DEI Organizing Collective

Queryable Equity Database

The goal of this team is to establish a database of demographic and climate information for the DPP that can be used to evaluate and monitor equity gaps in the community. We require the database to be searchable by members of DPP committees, such as the Executive Committee as well as program and awards committees etc., such that these committees can use the database as a tool to evaluate historic and current equity in representation across the community in general and for specific nominee pools for honors and awards. Central to establishing this tool is the need for strict protection of community members’ private information, so as to ideally prevent the risk of harm to individuals due to volunteering potentially sensitive information. This task will be complete when we have identified the database requirements and a suitable entity to build and curate the database, and then presented that information to the DPP ExComm for further action.

The members of this team will neither handle member private information nor actually create the database.

Take a look at Dr. Liz Merritt's QED 2021 Planing Talk

What will this database do and not do?

Will do: A committee can submit the names of winner pool and look at dis-aggregated demographics of the entire pool.

Example: The DPP Program committee wants to track demographic changes of invited talk winners in a given category. They can submit the pool of names of invited talk winners for each year, and then get the demographic statistics for that year. If they do this going back several years, then can look for trends in how the demographics are changing.

Won't do: A committee cannot look up all the members of a given demographic or the demographics of a specific person. That would violate member privacy.

An awards committee wants to increase the committee diversity next year, so the Chair wants to look up the demographics of all the suggested new committee members. If the Chair was able to do that, they may discover that one of the suggested members is bisexual, even if that person isn't out to the community. To prevent this, the QED will have safeguards in place so that no-one can submit a query with few enough names that private information about any member can be linked to that person.

Systemic obstacles to STEM climates, e.g., gatekeeping, othering, grant and award criteria, Principal Investigator/Research Group accountability, and closed-source data management, are prime leverage points to reimagine and implement equitable restorative measures.
University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education (CUE) has demonstrated the requirement of disaggregated data to understand that institutions create climates and the subsequent development of impactful solutions[1]. Ergo, we will create a Queryable Equity Database tool to transform identifiable data sets into disaggregated anonymous data. The QED will assist in identifying potential issues with CUE’s gap analysis process and enable stakeholders to set and meet equity goals through a cohort of federal entities.

**APS DPP has Contracted PN&A to construct a prototype QED tool for evaluation by APS during its pilot use in the Plasma Division!!

QED Prototype construction is scheduled for completion before the end of 2023. 

Next Steps

I. Equity-Gap Analysis: Prioritization requires evaluating the current STEM workforce trajectory and is the foundation for how communities can plan to prioritize their next steps…. A Gap Identification measurement protocol and toolkit[1] were created to evaluate disparities (or equity-gaps) in workforce development and projected needs. STEM workforce gaps can be subdivided into two categories for identification: 

  1. Demographics that center racialized/historically marginalized [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and women] at all STEM levels; and

  1. The total number of professionals needed to meet STEM workforce demands.

Increasing equity for racialized and historically marginalized people means an upsurge in equity rather than a reduction of the currently overrepresented demographics. CUE established Equity-Gaps to determine, in a two-stage ratio measurement process, the Equity Index and the Percentage Point Gap. “... the Equity Index (EI) is a ratio of two percentages or shares: the numerator is the percentage or share of a disaggregated subgroup.” In stage two, “...[the] Percentage Point Gap (PPG) method compares outcome attainment rates for a disaggregated subgroup with the outcome attainment rate for a reference group. 

II. Data Analysis Tools - Accountability and Critical Dimensions of Equity: Perhaps the most significant single factor in establishing a culture of evidence is analyzing data disaggregated by race and ethnicity from an equity-minded lens informed by the HTI®Framework[2]. CUE established a “concept of ‘equity-mindedness’ to describe actions that demonstrate individuals’ capacity to recognize and address racialized structures, policies, and practices that produce and sustain racial inequities…Equity-minded data analysis entails: noticing racial inequities; acknowledging that practices may not be working; understanding inequity as a dysfunction of structures, policies, and practices; questioning assumptions and recognizing stereotypes and implicit biases; and taking action to eliminate inequity…For example, in the face of data showing that white students have higher success rates than students from all other racial/ethnic groups, equity-minded data analysis prompts the instructor to notice the equity gap and ask: ‘What is it about my course content and assignments, class policies, communication style, etc., that better supports white students’ enrollment, retention, and success?’” [3] With the repository of analyzed data from the QED, our team will guide the stakeholders through establishing initiatives in the accountability and critical dimensions - the essential components of Equity[1]. 

[1] Center for Urban Education Racial Equity Tools,

[2] Beyond Buzzwords and Bystanders: A Framework for Systematically Developing a Diverse, Mission Ready, and Innovative Coast Guard Workforce. (2019) K. Young-McLear,

[3] Bensimon, E. M., Dowd, A. C., Witham, K. (2016). “Five principles for exacting equity by design.” Diversity and Democracy, The Equity Imperative. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19:1 [11] Estela Mara Bensimon (2018) Reclaiming Racial Justice in Equity, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 50:3-4, 95-98, DOI: 10.1080/00091383.2018.1509623

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