Women’s Equality Day

NASA joins organizations across the world to celebrate Women’s Equality Day on August 26.

The date was selected to celebrate the Women’s Suffrage Movement’s greatest victory—women’s achievement of full voting rights following the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The Women’s Equality Day observance not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also represents women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

At every level of society, women have been at the forefront of progress and innovation, and today we recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women across the globe who fought through barriers for equality.

Women’s Equality Day coincides with the 100th birthday of Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. Katherine is a pioneer who paved the way for women at NASA and beyond. We send birthday wishes to Katherine and thank her for her fearless service. Resilient women like Katherine have inspired and encouraged countless others to challenge the status quo to advance.

I also want to recognize the talented women of NASA at all levels of the organization, whose diligent leadership and commitment help us accomplish NASA’s mission. Our female scientists and engineers continue to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM education and careers. As we recognize their accomplishments, we also reinforce our commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion for the NASA workforce.

I encourage you to participate in activities at NASA and in your communities to commemorate Women’s Equality Day.

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

Johnson Space Center’s Will Davis Receives Diversity and Inclusion Award

PHOTO DATE: 04-23-14
LOCATION: Bldg. 8, Room 183 – Photo Studio
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lauren Harnett

Will Davis, an Equal Opportunity Specialist at Johnson Space Center, has received the Santiago Rodriguez Diversity & Inclusion Award from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation, Great Minds in STEM. For this award, candidates must show effectiveness of implementing diversity & inclusion goals and/or changes within an organization, promoting Hispanic awareness within an organization, outreach to the Hispanic community, efforts to promote STEM career development with impact on Hispanics and other underserved communities, and community outreach including schools, universities and non–profits. Congratulations, Will!

Preventing Harassment is Just Good Business

Welcome to NASA’s Diversity and Inclusion Blog and part 4 of our Anti-Harassment Campaign post! Certainly, preventing harassment is the right thing to do, and reflects our shared values as a Nation and as an Agency. However, harassment prevention is also just good business.
There is a compelling business case for stopping and preventing harassment. Harassment is incredibly expensive for organizations who disregard the issue at their own peril:

In 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recovered $164.5 million for private sector workers alleging harassment.
In 1994, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board estimated sexual harassment led to a Government cost of $327.1 million, in addition to monies paid through settlements.
Further, harassment causes significant mental, physical, and economic harm to victims, and harms all workers and their organizations through its impacts, by decreased attendance, productivity, and morale; increased turnover; and reputational harm.

Which argument appeals to you more strongly – the ethical or the business case? Why? What benefits and/or shortcomings do you think might be inherent in either case? Is there an argument to be made for an amalgam of both?

I appreciate, as always, your insightful comments!

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

Hispanic Network Magazine Honors NASA Goddard Engineer Scarlin Hernandez

10 Latina engineers, physicists, techies, and STEM activists are breaking glass ceilings, solving major scientific problems, creating innovative products that save lives, and creating programs for young Latinas. One of them is our very own, NASA engineer Scarlin Hernandez at Goddard Space Flight Center:

“I want to be able to motivate people and tell them they can do it, they can go after their dream. Sometimes they just need to see that one person who fought all of the odds,” she says in a video for NASA.

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.

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