Embracing Diversity and Equity Through Service Delivery


Dr. Yael Cass, Director of School Operations Services at International Schools Services (ISS)

With over 20 years of leadership, management, and operations experience, Dr. Cass is an accomplished organizational development, management, and operations expert. She has experience in providing analysis and consultancy services in organizational development, organizational culture, HR strategies, innovation, and business development. Her unique lived experience as an international paying parent, school board member, and chair of board committees, as well as a leadership role as
a school administrator, provides her with a comprehensive understanding of schools, their communities, and their business operations. At ISS (International School Services), Dr. Cass is responsible for developing and delivering school operations services to enhance the capacity of school leaders and international school support staff in the school operations domain.

Dr. Cass holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Architecture, an MSc in International Business Management from Liverpool University, and a Ph.D. in organizational development and gender diversity at the workplace from RMIT University.

The Success Story of DIJE Innovative Programs at International Schools Services

International Schools Services (ISS) is a global organization that has been serving international schools with a wide array of services for nearly seven decades. We are deeply committed to the principles of Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity (DIJE). This commitment permeates every aspect of ISS’s operations, from internal processes to the services we provide for schools and educators. All our services and programs are aligned with these guiding values, from international purchasing services, where diversity among vendors is prioritized, to recruiting services, which ensure a diverse pool of candidates and inclusive recruiting policies.

ISS’s dedication to these values is also evident in the professional development opportunities we provide, which include all school staff members. This inclusivity extends to support staff, who are often overlooked when it comes to career development and training. The ISS Passport program, our professional development initiative, is accessible to every employee. It leverages technology to deliver sessions in different languages, allowing school professionals from all around the world to benefit from the rich content delivered by our diverse, talented, and experienced facilitators.

In addition, and as a complementary service in recognition of the need for industry best practices in school operations and the importance of professionals staying current and updated, ISS has developed exclusive partnerships with industry leaders in human resources (HR) management and facilities management (FM). These partnerships, known as the ISS Professional Societies, deliver the best and most updated training and practices in the fields of HR and FM.

ISS has partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s leading HR professional society, to create the ISS HR Society. This unique platform offers services tailored to the specific needs of international schools, globally recognized certification programs for professional growth, exclusive discounts, professional tools, and networking opportunities.

The ISS Professional Societies also extend to facilities management, where we collaborate with the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA). This collaboration aims to enhance practices in operational fields, ensuring that schools are not only places of learning but also safe, well-maintained environments conducive to education.

The target audience for these societies includes HR professionals, heads of school, operations managers, business managers, and other school leaders. These societies aim to professionalize HR and FM services in international schools, leverage best HR and FM practices to improve service delivery within school communities, and assist school leaders in improving school culture where every employee has an opportunity for growth and development.

In conclusion, the DIJE initiatives at ISS, the Passport program, and the collaboration with industry leaders like SHRM and APPA have successfully created a platform for school support staff to access career development opportunities. These initiatives not only empower these professionals but also enable schools to enhance teaching and learning and operational practices that contribute to overall school success. They also improve organizational/school culture, making everyone feel part of the organization, valued, and able to contribute to its success. The story of ISS is a testament to the transformative power of inclusion and equity in education.

Schools and education professionals can learn more about ISS’ DIJE efforts in schools around the globe at https://www.iss.edu/community/diversity-collaborative.

Anyone interested in furthering their professional development in Human Resources or Facilities Management can check out our current certifications at https://www.iss.edu/services/iss-optimize/professional-societies.