WPI's Values Statement
We are a community that stands for civility and respect. We stand for acceptance of others and champion those who may need compassion and understanding. We are an inclusive community that respects peaceful discord and upholds a fundamental belief that all members of our community should feel safe. Our collective mix of thoughts and experiences enrich those fundamental values that have long guided our university. As we navigate through times of change, our values remain.
We believe that a community-wide focus on sustainable inclusive excellence is not only imperative to fostering an inclusive learning and work environment, but also elevating the impact a culture of belonging can have on the greater STEM community. Listed below are our institutional definitions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging that serve as a foundation to this important work.
Definitions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)
At WPI, we seek to ensure that all four components of DEIB are interwoven throughout our inclusive community and serve as important pillars of the university’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, Lead with Purpose. According to Findem (2022), DEIB, when applied to the workplace, is defined as follows:
Diversity refers to the demographics of the workplace, which includes but is not limited to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, military/veteran status, location, nationality, disability status, and skills.
Equity gives each employee fair and equal access, opportunities, and advancements, regardless of their diversity background. For example, if a new hire has a disability, an equitable workplace ensures that the resources are readily accessible to help that employee succeed. Equity means that each team member has the proper resources to do their job, with equal opportunity.
Inclusion ensures everyone in the workplace is treated fairly and respectfully, despite differences. Inclusion is also about how employees interact.
Belonging centers around the employee's experience of feeling accepted in the workplace. Every team member should feel that their perspective is valued and useful. Belonging to a team implies a sense of value—that an employee is needed and wanted.
Faculty and Staff of Color Reception
An Inclusive Excellence Action Plan at WPI
The Inclusive Excellence Action Plan is WPI's strategic approach to actualizing a culture of inclusion and belonging at WPI. This initiative spans four goals designed to engage our community in WPI’s mission and values, center the voices and lived experiences of marginalized and underrepresented communities, and collaborate in the development of institution-wide action plans. Find out more about Inclusive Excellence at WPI.
WPI's Welcoming Environment
WPI is committed to an environment welcoming to all. We ensure a designated safe space, inclusive spaces including several Gender Inclusive Restroom locations, and a nursing room in the Gordon Library. The library staff has complied a Pride Resources (PDF) list for access to thousands of journal articles, newspaper articles, streaming video and other media referencing LGBTQIAP+ issues.
Pronoun Usage Resources
Dialogue around gender pronouns is a small way to normalize mindfulness of our assumptions and promote gender inclusion. We have curated some suggested practices that we hope will help promote gender pronoun visibility and greater efforts towards creating a more inclusive and affirming WPI community.
The Odyssey of Naudin Oswell
Learn more about Naudin Oswell ’30, WPI’s first Black graduate, who overcame racial discrimination to become a pioneering figure in public housing and in the investment banking community.
Planning Campus Programs
In an effort to foster a community of inclusion at WPI we encourage you to be mindful of holidays, interfaith, and other commemorative events which may impact community member participation in campus programs and events. Also take accessibility into consideration--including marketing, location, food/drink and event communications--to ensure your programs are accessible to all participants. Please refer to the following resources when conducting your event planning.
Tony Laing, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
508.831.6382 (O); 508.831.5715 (F); firstname.lastname@example.org
Division of Talent & Inclusion
Boynton Hall, 2nd Floor, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280