If you made it to the member meeting (a.k.a. pre-party) on Tuesday, you may have heard Executive Director Melissa Moore mention the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative at INFORMS. If not, consider yourself on notice. When I first heard of it, I was supportive (like most members, I assume), but figured that I did not have much to offer, particulary because I’m retired and no longer in a position to iunfluence, well, anybody. It also crossed my mind that adding myself to the discussion would, ironically, dilute the group’s diversity.
In a discussion with one of the committee members, I realized the error of my thinking. The diversity effort needs “champions” (which, as noted, I’m no longer in a position to be), but it also needs ideas, and people willing to discuss the merits and liabilities of those ideas. The real strengh in diversity comes from representation of a wide set of viewpoints and maximization of the source pool of ideas, and then comes when everyone chips in, regardless of which boxes we do or do not check.
When I get home (and get caught up on sleep), I’m going to log into Connect, find the diversity community (under “All Communities”), and sign up. I encourage anyone else who thinks diversity and inclusion are important to do the same.
The conference is winding down now. Safe travels to all, and I hope to see you in Phoenix next year.