Increasing the representation of minority groups in the LIS field is often easier said then done. There are many issues that can impact decisions made around recruitment. In higher education, the lack of exposure many underrepresented groups have to a wide range career options is a major concern . I know when I was growing up, aspiring to become a teacher, doctor, or lawyer was not only encouraged in and outside the classroom but, seemed to be the only “good” career options available. Now that I am older and have had experiences that go against this experience, I know there are myriad career possibilities.
Unfortunately for many, they may never have this exposure. They may never see what options are actually out there for them. They may even feel they have failed because they were not able to conform to what society deems ideal careers to pursue. This needs to change, but how? One recruitment tool is mentor-ships. Those who take part in mentor-ships learn about a particular profession from their respective point of view. They build a vested interest in the field in which they are learning and developing skills.
The link below discusses the use of mentor-ships and other recruitment strategies and tools to increase diversity in higher education. Although this blog article looks at recruitment in the life science field, these strategies and tools discussed can be used in any situation where there is a need to increase career and educational awareness to those groups underrepresented in a field.
Access Granted by Dr. Gasman (2012). http://diverseeducation.com/blogpost/387/wanted-more-under-represented-minority-professors-in-the-life-sciences.html