Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Biological Systems & Engineering (BSE) Division is committed to ensuring an open and welcoming workplace for all employees, contractors, affiliates and visitors. This expectation applies to all roles and levels–from managers to supervisors to individual contributors–in the Division.
To foster this environment, the BSE leadership team would like to provide information and resources that may be helpful to the community, as well as highlight and host events, both at the Lab and in the Bay Area, to help develop a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive Division.
In addition, the Division welcomes the participation of anyone and everyone who would like to help shape and implement best practices and new initiatives to achieve this vision. If you’re interested in joining our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) working group, which contains several representatives from across all the Departments, Operations, and HR, please let your supervisor, department head, or Division Director Blake Simmons know.
BSE Division DEI Working Group Roster:
- Susan Celniker
- Dawn Ericks
- Nicholas Everson
- Mark Forrer
- Garima Goyal
- Qian He
- Ling Liang
- Peter Matlock
- Christopher Petzold
- Hector Plahar
- Todd Pray
- Blake Simmons
- Jasmine Smith
- Antoine Snijders
- Ning Sun
- Deepti Tanjore
- Janet Yokoyama
To provide further context and background, a wide array of additional information from the Lab’s DEI Senior Leadership Council (Blake Simmons, BSE representative) and DEI Advisory Board (Todd Pray, BSE representative) can be found by following the links below:
Berkeley Lab’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are one key way that individuals can find and participate in communities they identify with and are interested in. General information, including contact information for the current ERGs, can be found below:
Current Berkeley Lab ERGs represent the following focus areas:
- The African-American Employee Resource Group (AAERG) aims to advance a diverse and inclusive work environment with a particular focus on African-American current and future employees.
- The Disability Inclusion ERG, All Access, advocates for a more accessible laboratory in design, in spirit and in operation.
- The purpose of the Lambda Alliance ERG is to enhance the work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning employees and allies.
- The purpose of the Veteran Employee Resource Group (VERG) is to enhance the work environment for veteran employees and job seekers.
- Coming soon: Latino and Native American Employee Resource Group (LANA), which will support Hispanic/Latino and Native employees in the workplace.
The BSE Division Leadership Team is very open to hearing your ideas for new ERGs to better address DEI elements that may not yet be included at the Lab.
Laboratory Groups and Recognition
In addition, there are several other relevant groups and awards that may of interest to the BSE Division, a few of which are highlighted below:
- The Women Scientists & Engineers Council (WSEC) was created to address issues that affect the careers of women scientists and engineers. Deepti Tanjore is the BSE Division’s WSEC Representative.
- Every two years Women @ Lab nominations are solicited by the WSEC and awards made to highlight remarkable contributions made in STEM fields and Operations.
- Annually a series of nomination-based Director’s Awards are made to recognize individuals and teams in a number of categories, including for:
- Outreach: Promoting Lab’s education mission or improving community relations
- Diversity: Mentoring and leadership roles in organizations promoting diversity
- The Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association (BLPA) exists to provide support for enriching postdocs’ scientific careers, as well as to assist postdocs with any issues that might affect them and provide peer support.
If you have ideas about other Councils or Associations that would help with DEI in our Division or at the Lab please let your supervisor, Department Head, or the Division Director Blake Simmons know.
Several DEI-related events are planned or occur in an ongoing fashion at the Lab and in the broader community. The Division welcomes your participation and suggestions for anything else that you feel might be relevant and help make DEI a more central part of our day-to-day lives.
- Outreach and service opportunities such as:
- Food drives
- Internships and teaching
- Volunteering and interacting with local communities via the LBNL Booth at street fairs
- School visits (e.g. under-served communities)
- Bring your child to work day
- Personal finance and Investment workshops to enable and empower DEI groups, for example:
- Workshops and roundtables with women & minority-owned VC & PE firms
- Workshops on socially responsible investing, for example:
- Women & minorities in investing
- WOMEN AND INVESTING SERIES SESSION: ORGANIZE, PLAN, OWN YOUR FUTURE
- Benefits planning related to FMLA and Disability Insurance
Professional Development and Support
There are also many development and learning opportunities and resources available to the entire Division community. By making them more visible here, and including any others that people may suggest, we hope everyone becomes more aware of them:
- Funding and fellowship opportunities – if any questions please contact Diane Pierotti
- SkillSoft Online Learning is available to Lab employees and features hundreds of online books, courses, simulations and performance support tools on a variety of business and management topics.
- Through the Tuition Assistance Program, if you are a career employee, you can receive tuition reimbursement (or advancement) for courses at an accredited college or university that will help increase effectiveness in your current position and for career development.
The BSE Division is also very committed to supporting improvement in current policies and programs to address unmet needs among DEI-related stakeholder groups. If you have any ideas on other important issues Division Leadership can advocate around please let your supervisor, department head, or Blake Simmons know. A few examples are noted below:
- Child care availability on campus
- Broader awareness of disability insurance benefits and options at time of hiring and during annual open enrollment
The Division leadership team and DEI Working Group encourage all teams to make DEI awareness a regular part of workday culture and staff meetings. Below you can find some resources containing written or pictorial content that may be useful for a “DEI minute” or brief discussions: