Director of Equity
Director of Equity
July 1, 2021 Start
Westridge gives girls the confidence, skills, and values to know who they are and thrive wherever they go.
We provide girls the highest caliber girl-centric education in a participatory and encouraging community focused on developing girls’ sense of self, sense of purpose, and the skills they need to live lives of impact.
Westridge School, an independent day school for girls in grades 4-12 located in Pasadena, California, seeks a Director of Equity to lead the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Founded in 1913, Westridge has a long-standing reputation for the excellence of its academic program and its commitment to equity and justice. Reporting directly to the Head of School as a member of the senior leadership team, the Director of Institutional Equity will be a strategic partner working with all constituencies to lead and coordinate the ongoing design and implementation of the School’s strategic approach toward meaningful and transformative work throughout the community. This position will begin July 1, 2021.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a long-held commitment at Westridge. In recent years, DEI has been prioritized in professional development, student life, and curricular initiatives. The most recent five-year strategic plan, announced in January 2020, keeps DEI as one of four strategic priorities for the school. However, like most of our institutions and schools whose foundations were shaken this past spring and summer due to the pandemic and the outrage expressed around racial injustice across the country, furthering and deepening this work has taken on greater urgency and attention. Westridge went through its own reckoning, delving deeply into difficult and painful dialogue about the experiences of Black students and other students of color at school. This process energized students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae to call for change within Westridge. Adding a senior leader tasked with shepherding the school through this journey of institutional change is among the set of commitments the leadership and Board of Trustees have made.
Strategic priorities and opportunities for the Director of Equity include:
- Advancing the school’s shared strategic vision of becoming an anti-racist institution, helping to shape systems, practices, and decision-making that reflect the school’s core values and commitment to equity.
- Implementing anti-racist education and training for all faculty, staff, and board members in conjunction with the new Director of Teaching and Learning.
- Providing educational opportunities on racism, anti-racist practices, and broader topics within the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion for members of the Westridge community.
- Collaborating with BIPOC students, parents, faculty and staff, and alumnae to make a more inclusive learning environment; evaluating and re-setting community norms to improve school culture.
- Establishing systematic annual data collection and analysis process to uncover gaps, inconsistencies, and bias in our program and school.
- Working with academic leadership to ensure ongoing comprehensive curriculum review to identify areas for greater anti-bias teaching and learning, as well as gaps in inclusion of voices and perspectives of marginalized communities.
- Coordinating with leadership to increase racial diversity at Westridge at the student, staff, faculty, leadership, and trustee levels to better reflect the changing demographics of our state and nation and to provide more mirrors for our communities of color at Westridge.
- Coordinating with the school’s DEI Oversight Committee to ensure comprehensive and systematic focus and accountability for DEI priorities across all areas of operation and constituencies.
- Managing the school’s DEI Task Force and the DEI initiatives set forth in the strategic plan.
This is a position of critical importance and with the significant responsibility of helping to create the conditions (culture, norms, policies, and practices) at Westridge to move toward equity and becoming an anti-racist institution. The Director of Equity will benefit from the collaboration and support of trustees, senior leadership, faculty, staff, families, and alumnae in cultivating a truly inclusive and equitable school environment for the students and their families, as well as a workplace that embraces inclusivity and provides an equitable and rewarding experience for every employee. The Director will partner with senior leadership, the new Director of Teaching and Learning, the Deans of Student Voices, department chairs, and others to support growth across the development of the curricular program, business operations, and the community life of the school.
In addition, the Director will:
- Work with the Westridge Parent Association and the Alumnae Board to guide and support equity initiatives within their respective groups, including providing information, facilitating conversations, and reviewing practices as needed
- Act as a resource to the school’s marketing and communication team
The Director of Equity will supervise the Deans of Student Voices (3) who, in coordination with school leadership, work with student leaders to engage the student body and employees in student-led DEI conversations and educational opportunities as well as to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in accordance with the school’s Strategic Plan.
Qualities of the next Director of Equity
The Director of Equity must be an experienced DEI practitioner and strategic leader who understands how change happens at the individual and institutional level. The Director will be an inspiring and collaborative leader who can harness the great work surrounding DEI that is already happening at Westridge into a well-articulated program, and be able to lead students, adults, and the institution alike toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable community.
The Westridge community is eager to welcome a Director of Institutional Equity who is a relationship builder, approaches the work with courage, and speaks with effective candor. The Director will nurture relationships built on trust, employ careful and deep listening, and be present and engaged as the community learns to navigate and engage in conversations that are inevitably uncomfortable and challenge the status quo. This role requires a skillful communicator – in both writing and speech – through various modes of communication, including different technologies. Westridge’s diverse community requires a Director of Institutional Equity who has demonstrated successful experience working with students, families, staff, faculty, and leaders from a variety of backgrounds. The Director of Equity must have the ability to help the Westridge community recognize and interrupt policies, structures, and practices that are hurtful and disadvantageous toward certain groups and hinder the ability of the School to move closer to its mission.
In addition, the Director of Equity must demonstrate:
- Readiness to serve on the senior leadership team
- Ability to act as a strategic thinker and expert on equity and diversity, an instinct for working collaboratively while insisting on progress
- Successful leadership experience in a complex organization
- Experience as a teacher and teacher-leader with the belief and understanding that DEI and social-emotional well-being are central to academic achievement
Successful Equity and Diversity Experience
- An experienced educational leader whose strategic thinking, background, and passion are centered in a diverse and inclusive community
- Strong presence and gravitas, ability to inspire, challenge, and motivate
- Thought leader on topics of equity and
- Ability to help people dialogue about difficult equity/justice topics
- An excellent recruiter of diverse, professional talent
- Knowledge of research and successful strategies around increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion
- A highly capable decision-maker who seeks broad input and whose hallmarks are transparency, collaboration, and communication
- Demonstrated success in carrying out strategic initiatives and in leading, motivating, and inspiring a team toward change
- A dedicated leader with the ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects, meet deadlines, and hold themselves and others accountable
Bachelor’s Degree. Advanced Degree preferred
Westridge is an independent, forward-thinking girls’ school committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassionate leaders.
Our engaging and challenging curriculum prepares students to continue their education in college and beyond as discerning, motivated learners who are committed to excellence and goodness in everything they do. Essential to this work is the commitment to be a community that reflects and values diversity, respects individual differences, and responds to a changing dynamic world.
A Westridge education offers both a path to self-discovery and personal fulfillment and an awareness of the essential interdependence of all peoples, places, and cultures.
We strive to develop young women whose joy in learning, personal integrity, courage, compassion, and commitment to ethical action and social and environment responsibility, will lead them to meaningful lives as contributing citizens of the larger world.
We strive to prepare young women to live lives of meaning, contribution, and impact.
We believe understanding the full human experience is essential to preparing students for our increasingly diverse, global, and connected world.
That building and supporting a diverse community of students and adults must be a top priority for Westridge because a diverse educational environment deepens, strengthens, and solidifies academic excellence for all.
That a true sense of identity, emotional trust, and belonging is required for being present for learning, teaching, and taking part in the Westridge community. As such, equal priority must be placed on building and fostering a culture of inclusion.
That all students welcomed into our community deserve access to the same opportunities.
--From the Strategic Plan 2020
Motto: Surgere Tentamus. We Strive to Rise.
Enrollment: Over 500 girls in grades 4 through 12
Average class size: 15 students, 7:1 student-teacher ratio
Financial aid: Approximately 2.7 million to about 23% of the student body
Colors: Green and White
Westridge’s faculty members are talented, dedicated to their craft, and deeply committed to girls’ education and development. They are well aware of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and are ready for leadership that reflects the centrality of that work to Westridge’s mission. The faculty are looking forward to critical conversations, follow through on great ideas, clear direction, and collaboration with the new Director of Teaching and Learning.
Westridge students are often described as self-assured, engaged, and comfortable in their own skins. From grade 4 onward, their voices are front and center, and they are taught to think critically and independently and encouraged to consider their impact on others and the world around them. As a result, Westridge students and alumnae are confident women, creative thinkers, and catalysts for action.
They use their voice to challenge what they believe to be unfair and have been leaning into DEI conversations with curiosity and courage. Student leaders in all divisions work with three Deans of Student Voices to further DEI conversations and education in the school, as well as oversee the 20 student affinity groups.
Located in Pasadena, California, the Westridge campus is intentionally designed to support its students to grow and thrive. Girls make the campus their own--from climbing the trees (an unofficial school tradition!), gathering on the library patio, and sprinting across Ayrshire Courtyard to claim their spot in line at the Commons for lunch. You will see them hard at work tinkering in the STEAMWork Design Studio (a lab for imagining and inventing) and you will hear the strains of the orchestra rehearsal floating across campus from Braun Auditorium.
When you look closer, you will see that every inch of the campus has a rich history that spans more than 100 years. The school has been located on Madeline Drive since the days of its founding in the early 1900s, and has expanded from the single house that once constituted the whole of the school, to an expansive, park-like campus nestled into a quiet, residential neighborhood. Through the decades, Westridge has acquired and maintained historic architecture, including Pitcairn House, a craftsman built in 1906 by the influential early 20th Century architects Greene & Greene. The unique blend of contemporary and historic buildings makes Westridge a dynamic learning environment. Please take our Westridge Virtual Tour at tour.westridge.org!
Located 11 miles north of Los Angeles, Pasadena is considered one of the best cities to live in California. With its Mediterranean climate, beautiful suburban neighborhoods, and multiple shopping districts, Pasadena boasts great restaurants and parks and is home to the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Procedure to Apply
Westridge is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff that is dedicated to providing an educational experience that is second to none. We strive to ensure that faculty and staff reflect our student body and our community goals.
Interested candidates must submit the following materials confidentially via: https://bit.ly/WestridgeDirectorofEquity in one PDF attachment that includes in the following order:
- Cover letter expressing interest in the Westridge School Director of Equity position.
- Current résumé.
- Statement of educational philosophy and practice.
- List of three references including name, title, phone number, email address and professional relationship (references are contacted only with the candidate's permission).
Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to Orpheus Crutchfield at (510) 685-0861.
Applications due: January 8, 2020
Semifinalists interviews: January 19-20, 2021
Finalists interviews: February 16-19, 2021
Announcement: March 1, 2021
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