Equity & Inclusion: Why Should Matter to All of Us

This MLK holiday I have been thinking about Mizzou’s 2022 theme, Spoken Word: Facing the Challenges of Tomorrow and Dr. King’s inspirational words, “Though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.”

Equity and inclusion are extremely important in career services, particularly as we think about the recruitment process and workplace. The National Association of College & Employers (NACE) has recently defined career readiness competencies, a set of skills and attributes every college student should develop to help launch successful professional careers.

One of the 8 career competencies is Equity & Inclusion, defined as the ability to “demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.”

It’s important that employees and managers consider multiple perspectives, especially those of historically marginalized communities. To end racism and oppression in the workplace and beyond, individuals must keep an open mind, embrace social justice practices and advocate for inclusion. NACE has also developed a series of sample behaviors to help explain what this competency looks like. I’d encourage you to take a closer look!

Inclusion is also one of the core values of the MU Career Center. We seek to include diverse perspectives and treat everyone with dignity, respect, and compassion.  This past summer, to better serve the unique perspectives and needs of our diverse student body, the Career Center created 12 new “Community Pages” focused on student identities.

By clicking on the About Me tab of our resource site, Mizzou Career Tools, you can find campus and community support resources, career exploration tools and career readiness advice. We have also featured articles, web sites and videos to help you identify inclusive employers, assess their commitment to diversity, and address microaggressions and other negative behaviors in the workplace.

As you think about your college journey, understand that when you graduate employers will be assessing whether you have the foundation for future success. Part of that foundation means that you understand and show an appreciation of and commitment to Equity & Inclusion. If you haven’t begun to do that, now is the time to start.

On January 24th, I encourage you to take part in the MU MLK virtual celebration and consider how you can couple words with actions to achieve a more inclusive and equitable world.