Diversity & Inclusion


Wayside’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Mission Statement: Wayside is committed to an inclusive, diverse, vibrant workforce that reflects the communities we serve, celebrates the rich diversity of our children, youth, families and employees and believes that by harnessing the power of our collective similarities and differences we can better serve our mission. Therefore, we are dedicated through open communication and ongoing education to increase awareness and pledge to seek out and respect diverse voices in all aspects of our work.

Our DEI Guiding Principles

By Guimel DeCarvalho, Director of People & Culture and Chief Diversity Officer

Wayside is objectively one of the most committed to diversity and inclusion organizations in our field. In fact Wayside ranks in the 88th percentile of agencies nationally in staff satisfaction with our commitment to diversity. However, there is no easy solution to ensuring equity in the workplace, and we have started the hard work of shaping our organization into a committed leader for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

See here for the Full DEI Guiding Principles!

Wayside’s Statement of Gender Inclusivity

What is Wayside’s Statement of Gender Inclusivity?

As part of the Strategic Goals for 2015- 2019, Wayside leadership identified “(A Key Driver): SUPPORT our staff capacity to serve by increasing satisfaction, compensation, diversity, and career development, as evidenced by increased recruiting and retention.”  Action step 2.3, “Wayside will focus substantial efforts upon diversity and inclusion across the agency, becoming an affirming and welcoming community as a result,” and Action step 4.3, “Wayside will develop our expertise and clinical staff to be a significant resource for LGBTQ+ youth and families.” 

In order to accomplish this, Wayside is committed to respecting every staff, client and community member’s preferred gender identity and pronoun preference.

What is a pronoun?

Pronouns allow us to refer to someone without having to repeat the person’s name. Because of pronouns, we can say, “Beth is going to her office where she will call her friend,” instead of, “Beth is going to Beth’s office, where Beth will call Beth’s friend.” Because pronouns are a “stand-in” for a person’s name, it is just as important to get them right as it is to call someone by the correct name.

Common and gender neutral pronouns include, but are not limited to: she, her, hers, he, him, his, they, them, theirs, ze, zem, zirs.

Why are we emphasizing sharing pronouns?

In American English, pronouns are also tied to gender. When you choose a pronoun to refer to someone, you are assuming and labeling that person’s gender. Because gender is not binary (i.e. there are more genders than just male and female), and you can’t know someone’s gender identity by looking at them, we can’t make assumptions about a person’s gender- or which pronouns we should use to refer to that person.

How can I learn more?

For more information about pronouns and their importance to gender inclusivity, see Social Justice Toolbox’s “Pronouns: Choose Your Own Adventure Deck.” 

Check out this helpful guide geared towards clinicians and mental health professionals on NON-BINARY GENDER IDENTITIES from The Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. 

Visit the YW Boston’s Gender Inclusivity page, which served as a resource for developing Wayside’s Statement of Gender Inclusivity.

How do I add my pronouns to my email signature? Check out this helpful GUIDE

  1. Open your Wayside- Microsoft Outlook 2013 email
  2. In the top, left corner, click “New Email”
  3. When the new email window appears, click Signature in the header.
  4. If you do not have a signature already set up, you will be prompted to do that first. However, click “Signatures” to edit or create a new signature.
  5. See below example for proper Wayside email signature communication policy.
  6. Be sure to highlight your pronouns and INSERT -> HYPERLINK -> inserting the following webpage in the ADDRESS box linking to this page: https://www.waysideyouth.org/aboutus/diversityinclusion/

Jane Smith, Clinical Supervisor

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
1 Frederick Abbott Way, Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 879-9800
[email protected]

“Empowering children, young adults and families to achieve greater independence and emotional well-being.”

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