Advancing Equity

Wake Forest University commits to creating an equitable environment, where all members of the campus community experience fairness, consistency, and belonging. This page shows a sample of ways the Human Resources team has advanced this important priority, along with previews of work underway.

Benefits

Added gender reassignment benefits ($50K/lifetime), Adaptive Behavioral Treatment autism benefits ($40K/lifetime), and a student debt counseling program that has saved participants ~$150K on loans.

Current focus: Continued review of all offerings, practices, and communication. 

Child Care

Conducted a needs assessment (46% response rate) and focus groups to explore ways the local child care challenge impacts Wake Forest families; added inclusive resources to the Care webpage.

Current focus: Evaluating the feasibility of establishing a child care center.

Feedback

Launched the WakeListens survey (55% response rate) to evaluate engagement, fairness, and belonging; introduced Office Hours with the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Current focus: Reviewing the WakeListens findings to determine where the faculty/staff experience may be inconsistent across group dynamics.  


New Hires

Added three new HR Directors to help the University advance the inclusive work underway. Combined Recruitment and Inclusion functions to capitalize on the important parallels of these areas.

Current focus: Revamping Onboarding and Orientation, with an emphasis on fostering belonging. 

Policies

Updated the Additional Compensation, Parental Leave, Variable Work Schedule (Flex-Time), and Remote Work policies to outline equitable practices. Added a web feature to highlight policy updates.

Current focus: Continued review of all policies; transitioning from PDFs to a more accessible format. 

Programs

Maintained a Phased Retirement Program and Voluntary Shared Paid Time Off (PTO) Program, enabling staff to donate accrued, unused PTO to colleagues during medical leaves and other personal events.

Current focus: Supporting the Compensation Program by implementing a tool with a job description repository and equity/bias analysis reporting.


Recruitment

Introduced a process that automatically posts openings to DiverseJobs, HigherEd Jobs, Indeed, and Inside Higher Ed. Contracted with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center to leverage Prism, which connects employers with diverse professionals who work in higher education.

Current focus: Introducing a faculty/staff referral program and candidate assessments; providing access for internal applicants to apply two days before jobs are posted externally.

Systems

Implemented Workday for 5,500 campus users, allowing leaders to evaluate equity across Human Resources data.

Current focus: Deploying the performance management module for all staff; convening the Gender & Name Task Force for all Wake Forest systems.

Training

Introduced Leading at Wake, a new manager series, with the following offerings: “Creating a Culture of Engagement and Belonging,” “Introduction to Inclusive Search and Selection” (with accompanying toolkit), “The Art of Performance Conversations,” and “Delegation and Accountability.”

Current focus: Exploring opportunities to require inclusive training offerings; establishing Diversity Advocates training for colleagues involved with interviewing and other HR processes.