The space industry tackles some of the most challenging problems on the planet – problems requiring constant innovation and new, gravity-defying ways of working.
It’s therefore vital that it also lead the way when building a workforce – one that’s up to the challenge of increasing and diversifying the human presence in space.
This October industry professionals from all over the world will be joining forces at ‘The SUMMIT: The Power of Inclusion’ – a workshop convened at Virgin Galactic’s Gateway to Space, Spaceport America, to address the strategies and the benefits of diversifying workplace environments.
Research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation, drives market growth, increases creativity and creates better teams of problem solvers – in response to this research, and to ensure the ongoing growth and development of the sector, The SUMMIT has been created.
Any glance around the room at a space industry event highlights its current diversity shortcoming and raises questions about what more the space industry could be doing to diversify and grow.
This SUMMIT is about inclusion and the business case for creating programs that improve creativity and innovation in the work place
Created by the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) and Virgin Galactic (VG), the The SUMMIT: The Power of Inclusion is setting out to address the current diversity discrepancy. Virgin Galactic teams from New Mexico, Mojave and Long Beach are leading the SUMMIT, ensuring that the world’s most innovative solutions be fast tracked into all space industry work environments.
The event will be hosting experts in the field of workplace diversity and inclusion, as well as high performance team builders and managers. All attendees will be learning best practice workplace solutions and how to integrate successful strategies into their own work-teams to help build a more world class, inclusive and thriving industry.
Virgin Galactic's Executive Vice President of Spaceport and Program Development, Jonathan Firth, recently spoke to us about the industry's need to expand behaviours and devise new ways to embrace a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
"Presently only 16 per cent of the space industry workforce are female. In order to strengthen our industry and our chances of achieving great things long term we need to change this. We need to refocus on how crucial it is that we, as a company, an industry, a planet, are proactively encouraging a wide ranging of workforce from all walks of life, geographical locations, academia, gender and race. We’re sure that the event will share some incredibly informative and surprising truths about why some teams thrive and others falter," said Jonathan.
Pat Hynes is the Curator of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS). After years of collaborating with Virgin Galactic, Pat saw the logical next step as convening this SUMMIT, viewing it as an integral and exciting next step in shaping the future of the space industry.
"Over my twenty six years in the space industry, I discovered many allies in the work of commercialising space access for humans. I also discovered male allies like Jonathan who are leading and learning how to be part of the solution. Fostering a work environment that includes diversity of gender, ethnicity and experience is a process. This SUMMIT is about inclusion and the business case for creating programs that improve creativity and innovation in the work place," said Pat.
The SUMMIT: The Power of Inclusion event will take place on October 14 at the Gateway to Space facility at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
To ensure that you don’t miss this unique and important event visit The SUMMIT website today and register for this once in a lifetime experience.