People & Culture

The Sum of Small Steps Day In and Day Out

Posted By Mudit Chaand, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Head of the Syros DEI Committee

June 12, 2020

By Mudit Chaand, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Head of the Syros DEI Committee

As with many of you, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the state of our society over the past two weeks and thinking about the power of actions, big and small. I feel fortunate to be at a company that has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion from its inception. It’s woven into our Core Values, we regularly conduct unconscious bias trainings and engage in organizations dedicated to enhancing visibility and development of minority communities. Like every organization, we can and must do more. 

But in moments when I feel overwhelmed by the scope and scale of what needs to be done to change a system that has oppressed so many for so long, I remind myself that small steps matter. I lead the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Syros. We recently looked at the standard Equal Opportunity Employer boilerplate that is part of our job descriptions. It was boring and more to the point and didn’t reflect who we are as an organization or where we see ourselves going. We rewrote it at our monthly meeting, and this is what we came up with:

Raise Diversity. Elevate Equity. Amplify Inclusion. The Syros Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee invites you to envision your next role in a community where each and every one is empowered to be their best authentic self. Operating with compassion, humility, advocacy, kindness, respect, and awareness, the DEI committee meets regularly to uphold our commitment to an inclusive and welcoming workplace. We believe the unique talents, backgrounds and perspectives of each Syrosian strengthens our coordinated expression, making our company stronger and helping us to achieve our mission of developing medicines to transform patients’ lives.

The impact of this small change exceeded the committee’s expectations, attracting more African American and Latinx candidates than we’ve seen from previous job postings. I share this example because it reminds me that while we must think big and push for big changes, the sum of small efforts made consistently day in and day out can lead to meaningful change. The impact of this small but important change has helped energize the DEI committee as we continue to work to bring our vision to reality.