Achieving innovation and growth requires fostering new ideas and perspectives. As the demand for robust, space-based capabilities continues to expand, the nation’s space enterprise must broaden the pool and pipeline of top technical talent to meet the needs of today and beyond. Increasing opportunities and reaching across a wider breadth of underrepresented communities is critical to empowering the brightest minds to engage and contribute to new possibilities for space.
As a longstanding core value, Aerospace is committed to fostering diversity in all forms, enabling collaboration and innovation to truly thrive.
This commitment extends far beyond Aerospace. In 2022, Aerospace President and CEO Steve Isakowitz announced Space Workforce 2030 (SWF2030) at the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. In its first year, this first-of-its-kind consortium of the nation’s leading space companies has harnessed its collective power, pledging to serve as a strong foundation for the continued collaboration to advance diversity across the industry.
In the SWF2030: Year One report, the coalition transparently shared the progress made thus far to Inspire, Prepare and Employ the workforce of the future. It also highlighted ongoing efforts to deliver on SWF2030’s commitment to increase the number of women and employees from underrepresented groups in the technical workforce and in senior leadership positions. SWF2030 also seeks to support underrepresented students by fostering STEM education at the K-12 and university levels, with the goal to collectively reach more than five million underrepresented students each year.
SWF2030 leaders have also been actively engaging with other stakeholders across academia, industry and national media to encourage collaboration and deepen the understanding for the value of diversity in space. Throughout the year, these efforts included meeting with the Aerospace Department Chairs Association and 10 university aerospace departments which, inspired by the SWF2030 framework, signed their own pledge. Leaders have also leveraged opportunities to connect with broader audiences through events like at 2023 South by Southwest (SXSW), TechCrunch Sessions Space, and many others.
As part of SWF2030, the National Space Interns (NSI) program saw success in its first year with over 1,500 applicants and more than 300 students joining participating companies’ internship programs. The program provided interns the opportunity to gain valuable insight and experience essential to helping shape their future careers. At Aerospace, national space interns joined together for the summer, working across a variety of technical teams, using their skills and knowledge to advance projects across the corporation.
SWF2030 and the National Space Interns program were highlighted as part of Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement during the second convening of the National Space Council for new commitments from the U.S. government and public and private partners to support and employ the next generation of the space workforce.
By supporting diversity, education, and inclusion in a variety of forms, Aerospace is contributing to keeping the nation’s space industry at the forefront of technological growth and innovation. Innovation is achieved when new ideas and perspectives come together, and Aerospace and SWF2030 are dedicated to fostering and supporting the pathways to make it happen.