Tyler Wysong’s primary role at IU Health is working in Informatics and Information Services. Many people don’t see his efforts to foster a workplace environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
By IU Health Senior Journalist, T.J. Banes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask Tyler Wysong what he does for IU Health, and like most people he offers a description of his job title. He joined IU Health about five years ago and works as a project manager within Informatics and Information Services.
Dig a little deeper and the scope of Wysong’s role both at IU Health and in the Indianapolis community, reveals a personal passion. He is a staunch advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He walks alongside his coworkers on a hot summer day, supporting Pride; he works closely with human resources to offer input on best hiring practices.
Why does he feel strongly about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
“As an openly gay team member, I’ve had my fair share of discrimination. It’s made me realize that there are team members who can’t hide behind their gender identity or physical traits, like skin color. I’m a white male and if I wanted to change the tone of my voice and wear suits every day, I could blend in. I chose to be authentic, but not everyone has that opportunity,” said Wysong. “As a culture, we’re coming around to being more accepting and the only way to be accepting is to understand that we have a diverse team. I want to help others in their journey and to make IU Health a safe place for all.”
Wysong was in his second year of college when he came out to his family. It was a difficult time and one that he often reflects on when he’s advocating for others.
“I grew up in a small conservative Indiana community. My relationship with my family was strained for several years after I came out. Like so many in the LGBTQIA community, I had to rebuild my family life,” said Wysong. “I am forever grateful to those who championed me through those challenges. It has impacted my world view on promoting all dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I’m happy my relationship with my family is now in a much better place.”
Wysong credits Timothy Tarnowski, Senior Vice President - Chief Information Officer with lending support to DE&I training.
“Through his support, we have been able to start this journey of self-reflection. We have provided additional DE&I Implicit Bias training, stand up a division DE&I Council, pull together a team to focus on our leaders’ hiring practices, and look at IU Health’s onboarding efforts,” said Wysong.
When he talks to others about diversity and inclusion, Wysong encourages them to look beyond the obvious - waving a Pride flag, acknowledging someone in a wheelchair, or someone with dark skin.
“Diversity is an output of how everyone chooses to lead in their daily actions: Do you give everyone the same level of eye contact? Does your tone chance when you talk to different individuals? Do you offer team members a chance to fail in a safe place or are their double standards?”
In addition to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, Wysong serves as a peer mentor to team members expanding their opportunities at IU Health.
“I grew up with humble beginnings. I believe that along your journey you should always lend a hand where possible,” said Wysong. “I’ve always tried to be a connector. I truly seek to understand and recognize that listening is an art,” said Wysong.
“One of the things I like the most about IU Health is we don’t ignore the hard conversations. We know we’re not perfect, but we are an organization that strives to improve the lives of our team members and the community we serve,”said Wysong. “A big draw for me is knowing we have the opportunity for continual growth and we won’t grow stale or complacent.” He encourages fellow team members who want to learn more about diversity and inclusion to join affinity groups and be open to opinions and ideas of others.
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