Diversity and Inclusion

Whitehead Institute is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace that is supportive of researchers and staff from a variety of lived experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds.

Collage of people who work at or visit Whitehead Institute
Diversity Statement

The Whitehead Institute believes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are integral to its values and mission. As a research institute dedicated to improving human health through biomedical science, we believe that diverse thought invokes creative inquiry, drives innovation, and fuels scientific breakthroughs. We welcome individuals of all backgrounds including race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status, national origin, disability, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status and/or religion. 

Our commitments include: 

  • Improving hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse talent
  • Creating and maintaining an inclusive culture that promotes physical and mental well-being and respect for all Whitehead community members
  • Developing partnerships to increase engagement and outreach with local communities to improve accessibility particularly for individuals from groups underrepresented in biomedical sciences 
  • Encouraging open dialogue and facilitating learning opportunities to address DE&I topics which are available to the entire Whitehead community.

Starting in 2020, we completed a diversity audit through Jones Diversity, Inc. View our commitments (shared in July 2021) at this link.

DEI Annual Report - 2022
DEI Seminar Series

Whitehead Institute hosts regular seminars on diversity, equity and inclusion issues in the sciences and beyond. View past events below.

DEI Seminar Series
Poster advertising DEI Seminar by Alyssa Hillary Zisk
The Field, The Curriculum, The Scientists: Where do we get to exist? (4/18)

Dr. Alyssa Hillary Zisk (they/them), an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Researcher at AssistiveWare, presented on their research and Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Poster advertising DEI seminar by Akiko Iwasaki
Immunology of Long COVID (3/13)

Dr. Iwasaki is a Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine whose research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at mucosal surfaces, which are a major site of entry for infectious agents. She shared her perspective on the immunology of long Covid.

Poster advertising DEI seminar by Esther Kamau
The Intersection of Disability and Poverty (2/21)

Dr. Kamau is a Researcher at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston whose research examines inequalities in employment for people with disabilities across race, culture, language, and income. She shared her perspective on the intersection of disability and poverty.

Poster advertising a DEI seminar by Maeve Mclaughlin
Transcription and Transitions (10/23)

Dr. Maeve Mclaughlin (she/they), Postdoctoral Fellow at the Crosson Lab of Michigan State University, presented on her recent research findings on a set of family of transcription factors and her experiences coming out as a neurodivergent trans femme and transitioning while in academia.

Slide advertising DEI seminar series talk with Dr. Robin Aguilar
Cultivating Community and Accessible Research Spaces for Queer and Trans Researchers (6/8)

Dr. Robin Aguilar, a queer and trans PhD candidate, science communicator, writer, and illustrator at UW Genome Sciences, presented a talk on the voices and perspectives of trans and gender-nonconforming researchers who have been overlooked across STEM disciplines.

Slide advertising DEI seminar series talk with Dr. Menah Pratt
Black History: Civil Rights and Social Justice (2/8)

Dr. Menah Pratt, vice president for strategic affairs and diversity at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, presented a talk on the history and experience of African Americans and on race, gender, and class in America.

Slide avertising a DEI seminar series talk by Lynn DeCouto
Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations 101 (10/26)

Lynn DeCouto, marketing and communications manager for Work Without Limits, taught the community six ways to make PowerPoint presentations accessible to individuals who are visually impaired or have other disabilities.

We continue the Institute’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Seminar Series with Sandra Yamate, CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

The Institute’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Seminar Series continues with Dr. Matthew Clair, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and (by courtesy) the Law School at  Stanford University.Dr. Clair’s talk, titled “Recognizing and Responding to Racism: Lessons for Health and Medicine," explores social inequities in medicine.

In this interactive talk, Dr. Bettye Kearse explores the history and significance of Juneteenth through the lens of one family. 

Celebrating Women's History Month

Each year, we invite Whitehead Institute community members to share stories about women who have inspired them, both professionally and personally. Here are their some of their stories:

Celebrating Women's History Month 2023
Celebrating Women's History Month 2024