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Driving diversity and inclusion: Moving from rhetoric to reality

2021 AUTM meeting coverage
This article appeared in the April 2021 issue of Technology Transfer Tactics.

Click to read the entire Technology Transfer Tactics article

James Zanewicz, TUSOM Chief Business Officer participated in the AUTM 2021 Annual Meeting as a panelist during the Driving diversity and inclusion: Moving from rhetoric to reality session.

Zanewicz noted that TTOs are in an excellent position to better engage underrepresented inventors and students. “The data shows that those are the people less likely to step forward and say, ‘I need help’ or ‘I want to learn more,’” he observed. “By actively reaching out and engaging with those folks, we can do a lot to show people that they are able to be engaged in the activities we are in, whether it is from the scientific side or from people who might become future leaders in our profession.”

He also commented that getting the right mix for true diversity might be tricky. “For diversity of thought, just because you have diversity in the traditional sense and are including different people of color and genders and sexual orientations, it does not necessarily mean you are choosing people who think differently than you do,” he said. “We also need to look at people who have different backgrounds, all those other types [who think] differently than we do, or we wind up in groupthink, and that is just as dangerous and can lead us down a worse path than having [no] diversity.”