The Optical Society (OSA) appreciated your coverage of the long-standing challenge of improving gender diversity in the field of optics and photonics (“Optics has few women in the field,” Feb. 20, 2019). OSA, originally organized in Rochester, NY, is now a global professional society of 22,000 members and 350,000 professionals. One of our core values is inclusivity, which is essential for success in research and engineering collaborations, and we are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible environment.
OSA’s Board invests in staff and funding to host a growing suite of parity programs, and promotes code-of-conduct policies and reporting/enforcement procedures. OSA also funds travel grants to women to speak at our conferences; offers family care grants; provides unconscious bias and bystander trainings; creates professional development (i.e. salary negotiations) and networking programs; heavily promotes the need for the community to increase nominations of women for awards and fellow-status; and established the Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy Recognition program.
As noted in the article, OSA members Alexis Vogt and Sujatha Ramanujan are excellent role models to attract more women into optics and photonics and in all STEM fields.
For more information about OSA’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, visit www.osa.org/diversity.
—Elizabeth A. Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society