Johnson Space Center: Meaningful Connections by Employee Resource Groups

At Johnson Space Center, the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have some exciting activities and outreach ahead:

The JSC early career ERG is spending a Saturday afternoon visiting the Czech Center Museum in downtown Houston. The museum is honoring Gene Cernan, the last man to step foot on the moon, with an exhibit titled, “A Czech on the Moon.” The exhibit features interviews with Cernan’s family and surprising facts about his life.

The JSC African American ERG is attending the Black Aerospace Professionals Convention and Career Fair in Houston to help increase minority participation in future aerospace careers. The Career Exposition is one of the largest aerospace fairs in the Nation, and it supports the organization’s objective to “increase the number of underrepresented minority professionals, engineers, scientists and management personnel in aviation and related industries.”

The JSC Women’s ERG is hosting a professional development session with the Director of Flight Operations, Brian Kelly. The event is part of a series called “Ask Me Anything,” where JSC employees can engage with leaders in candid dialogue. In this discussion, Brian will kick off the meeting by speaking about the future of the Flight Operations Directorate as well as JSC’s Inclusion & Innovation Council.

Description: Native American Cultural Celebration
Date: 11-09-2017
Location: B2- Teague Lobby
Photographer: Allison Bills

Nationally, Harassment is Pervasive and Underreported


Welcome to the Diversity and Inclusion Blog and part 3 of NASA’s Anti-Harassment Campaign post! I am pleased to say that harassment reporting levels at NASA have been extremely low in recent years: reports of non-sexual harassment have ranged from 47-65 per year, while reports of sexual harassment have ranged from 7-19 per year.

However, I am also cognizant that national statistics assure us that harassment is pervasive and underreported: 25%-85% of women in the United States have reported experiencing workplace sexual harassment, and 90% of individuals don’t file a complaint for fear of disbelief, inaction, blame, or social or professional retaliation.

Harassment is a potential huge risk for our workforce and mission. It is unknown whether workplace harassment is—truly—not a significant issue at NASA or—alternatively—may be underreported and undiscovered. As former Acting Administrator Lightfoot stated in his video Anti-Harassment Campaign message, “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

At NASA, we are committed to providing a safe environment for reporting to take place. Your comments on this subject are most welcome. Is NASA succeeding as a safety culture? Are all NASA employees confident that they are valued and respected?

Thank you for your thoughtful responses to these vital questions!

Steve Shih, Esq.
Associate Administrator
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Langley Research Center Celebrates Unity Through Diversity


The Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and the Employee Resource Groups at Langley Research Center collaborated to produce a Langley Expo event on July 31, 2018 in the Integrated Engineering Services Building 2102, celebrating the talents and diversity of the Langley workforce!

Employees exhibited their homemade works and hobbies; taught classes in art, music, and history; and providing musical entertainment throughout the day. Key events include a unique panel discussion on diversity, “Langley’s Identity,” hosted by the Langley Emerging and Advancing Professionals (LEAP), a special performance by Illusionist Douglas Michael, and trivia at Afterburners hosted by the LGBTQ Employee Alliance Group (LEAG).

The event highlighted diversity and inclusion, educated the workforce, and recognized the diverse talent across Langley with support and participation by leadership. The Langley’s Identity panel, moderated by Chief of Staff JD Reeves, emphasized unity – a key element in inclusion – and how the full spectrum of our different roles and responsibilities connect us to each other and mission.
Please take a look at the great photos of the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa_langley/albums/72157699798188955.

Marshall Space Flight Center to Host 25th Marshall Small Business Alliance Meeting on September 20


On Thursday, September 20, 2018, the Marshall Space Flight Center will host the 25th Marshall Small Business Alliance Meeting at the Davidson Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

This event is open to anyone with an interest in the NASA/MSFC marketplace. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to network with MSFC Senior Managers, Acquisition Personnel, Small Business Technical Coordinators, and Small and Large Business Prime Contractor representatives.

If interested in attending the event, contact the MSFC Small Business Office at 256-544-0267.

ODEO Associate Administrator Steve Shih Discusses Diversity and Inclusion as Mission Critical

ODEO is proud to announce the highlighting of our own AA Steve Shih in STEM Workforce Diversity magazine, in its spring 2018 edition: http://cdn.coverstand.com/28522/500205/5fbca5f8faf6203f6846f313c0de09b21f4ee725.1.pdf. Steve’s comments are on pages 17-18, “Diversity is Mission Critical for NASA’s Innovation.”

Steve discusses the criticality of diversity to NASA’s mission success and capacity for innovation. He attributes much of NASA’s effective embrace of diversity and inclusion to the commitment of NASA leadership, by their emphasis on D&I as an Agency value as well as a strategic priority.

By focusing on organizational goals, effective execution, and performance evaluation, Steve maintains, organizations can demonstrate a return on investment, thereby reinforcing the value proposition of D&I as a mission-enabler.

NASA is Working Proactively to Prevent Harassment

Thank you for tuning in for ODEO’s blog regarding NASA’s anti-harassment efforts! In February, NASA embarked on an Anti-Harassment Campaign for 2018. NASA seeks to proactively prevent harassment at NASA and promptly correct harassment when it occurs, as this effort dovetails with our goals to assure the safety and effectiveness of NASA’s workforce and mission.

NASA defines harassment as any unwelcome conduct, verbal or physical based on an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, status as a parent, genetic information, or gender identity, or retaliation for making reports or allegations of harassment or providing information related to such allegations when: the behavior can reasonably be considered to adversely affect the work environment, or an employment decision affecting the employee is based upon the employee’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct.

What focus would you like to see NASA consider, as we move forward on this initiative? What challenges do you believe we face, in attaining this mutual goal? What alliances can be fashioned or strengthened to ensure mission success?

Thank you, in advance, for your ideas on these and other issues.

Steve Shih, Esq.
Associate Administrator
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

NASA’s Anti-Harassment Stance is Inextricably Linked to Mission

Thank you for tuning in for the first-of-several blog posts regarding NASA’s anti-harassment philosophy and efforts! As Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated at his first NASA Town Hall meeting, “This is an agency where we want to make sure that inclusion and diversity continue… as long as I’m at the helm of this agency, there will be no discrimination based on race, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or anything else.” In that vein, ODEO held an Agency-wide Anti-Harassment Forum on May 15-17 at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Forum, a key part of the NASA Anti-Harassment Campaign, brought together the Agency’s anti-harassment community of practice, including all 10 Center Anti-Harassment Coordinators, as well as legal, HR, and EEO leaders from across the Agency. The Forum was designed primarily to provide participants with an opportunity to raise current issues and concerns, share promising practices, and contribute to the continuous improvement of the program at their Centers and potentially Agency-wide.

Program highlights included a keynote address by Dr. Lilia Cortina, one of the Nation’s preeminent researchers on sexual harassment in the workplace, who recently served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Study of Sexual Harassment in the Sciences, as well as a presentation by D&I thought leader and author of The Loudest Duck, Laura Liswood. The Forum group also heard from a number of senior leaders including Krista Paquin, former Deputy Associate Administrator, and Melanie Saunders, Acting Deputy Associate Administrator, and myself, among others.

As a safety culture, NASA takes anti-harassment seriously; when any among our workforce feel unsafe, there exists the potential to detrimentally affect NASA’s mission.

What are your thoughts on anti-harassment? It’s nexus with our mission? Are there additional areas you would like to see NASA address?
I invite you to join the conversation!

Steve Shih, Esq.
Associate Administrator
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Initiating Essential Conversations: NASA’s Diversity and Inclusion Blog

Welcome to NASA’s new Diversity and Inclusion Blog! As the Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, I am proud to jumpstart this forum, which I hope will be the impetus for authentic conversations across the Agency on Equal Opportunity and Diversity and Inclusion issues relevant to your experiences and close to your hearts.

I invite you to join me in engaging in our upcoming discussions, starting with the topic of NASA’s 2018 Anti-Harassment Campaign. I earnestly believe that we will improve our mutual understanding and successful teamwork through our willingness to voice our unique and diverse viewpoints and by engaging in constructive dialogue, and ultimately enable even greater individual and collective success in helping NASA achieve its mission.

This forum can only as effective as your participation permits it to be! Your feedback and comments are vital to Agency-wide dialogue and engagement. What topics and issues would you like to see addressed in the upcoming months? What considerations and concerns do you think need to be understood to be impactful in our efforts?

Thank you for your participation!

Steve Shih, Esq.
Associate Administrator
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity