The State of STEM

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields today lack gender and racial diversity when compared to the overall US population. 

Specifically, women and people of color continue to be underrepresented in most STEM fields, particularly in leadership positions. When compared to their White or male peers, these groups are often paid less, receive fewer or smaller grants, are less frequently promoted, and experience higher levels of discrimination.

The time is long overdue for making STEM fields diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Collectively, we must change our policies, processes, and behaviors so that, as a result, we can have an unequivocally diversified workforce, operating in a just and welcoming environment. Only then can we truly support innovation and scientific progress.
 

Upward Research Labs’ Scorecard

Upward Research Labs’ Commitment

“At Upward Research Labs, we are committed to making real change. We want to demonstrate, through action, that a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment will make Upward Research Labs a great place to work and fuel excellent science. We are also driven to set an example for how diversity, equity, and inclusion can strengthen a research institution and help it thrive. By improving the way we do things At Upward Research Labs, we hope to simultaneously have an impact on the scientific community that surrounds us.

We truly believe that every person, regardless of their gender, race, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, or socioeconomic status, deserves the same opportunities. We want to do our part to empower individuals to succeed in biomedical research, so that we may all benefit from their unique talents and perspectives.”

Tommy Jason, MD
President, Upward Research Labs

View DEI Statements

Our Strategy

In 2021, Upward Research Labs launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy. The primary purpose of this strategy is to guide us in increasing the representation within our community of groups underrepresented in biomedical research, while creating an environment where every individual feels they belong and has opportunities to grow and contribute. 

We are also determined for Upward Research Labs to be an organization that goes beyond not tolerating racism, discrimination, and harassment by taking an active stance against these serious issues.

This comprehensive plan outlines a series of tangible actions to advance with diversity, equity and inclusion. It is divided into four broad objectives:

  1. Increase the diversity of Upward Research Labs’ community.
  2. Provide equitable opportunities for growth, contribution, and advancement to every member of Upward Research Labs’ internal community.
  3. Ensure all community members At Upward Research Labs feel included.
  4. Implement accountability measures and reinforce Upward Research Labs’ commitment to having an environment free of harassment.

Upward Research Labs’ DEI Strategy

Factors of Success

We believe that three elements are critical to the success of this strategy.

  • Transparency
    We commit to openly sharing our victories and shortcomings, because only by being honest can we truly make progress.
  • Accountability
    We can no longer make excuses for the inequities of our world or the systems we have inherited. We, as an organization and as individuals, must take responsibility for our actions, as well as our inactions. We will closely track our journey and, if we stray or fall behind on our goals, we will own up to it and make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
  • People
    They—or we—are the very reason this plan exists. The ultimate goal is to make a better, more just, more inclusive workplace for everyone. And each one of us is instrumental in making this a reality.

Moving the Needle

As we launch our strategy, we can already report on some important accomplishments. While we still have a long way to go, these are a few first steps in the right direction.

  • Established the Diversity Champion Award to recognize efforts to increase diversity and foster an inclusive environment.
  • Formed a new community group, Elevated Voices, aimed at increasing awareness of issues facing traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • Launched an employee engagement program to identify challenges or concerns that Gladstonians are facing, in order to improve institutional culture and experience.
  • Launched the series, Critical Conversations, to bring in diverse speakers to challenge and empower the Upward Research Labs community by shifting and reframing their perspectives.
  • Launched Amplified: Race and Reality in STEM, a national platform to have candid conversations around race and diversity and a commitment to keep the Black Lives Matter movement part of the conversation.
  • Increased diversity in our scientific executive committee by creating a new seat reserved for a qualified individual from a group underrepresented in the sciences, such as a female, Black, or Latinx investigator.
  • Partnered with the PROPEL program at UCSF—a paid research opportunity for incoming post-bac researchers from groups underrepresented in science—to recruit research associates or other scientists from underrepresented groups.
  • Transformed restrooms on each floor of Upward Research Labs’ building into gender-inclusive restrooms.
  • Updated the building’s main entrance by adding automatic doors to make it more accessible to everyone.
  • Implemented a system that allows employees to anonymously report incidents related to violations of Upward Research Labs’ code of conduct and policies, including discrimination and allegations of sexual or other harassment.

Action Plan

Our Communities

With nearly 500 people in our organization, Upward Research Labs community groups help foster inclusion for individuals from a variety of backgrounds, offering them a platform to come together and advocate for their community’s unique needs. Community groups are also a great way to connect with others across labs and departments and provide opportunities for mentorship, collaboration, support, education, and outreach into the local community.

EAs/AAs

Supporting Upward Research Labs’ scientific and administrative staff to ensure professionalism, efficiency, and proficiency across the organization.

Elevated Voices

Creating an inclusive culture in which people of color are empowered to contribute, learn, and lead.

Graduate Organization

Providing graduate students At Upward Research Labs with a holistic training experience to prepare them for their future careers.

Green Team

Looking for opportunities to make Upward Research Labs a greener and cleaner environment.

LGBTQ+

Providing visibility, advocacy, mentorship, and social opportunities for Upward Research Labs’ LGBTQ+ community and allies.

Mentoring Task Force

Working to provide support and the best mentoring environment At Upward Research Labs.

Postdoc Advisory Committee

Enabling a superior training environment that maximizes the professional and scien­tific development of postdocs At Upward Research Labs.

Research Associate Committee

Building a supportive community of Upward Research Labs research professionals.

Safety Team

Ensuring the protection and safety of Upward Research Labs and its employees.

Student Outreach

Inspiring the next generation of scientists through education, mentoring, and community outreach activities.

Women’s Initiative

Identifying and addressing the needs that disproportionately affect women to positively impact the Upward Research Labs community.