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Illinois IGB

Climate Survey Results

In Fall 2021, the IGB Committee on Diversity Task Force conducted a survey aimed at understanding the current work environment of the IGB, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the experience of our community for all IGB members.

The climate survey asked several questions about the work environment of the IGB: Does it feel safe? Do people feel free to express their opinions? Is there mutual respect? Is it conducive to career development? What is the climate like overall? Data from these answers have been compiled below. Each question has been answered in two ways: based on the occupation and on the gender of the survey participant. Of the 80 survey participants, 41 identified as female, 33 identified as male, and the remaining were unspecified or other.

What is your occupation? (optional)

Climate Survey 8 Occupation

The IGB has a safe (not physically, psychologically, or emotionally threatened) work environment.

Climate Survey Safe Environment

I am able to voice my opinion at the IGB without fearing negative consequences.

Climate Survey Voice Opinion

People treat other with respect at the IGB.

Climate Survey Respect

I feel respected and valued by the IGB.

Climate Survey Respect and Valued

I feel confident I can develop my career at the IGB.

Climate Survey Career

How satisfied or dissatisfied were you with the overall climate/environment that you have experienced at the IGB in the past 24 months? (optional)

Climate Survey Satisfied

 

Overall, the responses suggest that IGB members who are further along their career paths may have felt more comfortable to reply than more junior members. Encouragingly, a majority of respondents expressed satisfaction with IGB’s work environment. However, individuals in groups who may be in more privileged positions in academic and social settings, including faculty members and individuals identifying as male, were more likely to indicate satisfaction, while those who are more vulnerable to imbalances in power or preference expressed higher rates of dissatisfaction.

Since the 2018 survey, the IGB's Committee on Diversity and Task Force has provided new programming and resources to strengthen our community. However, we still have work to do; the 2021 results demonstrate that these efforts have not not prevented negative behaviors and experiences at the individual level, as evidenced by the participants who shared their thoughts on any behavior—from leadership or supervisor positions—that they felt threatened by. To protect their anonymity, these answers have not been shared. There were, unfortunately, complaints about bullying, gaslighting, racism, and sexism, underlining the need for immediate action.

These results, considered in conjunction with specific anonymous comments that were shared with the Committee on Diversity, sadly reinforce that bullying, prejudice, and other harmful behaviors and attitudes do occur at the IGB and that targeted individuals are not always able to find support within the IGB community. There are many reasons why harmful behaviors sometimes go unreported, and the COD and CODTF remain dedicated to making positive changes to IGB’s work environment and are open to feedback of all kinds.

The IGB leadership is currently in the process of discussing new initiatives that can be established to improve the work environment. They encourage everyone to share their comments on these issues at any time—either directly to Gene Robinson, the Committee on Diversity Task Force (CODTF@igb.illinois.edu), or a trusted colleague who is able to share feedback anonymously.