Diversity in the workforce has generally been viewed as a way of thinking and a belief that we should simply respect other cultures while simultaneously not harming colleagues and clients from different backgrounds. However, the workforce has now shifted to understanding that diversity is an act of inclusion; a commitment to proactively engage, advocate for, and champion equal opportunity for people from all walks of life in the workforce, in health care, education, the justice system, and more. Research shows that the act of promoting diversity and inclusion can produce fruitful outcomes in a multitude of areas such as the ones detailed above.
In addition to the workforce in general, diversity in public health and research is imperative. Diversity in these areas is not only key to increasing the percentage of minority groups pursuing STEM disciplines, but also key in promoting accessible and optimal health information and care. Multiple perspectives provide a deeper understanding of health disparities and social determinants, thus allowing for a more holistic and accurate approach. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), diversity among researchers is linked to producing higher quality science.
In addition to continued research on equitable outcomes, the NIH is committed to diversifying the national scientific workforce. The NIH Office of Scientific Diversity (OSD) provides guidelines for increasing matriculation of underrepresented communities into scientific careers. OSD emphasizes, “NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds.” In addition, the NIH encourages the implementation of pipeline and mentorship programs from personnel in the biomedical field to enhance their mission of a diverse scientific workforce.
At BLH Technologies, Inc. (BLH), we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, and have been for a long time. Our diverse staff is not only indicative of this intent, but also of our mission to make life-enhancing health information accessible to a diverse audience including those from underprivileged, at-risk, and marginalized communities. Our company is one that takes pride in encouraging diversity and celebrates the barriers we have broken thus far. BLH is a minority-owned, full-service public health, research, communications, and management firm that combines creativity with technological innovations. At our company more than 60% of our employees are minorities, in comparison to the 10% of the U.S. public health workforce made up of underrepresented groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are also one of the few public health research firms where women hold 60% of senior management positions, and of that percentage, 40% of those women represent those in diversified groups.
BLH serves as an example to celebrate ethnic inclusiveness and fairness and exhibits this by acknowledging very important times in history like Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and the fight for equity among African Americans. This June, Congress formally signed the June Nineteenth, "Juneteenth” National Independence Day as a U.S. federal holiday to be acknowledged in 49 states.
It is our duty as a minority-owned company to acknowledge injustice among all from different races, religions, sexual orientation, physical attributes, and more to promote equity and peace for all our employees, clients, and the national and global communities we serve. It is important that we acknowledge our differences and use them to learn from each other, build each other up, and work together to create a more equitable, healthy world.