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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility

Our Commitment

Embracing Our Differences, Changing The World

Innovation Crossroads is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diversity is valued so that innovators will be inspired to contribute fully to the success of their startups' research and development. We strive to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across our program, including in our operations, our leadership, our innovators, our mentors, and our partners.

Our diversity efforts support Oak Ridge National Laboratory's mission to do "world-class science" by providing a pipeline of qualified, diverse candidates, and by recommending policies and procedures that ensure:

  • equitable treatment and opportunities for all candidates and selected program innovators
  • an environment free from harassment
  • and respect for individual differences

As part of this ongoing effort, we:

  • Work to attract a diverse candidate pool with diverse technology concepts and business viewpoints
  • Ensure our review and selection processes are inclusive and that final decisions are unbiased and based on qualifications and standardized selection criteria
  • Strive to create an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and ensures that individual differences are respected and valued
  • Devote resources and time to expanding DEI awareness, training, and skillsets  
  • Proactively engage with program sponsors, partners, and supporters to promote DEI
  • Recognize and reward innovators for supporting diversity key principles within their startup
  • Review and adjust, recognizing that DEI initiatives are not static, and our strategy must be ever evolving

Diversity Initiatives at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory thrives on the premise that diversity is essential, equity is inherent, inclusion is innate, and accessibility is achievable.  Learn more here.

Diversity Events and Observances

An important part of diversity is providing activities that promote cultural understanding and awareness. There are a broad array of events on the ORNL campus to enhance our understanding of one another. Speakers, cultural entertainment and food sampling are among the offerings available throughout the year. Though they may focus on aspects within a particular culture or community, the events are designed to reach the entire workforce. Through these events we are able to see the common threads running through our many cultures.

Diversity Training

All supervisors and managers receive Equal Employment Opportunity, affirmative action, workforce diversity and sexual harassment training. Participants learn about legal and statutory requirements, review ORNL's diversity policies/goals, gain understanding of how diversity and inclusion contribute to a more productive work environment and understand the responsibilities of a supervisor or manager.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups are an important part of ORNL's culture. They are organized by employees, provide a chance to meet people with shared interests, foster involvement, provide support groups, and raise awareness of such topics as single parenting, ethnic celebrations, living with chronic conditions, veterans' issues, and early career challenges.

Multicultural Friendship Club

The Multicultural Friendship Club (MFC) is dedicated to promoting better understanding and appreciation of the many nationalities and cultures that co-exist within ORNL's community. The MFC provides its members with educational, cultural and social experiences and activities including group activities, outings to local sites of interest, and participation in area events, all in an effort to build multicultural friendships.