Valuing Diverse Viewpoints, Strengthening the Field
ASHG values diversity because it catalyzes productivity in the genetics and genomics scientific space, fosters the professional success of ASHG’s members, increases the vitality of the organization, and enhances the societal relevance and impact of research.
An inclusive environment is one in which members feel respected by and connected to one another. It goes beyond race, gender, gender identity, and ethnicity. An inclusive environment promotes the integration of people’s experiences, knowledge, and perspectives.
The following are some of the ways that the Society promotes diversity.
Career and Workforce Development
Human Genetics and Genomics Workforce Diversity Initiative – Workforce Survey
With support from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), in partnership with the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), conducted a survey to better understand the demographics of the genetics and genomics workforce, as well as the climate and culture in training programs and the workplace. We are pleased to also have worked with groups such as the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (APHMG), the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG), and the Minority Genetic Professionals Network (MGPN).
- January 2021: ASHG Launches its Human Genetics and Genomics Workforce Diversity Initiative – Press Release
- November 2022: Human Genetics and Genomics Workforce Diversity Survey – Final Report
- November 2022: Human Genetics and Genomics Workforce Diversity Survey Report – Press Release
- November 2022: Key Takeaways from Human Genetics and Genomics Workforce Diversity Report – Fact Sheet
Policies & Best Practices
ASHG is continuously making efforts towards inclusion, equity, and diversity. ASHG’s Board of Directors recently approved a new Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement to achieve the Society’s vision that people everywhere realize the benefits of genetics and genomics research.
Scholarships & Awards
Human Genetics Scholars Initiative
The Human Genetics Scholars Initiative (HGSI) is a 5-year program designed to foster support for early-career researchers from underrepresented groups. Guided by an Advisory Group of volunteers and two external advisors with specific interest in STEM diversity.
- Eight scholars are selected annually for an intensive two-year program: During those two years, they receive complimentary Annual Meeting travel support and registration, a designated mentor, and a $1,000 in enrichment funds for approved professional development activities of their choosing.
- All scholars and remaining applicants are invited to participate in year-round virtual discussions and learning sessions on various topics; that curriculum is being developed by the Advisory Group.
The Society’s Awards Committee is dedicated to diversity amongst awards nominees and makes a conscious effort to be inclusive. To meet the demands of the future, the genetics and genomics research sector needs a diverse and inclusive workforce, and excellence globally needs to be rewarded.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force
Reporting to the Board, the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force engages with all committees and will develop recommendations for ASHG’s current and evolving programming to address diversity and inclusion in the genetics and genomics research workforce and in research participation.
Programs & Services
Programs, courses, and other services, such as newsletters or reduced membership fees, are provided by ASHG to support underrepresented minorities in genetics.
Exhibit at External Meetings
ASHG has a presence at several important forums for early career researchers from under represented minority groups. The Society exhibits at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Participation has been further expanded through the submission of symposium proposals for both events.
Diversity Events at the Annual Meeting
For celebrating, promoting, and advancing diversity, this event caters towards ongoing programs and those interested in joining them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Since 2020, ASHG has provided pro-rated membership rates for individuals residing in Resource-Limited Countries. This further expands the international scope of ASHG’s membership and makes ASHG year-round professional programming more reachable to diverse audiences.
Annual Meeting Developing Country Travel Support
Since 2019, ASHG expanded Developing Country Travel Awards to ensure that a diverse number of people from around the world are able to receive complimentary registration, assistance with expenses, and career advancement opportunities.
National Policy/Advocacy Agenda
ASHG initiated proactive support for several bills earlier this year addressing diversity and sexual harassment in STEM. ASHG also aligned with other scientific societies with feedback to NIH on its diversity and inclusion efforts.