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Diversity and inclusion in observatory operations: Advocating for and implementing positive change
Author(s): Alysha Shugart; Claire Rafferty; Stephen Ridgway; Stacey Sueoka; Dara Norman; Chris Yamasaki
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Paper Abstract

Dedicated diversity and inclusion programs are important tools to utilize in a successful organization. Cross-disciplinary studies show that diversity contributes positively to overall productivity and innovation, in both profit and non-profit sectors. Diverse working groups are capable of producing better science, and creating an inclusive environment is essential to maintaining diversity in the workplace.

This paper first outlines studies of the measured benefits of diversity, and the different ways in which they manifest, in order to emphasize its importance. Demographics data from international astronomy organizations is presented to illustrate the current state of the workforce in observatories and within observatory operations. Finally, a much-needed focus is placed on inclusion in the workplace. We review why creating an inclusive environment is important for the success of maintaining a diverse organization. We discuss how different programs implemented at astronomical observatories contribute to creating an inclusive environment, and detail real-world examples of these efforts taking place in these institutions. The goal is that these strategies can be adapted to benefit other similar organizations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2018
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 10704, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII, 107040J (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2312249
Show Author Affiliations
Alysha Shugart, Gemini South Observatory (Chile)
Claire Rafferty, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Stephen Ridgway, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Stacey Sueoka, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Dara Norman, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Chris Yamasaki, Gemini North Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10704:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Chris R. Benn, Editor(s)

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