Diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to be important goals for the ASB, and the Diversity Committee organized several activities and took several actions to advance these goals in 2021. Building on the Code of Conduct created in 2020, the Diversity Committee added an Investigations Policy, an Honors & Awards Policy, and a Disclosure Policy. In support of these policies, we created an anonymous reporting system powered by EthicsPoint for reporting and tracking adverse treatment and for submitting disclosures.
At the virtual 2021 annual meeting, sixteen Diversity “Travel” Awards supported ASB student and early-career members with complimentary registration to the 2021 meeting and complimentary memberships for 2022. We held a Diversity panel on “Advocating for Change in Your Environment” and a Women in Science session on “How the Pandemic Has Affected Career Trajectories in Academia, esp. Women, and Strategies to Help and Advocate,” both of which had great attendance and fruitful discussions. Thanks go to Greg Sawicki and Young-Hui Chang at Georgia Tech for securing an NIH R13 (HD103330-01) Support for Scientific Conference grant that supported these awards and programming!
Discussions with Nike, Inc. around how to increase the diversity of the biomechanics field led to a $50,000 donation to ASB, which we have used to create new Biomechanics Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (B-SURE) and GRAnts for Diversity and Equity (GRADE) initiatives. B-SURE’s goal is to reduce the financial and networking barriers that prevent undergraduate students, especially those from under-served groups, to access the important opportunity of a summer research internship. GRADE’s goal is to support programs or projects by biomechanics organizations that target under-served groups but are not eligible for funding from other sources such as NIH, NSF, or universities.
In late 2021, we sent out a survey to all ASB members asking about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on your biomechanics work and careers. This survey will inform an official ASB Statement on the “Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Biomechanics Community”. Look for this statement in early Spring 2022. We hope this statement will prove a useful reference for anyone in the biomechanics community attempting to explain the personal and professional impacts they have experienced to those outside the biomechanics community.