Compared with two decades ago, women are now better represented among medical and graduate students, postdocs, and assistant professors. However, despite gains, we still have a smaller than desired number of senior women faculty and far fewer faculty from under-represented minority groups—at Mount Sinai and nationwide. Recent studies continue to document implicit biases in the scientific workplace, and concerns remain around quality of life issues and obstacles to faculty retention and promotion that affect everyone. At the Friedman Brain Institute, we are driving an ongoing discussion — now in its eighth year — designed to formulate positive steps through which we can make progress in these areas. We cannot solve societal issues, but perhaps we can serve as a smaller focus group and demonstrate the kinds of tangible actions that lead to real improvements.
Diversity in Neuroscience Mission Statement
Our goal is to support highly innovative and productive research in basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience by promoting an exciting, equitable, diverse and inclusive environment that empowers all members of our community to contribute to scientific discovery and clinical translation. Our goal is to generate an environment that fosters creative approaches to fully understand brain and nervous system function and develop therapies and cures for disease and eventually preventive measures. We commit to listening to and learning from the many diverse voices of our community in order to remove barriers to opportunities and success for everyone.
We denounce all forms of racism and bias endemic in our society. Bias, as well as structural and overt racism, negatively impact our trainees, staff and faculty, and prevent us from reaching our full potential. We pledge that:
• All our faculty, trainees, and staff will become educated to recognize and combat racism.
• We will continue to build partnerships with local and underserved communities to provide opportunities and promote equity, diversity and inclusion in science and medicine.
• We will actively listen to and respect, support, as well as advocate for our trainees, faculty and staff who have been subject to racism and bias, including those that are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We will work to increase their representation, demand equitable treatment and opportunities, and actively report our progress.
• We will work to end racial inequality within our department and among the greater community represented by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.