UC Davis has joined UC Davis Health on Forbes’ annual ranking of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” published Jan. 21.
In its first appearance on the 3-year-old list, UC Davis came in at No. 52 among 500 employers, while the health system made the list for the second year in a row, moving up 32 places to No. 101.
The global media company reported that it based its 2020 ranking primarily on data from a survey of 60,000 Americans working for companies and organizations with at least 1,000 employees each in the United States. In anonymous responses, survey takers rated their employers in several dimensions of diversity, including gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disability.
“We have come a long way, and we have a ways yet to go,” said Renetta Garrison Tull, vice chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “We’ll continue making progress in reflecting the patients and students we serve through our outreach and innovative initiatives, but it’s equally as important to develop a respectful culture and a climate that supports personal and professional growth.
“We understand that diversity makes us a stronger organization and will continue to strive for inclusive excellence in everything we do,” Tull said.
Christine Lovely, chief human resources officer, said UC Davis “does a wonderful job” involving employees in developing inclusive programs and events, and helping colleagues feel welcome. “Employee resource groups are working alongside UC Davis departments to improve services in all the areas Forbes highlights, which really speaks to the depth of UC Davis’ commitment to diversity,” she said.
In asking employees about diversity where they work, the Forbes survey asked people to consider such statements as, “Men and women have the same opportunities for advancement,” “There is cultural diversity among the people a job candidate will meet/see on his/her first visit to the company,” “I would consider my workplace LGBTQ+ friendly” and “Management values the experience and know-how that older employees bring to the table.”
The survey assessed “general diversity” by posing such statements as, “I believe the company will take appropriate action in response to incidents of discrimination” and “This company respects individuals and values their differences.”
Other factors that Forbes considered: survey respondents’ evaluations of other employers, diversity among top executives in organizations, and indicators of objective and publicly available information on diversity (i.e., having a management position responsible for diversity, and being proactive in communicating an organization’s diverse culture).
Advancing health equity
Only two UC general campuses, Davis and Irvine, and two UC health systems, Davis and UCLA, made the 2020 Forbes list, joined by UC San Francisco, which is both a medical school and health care provider.
“We’re honored to be nationally recognized for our diverse workforce here at UC Davis Health,” said Hendry Ton, associate vice chancellor for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “We are strongly committed to advancing health equity, and this starts with care teams and staffing that truly reflect the communities we serve.”
David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and CEO of UC Davis Health, cited “a crucial element in what makes UC Davis Health a best employer”: a universitywide focus on cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce.
“Our Principles of Community, for example, provide all of us with a visionary guide for our goals in equity, justice, respect and understanding. We do it by building it into the fabric of our recruitment and retention. We don’t just say it.”