Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy
We believe diversity drives innovation.
We are committed to increasing the number of historically underrepresented people in innovation and STEM.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF)is committed to promoting the values of inclusion throughout the organization.
Create and develop an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion that allows people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities and sexual orientations to contribute to the global impact of the organization.
Non-discrimination Policy & Statement
NIHF does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, customers, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
NIHF is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
DEI Committee: The goal of the DEI Committee is to promote an environment of diversity and inclusion that allows people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and sexual orientations to contribute to the global impact of the organization, ensuring NIHF attracts, retains, and promotes people of diverse backgrounds. The DEI Committee is comprised of staff who identify areas for improvement, coordinate trainings, conduct policy creation and review, promote accountability, and facilitate decision-making that will lead to a more equitable and inclusive NIHF.
NIHF Board: The NIHF Committee on Directors is charged with building a Board that represents a spectrum of talents related to skill set, area of expertise, and sector as well as gender, ethnic, and geographic diversity. The Committee on Directors manages a recruitment grid to identify the current composition of the Board and identify areas in which there may be gaps and recruit accordingly.
Education Programs: As leaders in STEM education for over 30 years, NIHF is committed to creating inclusive, supportive, and empowering learning environments. NIHF’s Education Team consults with experts in the fields of neurodiversity and accessibility to ensure the overall program experience is accessible, provides support, and encourages participation for all children. NIHF also cultivates a culture of acceptance, providing the professional educators who lead our programs with insights, tips, and strategies to meet the diverse needs of all children. By helping children celebrate diversity of ideas and problem-solving styles, our education programs model diversity beyond traditional frameworks.
Underserved/Underrepresented Populations: Accessibility to our education programs is a priority to NIHF’s mission of inspiring creativity in children, including traditionally underrepresented groups such as girls, minorities, and families who lack the financial resources to access high-quality in-school and out-of-school programs. NIHF partners with government, foundation, corporate, and individual partners to provide scholarship support for underserved children who would otherwise not have access.
Marketing: To ensure communications reflect our belief in the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity, NIHF’s Marketing department:
- Reviews content to ensure all program curricula, materials, and advertising initiatives prioritize diversity and representation.
- Produces content that intentionally focuses on diversity and inclusion for publication on our blog and social media accounts each month.
- Ensures that we consistently promote inclusive language in the NIHF Style Guide.
- Relies on research evaluating opportunity gaps across race, gender, and socioeconomic class as we work to reach children in communities across the country.
Recognition Programs and Outreach: NIHF is committed to promoting equity in all its recognition programs and outreach, including NIHF Inductees, Collegiate Inventors Competition finalists, and exhibits to showcase underrepresented minority inventors. NIHF believes it is vital to recognize impactful inventors who historically may have been denied the opportunity to be recognized. Examples of the efforts the organization is undertaking include the following:
- NIHF has diverse inventors represented in each Inductee class.
- NIHF ensures that the inspiring stories of Black and diverse inventors are told through dedicated exhibits at the NIHF Museum at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- NIHF is educating its Board and Committee members so that the organization’s recognition decisions are well-rounded, well-informed, and equitable.
NIHF programs are uniquely inspired by NIHF Inductees – real-life inventors and people of diverse races, ethnicities, genders, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. By introducing children to modern-day, relatable role models and successful innovators in a variety of career paths, NIHF connects inventors who have built the world around us with the innovators of tomorrow.
Volunteers: In a typical year (exclusive restrictions necessary during the pandemic), NIHF partners with the Stark County Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities to provide volunteer on-site workforce development training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impact Report
In 2021, NIHF demonstrated our commitment to DEI in the following ways:
- Offered virtual, at-home programs to meet the needs of diverse families nationwide ― These programs do not require internet access, providing equitable access
- Consulted with experts in the fields of neurodiversity and accessibility to ensure the overall program experience is accessible, provides support and encourages participation among all children
- Designed equitable invention education programs based on cutting-edge research
- Completed four independent evaluations to better understand both girls and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) learners in the context of Camp Invention
- Published our latest research in an article in the Journal of STEM Outreach: Making the Case Through Data: Girls’ Identity in Invention Education
- Gathered social-emotional learning data through third-party evaluation institute Summit Education Initiative (SEI), representing an oversampling of BIPOC learners and showing our programs’ ability to improve relationship skills, increase motivation and confidence for academic success, and improve children’s future sense of self
- Cultivated a culture of acceptance by providing the professional educators who lead our programs with insights, tips and strategies to meet the diverse needs of all children
- Partnered with over 4,800 government, foundation, corporate and individual partners to provide scholarship support for children
- Impacted over 165,000 underserved/underrepresented children and their families nationwide who lack the financial resources to access high-quality out-of-school programs
- Impacted children in 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico
- Programs were hosted in urban, suburban and rural communities, and included partnerships with Indian Nations, U.S. military bases, migrant populations and schools for the deaf
- Incorporated leading research on opportunity gaps across race, gender and socioeconomic class to reach children in communities across the country
- Reviewed marketing content to ensure all program curricula, materials and advertising initiatives prioritize diversity and representation
- Produced content that intentionally focuses on diversity and inclusion for publication on our blog and social media accounts each month
- Introduced children to NIHF Inductees representing diverse races, ethnicities, genders, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds
- Selected a new class of NIHF Inductees that represents diverse races, ethnicities, genders, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds
- In collaboration with the Black Inventors Hall of Fame, developed an exhibit, “Breaking Barriers,” celebrating inspiring stories of Black inventors at the NIHF Museum at the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters