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The Pride flag is flown in 2019 at PNNL.
The Pride flag is flown in 2019 at PNNL.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

It's Pride Month and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is incredibly proud of the ways the Energy Department celebrates and learns about diversity for the LGBTQ+ employees who help us thrive. Nearly all National Laboratories have employee resource groups to advance LGBTQ+ individuals equality, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace.

One example is the Prism Employee Resource Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Prism aims to promote LGBTQ+ visibility and create a safe space that values the full voices and backgrounds of everyone. The group has organized events like the oSTEM Annual Conference, guest speakers, and set up art instillations for Pride Month. Visit their site for resources, events, or to partner with them.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is flying a Pride flag on campus all month as a “small gesture of support for the LGBTQ+ community,” according to Laboratory Director Steven Ashby. “The breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences of our staff enable the innovation and creativity one expects of a DOE National Laboratory.”

PNNL’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group is also called Prism, and they seek to promote a safe, inclusive space that fosters community and support for LGBTQ+ staff and allies. They are accomplishing this by building a network for discussion and hosting educational programs and social events, such as a panel discussion on June 23 called “A Day in the Life: A Panel Discussion about LGBTQ+ inclusion.”

The panel seeks to help listeners gain confidence with LGBTQ+ terminology and will feature professors from Columbia University and University of North Dakota as well as a Gallerist from AS2 Gallery in Spokane, Washington. Additionally, Fermilab physicist Erica Snider, who is also a member of its LGBTQ+ Community Employee Resource group (Spectrum) and the Fermilab Scientist Advisory Council, will participate in the panel discussion.

The Spectrum employee resource group works on building awareness and providing resources for the LGBTQ+ community to foster understanding, acceptance, and equality. Pushing for LGBTQ+-friendly policies and benefits and promoting equity at all workforce levels as well as an inclusive work environment is also at the heart of the organization’s work. Their website shares reports relating to LGBTQ+ participation in STEM, links to other LGBTQ+ science-related organizations, and events.

Argonne National Laboratory’s Spectrum employee resource group is modeled after Fermilab’s and the two groups often team up for joint events and training. Argonne’s Spectrum group meets monthly and membership and meeting participation are always open to Allies. The group advises the lab on employee issues, participates in outreach and talent recruitment activities, runs educational and networking opportunities, and promotes equity at all levels in the workplace.

At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), they’ve had a busy Pride Month. LLNL’s Livermore Pride employee resource group has hosted three sessions of “Pride Café” around topics including childhood role models and the meaning of pride, put on an event for over 160 virtual attendees with Los Alamos National Laboratory structural biologist Dr. Karissa Sanbomatsu, a lead figure in structural studies of long non-coding RNAs and an open transgender advocate. There’s also a reoccurring monthly Pride lunch, and plans for a July event co-sponsored by the Black Employee Resource group at the Lab.

On the policy front, Livermore Pride collaborated with their Human Resources organization to release Gender Transition Guidelines to help the workforce in the process of any employees transitioning, a huge resource for the lab.

Other labs contribute as well. Sandia’s Pride Alliance Network supplies resources to address transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay workplace issues and supports education and recruiting activities. The Lambda Alliance at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has penned workplace transition guidelines, marched in Pride parades, and formed the National Pride Consortium for all National Laboratories.

And at DOE’s headquarters, GLOBE is a group that hosts Pride month events, such as a panel on June 19 last year).This year, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and GLOBE are hosting a discussion on June 25 for the workforce around the theme #StillWe, representing the struggles, resilience, unity, and pride that exist within the LGBTQ+ community, progress made, and work that is yet to be done.

Learn more about diversity & inclusion at the Energy Department at www.energy.gov/diversity