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Leaders to Sign First-Ever Space Industry Pledge on Diversity at 37th Space Symposium

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — March 31, 2022 — Next week, at the Space Foundation’s Space Symposium, twenty-one space companies will come together as the charter signatories of a first-of-its-kind industry pledge to advance diversity across our collective workforce in the years ahead. The “Space Workforce 2030” pledge commits these companies to annual reporting of data on diversity in our collective technical workforce, a regular cadence of exchanges of best practices, and a commitment to work with universities to increase the number of diverse and underrepresented students graduating ready to join the space industry.

What: Discussion offering insight into the Space Workforce 2030 pledge and a media Q&A

When: Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at 8 a.m. MDT

Where: Media Center of The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs

If unable to attend in person, this media event will be broadcast live via Space Symposium’s Virtual Experience platform. All registered members of the media have received an email that includes instructions for connecting to briefings virtually.

Who: President and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation Steve Isakowitz; President of Raytheon Intelligence & Space Roy Azevedo; and CEO of Slingshot Aerospace Melanie Stricklan

Why: At this pivotal moment in space, making the most of the opportunities in front of us will require strong, vibrant workforces that can push the cutting edge of innovation and deliver big new ideas, now and in the future.

Additional resources: Attached is the verbiage of the pledge, along with a list of the charter signatories. The signing of the pledge will take place at noon MDT on April 5.  Photos of the signing will be released by Space Foundation that afternoon. 

Executive Leadership Pledge to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Space Industry

Today we are on the precipice of a new era of human achievement in space. From launching private citizens and building the commercial economy in low-Earth orbit, to placing habitats on the moon and shaping innovative architectures fundamental to our national defense, the opportunities to expand our prosperity and security through space are virtually boundless.

As we chart a course into this promising future, the foundation we establish now will have a profound effect on the generations that follow. We feel strongly that as humanity continues to extend our reach further into space, that presence must encompass the full range of people on earth and reflect the values to which we aspire. We, as members of the space community, are committed to modeling this future state even as we endeavor to create it.

Therefore, we pledge to collectively take action to achieve the following results by 2030:

  • Significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups in our collective technical workforce
  • Significantly increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups who hold senior leadership positions in our collective technical workforce
  • Work with universities to increase the percentages of women and students from underrepresented groups receiving aerospace engineering degrees to levels commensurate with overall engineering programs
  • Sponsor K-12 programs that collectively reach over 5,000,000 underrepresented students annually

The undersigned agree to:

  • Aggregate our numbers on the first two goals above for annual reporting and hold ourselves accountable by annually reviewing our progress against these goals
  • Allow group-level results to be shared at the annual Space Foundation’s Space Symposium, while highlighting achievements and best practices to promote shared success
  • Meet twice a year at the working level to exchange best practices on strengthening diversity recruitment, STEM education outreach and representation at leadership levels
  • Seek like-minded leaders and organizations to join this effort

Throughout its history, our industry has been defined by doing things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Let us continue forward in that spirit, to advance our shared prosperity and security through space while upholding our responsibility to all those here on earth.

Charter signatories:

  • Roy Azevedo, President Raytheon Intelligence & Space
  • Payam Banazadeh, CEO at Capella Space
  • Peter Beck, CEO at Rocket Lab
  • Tory Bruno, CEO at United Launch Alliance
  • Jim Chilton, Senior VP of Space & Launch at Boeing
  • Michael Colglazier, CEO at Virgin Galactic
  • Tim Ellis, CEO at Relativity Space
  • John Gedmark, CEO at Astranis Space Technologies
  • Steve Isakowitz, CEO at The Aerospace Corporation
  • Larry James, Acting Director at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Daniel Jablonsky, CEO at Maxar Technologies
  • Robert Lightfoot, EVP of Lockheed Martin Space
  • Dave Kaufman, President at Ball Aerospace
  • Chris Kemp, CEO at Astra
  • Will Marshall, CEO at Planet
  • Dan Piemont, President at ABL Space Systems
  • Peter Platzer, CEO at Spire Global
  • Melanie Stricklan, CEO at Slingshot Aerospace
  • John Serafini, CEO at HawkEye 360
  • Amela Wilson, CEO at Nanoracks
  • Tom Wilson, President Space Systems at Northrop Grumman

Media contacts:

Alison Bauerlein
The Aerospace Corporation
[email protected]

Dianna Ramirez
The Aerospace Corporation
[email protected]