Diverse and inclusive leadership teams in public health schools: the change agents for sustainable and inclusive public health education
Context: An inclusive and diverse public health workforce maximizes health outcomes. However, little is known about the current diversity and inclusiveness profile of professionals, leaders and students of public health. To obtain a diverse and inclusive (D&I) public health workforce in the future, D&I leadership in Public Health Schools is necessary to encourage a D&I student body.
Policy Options: A variety of policy responses can be utilized to diversify schools of public health (SPH). Response types include (i) exploratory policies that instigate D&I research with the aim to increase knowledge and build hypotheses, (ii) regulatory (and financial) policies that change the environment by placing rules, restrictions, or expectations on the institution to increase and promote D&I and (iii) soft options, which are non-binding actions that aim to change the institutional culture surrounding D&I. However, policies are often not specifically tailored to their school and are therefore unsuccessful.
Recommendations: To understand the composition and identify gaps within the current diversity and inclusion (D&I) profile of leadership in European Schools of Public Health (SPH) an exploratory needs assessment is advised. A baseline assessment will be the much needed first step of this paper’s proposed project: The Diverse and Inclusive Public Health Schools (DIPHS) Project. A needs assessment should be seen as a baseline evaluation of the current D&I profile among leaders in European Schools of Public Health (SPH). This information should then build the basis to encourage institution-tailored policy interventions for SPH to actively promote a diverse and inclusive public health workforce.
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