Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to participate in the NOAA Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Being as this was apparently the first NOAA-wide gathering on this topic I was cautiously optimistic for what to expect. I am pleased to report that I was very pleasantly surprised.
First and foremost, the commitment of NOAA leadership to improve NOAA's command climate through emphasis on, and application of diversity and inclusion principles was clearly evident in the attendance by our senior executive leadership over the 1.5 day event. Their commitment is unwavering and the charge is clear. We will build a more diverse and inclusive environment at NOAA. We will integrate principles of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our mission from our day-to-day operations to long-term strategy. We will expect and hold our leaders accountable for fostering inclusive climates. We will build this culture slowly, and we will build it to last so that it becomes an immutable expectation that will endure shifts in leadership and political winds. We will do this because not only are the principles of diversity and inclusion woven in to our core values, but studies have shown that work environments where everyone feels safe, welcomed, nurtured and professionally challenged outperform work environments where diversity is lacking and inclusion is an afterthought.
Success will take time and sustained effort. Culture change is difficult. People will be challenged to get out of their comfort zones in order to break down unhealthy perceptions, counter-productive biases, and destructive behaviors. We will work to find and define the common bond that originally brought us to work for NOAA (see the TED Talk "Start with Why?" by Simon Sinek, or go deeper and take the online "quiz" at https://www.startwithwhy.com/.) The ability to do this will take new tools and new approaches, and therefore improvements will not be easy, it will not happen overnight, but they will come as long as we are committed and work to create the team environment that we feel we deserve.
It is in this commitment to and spirit of diversity and inclusion that I am assigning some "homework" related to the NOAA Corps' centennial celebration. The assignment will not be graded and the due date is still several weeks away, but your thoughts and perspective will help shape the content and the success of the 100th anniversary of the NOAA Corps. So, I ask that you ponder (or discuss) the following questions:
I will be providing a link to a Google form where you can cut-and-paste your answers to these and other similarly-themed questions in the next Cyberflash.
This is your NOAA Corps. This is your 100th anniversary. The Centennial planning committee and I look forward to hearing from you. The diversity of your opinions will undoubtedly shape our collective celebratory endeavors next year and contribute to our collective success.
CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
|21 Nov 2016||BOTC 128/OCS Dinner Dance|
|22 Nov 2016||BOTC 128 Graduation|
|05-09 Dec 2016||AOC Annual Safety Conference|
|05-09 Dec 2016||Fleet Leadership Summit|
|09-13 Jan 2017||OMAO Mid-Grade Week One|
|23-27 Jan 2017||OMAO Mid-Grade Week Two|
|2017||NOAA Corps Centennial Events|
|20 May 2017||NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Anniversary Dinner|
|LTJG Carina Ream||01 Nov 2016|
|LTJG Kasey Sims||30 Nov 2016|
|LT Eric Younkin||01 Dec 2016|
|ENS Samuel McKay||16 Dec 2016|
|LT Lindsay Morrison||30 Dec 2016|
|LT Timothy Smith||01 Jan 2017|
|LCDR Guinevere Lewis||31 Jan 2017|
|ENS Lander Ver Hoef||28 Feb 2017|