In support of APS goals to be more inclusive and to enhance cultural and diversity awareness, we sought to provide employees more flexibility to celebrate the days of importance to each individual. No one set of holidays is meaningful for every employee, so we determined that flexibility is vital.
In 2021, APS launched a Days of Significance calendar, which replaced our traditional holiday calendar. The number of days APS is officially closed was reduced and employees are now awarded more personal days to provide flexibility in how they use their time off.
The goal of these changes is to both reflect and respect the diversity across our staff but also to continue to create additional flexibility for each employee to honor days that are special to them in their own way at their own chosen time. This initiative doesn’t reduce the number of paid days off but rather creates for flexibility and promotes inclusivity.
In addition, Human Resources, in partnership with APS’s employee-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group, developed a diversity awareness calendar that highlights various cultural and religious events throughout the year. A year-long educational campaign titled Inclusion360 will build awareness by highlighting different days of significance, awareness months, and events in celebration of our diverse backgrounds and cultures.
APS is in the early stages of this 2021 campaign and policy change. While staff feedback has been positive, this involves a change management process from which we anticipate learning as the year progresses. APS will continue to gain feedback from staff about the policy change and tweak as necessary in future years with a continued commitment to fostering an inclusive culture, providing flexibility to employees, and celebrating our diversity.
Diversity, inclusion and respect are core values of the American Physical Society. They are critical for social justice and essential to advance science itself. With the world facing so many challenges, we need all hands on deck, irrespective of their race or ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, religion or national origin, or physical or intellectual ability. I believe, as does the American Physical Society, that the great diversity of the United States represents one of the nation's greatest strengths, and that by seriously listening to and respecting each other, we will build a better world.