Diversity and Inclusion
WE'RE COMMITTED TO A JUST, INCLUSIVE, AND DIVERSE CULTURE
We believe our people should feel welcome, valued, encouraged to expand beyond their potential, and respected by peers and supervisers alike. This doesn't happen without concerted effort and dynamic improvement. We have established several employee-led initiatives to improve our understanding of one another and broaden awareness of our complex differences. These groups include a DEI book club, a Communication Best Practices Committee, listening sessions conducted across a broad range of topics including work-life balance, gender pronouns, project management classes taught by our peers, and a thriving Mentorship program, Our programs are designed to encourage students and faculty from HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, and developing nations to work with us as collaborators and future employees. We reach out to students as early as high school and sponsor visitors from around the world. These and many more programs continually strive to expand the diversification of our employee population and keep us growing in both numbers and collective strength.
We've learned that when we employ individuals from broadly different cultures and life experiences, we benefit from wider perspectives on the research we do today and the innovation we challenge ourselves to imagine in the future. More importantly, a diverse society is a healthy society. This tenet aligns with our foundational belief in justice and equity. Diverse groups include but are not limited to the dimensions and intersections of race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, neurodiversity, body shape and size, veteran status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, country of origin, discipline, job category, education level, cultural background, and marital and parental status.
SOARS protégé Steven Naegele (seated, middle) with RAL research mentors (left to right) Sarah Tessendorf, Greg Thompson, and Trude Eidhammer.