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 contact your supervisor, department head, or Division Director Blake Simmons.
BSE Division DEI Working Group Roster:
- Susan Celniker
- Mark Forrer
- Ling Liang
- Peter Matlock
- Christopher Petzold
- Hector Plahar
- Blake Simmons
- Jasmine Smith
- Antoine Snijders
- Ning Sun
- Deepti Tanjore
To provide further context and background, a wide array of additional information and resources can be found on the Berkeley Lab Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability (IDEA) website–such as IDEAs In Action–and by perusing the Lab’s Workforce Demographics.
Employee Resource Groups
Berkeley Lab’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are one key way that individuals can find and participate in communities with which they identify and/or have an interest. 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 All Access, advocates for disability inclusion and a more accessible laboratory in design, spirit, and operation.
- The Asian and Pacific Islander (API) ERG is committed to uplifting API employees, raising awareness about issues facing this community, and sharing the rich and varied API cultures with the Lab community.
- The Early Career ERG helps foster a community of inclusion and belonging for employees seeking clarity on how to navigate job growth opportunities and sense of community.
- The purpose of gLoBaL is to provide support and a sense of community for Berkeley Lab employees who have moved to the United States from another country.
- The purpose of the Lambda Alliance is to enhance the work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning employees and allies.
- The Latino and Native American (LANA) ERG, which supports Hispanic/Latino and Native employees in the workplace.
- The purpose of the Veteran Employee Resource Group (VERG) is to enhance the work environment for veteran employees and job seekers.
- The Women’s Support and Empowerment Council (WSEC) was created to address issues that affect the careers of women scientists and engineers. Carolina (Nina) Araujo Barcelos is the BSE Division’s WSEC Representative.
The BSE Division leadership team is 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 other relevant groups and awards that may of interest to the BSE Division, a few of which are highlighted below:
- 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 promote diversity and inclusion in our Division or at the Lab please engage your supervisor, Department Head, or the Division Director Blake Simmons.
Several DEI-related events are planned or occur in an ongoing fashion at the Lab and in the broader community. Some examples are:
- Outreach and service opportunities
- Food drives
- Internships and teaching
- Volunteering and interacting with local communities via the Berkeley Lab 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 historically marginalized groups
- Workshops and roundtables with women & minority-owned VC & PE firms
- Workshops on socially responsible investing
- Women & minorities in investing
- Benefits planning related to Family and Medical Leave Act and Disability Insurance
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.
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:
- For information about funding and fellowship opportunities, please contact Diane Pierotti.
- The Lab’s Learning & Organizational Development provides access to many self-directed learning platforms, such as LinkedIn Learning, UC Learning Center, and IDEAs In Action. These are available to Lab employees and feature online courses, materials and performance support tools on a variety of business, diversity & inclusion, 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 historically marginalized groups. If you have any ideas on other important issues for which Division leadership can advocate, please discuss with your supervisor, department head, or Blake Simmons.
The Division leadership team and DEI Working Group encourage all teams to make DEI awareness a regular part of workday culture and staff meetings. Please employ the useful slides provided on the One Minute for IDEA page.