Perceptions of workplace climate and diversity, equity, and inclusion within health services and policy research


Objective: To describe the perception of professional climate in health services and policy research (HSPR) and efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the HSPR workforce and workplaces.

Data Source: We administered the HSPR Workplace Culture Survey online to health services and policy researchers.

Study Design: Our survey examined participants' sociodemographic, educational, and professional backgrounds, their perception on DEI in HSPR, experience with DEI initiatives, feeling of inclusion, and direct and witnessed experiences of discrimination at their institutions/organizations. We calculated sample proportions of responses by gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and disability status and compared them with Fisher's exact test.

Data Collection: We administered the survey online from July 28 to September 4, 2020. HSPR professionals and trainees aged 18 and older were eligible to participate. Analyses used complete cases only (n = 906; 70.6% completion rate).

Principal Findings: 53.4% of the participants did not believe that the current workforce reflects the diversity of communities impacted by HSPR. Although most participants have witnessed various DEI initiatives at their institutions/organizations, nearly 40% characterized these initiatives as “tokenistic.” Larger proportions of participants who identified as female, LGBQI+, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and those with a disability held this perception than their male, heterosexual, White, and non-disabled counterparts. Current DEI initiatives focused on “planning” activities (e.g., convening task forces) rather than “implementation” activities (e.g., establishing mentoring or network programs). 43.7% of the participants felt supported on their career development, while female, Black, Hispanic/Latino, LGBQI+ participants and those with a disability experienced discrimination at their workplace.

Conclusions: Despite an increasing commitment to increasing the diversity of the HSPR workforce and improving equity and inclusion in the HSPR workplace, our results suggest that there is more work to be done to achieve such goals.

Chantarat T, Rogers TB, Mitchell CR, & Ko MJ. Perceptions of workplace climate and diversity, equity, and inclusion within health services and policy research. Health Services Research; 2022, 58:314–324. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.14032


  • Tongtan (Bert) Chantarat
  • Taylor B Rogers
  • Carmen R Mitchell
  • Michelle J Ko


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