From the Director

NRAO Pride Philly Logo
Credit: adapted from art by Laurie Raye

The NRAO has made a visible change to our logo for Pride month, because we want to send the clear message that NRAO values our current and future LGBTQIA+ colleagues, friends, and family members. We send this same message internally by taking seriously our obligation to create and maintain an environment that is safe, secure, and welcoming. 

We recognize that our LGBTQIA+ colleagues continue to face social and legal challenges in broader society.  I am personally committed to ensuring that NRAO is a place where being yourself is celebrated. I am grateful to the many people at NRAO – those who are out, not out, and are allies – who make NRAO a place at which diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity is welcomed.

At NRAO, we aren’t content with learning about diversity and inclusion; we are continually, intentionally working to identify and change policies and practices that exclude or marginalize. Our staff are empowered and encouraged to speak up when they see a need for change; to talk with each other, and to advocate for changes in policies and practices that aren’t serving all of us.

I hope that NRAO has proven, and continues, to be a safe and welcoming environment for our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, both internally and in the community. If we fall short, or if there are changes that we need to make, please let me know.

– Tony Beasley

From the Employee Diversity Group

Employee Diversity Group
NRAO’s Employee Diversity Group

Welcome to Pride Month! The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is thrilled you noticed our new rainbow logo and decided to find out more. Here at the NRAO, we are deeply committed to supporting, valuing, and celebrating our present and future employees however they identify. This month, we specifically want to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, both within the NRAO and outside it, as important and valued contributors to science and new innovative technologies.

The world is not always safe for LGBTQIA+ people. We recognize and accept that we must do our part to rectify that. It is our responsibility to create a safe, brave, and welcoming workplace for all of our employees, colleagues, and partners to bring their full selves and potential in all their rainbow colors. We also recognize and celebrate those who have come before us who have advocated for changes to our laws, the workplace, and society to make them more safe. We are committed to continuing this work. – Employee Diversity Group

Our Work, Our Commitment

The NRAO Employee Diversity Group along with our Office of Diversity and Inclusion is actively engaging staff across the entire Observatory in discussion, connection, training, and action to identify areas for improvement and ultimately, to transform our culture with inclusion and equity at its core. This will only happen through dedicated time, resources, and long-term commitment. Publicly celebrating Pride this year (our first!) is part of this journey. Here are some of the things we are doing this month and throughout the year.

  • Employee Pride (virtual) Celebration 
  • LGBTQIA+ and ally connection group meeting
  • Weekly talks from outside speakers on topics including Juneteenth, White Supremacy, COVID life, LGBTQ+ allyship, and stress management
  • Anti-racism book clubs
  • How to Have Difficult Conversations training
  • Focus groups on examining our hiring, recruiting, and retention practices
  • Open discussion forums on relevant topics such as the effects of the pandemic on our lives, anti-racism, media bias, safe/brave spaces, and many more
  • Gender transition protocol to protect the rights and safety of transgender employees

From the Human Resources Team

The Observatory’s diversity strategic vision is to enable diversity to thrive in all areas of the Observatory.  The Human Resources department works to advance this vision by ensuring that diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of all HR programs and offerings. With strong leadership support, HR strives to provide a safe space for employees that promotes overall well-being.  Specifically, our Benefits group is committed to offering a benefits program that provides comprehensive health and wellness coverage and resources to all employees, free of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.