SWS Request for Proposals for Organizational Intersectional Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity Assessment – September 19, 2022 Deadline


Request for Proposals, Released on July 29, 2022

Summer 2022

Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) invites interested and qualified consultants or firms to submit a proposal to conduct an organization-wide intersectional diversity, inclusivity, and equity assessment on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, age, socioeconomic status, and bodily abilities and to develop an implementation plan to enhance (or improve) our diversity, inclusivity and equity. SWS is committed to diversity, inclusivity, and equity throughout organizational policies, program, processes, systems, communications, and community partnerships, evidenced in our mission statement. We seek guidance on how we can best practice the ideals we aspire to embody.

Organizational Overview: SWS is a feminist professional organization dedicated to transforming the academy and professional organizations, including our own, by actively supporting feminist leadership and advancing career development of feminist scholars. The organization was founded in 1971 by a group of academic feminist scholars who had the prescient belief that feminist sociologists needed a “professional home” to promote and solidify the leadership and scholarship of academic women within the profession. The founding of SWS was influenced by the women’s movement of that time, and thus focused on elevating women scholars. As a nonprofit organization, SWS provided a home to women scholars, many of whom were marginalized within their departments and within the broader sociological landscape. Members grew great strength from the scholarly and emotional support of their SWS colleagues.

Over time, SWS has become more explicit in its intersectional framing of its mission and goals, and has more deliberately welcomed, honored, and supported the diversity of its membership. Through this time, there have been several strategic planning processes, with several objectives: supporting members to find ways to better combine our activist and academic lives, increasing the size and diversity of the membership, encouraging more active participation by members, and promoting social justice in and outside of the academy.

Despite these strategic planning initiatives, to our knowledge, there has never been a formal assessment of the organization’s progress in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion within its leadership structure, opportunities provided to members, or efforts to support members to bring a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework in their work both in academia as well as in applied settings.

SWS  is eager to identify the strengths and challenges we face regarding the extent to which we have implemented our goal of intersectional diversity, inclusivity, and equity based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and bodily abilities. We invite individuals and/or organizations to propose a design for this endeavor that will provide an organizational-wide assessment of where we are, where we want to be, and to develop strategies to get there. This deliverable should be detailed in its analysis and should offer perspective from members at all levels of the organization to consider the progress that SWS has made in achieving its goals of equity and inclusion, with a focus on areas for improvement.

Scope and Deliverables: The consultant will be tasked with laying the foundation and framework for long-term change in all SWS programming and leadership through the following work:

  • Intersectional Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity Assessment: Conduct an assessment to capture the organizational climate as it relates to the goal of centering all forms of oppression. The assessment should engage key stakeholders (both internal and external, former and current) to the organization, such as Council      Members, Committee Chairs and Elected Committee Members, New Members, Continuing Members, Lifetime Members and Community Partners (such as leaders of other non-profit organizations and meeting guests). Specific elements of the assessment shall include, but not be limited to:
    • Organizational culture and structure
    • Organizational policy, procedures, and decision making
    • Programmatic planning and approaches
    • Community partnerships
    • Membership Relations and Opportunities for Involvement
  • Implementation Plan: Based on the assessment results, the consultant will create a summary report and an intersectional diversity, inclusivity, and equity     work plan that captures desired processes and outcomes. The work plan will include recommendations for incorporating action steps, timelines, quantitative and qualitative goals to improve operational and programmatic approaches to promote diversity, inclusivity, and equity in all operations and programming.

Consultant’s Qualifications: The following qualifications are important in the selection process:

  • Experience developing intersectional diversity, inclusivity and equity implementation plans within academic, activist, and/or feminist nonprofit organizations.
  • Respected and endorsed experience leading with an intersectional lens in addressing all forms of systemic oppressions, and helping to move institutions to become more diverse, inclusive and equitable organizations.
  • Experience supporting staff (those in leadership roles, and members at varying levels of exposure, comfort and buy-in) and helping folks navigate discomfort while still centering diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • Experience working with communities most impacted by intersecting forms of oppression.
  • Prioritization of qualified consultants, who have a strong understanding of the intersections of history of oppressions faced by marginalized and minoritized communities.

Proposal Request and Review Process: This request for proposals is a two-part process, as follows:

  • All interested consultants must submit a brief written proposal no more than 5-6 pages
  • Selected applicants will be invited to interview with a team of SWS stakeholders where key leaders will ask questions related to the proposal

The proposal must address the following:

  • A brief description of your approach to supporting SWS in assessing and operationalizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Statement of your (firm’s) qualifications related to this RFP, a short biography of evaluators, and an explanation as to why your evaluation experience and social positions make you a good candidate to conduct this type of evaluation for an organization like SWS.
  • Overarching assessment topics, including questions, process, and methods
  • Assessment Process to include:
    • Sample topics and questions with overarching plan for data collection methods and strategies, rationale for your approach and plans for data assessment.
    • Expected deliverables include summary of findings, and framing of an implementation plan which incorporates indicators of success and goals for future tracking and assessment
  • Budget & timeline to produce an assessment within 12 months of the contractual date.

Submission Instructions:

Please submit a proposal no later than 5:00 EDT, September 19, 2022.

Submit proposal to Barret Katuna, SWS Executive Officer, at swseo.barretkatuna@outlook.com as a single PDF document. Feel free to direct any questions to Barret Katuna.

Thank you to Mindy Fried and Andres Lopez for their assistance in drafting this RFP.