Diversity, equity and inclusion in recruitment, hiring and academic career can be referred to the affirmative action which happens to be a policy that some developed countries adapted to allow equity in employment for both the minority and the majority. The initial goal was to bridge inequalities in employment and to promote diversity, also to redress apparent past wrongs, harms and hindrances. However, there is still gap between the recruitment of the minority and the majority in academic career. The caps and quotas limit some population(minority) over the other population (majority).
In academia the minority are sometimes stigmatised and treated differently by peer and professors who may believe that the success of the minority group in higher education institutions is unearned. Also the minority women often face pay discrimination which can be damaging for the future generation to come. There is need for conscious effort towards diversity, inclusion and equity in recruiting, hiring and academic career. This is important in academia because it reveals that the institutions practice what they preach about. Recruitment of diverse group of students and staff helps to foster inclusion and equity and this is what makes pedagogy interesting and complex. Cultivating a learning environment where students are treated equally shows that the institutions are deliberate about inclusion.
My home country Nigeria is quite different, in terms of having diversity in appearance, religion, and culture but not in race. Nigeria has diversity and inclusion in various sector but there is no hundred percent adoption of equity in some parts of the country. There are biases in recruitment and hiring in academic career. For instance, some institutions prefer to recruit student from the school’s geographical zone before recruiting other student and this also affects the academic staff when being recruited.
There seems to be a linkage between critical pedagogy and inclusive pedagogy in terms of empowerment of individual (learners) to achieve an inclusive education, addressing the inequalities of power and discriminary practice of underrepresented groups so to bring about inclusion. Critical pedagogy reveals the diversity in the academic sector and helps to bring changes which results in balancing. These changes which is the process is known as the inclusion while the balancing is known as the equity.
The idea that we should earn what we have and that we should not claim to obtain what we did not work for signifies integrity. Integrity is the quality of being entirely complete, it is the major pillar that our success or failure rest on. Integrity is what confidence is built on, it has a high influence of value and it facilitates our brand i.e. our uniqueness. For me, being able to do work or research myself gives me boldness and that is what integrity means. More so, being able to succeed because of merit or other factors should not change our stand about integrity. Examples of lack of integrity in academia is plagiarism. This is a serious offence in academia and there are great people who have being alleged to plagiarism. One of them is Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. A civil right leader who won a noble prize and brought a change in the United States. He pursued a doctorate degree at Boston university, wrote a dissertation titled “A comparison of the conception of God in the thinking of Paul & Henry “and successfully defended his dissertation. However, it was later discovered that some portion of his writing were taken from other authors examples Ralph Lurker( a historian who was responsible for Martin Luther King paper’s project). Furthermore, his speech titled “I have a Dream” has also being claimed to have been stolen from another pastor. This allegation of plagiarism was discovered several decades after his death long he became a national hero. The allegation has become a footnote has this did not change people’s opinion of him. Meanwhile, if he was alive and still an academic, his reputation would have been snared with huge impact to his life work.
As for me, I ensure that whenever I use other people’s thought or writings I diligently cite them when necessary. This how I promote integrity in my work.
I originated from Nigeria which is a federal republic in west Africa. Geographically, it is located in western Africa on gulf of Guinea and has a total areas of 923, 768 km/square and which makes it the world’s 32nd largest country and this is about twice of size of the US state of California. It has 36 states, one Federal Capital Territory which are sub-divided into 774 local government area and aggregated into six geopolitical zones which are North-Central, south-east, south-south and south-west. My family ancestry hails from the south-west in Nigeria specifically from the largest city known as Ibadan. Coming to Virginia Tech for my masters program and seeing students of diverse backgrounds like me makes me feel welcome into the community.