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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Video Series - Part 3

Published on · Last Updated 7 months ago


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In the third installment of our "Paying It Forward" video series, members of our Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute community answer the question: In what ways do you believe professionals can contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at CHOP? Four researchers at different stages of their academic and medical career describe the numerous efforts and initiatives they have undertaken to promote a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive workforce.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of Paying It Forward, which will explore examples of how a strong DEI foundation fosters innovation, creativity, and decision-making at CHOP.


Stephanie Bowles, PhD:

Thinking about what I do in my day to day, there’s always an aspect of mentorship. I think mentorship is important and that touches on another question, but nonetheless when you think about DEI, it has to be unique to each individual of what they need to gain as you help them move on in their career.


In what ways do you think professionals (in your position) can contribute to DEI efforts at CHOP Research?

Sarai Sales:

I think the first thing is paying it forward. Typically someone as me who is just starting in their professional career, you don’t take the time to think about people you can help along the way. Mentorship is extremely important and a big part of the CRISSP program was having that collaboration not only between the mentoring series but DEI initiatives. What does DEI look like in mentoring, how does that appear? How can you be an inclusive mentor? How can you support your mentee along the way? I think those are key things I learned during my time at CHOP.

Cody-Aaron Gathers, MD:

DEI has been a part of CHOP’s main mission for a long time. It’s actually what drove me to come to CHOP, recognizing the importance of DEI within not only the department I’m in but also at the institutional level. When you’re so young, you don’t know where you should fit in or how you should be contributing but there’s always a ton of ways you can help out. I think mentorship for the younger generation should always be paramount no matter what stage of trainee or faculty-hood you’re at. That’s always been a big deal for me and something I always try to push forward no matter where I am.

And then just really making sure you’re staying grounded in the values that are true and important to you. I think that continues to drive me and ultimately what will drive a lot of people no matter what stage of training you’re in. Right now, notably, I’m on the Alliance of Minority Physicians which is a group of medical students, trainees, and faculty between Penn and CHOP that really work to foster this environment of diversity and inclusion throughout both institutes.

Dr. Bowles:

Postdocs, we are so unique. We have so much to gain from our experiences; we come from all different walks of life and many parts of the world. So while we have resource groups like Postdocs Alliance, Women’s Circle, Postdocs in Diversity that’s pioneered through the Academic Outreach and Training Programs, these groups — while we’re getting part of that, and we have a voice and sense of community — we can then go out and those leaders who are within ATOP can now disseminate us to working groups that I’m also part of, like DEI Council, another working group which is Welcoming an Inclusive Environment for faculty, so we can give our feedback, talk about our experience, and give our ideas of how we can build that exclusive environment moving forward.

Lamia Barakat, PhD:

I also think we can make larger-scale impact as well by sponsoring those who want to, and can, and should lead the work to do that. Sometimes as senior faculty we’re used to always being at the forefront, and there’s so much more impact we can have if we step back and let others take the lead and be in the forefront of the work.