Aliènne Salleroli on Starting the DEI Conversation in Oncology Nursing

Aliènne Salleroli, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, underscores the importance of open dialogue surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion in oncology leadership.

Starting the conversation is a simple, yet important, step to draw attention to DEI—diversity, equity, and inclusion—in oncology nurse leadership, according to Aliènne Salleroli, MS, BSN, RN, OCN.

Salleroli, an assistant patient services manager at Yale-New Haven Health Smilow Cancer Hospital, and cochair of the Yale New Haven Hospital Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Nursing Task Force, recently spoke on the topic of how racial diversity within oncology leadership is linked with positive outcomes at the 47th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress.

In an interview with Oncology Nursing News®, Salleroli explains that although opening dialogue can be uncomfortable, it yields important results.

“Leadership needs to understand that this is going to be an uncomfortable conversation and part of leadership is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable,” she said. “But having these conversations [is] actually what bridge[s] that gap. Discussing things like micro-aggressions, implicit biases, language being used… that’s what brings [individuals] together.”

Open dialogue is key to establishing unity across an organization, Salleroli said, adding that these conversations can also inspire local change. For example, once leadership starts the conversation, heads of other teams can bring that information down to their home departments and perpetuate a domino effect.

“We need to walk before we can run,” she concluded.