What is Diversity?
Diversity encompassess many things – gender, age, culture, religious and political beliefs, nationality, language, academic background, heritage, and more. In the space industry it takes all kinds of people to make space exploration and the use of space possible.
“For me accepting diversity means also to think about inclusiveness. By finding similarities in our differences it is possible to combine the strengths of each individual independent of origin or political or religious affiliation.”
“Diversity in the space industry refers to individuals of all types of backgrounds working in unity towards the success of space exploration. Diversity extends to more than cultural as it is also the appreciation of different roles within the space industry, particularly occupations that are unique and contribute towards the progress of the space sector.”
“Space is the future of humanity. It has numerous mysteries and people from different backgrounds, different cultures, speaking different languages collaborate and work as one. It has got a power to unite the world and beyond.”
“Diversity, for me, is giving everyone the possibility to express themselves and their full potential.”
“We should combine the new innovative ideas of younger participants, with the experience and know-how of industry veterans.”
“Diversity in the workforce enriches our projects and benefit all in the long-run. Therefore I also choose the words equity and openness to describe diversity in the space industry as it could be two keys to overcome the diversity challenge. Let’s not forget that space is a field which is beyond nationalities or gender matters and which inspires passion regardless of age.”
What is 3G Diversity?
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has developed an initiative called the IAF International Platform for Diversity and Equality in Astronautics (IDEA) fostering the principles of 3G – Geography, Generation, Gender.
In 2018, the Space Generation Advisory Council is the recipient of the IAF Excellence in 3G Diversity Award because the organisation upholds the 3Gs – Geography, Generation and Gender through its members, alumni, activities and leadership positions.
What Does Diversity Mean to SGAC?
At SGAC we value and actively promote diversity through events, scholarships, leadership positions and more.
Diversity Through Regional and Local Events
The Space Generation Advisory Council regional and local events are an important aspect of the SGAC event series because they promote capacity building and knowledge sharing at the national and regional levels. Here SGAC members can connect with experts from the space industry and discuss topics relevant to the local space agencies, companies and institutions. These events create outcomes that have a direct connection to the local community and allow SGAC members to really take action in their regions and in their countries; especially regarding space policy, innovation and the future.
To keep these events as diverse as possible, local and regional events are open to SGAC members worldwide and scholarship opportunities are available based on need.
Each region including Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central America and Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America is represented yearly through the Space Generation Workshop (SGW) series.
For local events, SGAC has created the SG[ ] series where members can come together at the local level and work on country-specific issues relating to the space industry.
What truly makes these events diverse and unique is that each local event is run by a different organising team and the events can be created by the Regional Coordinators, National Points of Contact or even local members. For the SGW series each year they are located in a different city/country within the region so as to create diversity from year to year and in order to bring a fresh perspective to the regional level.
Diversity Through SGAC Scholarships
The Space Generation Advisory Council supports various global and regional scholarships to attend SGAC events around the world as well as to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) on a yearly basis. SGAC Scholarships are awarded to members of different regions and are diverse on many levels such as nationality, academic background, gender and age.
Diversity at the United Nations
SGAC is a Permanent Observer at the Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and is a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). At the United Nations SGAC is always represented by a diverse set of members with various nationalities, academic backgrounds and ages. Additionally, SGAC members also represent various Member States which shows generation diversity amongst nationalities.
In 2018, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and SGAC launched the Space for Youth Competition. This joint project is a collaboration between the UNOOSA and SGAC, proposed in the context of supporting the first priority of the UN Youth Strategy (launched in September 2018), namely “Engagement, Participation and Advocacy to Amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world”.
The Space Generation Advisory Council Alumni Programme links alumni together and links alumni with SGAC members. A new initiative spinning off from the Space Generation Forum 2.0 is the SGAC Mentorship Programme. This programme aims to connect members with alumni and experts to bridge the gap between generations and to share knowledge. At SGAC events such as SGx and at events where SGAC is a partner such as SpaceOps and IAC, members can also gain inter-generational knowledge from speed-mentoring sessions.
The highly ambitious and at times futuristic space sector isn’t a steady cruise for all; for many it is a bumpy ride. Women of the sector often learn to overlook the stigma of discrimination and accept it as the burden of traditionally male dominated work field but as we look into the future of space, we see the need for change. From this necessity, Our Giant Leap was born within the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).
Highly motivated young ambassadors of diversity and inclusiveness in space-related areas of work. The team was self-built of 13 SGAC delegates from 5 countries.
A system, a networking platform for the space sector to utilize in order to break stereotypes and embrace diversity for the full palette of opportunity and ingenuity that it presents. We aim to spread this vision across nations so that other SGAC groups can host similar initiatives in many countries and we will be ready to assist them.
- Inspire young women to choose the path of science, technology, engineering and research
- Raise awareness about the discrimination related problems
- Set up a network of motivated people ready to pursue the search for solutions to existing problems
- Propose mentorship strategies for young space professionals
- Propose solutions to the outlined problems for implementation in academia, industry and the everyday life of both women and men of aerospace
- Tackle concrete concerns raised by the women of aerospace
- Break stereotypes
- Enrich aerospace by advocating for diversity and inclusion
By means of hosting inspirational, educational and networking initiatives, we will build a network of people from the space industry and beyond who will push boundaries and collaborate to achieve our common objectives. Our support keeps multiplying as from the early 2019 the group grew from 2 women to 43 men and women by August without external advertisement which demonstrates the remarkable self-motivation of the participants.
Our kick-off event, SG[France]2020 will take place in Toulouse, France in September 2020. It will be held in English for broader outreach and comprise:
- Inspirational part when aerospace role models will share their experiences for us to learn from
- Collaborative effort of experts from the industry and delegates to address our objectives
- Networking opportunities for all
To keep you waiting, here is a video created by the organizing team, giving some facts of being a woman researcher, engineer or technician in aerospace:
Call for artwork
As an outreach and engagement initiative leading up to this exciting event, SGAC is inviting artists from all domains (music, dance, paintings, poetry, theatre, sculpture, installations…) to submit their original work under the general theme of “Women in Aerospace”, to be exhibited during the event in front of an international audience.
Please note that you are allowed to submit as many artistic creations as you like. The accepted formats are all types of Image, Audio files, PDF and Video files. Participating in this call for artwork does not include access to SG[France] 2020 however you may apply as an SGAC delegate.
To be selected, your work must be on the topic “Women in Aerospace”, and it will be displayed in front of an international audience with your full name, the medium used for you work, a short description of the work, and contact information (if available). In addition, your work will be added to a specific section in our OGL magazine, which will be distributed to all participants, speakers and experts at the event.
Submit your artwork!
Call for Video
Our Giant Leap – Call for video Submissions “What does gender equality in aerospace mean to you?”
Under the theme “Women of the Aerospace sector”, the SGAC SG[France] 2020: Our Giant Leap event will bring together 60 – 80 SGAC students and young professionals, mentored by top experts, and will include inspiring conferences, debates and roundtables discussions, in order to find together solutions to inspire, promote and foster diversity in space.
Our Giant Leap is more than just one event, as it is a global initiative focused on raising awareness and finding solutions for fighting gender inequalities in the aerospace sector. With this vision, the organizing team has launched a call for videos to engage with a greater audience. We invite you to film yourself answering the following question: “What does gender equality in aerospace mean to you?”.
Your contribution will be part of an inspiring video montage that will appear on the SGAC YouTube channel, and will be used in outreach efforts for the Our Giant Leap event and future initiatives. The deadline for submissions is 25 May 2020, and the video compilation will be uploaded to YouTube in June. Videos must not exceed one minute and should be filmed in landscape mode (and in a stable environment) for a better viewing experience. You can submit your video in the language of your choice. However, please provide (along with your video) a text file with the english version of your speech.
Let’s fight gender bias and inequalities in aerospace together!