Today's Veterinary Business

APR 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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43 April/May 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM What do I mean by "do" diversi- ty? I mean recruiting a diverse pool of candidates for open positions, understanding clientele demograph- ics such as cultural, linguistic and possibly required disability accom- modations, or managing that rare but real client who may announce, "My cat doesn't like black people." Don't chuckle — it happens! Doing diversity requires conscien- tious efforts to build your business with an eye to meeting human and animal needs in the experiences that you create for them. Those ex- periences begin the moment your clients cross your threshold. For example, the new client enters the clinic, looks around, is greeted by front desk staff, and looks at the pic- tures on the walls and the brochures in the waiting area. Ask yourself: • Are the images inclusive of diversity in terms of people and animals? • Are any materials available in languages other than English? • Is the intake form gender non-specific? • Is the space accommo- dating to individuals with physical disabilities? These, along with concern for their animals, may be thoughts that pass through the consciousness and shape the experience while waiting for the appointment to commence. Community DIVERSITY TOOLBOX Act Affirmatively Numerous opportunities exist to demonstrate diversity and inclu- sion in your business in the first few moments of a client visit. For now, let's focus on staffing. The Atlantic published a 2013 article about diversity and the American workforce. The author decried the veterinary profession as the whitest profession in the country. That claim may be debat- able; however, U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that the veterinary profession is 91.2 percent white and the paraprofessional staff 82.0 percent white. Hidden talent With minimal effort, you can act affirmatively to increase diversity in your applicant pool. I attend many meetings on diversity throughout the year. Most often, the meetings focus on sociological concepts, critical race theory and cultural trends. This information is critical to understanding larger diversity issues, but sometimes it misses the mark in terms of what people really need to know on the ground about how to "do" diversity. By Lisa M. Greenhill, MPA, EdD

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