Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility
ORAU is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as we fulfill our mission to advance national priorities and serve the public interest by integrating academic, government and scientific resources globally. This commitment applies to our work with our federal and state government agency partners, our relationships with our member universities, and the ways we interact with and provide opportunities for our employees, managers and leadership team.
ORAU defines diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as:
Diversity is all the ways in which we differ. Workforce diversity is a collection of individual attributes that together help companies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These individual attributes include, but are not limited to, national origin, race, color, ethnicity, disability status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, veteran status, socioeconomic status, and family structures.
Equity requires reviewing and assessing policies, procedures and guidelines to create a culture that promotes a fair and just work environment for all employees. The term “equity” means the consistent and systematic fair, just and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been generally denied such treatment.
Inclusion is intentional effort placed on creating a culture that is inclusive of all employees at every level of the company on an ongoing basis. Inclusions requires us to create a culture that connects each employee to the organization; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity throughout the organization so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.
Accessibility is giving equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human abilities, inabilities, and experiences. Accessibility encompasses the broader meanings of compliance and regulatory compliance. Accessibility refers to how organizations make space for all individuals to acquire information for promotions, advancement, and experience the same level of exposure for opportunities The characteristics each person brings to the organization should be received and equally integrated into the culture.
For 30 years, ORAU’s Diversity Council has provided awareness of the importance of diversity in the workplace and communicated the importance of respect for all employees. The network of 25 Council members, who represent all levels and locations of the organization, provides employees an easily accessible, alternative channel to ask questions, express concerns, or discuss existing or potential problems regarding diversity matters such as harassment, and/or discrimination of any ORAU employee on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, gender, gender orientation, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or special disabled or veteran status.
The Diversity Council holds a number of education events and observances for employees annually, including Heritage Day, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Juneteenth, and Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Examples of our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility include:
MSI Research Council
- ORAU named to Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA contract
- ORAU selected for NIH Path to Excellence Initiative
- ORAU work with CDC Office of Minority Health
- Monica Jimenez, former EPA NSSC contractor, featured in Science Matters
- ORAU partners with Meharry to provide leadership in health equity and researcher diversity
- ORAU awarded contract to build workforce capacity for rural and frontier health departments
- Arminta Mack selected for National Society of Leadership and Success
- Wanda Gamble: Committed to a winning culture
- Desmond Stubbs: From late bloomer to diversity pioneer
- Julie Crumly: Leveraging evaluation skills for a first-of-its kind public health preparedness study
- Praveena Krishnan: ‘Love what you do, do what you love’
- Tim Wilson: Climate research from the ground up
Research & Researcher Profiles
- ORAU researchers publish study on communicating effectively to prevent infectious diseases among people experiencing homelessness
- Research in Progress: Developing computer simulations to improve disaster planning in rural communities
- Research in Progress: Finding the links between COVID-19 health risk disparities and air pollutant exposures
- Research in Progress: How the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified barriers to career development for women in science
- Making great things happen: our annual conversation with United Away of Anderson County
- Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge helps 14,000 of our neighbors access free primary care services
- Podcast: Creating a data science consortium for Minority Serving Institutions
- Podcast: Data activism—Why we need it in our data-driven world
- Podcast: ORAU’s Diversity Council and the importance of being visible
- Podcast: Preparing for the ‘silver wave’
- Podcast: Desmond Stubbs—From late bloomer to diversity pioneer
Human Resources distinctions
- 2022 Best of the Best Employer by U.S. Veterans Magazine
- 2022 Top Entry Level Employer by CollegeGrad.com
- 2022 Top Intern Employer by CollegeGrad.com
- 2022 Best of the Best Employer by Black EOE Journal
- 2021 Best of the Best Employer by HISPANIC Network Magazine
- 2021 Best of the Best Employer by DIVERSEability Magazine
ORAU is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility as we fulfill our mission to advance national priorities and serve the public interest by integrating academic, government and scientific resources globally
Download the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility factsheet (.pdf, 1.5 MB).