We utilize a model that serves as an evidence-based support foundation, and whose ultimate goal is to catalyze science and technology environments so that inclusion becomes the norm.
Common approaches to increasing diversity in science and technology focus on increasing the pipeline. However, achieving significant growth requires efforts in both diversity and inclusion. Inclusion requires transformation of the broader community and commitment from the leaders who control organizational power structures. SHI advises organizational leaders, governmental agencies, and the other organizations on the salient ingredients necessary to create inclusive and diverse scientific endeavors. We work with these leaders through our advising and programs such as Guided Affinity Groups, Broader Engagement, and Sustainable Research Pathways.
In addition, we:
- Train managers on diversity, inclusion, and equity.
- Advise Hiring Managers and Hiring Committees.
- Provide workshops to promote inclusion.
By working with SHI, key organizational leaders, faculty, and staff gain skills in promoting respect and creativity in their work teams and larger ecosystem, and learn about available talent from sources they would have never considered or been exposed to otherwise.
We also help organizations assess their existing programs aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion, as well as take stock of their current workforce environment. We prepare plans of action addressing recruitment, outreach, climate, culture, and retention. We start by gathering information and talking with people. We compile the information gathered, compare this to national data, and make specific recommendations based on each organization’s unique ecosystem for how to move towards more diversity and inclusion.
For example, for the National Academies, SHI founder Dr. Leung led the diversity and inclusion work for the Congressionally-mandated study of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) University Leadership Initiative.
Our work opens the eyes of scientists only familiar with traditional ways of recruiting students and gives them opportunities to expand their work. For instance, through our Sustainable Research Pathways (SRP) program, faculty and students from underrepresented backgrounds are brought together for research collaborations with Lab staff. As a result, staff have expanded their research portfolios and learned that there are extremely capable and dedicated scientists at institutions they would have never considered.
Our Broader Engagement program Guided Affinity Groups have inverted ratios so the minority becomes the majority. Each morning before a conference, groups with concentrations of women and minorities meet with a leader to discuss technical topics and the leader will equip them with knowledge and tools to attend conference events (where they are generally in the minority). This activity effectively instills confidence and increases feelings of self-efficacy and belonging in the students, and teaches professional leaders about available talent from sources they would have never considered or been exposed to otherwise.
• 50% of students indicated experience changed vision of themselves as scientists
• 75% of students planned to seek industry employment prior to the summer experience, while only 25% remained with those plans after resulting in 25% wanting to go to graduate school
• 73 percent of faculty participants indicates the experience impacted their academic/professional life.
• 70 percent indicated a positive impact on their teaching and student interactions.
• 20% of staff participants increased their interest/desire to support diversity.