WCTE Annual Report on Diversity

WCTE is firmly committed to prohibiting discrimination throughout the employment process against individuals because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, and place of birth, or against qualified individuals with disabilities, or because of any other legally protected status.

We strive to achieve that goal in several ways. A fundamental step is to try to attract a diverse set of candidates in the first place, so we post job announcements where a broad audience is likely to see them. When a position requires an industry-specific set of skills we advertize through relevant trade groups and professional organizations whose memberships include substantial participation by women and minorities (Examples include Netaonline.org ; pbma.org ; cpb.org ; and TVJobs.com.) We also post notices on message boards at Tennessee Tech University. For jobs that call for more generalized skills, we advertize to a broader audience by listing the positions in Cookeville’s local newspaper (Herald-Citizen), and sometimes in Nashville’s newspaper (The Tennessean), its online component, CareerBuilder.com, and on LinkedIn.com. One especially helpful strategy has been to bolster world-of-mouth exposure through private letters to area friends, asking them to pass the word to acquaintances that may be quietly looking but not in active searches. That technique has provided several strong, diverse candidates, some of whom we hired.
Finding diverse candidates is only the first step. Research demonstrates that hiring decisions based on traditional interviews tend to be heavily influenced by the unconscious beliefs and biases of the interviewers. To minimize this effect we have inserted an important step into the selection process: With the help of a local consulting firm, we analyze the open position to gain an objective measure of the specific skills, competencies, and personal attributes required for success in a given position. The resulting data provide objective benchmarks against which to compare candidates. This information also lets us develop well-targeted, job-specific interview questions. We believe adding this measure of objectivity helps ensure that our screening process sorts candidates based on criteria that are truly job-related.
Our Employee Manual provides another tool in our effort at non-discrimination. Periodic revisions have added clarity about the high value we place on maintaining an inclusive work environment, the style and behavior we expect of our employees, and the steps any employee should take if he or she perceives a problem. We publicly affirm our commitment to these principles by prominently displaying our statement of non discrimination (contained in the first paragraph above) on our website and in our newsletter.
And finally, we point with pride to our enormously diverse roster of employees. Our group embodies the same range of religious beliefs, political views, lifestyle choices, inter-generational judgments, gender related misunderstandings, and all-around stubbornness as any other. Yet we affirm our commitment to these principles of non-discrimination daily – first by expecting we can work things out, and then by doing so.

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