Sabin's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Action Plan

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Action Plan

See Sabin's current progress and updates

Original Statement Released July 10, 2020

Cosigned by:

Chief Executive Officer, Amy Finan
Chief Operating Officer, Brian Davis
President of Global Immunization, Bruce Gellin
Board Chair, Axel Hoos

On June 6, 2020, the Sabin Vaccine Institute released a commitment to anti-racism, in which we set a new, actively anti-racist standard for ourselves as an organization and as leaders. We pledged to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and to promote greater diversity among the organizations and leaders Sabin partners with and the programs Sabin delivers.

In the intervening weeks, we have looked in the mirror and while we are proud of the organization we’ve built and the work Sabin does, we also acknowledge we can do more to improve our diversity, equity and inclusion. We have heard from our staff and have reflected on ways we can make Sabin a more empowering workplace.

As the leaders of this organization, we take our mandate seriously. We are learning and we are listening. We know these are not changes that can be made overnight, nor ones we can make alone. Together with outside experts, our staff and our Board of Trustees, we are committed to making lasting and measurable change, not only for our team, but in our programs and partnerships.

As part of a Board-level diversity framework in development, the Board of Trustees will hold executive management responsible and accountable to implement the actions planned and underway:

Bring in Outside Expertise

We don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to developing them with the help of those with deep experience in this space.

Key actions we’re taking:

  • Currently, we are working to engage a consultant with expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives who, once retained, will help us build a robust diversity, equity and inclusion strategy, including metrics to evaluate progress toward sustainable change. The consultant will engage directly with the Sabin staff, leadership and Board, and work closely with the Vice President of Employee Engagement. They will have a direct line of communication to the Board
  • We are actively recruiting for a Vice President of Employee Engagement. This  new position, authorized by the Board in March 2020 as part of Sabin’s strategic refresh, now includes a core focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, which will help us internalize and further develop this focus in order to sustain progress in the years to come

Co-Create the Organization’s Future

We believe all team members have a role in making these commitments a reality, and we will actively engage the Sabin staff as we build a stronger, more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.

Key actions we’re taking:

  • We solicited suggestions from the Sabin staff on actions they would like to see Sabin implement
  • We will establish a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee comprised of Sabin staff at various levels to ensure their voice better informs decision making moving forward
  • We will provide frequent, transparent updates to all staff

Diversify Our Board and Team

We commit to making our Board of Trustees and the Sabin team more representative of the communities we serve around the world. This means increased racial diversity, including Black people, as well as representation from low- and middle-income countries.

Key actions we’re taking:

  • We will set a Board-level diversity framework and accelerate steps to add more diversity to our Trustee make up
  • Diversifying our staff requires a diverse candidate pool. The consultant and Vice President of Employee Engagement will help evaluate and improve our recruitment practices in order to be more inclusive. As an initial step, we have expanded beyond the job boards we typically use to attract a more diverse group of prospective employees
  • Effective immediately, we have made all intern positions paid, to the extent allowed by their university, and will work with a broad set of universities to diversify our intern applicant pool
  • Our new Vice President of Employee Engagement will help us assess our practices and policies and implement change

Audit Our Policies

We value and respect every member of the Sabin team and our goal is to have this felt throughout the organization. In order to continuously improve Sabin, we will reassess our systems, policies and processes to make Sabin a more inclusive workplace and make clear that feedback is encouraged, considered and addressed.

Key actions we’re taking:

  • The expert consultant will audit our current culture and take a closer look at feedback from our staff to make organizational improvements and report findings to the Board
  • Working with the consultant and Vice President of Employee Engagement, we will examine our HR policies and processes to inform changes moving forward

Continued Learning

We recognize our limitations and know we need to facilitate a more meaningful discussion on topics related to race and be more aware of the language, behavior and inherent biases of white privilege. Sabin is committed to continuing the education across the organization, including as it relates to reducing bias, increasing inclusion and examining our organizational culture

Key actions we’re taking:

  • Executive management will participate in coaching on topics such as inherent bias, power dynamics, inclusive leadership and skills for leading difficult conversations and others that are identified by the consultant
  • Supervisors will participate in trainings to better communicate and lead inclusively
  • All Sabin staff will participate in training workshops to create a more inclusive workplace at all levels

Regular Monitoring & Evaluation

The list above is not exhaustive, but represents our first steps toward moving our commitment into action. We will internally assess how we’re measuring up with a monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure we’re meeting our commitments. Sabin’s Board of Trustees will hold executive management accountable for taking the steps necessary to live up to these commitments.