentorship.


gul dolen July 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

JHU should definitely host a graduate/medical school preview day for URMs (Columbia U., Cornell, and UC Berkeley, among many others, have them)...

..and a better webpage (e.g like UCSD's):

We also have to have better visibility at SACNAS (http://sacnas.org) and ABRCMS (http://abrcms.org) national conferences.


Bonnie C July 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

It's great to offer career advantages to those in the medical field, but let's not forget those who have administrative duties, and those working to lift themselves from the "lowest" levels. Not everyone wants to remain in housekeeping or dietary, and even some of those who do may want the opportunity to become supervisors or at least feel their voice is being heard to make working conditions better.


CAF July 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

I am personally aware of entire laboratories who are hired almost exclusively from their PI's home country. Nothing is done about this and it is an example of not only PIs flouting policy but also of management letting them. Let's have clearly defined policy (whatever it may be) and let's hold people to it. This is where good leadership from the top down is crucial.


Jeremy July 7, 2014 at 9:40 am

I do not believe that only one of these areas can be focus, rather JHM must focus on all of these areas simultaneously. Having clear direction from top leadership, requiring that woman and minorities be interviewed for every open position, actively recruiting women and minority candidates, and further developing a career ladder to promote junior staff all contribute to increasing diversity, especially when done simultaneously.


Catherine Bishop July 7, 2014 at 9:09 am

There is no one (1) most important step in "promoting diversity and inclusion among JHM’s leadership and staff?". Respecting individuals for their contributions within the healthcare team and administrative team is important. Respecting individuals for their education, training and expertise is important. Respecting individuals for their differences and how that helps to foster a more well rounded institution where the brightest amoung us want to come--these few components begin the most important steps.


david zee July 7, 2014 at 4:46 am

i think the best and fairest approach is to make sure we aggressively identify all people at hopkins who have the qualifications, personal attributes and the potential to rise up the ladder to positions of leadership and accomplishment and then make sure that they have the proper guidance and mentorship to help them succeed. This is what I mean by a career ladder.


Hershaw Davis, Jr. July 7, 2014 at 3:00 am

Mentoring has proven the most effective way to ensure diversity and inclusion.



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