Here at TerraPower, we think of ourselves as a developer of ideas. An idea will start in one area and float through the vast knowledge base and expertise of our team to see if it can become a reality. In order to make this happen, we rely heavily on our employees. Our engineers test these ideas to develop materials and systems that glean benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. It’s complex work and work that is not cut out for everyone.
Essential in our development process is diversity and openness. We’re diverse in our backgrounds, our experiences and our identities. You see, science is unbiased in the obstacles presented when working in the nuclear industry. Research on nuclear fuel, medical isotopes, the physics of a reactor requires hard work and a strong base of knowledge that an engineer can apply to their work. When it comes to working for us, the ability to hurdle challenges and problem solve using data and calculations is critical.
But we know, as an industry, we must do a better job of fostering a diverse work force. Different experiences in our education and work as well as different perspectives in our personal and home lives, fuel our ideas. A diverse workforce means respecting and embracing our differences.
In a 2016 survey conducted by the Society of Women Engineers, 61% of women vs. 35% of white men reported that they had to prove themselves repeatedly to gain the same level of recognition as their coworkers. Gender inequality is not the only problem in sciences and engineering. A recent Pew Research Center study shows the majority of blacks in STEM professions have experienced discrimination at their work place.
These numbers are staggering and certainly something to reflect on. Diversity is essential to our work. Instead of being complacent, we’re committed to doing better and learning how our industry can proactively tackle disparity, discrimination and underrepresentation in the workplace.
As TerraPower goes forward with recruitment efforts, hiring practices and the continuing cultivation of workplace culture, these goals will help guide our efforts in making sure every employee is valued and respected.