Inclusion Plan Best Practices Workshop
The Inclusion Plan Best Practices Workshop was held virtually on November 1–2, 2022. This workshop was motivated by the recent requirement for inclusion plans within several of NASA’s Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) programs.
For ROSES-2022, 12 programs [plus the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) Cooperative Agreement Notice] required proposals to contain an inclusion plan that outlines how the team will work against barriers to create and sustain inclusive work environments and how the team will equip members in such a way that they can go on to lead and contribute to other teams that are diverse and inclusive. One of the consistent requests from the planetary community has been for NASA to provide resources for proposers to help them write competent and responsive inclusion plans.
As a response to this request for more inclusion plan resources, NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Program Officers, in coordination with social scientists from the Learning Management Institute, organized the two-day Inclusion Plan Best Practices Workshop. The goal of this workshop was to provide proposers with some background and tools needed to be active participants in creating and maintaining inclusive work environments. The workshop was open to any member of the science community, and had close to 900 registrants and around 500 participants on each day. The first hour of each day was dedicated to oral presentations given by NASA SMD personnel and inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) experts, followed by 45–60 minutes of questions and open discussion with the community. The first day of the workshop was focused on “Why Inclusion,” with talks focusing on the importance of inclusion, inclusion killers, distinctions between inclusion and diversity, and more. The theme of the second day of the workshop was “How to Develop and Maintain an Inclusive Work Environment,” and covered topics such as evaluation metrics, what an inclusion plan is not, lessons learned from development of research inclusion toolkits, and more. The second day also had lengthy discussions to clear up confusion regarding diversity vs. inclusion and what the requirements are for ROSES inclusion plans, as well as how teams can evaluate the success of their proposed plans.
One thing this workshop was not designed to do was to tell proposers exactly how to write an inclusion plan. Every team will face different barriers to inclusion, and there is no one right way to write an inclusion plan. The goal of this workshop was rather to introduce to proposers the importance of inclusion, and how to go about creating and maintaining inclusive work environments. In conjunction with this workshop, SMD has developed a website with more resources to guide proposers in learning more about IDEA and in crafting responsive inclusion plans (https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/inclusion). Additional iterations of this workshop will be held in the future, and recordings from this workshop can be found on the workshop meeting website at https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/inclusionplan2022/.
— Text provided by Ryan Watkins