We are honoured that CSIRO’s Space and Astronomy business unit, which manages the ATNF, has received a Silver Pleiades award from the Astronomical Society of Australia’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Astronomy chapter.
The award recognises organisations with a sustained record of at least two years monitoring and improving the working environment. It also recognises leadership in promoting positive actions as examples of best practice to other organisations in the astronomy community.
Over the past two years we have made conscious and proactive steps towards meeting our diversity and inclusion goals, including:
- Developing an annual Diversity and Inclusion action plan and tracking progress against the plan.
- Improving gender equity and diversity in recruitment, particularly in recruitment for the SKA-Low operations team.
- Requiring all positions in Space and Astronomy to be advertised as either full-time, part-time or job-share, by default, to increase the diversity of applicants.
- Running ‘Speak Up!’ training sessions to empower staff on calling out and addressing inappropriate behaviours in the workplace.
- Conducting Space and Astronomy culture surveys, in addition to CSIRO’s staff surveys.
- Engaging a full-time Diversity and Inclusion Manager and part-time Diversity and Inclusion Co-ordinator, and having an active Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Key achievements over this period include achieving gender balance on the Space and Astronomy Executive Team, SKA-Low Executive Team, Space and Astronomy Rewards Committee, ATNF Steering Committee and ATNF Users Committee, and the NovaSAR-1 National Facility Steering Committee. We facilitated a 22 per cent increase in the number of female group leaders as at June 2021-22.
Priority actions to be progressed across the next two years include:
- Raising awareness and understanding of existing policies, procedures and mechanisms such as flexible work and exit interviews and taking recommendations for improvements to CSIRO.
- Training recruiting managers to better utilise CSIRO’s diversity and inclusion and affirmative measures to recruit a more diverse workforce.
- Strengthening Space and Astronomy leadership to demonstrate a culture of accountability, speaking up and respect that is genuine and reinforces the expectation for inclusive behaviour. We expect a greater involvement of senior leaders in Diversity and Inclusion issues, discussions, and outcomes.
We’re doing all of this because we aim to foster and build a fair, equitable and inclusive workplace where we all feel we belong and are empowered to perform at our best and deliver positive impact for the communities with whom we work, including the ATNF community.
The Silver Pleiades award is valid for two years, to 1 July 2025. CSIRO Space and Astronomy was previously a recipient of the Bronze Pleaides award.