By Kelly Beierschmitt
Diversity is a critical component of every workplace. As all leaders know, the more diverse employees’ backgrounds, ideas and experiences are, the more successful the organization is.
As a leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory, I know this firsthand. I’ve seen time and again how bringing together diverse teams where everyone has a voice results in more creative problem-solving and better team cohesion. It also bolsters morale.
That’s why the Laboratory is committed to creating a workplace atmosphere where people from every background feel welcomed and their input valued. To this end, we have a vast network of employee resource groups to advocate for often underrepresented populations — from Native Americans to women in STEM; from military veterans to people with disabilities. In total, we have 12 ERGs to meet different workforce needs. Laboratory management works closely with these ERGs to hear and address their concerns and to celebrate their contributions.
For example, this is Pride Month, when we recognize the important contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to our communities and workplaces, and celebrate their hard-fought battle for equal rights. As part of this celebration, during Pride Week, the Laboratory flies the Progress Pride flag at five locations in both Los Alamos and Santa Fe. Members of our Prism ERG, the LGBTQ+ advocacy group, will also participate in area Pride celebrations by staffing booths and marching in parades. This community has a long history of contributing to our national missions and we want to continue to support a diverse workforce.
But equally as important to these external displays of solidarity and support is what happens on the Los Alamos campus. Through Prism, employees are given the opportunity to attend or participate in presentations about different issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The Laboratory is also designating 200 single-stall restrooms across the site as gender-neutral and providing employees with a locator map so they can be easily accessed.
Read the rest of the story as it appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican on June 4.