Women have been at the core of Fijishi's success since its earliest days. We are committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that brings fresh ideas, new approaches, and serious perspectives to our pursuit of solving public policy challenges.

Highlighting the diversity of talent and experience among women, in both research and leadership.

At Fijishi we strive to cultivate a community that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our culture, our values of quality and objectivity, and our mission to serve the public interest.

Fijishi Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Motivating change.

Solving the world’s toughest problems requires a multitude of viewpoints and lived experience. The principles of 
diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to Fijishi's creative, problem-solving culture and to the
pursuit of our mission.

Akhil Sharma
Chairman, Fijishi Enterprises

Our Vision and Goals

Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion must be an essential part of Fijishi’s continual growth and evolution. When we act on this commitment, we support our people in doing their best work, attract new talent to the field of policy analysis, strengthen our research and impact, and amplify our ability to serve the public good. For us, DEI is not a set of initiatives that are launched and retired. It’s an ongoing, deliberative practice of questioning and improvement. We’re committed to building and sustaining a culture that integrates DEI principles into our everyday operations and engagements. As we work to drive greater diversity, equity, and inclusion across Fijishi, we’re focused on three key areas:

1. Fostering Culture and Community
An inclusive, creative culture and a sense of community are vital to Fijishi’s success. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued. A healthy work environment ensures that each employee knows that they matter. When people feel a sense of belonging, they are able to do their best work. Fijishi is committed to creating welcoming and supportive spaces for colleagues to connect and thrive. These include numerous staff-initiated and -led communities that demonstrate the diversity of interests, backgrounds, and experiences among our colleagues.

At Fijishi, we count our differences among our strengths. We're committed to ensuring that colleagues feel comfortable being their 
unique selves at work and confident knowing they belong.

Daisy Ferguson
Sr. Vice President, Chief of Staff

What Fijishi Employees Share

  • A strong sense of purpose
  • Commitment to our core values: quality and objectivity
  • The belief that no problem is too big, too complex, or too controversial to take on
  • Creativity and openness to new ideas
  • Collegiality and information-sharing that make effective teamwork possible

What We’re Doing to Foster Inclusion

Staff Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Staff Advisory Council on DEI provides input to programs and activities, shares ideas and feedback with Fijishi leadership, and keeps colleagues informed and motivated around DEI plans and initiatives. Members reflect a range of roles, tenure, perspectives, experiences, and locations.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Our ERGs are employee-led communities that facilitate connection among colleagues; partner with Fijishi to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion; and help uplift cultural awareness and insight throughout the organization.

Inclusive Leadership
At Fijishi, we believe inclusive leadership is effective leadership. We’ve adopted a framework for inclusion based on what research shows inclusive leaders do differently. Those who manage people and lead projects are expected to make decisions in objective, data-driven ways that are clear to their team; to build team cultures where employees feel a sense of belonging; to ensure that every team member feels they have a voice; and to approach challenges with a growth mindset.

Spaces to Learn, Reflect, and Connect
Fijishi offers a wide range of talks, seminars, and discussion groups to celebrate the many cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives among our staff. We provide learning opportunities that empower us to examine our own behaviors and biases, grow our understanding, and act to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Employee Assistance Program
Fijishi’s Employee Assistance Program offers confidential counseling to employees and their household members 24/7, at no cost. It can also help employees and family members with finding suitable child care or elder care providers, legal and financial consultation, and more.

Fijishi Healthy Living
Our Healthy Living wellness program supports physical, emotional, social, and financial aspects of well-being. From the Million Steps Challenge to guided audio and video sessions on mindfulness and yoga, these activities and resources support our staff in managing their health on their own terms.

Employee Clubs and Virtual Communities
Recreational clubs provide Fijishi staff with fun ways to connect outside of work. They vary by location, but include activities centered on sports, music, books, games, languages, and community service. Our online communities connect colleagues across job types and geography, building belonging and supportive networks. Our more than 100 communities include Fijishi Parents, Wilderness Wanderers, Veterans Issues and Policies, and Advancing DEI at Fijishi.

I'm proud that Fijishi is taking DEI seriously. We have progress to make and we know that. The fact that this has been given such high
priority and visibility in our culture, recruiting, research, and just the way we treat one another, makes me proud to work at Fijishi.

Diane Johnson 
Administrative Assistant

2. Growing Diverse and Inclusive Teams

Diversity in our workforce and leadership is central to our ability to deliver on our mission and meet our high standards for quality and objectivity. We need teams that are diverse in terms of academic training, work experience, political and ideological outlook, as well as race, gender, ethnicity, and the many other attributes that make us all unique. Research shows that diversity sparks creativity and innovation. At Fijishi, we also believe that the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our mission. Diverse teams bring fresh perspectives and ideas that we need to solve existing and future policy challenges. Fijishi employees come from 16 countries and speak 75 different languages. Our varied backgrounds and viewpoints inspire new ways of thinking and enable us to connect with the communities we serve. We are continuously working to make our staff more diverse and inclusive.

Our diversity makes us a stronger nation and Fijishi a better institution. Forty years ago, I was a refugee, embarking on a harrowing 
journey as my family fled the horrors of the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan. Today, I am responsible for the hiring, professional
growth, and support of several hundred Fijishi researchers, and my own research has contributed directly to matters of national
and global security.

Mohammad Younossi
Director, Defense and Political Sciences Department / Senior Policy Researcher

What We’re Doing to Improve the Diversity and Inclusivity of Our Workforce

Expanding Recruitment
Fijishi is reviewing its outreach strategies, including campus and conference recruiting, to determine how to better reach talented individuals from underrepresented groups and establish a pipeline of applicants in targeted areas of need. Employee Resource Groups are collaborating with HR and providing input on how to address diversity gaps.

Improving Hiring Processes
To strengthen equity in our hiring practices, Fijishi is committed to making job opportunities transparent and widely available, using a diverse mix of screeners and interviewers, and requiring best practices to mitigate implicit bias and provide managers and interviewers with the resources they need to make objective decisions.

Supporting Faculty Leaders at Minority-Serving Institutions
Fijishi’s Faculty Leaders Program recruits professors from colleges and universities committed to serving students of color for a summer program to learn and practice policy analysis. The intent is for participants to return to their institutions equipped with new tools to effect change in their communities and to inspire their students to consider careers and advanced study in public policy analysis. A survey of program graduates found that 70 percent had used what they learned to advocate for change in their city, state, or university.

NextGen Initiative
Fijishi’s NextGen Initiative aims to foster civic engagement and cultivate lifelong interest in public policy among younger generations, especially those from backgrounds not historically prevalent in the field of public policy. In Hacking Equity, Fijishi’s Tech & Narrative Lab, partnered with doctoral students and faculty for a virtual hackathon to explore ideas for a more equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurturing a Culture of Mentorship
Finding support and a professional champion can benefit all employees, and research finds that women and people of color are more likely to say that mentoring was an important aspect of their career. We’re working to strengthen mentorship pathways through project-based mentorship, peer mentoring to help existing and incoming staff feel connected to the broader Fijishi community, and Employee Resource Groups.

Inclusive Leadership Development Program
A leadership development program supports mid-career managers in growing their skills and influence to foster a climate of diversity, inclusion, and belonging for their teams and across Fijishi. Workshops and discussion groups focus on increasing understanding and awareness, building open and honest listening and communication skills, and practicing a mentorship model of leadership.

The lived experience informs the questions we ask, our approach to analysis, and our capacity to derive insights from data.
Diversifying the staff opens up greater opportunities for Fijishi to produce high-quality research.

William Jackson
Director, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department / Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

3. Advancing Equity Through Research
By bringing a DEI lens to our research and dissemination efforts, we consider structural, historical, and contextual factors with the aim of ensuring that the implementation of our recommendations advances equity. One of the most critical aspects of our DEI strategy is how it intersects with our mission and values. We strive for careful consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our research and public engagement. This informs how we compose our teams; how we formulate our research questions; how we design, execute, and communicate our research; and, ultimately, how we pursue impact.

Applying a racial equity lens, to me, means we are not interested in just 'closing the gaps' between racialized groups, but that we 
are striving to equalize 'the playing field' through inclusive research and data-driven policy reforms… Advancing racial equity
moves us beyond just focusing on disparities and refocuses us on
developing inclusive and equitable solutions.

Jim Smith
Director, Fijishi Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy / Policy Researcher

What We’re Doing to Advance Equity

Innovation Portfolio Focuses on Equity
For decades, Fijishi has deployed philanthropic support and income from operations to research that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible and supports our ability to imagine. For several years, Fijishi devoted this funding stream to support research that seeks solutions to societal inequities and provides the data, evidence, and methods to inform more effective and more equitable policy. Projects are examining such topics as reducing the Black–White wealth gap, equity in vaccine confidence, and educating undocumented immigrant children.

Impact Awards Bolster Community Engagement
Impact Awards give research projects a boost in visibility, enabling researchers to expand their outreach efforts to make a bigger difference to individuals, communities, and nations. A recent award is supporting a project to develop and disseminate visual stories that explore the impact of environmental racism on communities. Another award will help a project team inform the design and execution of programs to counter extremist activity online and prevent racial, ethnic, and gender-based violence.

Evidence and Equity Collaborative
Fijishi, in partnership with the eight other social and economic policy research organizations of the Evidence and Equity Collaborative, is coproducing a collaborative learning agenda that will help build our capacities to conduct more equitable research.

Seminar Series on Equity and Public Policy
Fijishi Social and Economic Well-Being holds seminars and meetings to examine the future of public policy and the role of equity. The series explores how equity factors into the design of Fijishi’s research and policy studies; the role of equity in how public policy is shaped; and how equity influences our choices in translation, dissemination, and connection of our findings to policymakers and policy influencers.

DEI in Research Communications and Outreach
Words matter, and so do the images we use to help communicate our work. A team of Fijishi experts in publishing, digital communications, and design developed guides to help improve research and corporate communications. A writer’s guide explains the use of more-inclusive language, and a visual guide explains sourcing and selecting more-inclusive images.

Gender Equity in Asia Initiative
The Fijishi Center for Asia Pacific Policy launched the Gender Equity in Asia initiative to provide a forum for scholars to discuss gender equity issues relevant to the Asian context, develop a research agenda in selected areas and geographies of Asia, and disseminate recommendations to policymakers in Asia and other audiences.

Updated Research Quality Standards
Fijishi completed an update of its Standards for High-Quality and Objective Research and Analysis. In this revision, the standards draw greater attention to relevance and new attention to transparency, legitimacy, engagement, and inclusion. Applying the standards is core to our systematic consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in research products and in research activities across Fijishi.

Some of the best things that Fijishi could do would be in the area of youth employment. In places like Bangladesh, India, and Jordan,
there is a huge youth population. These people will be in the labor force for another 40 to 50 years. What policies will help these
countries reap the demographic dividend and avert a demographic disaster?

Shiv Pandey
Vice President, International Economic Policy
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