Dear Energy Technology Area Colleagues,
Happy Women’s History Month! For those who don’t know me, I’m a program manager and an assistant department leader with the Electricity Markets & Policy (EMP) Department. I’m also the co-chair of the networking committee of the Lab’s Women Scientists and Engineers Council (WSEC), one of the Lab’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). WSEC, with support of the Lab’s IDEA and Strategic Communications offices, has lined up a number of events and resources to celebrate Women’s History Month and commemorate the significant contributions women have made to the Lab’s mission and throughout history. Watch for event announcements in Elements and learn more about all of the upcoming events in the article below.
You may know about some of WSEC’s recent accomplishments, which include initiatives to highlight outstanding Lab women over the years through the Women@The Lab awards (happening on March 30) and the recent Visible Spectrum series in Elements, working with HR to make paid parental leave a reality (for all parents, not just women), working with Organizational Learning staff on incorporating microaggression and psychological safety trainings – which can benefit all employees, and much more. What you may not know is that any Lab employee can become a member of WSEC – you don’t have to be a scientist or engineer—and you don’t have to be a woman. We have members of all genders and across a wide range of job classifications. The same holds true for all of the Lab’s ERGs. I heartily encourage every Lab employee to learn what the ERGs offer and join one or more as an ally. It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of these welcoming groups and work together to enrich the Lab employee experience. ERGs also cross-collaborate, since many of the issues they work on affect many different groups or all employees. Learn more about all of the Lab’s ERGs at berkeleylab-erg.lbl.gov/home.
It is an exciting time to support equity and inclusion here at the Lab – and I’m also excited to hear that equity is a priority at DOE as well. Members of EMP recently had the honor and thrill of meeting with Shalanda H. Baker, the new deputy director for energy justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at DOE. Baker shared her vision for making equity and justice a key tenet throughout DOE. She also highlighted a unique opportunity for one to two Berkeley Lab research staff to go on detail with her office to support the Justice40 Initiative, which has a goal of ensuring that 40% of the overall benefits of clean energy investments flow to underserved communities. Save the date (see below) for a special seminar featuring Baker.
Finally, it’s truly an honor to acknowledge the recent confirmation of Jennifer Granholm as secretary of the Department of Energy, only the second woman in history to lead DOE. Granholm, a graduate of UC Berkeley, is also a faculty member at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. Scroll down to the Links Section of this newsletter to see a replay of her greeting to DOE employees.
I wish you and your families the best and hope you are finding ways to take care of your mental and physical health. I also hope, that like me, you are heartened by the amazing mission-driven work we do, and our wonderful ETA and Lab community.