Have you heard questions or participated in discussions such as:
“Why don’t we have more men in the field?”
“Wow, Black men in the profession of speech pathology and audiology, they’re unicorns!”
“We need clinicians and practitioners that match the demographics of the populations being served in our work settings.”
If so, you would be among a number of individuals who have looked around and wondered, why do we not have a diverse group of professionals working in the speech-language-hearing sciences (SLHS). There are a number of reasons why this is a phenomenon. One of the many concerns related to diversity in SLHS is the fact that the number of Black professionals has been slow in growth and it does not represent the demographics of our global society. Based on information reported by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association in 2021 related to membership, of the 193,000 respondents, 8.7% identify as people of color, 3.6% identify as Black. In a profession that is approximately 96% female, 3.7% identify as men (of all races). From that information, we can extrapolate that less than 1% of that group would identify as a Black man. There is a continued need to discuss how we can invest in the commitment to diversify the profession, provide equitable actions and access to ensure recruitment and retention efforts are successful. How do we go about expounding on the racialized biases, identifying barriers that prevent access and inclusion, and overcoming the inequitable actions that disable the diversification of speech-language-hearing sciences?
This session will offer ideas, suggestions, strategies, and engage you in a thoughtful discussion on what must be done to create a profession that is welcoming and supportive of varied perspectives, genders, ethnicities, and races.