NEI commits to change in response to George Floyd's death

09 June 2020

The US Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has announced a programme to foster diversity and inclusion in the nuclear industry and says it will make a monetary contribution to the Equal Justice Initiative.

"The past two weeks have had a profound impact on each of us, as individuals and as a country," NEI CEO Maria Korsnick said yesterday. "George Floyd joins Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many other black Americans who have died as a result of systemic racism. Mr Floyd's death at the hands of people sworn to protect and serve has been a catalyst for conversation, protest and debate around the deep wounds that are still exposed as a result of centuries of racism. We are once again challenged to reflect on the society in which we live and future we want to build.

"The peaceful protests that have taken shape across the country reflect the pain of communities that for too long have been subject to bigotry, disenfranchisement and hatred. We cannot be blind to or become desensitised to the systemic inequality that limit the potential of people because of the colour of their skin. We should demand more - more than words, but real change."

NEI is committed to a workplace that is free from hate, bigotry and fear, but recognises that it must do more, Korsnick said. The nuclear industry needs to achieve greater diversity in workforce and leadership, she added, and outlined three commitments the organisation is making.

Firstly, it will build a "pipeline of diversity" in the nuclear industry by working with organisations dedicated to workforce development, including working with professional organisations that support underrepresented communities in engineering and STEM fields.

Secondly, NEI is expanding its commitment to its own employees. "NEI currently provides mandatory unconscious bias training for all staff. These efforts will be expanded to promote greater awareness, diversity and inclusion," Korsnick said.

Thirdly, the organisation is donating USD10,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative, an organisation dedicated to challenging racial and economic injustice.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News