INL earns spot #8 as a Best Place to Work for Women, Diverse Managers - East Idaho News
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INL earns spot #8 as a Best Place to Work for Women, Diverse Managers

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The following is a news release from the Idaho National Laboratory:

ARCO — For the fourth straight year, Idaho National Laboratory earned a place on DiversityMBA’s annual list of best places to work for women and diverse managers, this time coming in at No. 8, its highest ranking yet.

DiversityMBA is an organization that specializes in analyzing and benchmarking inclusion in talent management practices. Its annual “50 Out Front” list, which appears in its quarterly magazine, selects companies and organizations based on criteria in eight categories spanning every aspect of corporate operations. The selection process incorporates primary and secondary research as well as statistical analysis.

The No. 8 ranking for 2023 puts INL in the company of well-known names such as Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oreal USA and PNC Financial Services Group. It is the only business headquartered in Idaho and the only Department of Energy national laboratory to make the list. In addition to the overall recognition, INL also earned Top 10 Best in Class awards in five of the eight categories used to determine the rankings: recruitment, retention, workplace inclusion, succession planning and integrated strategy.

“INL’s top 8 ranking in DiversityMBA’s 2023 list of Best Places to Work for Women and Diverse Managers reflects how far we have come,” said INL Deputy Laboratory Director and Chief Operations Officer Juan Alvarez.

An early inclusion champion at INL, Alvarez earned a Leadership Excellence Award in 2021 from the National Diversity Council. “I am proud of our efforts to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can be their authentic self,” he said. “While I am celebrating, I am going back to the shop, as this work never ends.”

INL’s accelerated commitment to inclusion began in 2015, when the executive team drew up a plan to make the laboratory a more equitable and diverse work environment for every employee at all levels. The following year, Toni Carter joined as Inclusion and Diversity Strategy director. Interviewing executives, leading focus groups, analyzing quantitative data and surveying employees, she helped develop a comprehensive Inclusion and Diversity strategy directly aligned with the business strategy laid out in the Laboratory Plan and Agenda. The lab launched an Executive Inclusion Council in 2018 to translate intentional actions into laboratory results.

Since then, INL has deployed cultural acumen learning opportunities featuring a strategic mix of sessions focused on topics such as psychological safety, bullying, harassment, gossip, and building relationships with people who are “different like us.” Learning forums have ranged from symposium events for hundreds of employees to smaller workshops for hiring managers. The laboratory takes post-event feedback surveys after all inclusion events and uses the information to enhance future sessions. Benchmarking like this helps INL fulfill commitments it has made to two non-profit organizations, Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy and Equal by 30.

INL has made the DiversityMBA “50 Out Front” list four times since 2020, when it came in at No. 24. In addition to the overall ranking and Best in Class awards, the annual list also recognizes 25 specialty categories. Organizations will be profiled in the fall magazine and honored at a banquet during the DiversityMBA National Business Leaders Conference & Celebration, Sept. 27-28 in Chicago.