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Diversity at Northwestern

The Northwestern University community includes almost every culture and race around the globe.  Our students, faculty and staff have diverse needs, values, opinions and a point of view that adds to a rich work and educational environment.

Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment of diversity and equal opportunity.  While much of this is accomplished through the community as a whole, leadership from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access implements processes, procedures and initiatives that make Northwestern University a leader in diversity and equality among other schools in the nation. Read a statement on the Diversity and Inclusion website from the President and Provost on diversity at Northwestern.


Northwestern provides resources to prevent discrimination, foster diversity and assist community members with disabilities. 

Feel free to contact our office at or by phone at 847-491-7458 if you need a reasonable accommodation or access to University or local, community-based organizations.

Affirmative action

  • Northwestern University is a federal contractor that actively participates in affirmative action planning in the areas of recruitment and retention. For each employment and promotional opportunity, Northwestern University actively seeks women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities to maintain a University community that is based on equal opportunity, reflects the diversity of American society, and improves opportunities for women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities. See affirmative action FAQs.

Recruitment Resources

The creation of a broad and diverse pool of prospects is an essential first step in the recruitment process. Effective staff and faculty searches are proactive processes in which hiring managers/committees energetically seek out promising prospects. No one should assume that every strong candidate automatically applies to Northwestern. Areas seeing a lower number of women and racial/ethnic minority applicants than would be expected should actively engage in outreach efforts that will attract and increase representation of competitive applicants from those groups. Below are links to resources useful in those outreach efforts.

Faculty Searches
It is essential and expected that faculty search committees conduct their activities in accordance with the Faculty Search Guidelines when filling any full-time tenure-line, or instruction or clinical faculty position with an appointment of 2 years or more. Additional resources to assist faculty search committees in conducting effective and inclusive searches may be found on the Provost’s Office website.

Faculty Search and Equity Representatives
Northwestern has mandated the designation of an Equity Representative for all full-time tenure-line, or instruction or clinical faculty position with an appointment of 2 years or more, faculty search committee. This individual is a senior faculty member serving on the search committee who is charged with helping to ensure objectivity throughout all phases of the search. The Equity Representative helps to educate search committee members around best practices and the role of implicit and explicit biases throughout the entire search process. For more information and resources click here.

Resources on Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias—also known as implicit social cognition—refers to thoughts and feelings that are outside of conscious awareness and control. Click here for online resources, a list of suggested strategies for minimizing bias in recruitment, and a selected list of academic studies and other articles on the topic.

 All employment faculty and staff searches are conducted in compliance with federal and state equal employment opportunity laws and the affirmative action plan of the University.

Career Development Resources

Northwestern strongly encourages all employees including women and racial/ethnic minority employees to participate in educational and development activities to advance in their careers. Many of these resources/courses offered by the University are free for employees and the University also offers a great reduced tuition benefit for those programs that do have costs. 

Faculty Career Development and Leadership
The Office of the Provost administers and sponsors several initiatives designed to help support and develop the careers of Northwestern's faculty. Whether you are looking for opportunities to connect with the Northwestern or surrounding communities, seeking support for travel-related to professional development opportunities, interested in pursuing a leadership role, or looking to make connections with other faculty at the University, we invite you to browse these pages and learn more about our ongoing efforts to support the excellence of our faculty by clicking here.

Staff Career Development and Leadership 
HR Workplace Learning opportunities are offered by the Learning & Organization Development team, which provides trainings, workshops, consulting, coaching, retreats and tools for individuals, groups and organizations.

Northwestern MOOCs
Northwestern now offers all of its massive open online courses (MOOCs) at no cost to its students, alumni, faculty, and staff. You can now earn a Course Certificate and access all Northwestern MOOC content on Coursera free of charge. For more information click here.

Employee Community and Resource Groups

Change Makers – Dialogue | Inclusion | Change
Change Makers is a growing Northwestern community of committed individuals dedicated to building a more inclusive campus environment. Change Makers explore social identities and apply that understanding and cultural competency to create more inclusive classrooms, departments and centers.

Northwestern University Women’s Center
The Northwestern University Women's Center is dedicated to fostering a campus climate that promotes equity and enriches the personal, professional and academic lives of all members of the University community, particularly women students, staff and faculty.

Association of Northwestern University Women (ANUW)
Founded in 1988, the Association of Northwestern Women (ANUW), is committed to encouraging and supporting the professional development of all those who self-identify as women in administration at Northwestern University.

Northwestern Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Staff Affinity Group (ASAG)
The APIDA Staff Affinity Group (ASAG) provides opportunities for engagement for self-identified staff members of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) ancestry as it relates to their professional experience at Northwestern University and aims to provide a space for APIDA staff to build a sense of community and belonging, represent APIDA perspectives in institutional racial and social justice initiatives, and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.  For more information contact Charles Andrean at

Northwestern Black Professionals Network
The Northwestern University Black Professionals Network strives to build community through shared experiences to foster open dialogue, leadership and mentorship that will improve the NU black professional experience.

Northwestern Chicago Out Network
Northwestern Chicago Out Network is the campus- and affiliate-wide networking group for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) identified individuals and allies for the support and encouragement of faculty, staff, students, fellows, and residents on the Northwestern Chicago campus.

Northwestern LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group
The Northwestern LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Affinity Group provides a space to find friendship, collegial support, and opportunities to network among LGBTQ+ faculty and staff at Northwestern.  For more information contact Brent Turner at

Northwestern Unidos: Latinx Professionals Coalition
Northwestern Unidos: Latinx Professionals Coalition provides a space for staff of Latin American ancestry to develop opportunities for engagement as it relates to their professional experience at Northwestern University.

Academic Diversity Programs and Centers
Northwestern has established a number of Academic Programs and Centers dedicated to the study of diversity related subjects and issues. Each of these programs/centers offers information on current topics of study, initiatives, events, and ways to get involved as part of the Northwestern community.

Other Diversity Resources/Information

History of Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern
View a timeline illustrating some of the wide-reaching programs and initiatives the University has developed to help build and foster a rich, vibrant, diverse and inclusive community.

Current Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
View campus programs and initiatives to learn more about their sponsoring organizations.

Inclusive Northwestern
The Inclusive Northwestern site provides information and updates on topics related to Northwestern’s continued commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion for the student body across the University. 

Diversity Resources and Reports
View Northwestern’s Annual Diversity and Inclusion Report as well as numerous other resources related to campus diversity and inclusion.