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WHOI Workplace Climate Committee (WCC)

Workplace climate is commonly defined as current attitudes and patterns of behaviors that influence personal interactions in the workplace. When a positive climate exists, personal interactions reinforce a sense of respect, inclusion, and value among staff and students. A positive workplace climate is both desirable and essential within an intense environment of discovery such as WHOI. Studies have shown that, in contrast to institutional culture, which is a deeper, stable driver of behaviors, workplace climate can be assessed and modified with institutional efforts. With these things in mind, the WHOI Workplace Climate Committee is formed with the following charge.


The WHOI Workplace Climate Committee (WCC) will regularly assess workplace climate at WHOI and provide leadership on the development and implementation of efforts to continuously improve the workplace climate. The initial guiding document for these efforts will be the 2016 workplace climate survey conducted by Rankin & Associates. The WCC reports to Staff Council and will:

  • Advise on steps to be taken to address issues raised in that report
  • Collaborate with Human Resources to develop supervisor and other appropriate training programs
  • Recommend ways to educate the WHOI community about behaviors that promote a positive workplace climate
  • Collaborate with Human Resources to ensure that processes are in place for WHOI employees to receive effective assistance in dealing with inappropriate conduct and behavior
  • Monitor issues related to gender equity
  • Develop a regular survey process approximately every five years to assess workplace climate and evaluate the success of steps taken to alleviate issues
  • Maintain full transparency with an eye toward providing leadership on these issues within the broader scientific community.

Reporting and Membership

The WCC reports directly to Staff Council. The committee will be led by two co-chairs and include 7 other individuals and four permanent ex-officio members – the Chief Diversity Officer, the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, the Director of Human Resources, and the Title IX Coordinator. Members will be determined through a nomination or self-nomination process with selection by Staff Council to achieve diverse representation of the WHOI community. Service for co-chairs will be 3 years with a single term; terms for other members will be two years renewable for a second term.


Contact the WCC Chairs at or as a group at


The Workplace Climate Committee (WCC) was formed in January of 2018 in order to provide recommendations to the Institution on workplace climate and gender equality. The WCC replaces the Gender Equity Program Advisory Committee as the committee to involved with climate survey efforts within the Institution. The Co-Chairs report to the Director of the Institution on progress made, and provide advice and feedback to the administration regarding further gender equity initiatives. Committee members serve for approximately three years, and the Committee will continue to have representation from a wide range of departments, both scientific and administrative.