Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The Wildlife Society is committed to the identification and removal of barriers to recruitment, effective mentoring, retention of a diverse workforce, and to communicating with a diverse array of stakeholders. Through ongoing diversity initiatives, TWS has been working with partner organizations and TWS members to develop recommendations for increasing recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in the wildlife profession. Society members and staff have developed a number of resources and publications to further engage on diversity and inclusion. Staff and members are dedicated to strengthening and supporting diversity efforts within the Society and throughout the wildlife profession. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is emphasized in The Wildlife Society’s guiding documents, including the strategic plan and standing position statement on workforce diversity within the wildlife profession.

TWS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Vision

In June 2021, The Wildlife Society Council approved a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Vision document to help shape and guide TWS operations. Goals identified in this document were developed through collaborative engagement with diverse TWS stakeholders and relate to the Society’s five-year Strategic Plan. This document provides a foundation for developing future action-based initiatives within the planning framework already established for TWS decision-making.

If you have a tactic or enhancement you would like TWS to consider regarding DEI or would like to contribute to one of our ongoing DEI initiatives, please complete this short survey. Help inform, adjust, improve, and advance our DEI goals.

For more information on TWS’ strategic planning framework, including a detailed sequence of the Annual Operations Plan Process, please see our Strategic Plan.

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TWS Communities

Are you a member of an underrepresented group or wish to get involved in the DEI efforts at The Wildlife Society? Explore our communities to learn more about getting involved.

Out in the Field

Are you a member of an underrepresented group or wish to get involved in the DEI efforts at The Wildlife Society? Explore our communities to learn more about getting involved.

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Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness Working Group

The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness Working Group promotes the involvement of minorities and women in the wildlife and natural resource professions, especially in areas such as student recruitment, conservation education, and professional development.

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Women of Wildlife

The Women of Wildlife Community was created to promote and support women in the wildlife profession and to provide mentoring opportunities and advice. The steering committee – composed of volunteers housed within the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness Working Group and staff develops symposia and programming, and hosts networking events for local, national, and international meetings.

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TWS Council Diversity Subcommittee

The Diversity Subcommittee is composed of TWS Council members, staff, and members. The subcommittee is appointed annually by the TWS president with stated charges focused on improving and supporting Society diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Subcommittee activities include providing recommendations on Council action, facilitating liaison with TWS working groups, developing strategies for effective coordination among programs and for internal and external outreach, and reviewing TWS bylaws, documents, and correspondence from members and organizational units to report on any revisions. For more information, please contact us.

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Professional Development & Member Recognition

Uplifting and recognizing the voices of our community, both members and non-members, is extremely important to our DEI efforts and mission. Learn more about opportunities as underrepresented individuals and hear about the experiences of wildlife professionals below.

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The 2019 cohort of Native Student Professional Development program. Credit: TWS

Native Student Professional Development Program

Are you an Indigenous student enrolled in a wildlife program? The Native Student Professional Development Program promotes the early development of indigenous wildlife professionals. Individuals selected for this program receive grants to help cover registration fees, lodging, meals and transportation to attend and participate in the annual conference. Program participants also receive a one-year membership in TWS and become members of the TWS Native People’s Wildlife Management Working Group.

TWS Diversity Award

The Diversity Award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding efforts in promoting diversity in the natural resource-related professions, especially wildlife conservation and education. The award recognizes and honors promotion of and support for diversity in the workforce, academic enrollment, or organizational membership. Recipients are recognized annually during The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference.

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NBA star Paul George poses with students from urban schools in the Oklahoma City area during a sponsored fishing event. Courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

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Credit: Kristina Harkins

Wildlife Vocalizations

Wildlife Vocalizations are short personal perspectives from people in the field of wildlife sciences. Each featured wildlifer will answer one question that reflects on the past and looks toward the future, providing a voice that shows we are not alone. These stories will be woven together through the common theme of passion, ingenuity, tenacity and perseverance. Wildlife Vocalizations articles are published on wildlife.org and are also available through the eWildlifer. Read the latest Wildlife Vocalizations.

Progress Through Collaboration

The Wildlife Society has partnered with like minded organizations to help facilitate progress in areas that align with our beliefs. We recommend exploring these organizations for further resources and information on the path the diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wildlife profession.

Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers

The Wildlife Society became a partner organization of the Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers (DJV) in 2017. The DJV – a partnership of federal and state agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, foundations and professional societies that work together to increase the number of women and people of color in the conservation workforce – works to introduce students and potential employees to the conservation field, provide resources relevant to internships and jobs in the conservation workforce, advise employers about recruitment and hiring practices and support opportunities for career growth and development.

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US Forest Service Native American Research Assistantship

The Native American Research Assistantship Program – developed collaboratively by the U.S. Forest Service, a Premier Partner of TWS, and The Wildlife Society – facilitates opportunities for Native American students to be mentored by USFS Research & Development (R&D) scientists and promotes student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields. Assistantship participants aid and learn about the USFS’ ecological, science-based approach to decision-making and balancing multiple use management of national forests and grasslands. Assistantships are available for Native American students interested in wildlife and forest resource research and management.

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Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM

The Wildlife Society is a member organization of the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM. The Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM is a unique collective act of leadership and accountability to advance excellence in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical fields (STEMM). The mission and role of the consortium is to set standards of excellence in STEMM fields, requiring high quality research, teaching and practice and high standards of professional and ethical conduct. That is only possible in a community that includes all talent and is actively intolerant of sexual and intersecting bases of harassment. Through a collective effort and investment, the consortium model can develop high-quality resources that benefit from multiple perspectives and national expertise, in a time and cost-efficient manner.

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