Medical Library Association Diversity and Inclusion Task Force 2019 Survey Report
Keywords:Medical Library Association, Survey, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
Objective: The goal of this survey by the Medical Library Association (MLA) Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was to have a better understanding of the demographics of the association as well as ascertain how the membership feels about MLA’s diversity efforts.
Methods: A survey was created with the input of both task force members as well as MLA professional staff. It was administered via SurveyMonkey and distributed through email over the course of two weeks in October 2019.
Results: The demographics portion of the survey—beyond asking the usual questions about race or ethnicity (72% white), age (65% between 30 and 59), and so on—also asked questions that were more specific to diversity including, but not limited to, gender representation (79% female), sexuality (67% heterosexual), military service (97% have never served), ability (26% have anxiety sometimes or in certain situations), and college financial aid (49% used federal student loans). Diversity-specific questions asked about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the association: 59% strongly agreed or agreed that MLA has a strong commitment to DEI; 54% felt that the amount of time that association was spending on DEI issues was just about right; and 56% were very satisfied or satisfied with the DEI environment at MLA. Members also reported feeling like they belonged in MLA (59%), they were treated with respect (77%), and they were valued by MLA (59%)Conclusion: The survey paints a picture of the membership that is much deeper than any previously conducted membership survey. It shows the diversity of membership, especially in terms of ability and religion. Generally, the membership feels that MLA is right on target with the level of focus that MLA is giving issues of diversity. This survey reinforces the diversity work that has been done and supports diversity work in MLA in the future.