The organisation leading several major innovation projects with echoing effects across the globe, NASA is a critical organisation for research and development, and creating a better understanding of the world around us.
From research in energy and water consumption to the development of technology to reduce our impacts on the environment—an emissions reduction effort, NASA is working tirelessly behind the scenes to inform industries.
However, to complete the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) conversation, the organisation is also focusing on the ‘S’, making changes to meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
Leaders at NASA recently appointed new leaders for diversity, equity, and inclusion. On March 27th 2023, Steve Shih was named the space agency’s first Diversity Ambassador, and Elaine Ho was appointed to work alongside him as the next associate administrator for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at its HQ.
NASA’s Administrator Bill Nelson says:
“Now more than ever, NASA is leading all of humanity on an unprecedented journey of discovery, exploration and innovation. To be successful in our missions, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility must continue to be at the forefront.
“Steve and Elaine’s leadership will help NASA continue to ensure our workforce reflects all of America and to inspire partners throughout our nation—for the benefit of all humanity.”
Driving sustainable change with a diverse team
The space agency’s commitment to ESG spans a variety of its operations. From its dedicated sustainability base, the organisation is working to provide some of the critical solutions to the world’s largest problem—climate change. Understanding the entirety of the challenge, NASA is driving innovations to protect life on earth, which is the underlying social issue resulting from the rising global temperature.
However, the team is also focused on including everyone in this journey, which is where the latest appointment will come into play. The organisation even holds a 60-page DEI plan, which sets out its ambitious targets to create an equitable environment for everyone impacted by NASA’s work.
But, NASA alone cannot change the US approach to the DEI. This has also been recognised by other critical authorities in the states, including the US Air Force, which it believes improves productivity and breeds a more comfortable working environment for teams to share their ideas and become part of a more collaborative team without bias.
The team at NASA continues to tackle other major challenges in the realm of ESG, including that of electrification, which is the topical conversation of the year and one to address globally in order to achieve net-zero emissions.