WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo Counties), today sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, requesting that the National Laboratories make their science and engineering workforce demographics public. The letter continues the Congresswoman’s work to promote diversity and fight sexual harassment in science. Speier was joined by House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Representatives Louise M. Slaughter, Suzanne Bonamici, Katherine Clark, Rosa DeLauro, Alan Grayson, Barbara Lee, Daniel Lipinski, Zoe Lofgren, Mark Takano, and Paul Tonko.
“As any scientist would agree, the best way to study the effect of a practice is through rigorous analysis of data,” said Congresswoman Speier. “We need to make sure we have the best minds working at our National Laboratories, bringing their diverse perspectives to bear on the greatest scientific challenges of our time. But without demographic data, we have no way to know if efforts to promote diversity have been successful. As public institutions, the National Laboratories have a responsibility to provide taxpayers with these data.”
The Department of Energy has made strides in promoting diversity with the recent Director appointments of Dr. Jill Hruby to the National Nuclear Security Administration and Dr. Grace Bochenek to the Energy Security Laboratories. However, there are obvious gender gaps throughout the workforce. For example, there are no female Directors or Deputy Directors that oversee science activities in the ten DOE Office of Science Laboratories, and women comprise only 10% of Associate Laboratory Directors, Division Directors, or equivalents at all seventeen Department of Energy laboratories.
Please find full text of the letter below or click here
July 20, 2016
The Honorable Ernest Moniz
Secretary of Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington DC 20585
Dear Secretary Moniz:
Earlier this year, you wrote, “At the Department of Energy, we are constantly looking for new ideas and creative solutions to combat some of our world’s biggest issues… . These challenges can only be met if we have all hands on deck with a diverse workforce from all different backgrounds who are engaged in science and solutions.”
First, we would like to commend your strong support for diversity at DOE, and recognize the challenges you face in implementing it. However, we remain dismayed by the low percentage of women in science leadership roles at the DOE, even with the recent Director appointments of Dr. Jill Hruby, to the National Nuclear Security Administration; and Dr. Grace Bochenek, to the Energy Security Laboratories. There are no female Directors or Deputy Directors that oversee science activities in the ten DOE Office of Science Laboratories, and women comprise only 10% of Associate Laboratory Directors, Division Directors, or equivalents at all seventeen DOE laboratories.
Given your strong commitment to achieve a diverse DOE workforce, we would hope that most of the National Laboratories would make their science and engineering workforce demographics public. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We appreciate the other diversity efforts that the National Laboratories are undertaking, such as improved manager training and climate surveys. However, the effectiveness of these measures can best be quantified through the analysis of detailed demographic data, particularly of research scientists/engineers and scientific leadership. Moreover, as public institutions, the National Laboratories have a particular responsibility to be accountable to the taxpayers and should make these data public.
Public demographic data is already available for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in a useful and easily understandable format. Their analysis by gender, and race, as well as by job category and laboratory senior management, is exemplary. The remaining 15 national laboratories should follow LBNL and ANL’s lead in this. It would also be helpful to put the current year demographics in context by providing data on how these numbers have changed over the course of the past ten years.
Please reply with the specific steps you will take to require all national laboratories make their demographic data public in a useful and detailed format, broken down by gender, ethnicity, job category, and lab senior management. Please also include a timeline for when these data will be made available to the public. It is particularly imperative to separate out scientific staff from support staff for this purpose – while we greatly value the contribution of support staff, women are not underrepresented in fields such as Human Relations, and the purpose of these analyses are to examine diversity in technical fields and technical management.
We commend your leadership, and urge you to ensure that the National Laboratories remain accountable to the public for their diversity efforts. We look forward to your response.