Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Orbis
A team of Orbis staff, volunteers, and local partners pose in front of the Orbis flying Eye Hospital in Barbados.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our aim is to increase equitable access to eye health services and improve the quality of life of the communities we work with.

The Challenge

A staggering 90% of vision loss is treatable or preventable. That equates to 1 billion people on this planet living with vision loss from causes that are completely avoidable.

Vision loss often makes it harder for people to pursue an education, find and hold a job, engage in their community, and lead a prosperous life – and those bearing the greatest burden of vision loss already face other entrenched inequalities. Nine out of ten people with vision loss live in low- and middle-income countries, for example, and 55% are women and girls.

Many challenges perpetuate this unfair reality, including gaps in access to prevention and treatment services and wide disparities in the quality of care available, a lack of eye care professionals and limited training opportunities for those who do exist, and lack of integration of eye care with other health services, if those services are available at all.

Orbis has an unwavering commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across all aspects of our work and within our organization, recognizing that doing so is critical to achieving our mission and to overcoming the systemic inequities that lead to avoidable vision loss.

Our Diverse People and Workplace

  • We are committed to achieving representation in all forms across our entire workforce, including our leadership, board, staff, and volunteers. Our strategic priorities for representation and inclusion are people with disabilities, gender, LGBTQIA+, and multicultural and multigenerational diversity.
  • We aim to foster a workplace where every Orbis employee is respected, visible, enabled to do their best work, and treated equitably with opportunities for growth.
  • We endeavor to ensure inclusive recruitment practices, equitable pay, and accessible career opportunities. We strive to provide safe, inclusive, respectful, and supportive physical and virtual work environments.
  • We aim to have an organizational culture that encourages and embraces open dialogue, actively listening to diverse perspectives, and learning and continuous improvement, where staff feel safe and encouraged to test out new ideas and integrate learnings.

Our Partners and the Communities Where We Work

  • We endeavor to embed and practice DEI in our program designs to reach those who are most in need – especially women and girls, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and vulnerable and displaced populations – by removing critical and systemic barriers to sight-saving care across the world.
  • As a leader and innovator in telemedicine and online learning, we are committed to growing the scale, reach, and opportunities for effective ophthalmic training and services so all people can access quality eye care when they need it, regardless of their location.
  • We prioritize partnership with diverse and equity-focused entities, from local actors supporting communities where we work to global actors embracing DEI in their own organizations and advancing it externally.

Our Commitment to Learn and Adapt

  • We are focused on the design of inclusive strategies for our programs to address the issues respective groups and communities face. We are committed to developing the relevant technical expertise and allocating adequate resources to make these strategies a reality.
  • We are placing greater emphasis on adapting and refining our efforts based on changes in local contexts or environments in areas where we work, emergent trends in the nonprofit and health sectors, and the needs of the most marginalized and deprived communities through active involvement and inclusion of multiple and diverse stakeholders.
  • We will undertake periodic review of our governance processes to ensure that diverse perspectives inform and are reflected in our policies and procedures, and we will demonstrate an openness to evolving.

Our Commitment to Report Back

We are committed to regularly track and annually share progress on our DEI practices as well as areas where we must do more and accelerate our pace.

By integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion more deeply into our work and our organization, we will take on some of the greatest barriers to eye care, providing us with greater opportunities to effect meaningful change and transform lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable vision loss.

Click here to see how Orbis defines diversity, equity, and inclusion.

More Examples of DEI in Practice

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