Today at Berkeley Lab

Lab Leaders Develop New Strategies, Priorities at Diversity Retreat

Lab Directors and representatives from all of the DOE national labs recently came together at the National Lab Director Council on Diversity and Leadership workshop in Livermore to discuss diversity and inclusion. Representatives from human resources, outreach, training, diversity, and scientific/technical programs shared ideas, insights, and best practices with the aim of increasing diversity and strengthening inclusion within their institutions. The meeting, which took place on September 1-2, 2015, resulted in a set of directives and priorities as takeaways for each of the participating labs.

The second day of the workshop brought everyone together for a discussion and vote on the recommendations developed in breakout sessions to provide a sense of priority for the Lab Directors to consider. The recommendations that received the most votes were the following:

Create and enforce accountability among all levels of leadership
• Conduct implicit bias discussions from the top all the way down
• Focus on leadership behavior, leadership accountability for the diversity of the team and group dynamics
• Shine a light on what is happening in the organization and allow that transparency to guide our efforts for improvement

Raise the diversity and inclusion issue to the same level of commitment as quality and safety – build a culture.

Build sustainable partnerships with universities that support underrepresented groups, including HBCUs, first-tier schools, and other universities.

Capitalize on the power of the DOE National Laboratory Complex
• One enterprise with 17 organizations, 55,000 people, 30,000 scientists
• Freshen the branding/image of the Complex to create consistency across Laboratories using a collaborative communication toolkit
• Take greater advantage of social media to convey that we are innovators solving the Nation’s problems of today, and with a record of meaningful accomplishments

Develop a Complex-wide leadership development program that
• Is sufficiently supported through funding,
• provides opportunities to use new skills, and
• Includes incentives that balance the value of science with the value of soft skills and engages our scientific and technical staff

The Lab Directors will be discussing these recommendations at their December Retreat and identifying those for implementation.

Attendees at the National Lab Director Council on Diversity and Leadership workshop.

Attendees at the National Lab Director Council on Diversity and Leadership workshop.

Christel Cantlin, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Berkeley Lab, attended the workshop and says that sharing insights and best practices with her counterparts and colleagues from the other Labs resulted in rich discussions and some meaningful outcomes. At the end of the workshop, representatives from each Lab gathered and discussed what they felt was most important to bring back to their Lab.

“At the workshop, Paul shared an idea of having a common application for Postdocs, who are seen as one of our primary entry points for bringing in more diversity. Paul thought it would be great if we could streamline and share postdoc applications among all the national labs,” says Cantlin. “The logistics of how this would work are challenging, but the idea is a wonderful starting point.”

-Written by Keri Troutman