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Steering Group for Equity in Career Advancement

The NIST Steering Group for Equity in Career Advancement (SGECA) is comprised of staff from across the NIST laboratories, the Director’s Office, the Civil Rights and Diversity Office and the Office of Human Resources Management. 

Left: two women under a tree. Right: Seven people on steps.
Left: NIST SGECA Boulder staff, from left -- Aly Artusio-Glimpse and Marla Dowell. Right: NIST SGECA Gaithersburg staff (starting in back left going clockwise) -- Kathleen Schwarz, Jeanita Pritchett, Jeremy Lawson, Teresa Whiteside, Joannie Chin, Heather Evans, and Laura Espinal. Not pictured: Stephanie Hooker, James St. Pierre and Carl Williams.
Credit: NIST

Motivated by data showing that women and minorities compose decreasing fractions of staff at higher pay band levels within NIST, a group of scientists and managers from across the agency developed recommendations to improve equity in the scientific and engineering promotions process at NIST, which resulted in the creation of the SGECA. 

The SGECA has undertaken several activities to begin to address equity in career advancement, including a kickoff symposium featuring experts from academia and government, coordinating with OHRM on the delivery of unconscious bias and other related equity training for staff, and sponsoring equity dialogues and invited speakers on the NIST campuses. The SGECA is exploring critical issues related to career advancement such as unintended impacts to promotion and performance award opportunities for women and minority groups; unconscious or implicit biases within the agency; and disparities that can have a cumulative impact over the course of a career.  

One of the most powerful achievements of the SGECA has been becoming a key advisor to the NIST Director with regards to realizing one of the NIST core values: Inclusivity. In this role, the SGECA can have the most impact and visibility to execute what is necessary to close the equity gap, bridge cultural differences, and move women and minorities up into the highest levels of the organization.

NIST SGECA recently was honored with the OSA Foundation's Diversity and Inclusions Advocacy Recognition Award. Learn more.

Created September 24, 2019, Updated October 4, 2019