Diversity Statements for Faculty Job Positions

Diversity statements typically include your personal stories and past experiences as a member of an underrepresented group and your future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. These statements are usually 1 to 2 pages long. Candidates can talk about how they have been impacted by diversity throughout their academic career and can bring up examples from their education or instructional experiences on how they have come to understand and appreciate diversity. “A university that seeks this statement from applicants is typically concerned with ensuring that faculty hires are familiar with its diverse student populations and willing to support students in line with the university’s mission statement.” (Diversity Statement, 2023). 

HERC (2021) has provided four steps to writing an effective diversity statement, which are:

  1. Providing your context (write about your personal story on diversity)
  2. Identify your diversity conflict (what prompted your commitment to diversity?)
  3. Demonstrate your commitment (any positions you held or projects you worked on that furthered equity and inclusion)
  4. Revise and refine your statement (make sure it has a logical flow and is reviewed by colleagues)

University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services also has included a set of questions that you can answer when writing your diversity statement.

  • What does diversity mean to you, and why is this important?
  • Do you understand the university’s diversity goals?
  • What have been some of your experiences either being part of a non-majority group, or interacting with diverse populations?
  • How has your thinking about diversity actively influenced your teaching, research, and/or scholarship?
  • In thinking about the different roles you have played, and will play, as part of your university service, what role has/will diversity issues play?
  • What role do you believe that advising and mentoring play in working with diverse populations?
  • Does your engagement with diversity help students prepare for careers in a global society?

Some universities also provide sample Diversity Statements from faculty that candidates can look at prior to writing their diversity statements. You can check out University of Pennsylvania’s, University of Berkley’s, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s sample Diversity Statements.

Works Cited

Diversity Statements. (2023). https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/diversity-statements/

HERC. (2021). Write Your Diversity Statement in Four Steps. https://www.hercjobs.org/write-your-diversity-statement-in-four-steps/

University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services. (n.d.) Diversity Statements for Faculty Job Applications. https://careerservices.upenn.edu/application-materials-for-the-faculty-job-search/diversity-statements-for-faculty-job-applications/

Join us November 15, 2023 from noon to 1:30pm at UU 133A, located in the Fleishman Center, for the second graduate career success workshop: Writing a Diversity Statement. In this workshop you will understand the overall purpose of a Diversity statement when applying for jobs in the academia. In this workshop you will learn the process of identifying your identities and positionality and the role DEI plays in your teaching, research, and service to the community. At the end of the workshop you will have a working draft to tailor when applying to academic jobs.

To register go to: Handshake

By Ozzy Girit Heck (Ph.D.)
Ozzy Girit Heck (Ph.D.) Career Success Program Specialist