> My initial thoughts are that we do have an issue about how people enter the profession in the first place.
There is an interesting challenge for two reasons:
1) I suspect that professional safety work is not something that people become aware of as a career choice until they are recruited into the work, either due to a unfortunate personal experience or an unexpected career opportunity.
2) Among those who intentionally choose an occupational health and safety undergrad major here at Keene State are white males by a large majority (at least 80%).
So I'm not sure that the problem is the leaky pipeline we see in other fields so much as getting diverse people into the pipeline to begin with.
If we are able to do recruit a more diverse group, I think that the profession will see similar benefits to those realized by other fields when women and people of color start asking questions that the profession doesn't traditionally address. A good discussion of the challenge these professionals face can be found in the Probability Matters podcast at
particularly Episode 16, where a female woman of color talks about her experiences as a safety professional. There are several other episodes of this podcast that discuss diversity issues. Probability Matters is a podcast from the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the AIHA.
Thanks for raising this question.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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