Fostering diverse and inclusive teams that are highly skilled, innovative, and productive is critical for maintaining U.S. leadership in space exploration. In recent years, NASA has taken steps to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in their workforce by releasing its equity action plan, emphasizing how diverse and inclusive teams help maximize scientific returns, and requiring DEIA plans as part of announcements of opportunities. To further its efforts to advance DEIA, the Agency requested the National Academies undertake a study to evaluate ways NASA can address the lack of diversity in space mission leadership.
Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Leadership of Competed Space Missions outlines near and long-term actions NASA can take to make opportunities for leadership and involvement in competed space missions more accessible, inclusive, and equitable. Report recommendations range from changes to the mission proposal process to investments in STEM education and career pathways. This report makes 15 recommendations for advancing DEIA within NASA's Science Mission Directorate divisions that support competed space mission programs. However, many of the report's recommendations could also be applied broadly to research at NASA and other federal agencies and institutions, leading to a more diverse research workforce.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Leadership of Competed Space Missions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26385.
|2 Understanding the Mission Formulation and Proposal Process
|3 Diversity of NASA Competed Missions Teams and Space Science Workforce
|4 Pathways into Space Sciences
|5 Barriers and Opportunities in NASA Space Missions
|6 Examining Best Practices at the Federal Level for Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Principal InvestigatorLed Missions
|7 Paths Forward: Recommendations
|Appendix A: Acronyms and Abbreviations
|Appendix B: Glossary
|Appendix C: Qualitative Study of the Factors That Impede or Facilitate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Proposed Leadership for Competed Space Missions
|Appendix D: Committee and Staff Bios
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