News: Our DEI Strategic Goals - Apr 9, 2021
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Friday, April 9, 2021General News

Our DEI Strategic Goals

Dear Search Associates Community,

Since June 2020, Search Associates has engaged in listening, learning and critical self-examination to understand how we can become a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist organization. In addition to making internal organizational changes, we have also been considering ways to partner with others and use our influence to shape an international school community that is also diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist.

In August 2020, we announced our commitment to publish a DEI strategic plan, and in December 2020 we shared learnings from our Candidate Listening Circles.

In partnership with our DEI Consultants, we have used the learnings from the Listening Circles and a comprehensive DEI Organizational Audit to develop an initial 3-year strategic plan, shared below.

Our three goals target our internal organization, the candidates we serve, and the schools we serve. The priorities and initiatives under each goal represent key areas of focus, commitment and action.

At this stage of our journey, we are engaged in resourcing the needed expertise, establishing timelines, and creating detailed project plans and success indicators to ensure that our actions and plans have the intended impact. We intend for candidates to experience their most salient identities being valued and included in Search Associates and their school communities.

This work will be ongoing, and we recognize the importance of partnering with like-minded organizations to maximize the positive impact of our collective work.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this work and for both the challenge and support we have received from so many of you. We will stay committed to tangible actions and evidence of change and expect to send out another update on our progress by the start of the new school year.


Jessica Magagna, CEO and The Search Associates Team

Our DEI Strategic Goals (2021-2024)
GOAL 1: Demonstrate DEI leadership, commitment and accountability in cultivating an anti-racist and anti-bias organization

Priority 1: Develop and integrate justice, equity, and inclusion practices, policies, and principles into SA organizational culture

Key Initiatives

  • Develop, publish, and operationalize DEI organizational guiding statements
  • Upgrade and reform internal organizational norms, policies, practices, and approaches to reflect our anti-racist, anti-bias commitments
  • Maintain a strategic plan that aligns our DEI efforts with SA strategic goals and objectives

Priority 2: Engage in ongoing DEI learning and development for SA employees and Senior Associates to initiate, deepen, and sustain organizational change

Key Initiatives

  • Develop, implement, and track a core set of DEI expectations for ET, staff, and Senior Associates
  • Engage in personal and organizational learning beginning with best practices in transformational change, anti-bias hiring, intercultural competence, and racial identity development

Priority 3: Increase racial and gender representation in leadership and roles throughout the organization and actively integrate their identities and perspectives

Key Initiatives

  • Develop and/or update internal hiring policies to address hiring inequities, and promote outreach, recruitment, and retention of members of historically excluded communities and underrepresented groups
  • Begin to review our business model with an eye towards long-term change

Priority 4: Openly share our successes, opportunities, challenges and next steps with the international school community

Key Initiatives

  • Track and share key DEI metrics and indicators to promote accountability and best practices in the employee and candidate life cycle
  • Regularly review progress on implementation of DEI strategic plan to determine impact and share with community
GOAL 2: Enhance the experience of BIPOC and other candidates who encounter bias through an equitable and inclusive support model

Priority 1: Engage in targeted recruitment efforts for historically excluded and marginalized groups/communities in the international school community

Key Initiatives

  • Actively identify and recruit BIPOC educators into the Search Associates candidate database and track key metrics to measure success
  • Develop intentional hiring opportunities for BIPOC educators and leaders
  • Initiate and increase the use of anti-bias, competency-based hiring approaches that lead to greater representation and alignment in the international school community

Priority 2: Center and integrate the perspectives of diverse, culturally competent educators and leaders as an ongoing practice

Key Initiative

  • Regularly assess and track candidate experiences with Search Associates and in their schools in order to recognize and address any adverse impact in candidate recruitment, hiring, and/or lived experiences

Priority 3: Expand and develop partnerships with organizations aligned in advancing DEI through personal and organizational development

Key Initiative

  • Partner with aligned organizations to support SA in:
    • Increasing representation and sponsorship of BIPOC educators and leaders
    • Reviewing and upgrading candidate systems and selection tools to determine and minimize adverse impact
GOAL 3: Enhance effectiveness of school leaders and recruiters to nurture an equitable and inclusive community for educators

Priority 1: Build shared understanding of expectations and follow-through on commitments to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community

Key Initiatives

  • Create agreements and policies for schools reflecting Search's commitment to anti-racism and anti-bias, and build understanding and alignment with schools
  • Conduct regular assessments to understand and track school commitments and follow through on actively working to create an equitable and inclusive school culture, climate, and community

Priority 2: Support schools in the hiring and retention of under-represented and historically excluded candidates for positions across the international school community

Key Initiative

  • Facilitate school-facing DEI training beginning with anti-bias recruitment and hiring

Priority 3: Expand and develop partnerships with organizations aligned in advancing DEI through personal and organizational development

Key Initiatives

  • Partner with aligned organizations to build capacity of school leaders to implement and strengthen DEI best practices in schools that support an inclusive candidate experience
  • Transform executive search and placement through modeling and training others on competency-based hiring practices that are proven to increase representation and alignment

Did You Know…?

Search Associates is a family-owned business founded by John Magagna, former international educator. After working with her father for ten years, daughter Jessica Magagna is now CEO.