What are Affinity Groups (AG)? Last year, HFES launched a new form of group available to our members, called Affinity Groups. Affinity groups provide opportunities for people to connect with other people who share aspects of their identity, especially in situations in which aspects of their identity are in the minority or are marginalized. HF/E Affinity Groups can provide mutual support and a sense of community within the society. The Affinity Groups are an extension of HF/E Diversity and Inclusion efforts, focusing on both inclusivity within the profession and on advancing science that addresses longstanding societal problems. Affinity Groups differ from Technical Groups as they offer community, mentoring and support based on areas of collective identification. The Affinity Groups can concentrate on challenging our profession to address these dimensions of personal identification more thoughtfully. We hope that these communities will play an integral role throughout the course of a member’s career. There is no cost to become a member of an HFES affinity group.
Why join an Affinity Group? Why does it matter? HFES supports and celebrates the diversity of the students, practitioners, educators, researchers, and others who engage in the profession of human factors/ergonomics and the stakeholders who benefit from their practice.
We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion across the broad range of human characteristics. HFES Affinity Groups can serve as a “safe space” for open discussion and idea sharing across and within groups that have been historically underrepresented.
Council of Affinity Groups (COAG) – Chair Ashley Hughes
We are collectively writing this letter to the members to advise and invite you to consider joining at least one of HFES’s current Affinity Groups: LGBTQ, People of Color (POC) and Women’s Organization for Mentorship and Networking (WOMAN) Affinity Groups. Another Affinity Group, focused on disability and chronic health conditions is currently being formed.
The Affinity Groups are a nascent addition to the HFES core structure, providing a powerful opportunity through which members can congregate, communicate, and advance along areas of united personal goals and interest. Like many organizations, Affinity Groups exist as long as you need them to – and our current base of groups offers a new opportunity for our members to engage and serve as well as a new way for HFES to serve our members.
LGBTQ+ – Chair Sylvain Bruni & Julia Trippe
The LGBTQ+ Affinity Group exists to better serve our members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, and their allies and supporters. Our group has three main objectives: To promote diversity, inclusion, and equity for the queer community within the Society, to foster community between HFES members through welcoming events (at conferences and symposia), and to better our world through outreach activities with HFES’ partners and associated institutions. We work towards these objectives by leading and contributing to internal initiatives, by proposing and promoting tangible actions at Society events, and by ensuring that all members are empowered and supported throughout their HFES journey. All are proudly welcome to participate and attend our meetings and activities!
For more information or if you are interested in becoming a member, please visit the website at https://bit.ly/3d7YwyR or contact Sylvain Bruni at email@example.com or Julia Trippe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People of Color (POC) – Chair Gwen Malone
People of Color (POC) is the most recently added affinity group. This group will encourage mentorship, networking, and identify opportunities for professional and personal development for HFES Member. This group will act as an advocate within HFES for continued diversity and inclusion. POC is seeking members that will help establish our operating guidance going forward.
For more information or if you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Gwen Malone at email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
WOMAN – Chair Ranjana Mehta
The goal of the HFE WOMAN’s group is to connect women members of human factors and human factors-related disciplines to provide mentorship, networking, and opportunities for professional and personal development. The HFE WOMAN’s group has in the past organized HFE WOMAN’s Luncheon at the annual HFES meetings, celebrated member achievements via numerous awards (HFE WOMAN of the Year, HFE Mentor of the Year, and HFE WOMAN Rising Star of the Year). Due to COVID this year, we realized that our women members needed to connect and share their experiences, both positive and negative, and feel supported by each other. We have met every Thursday for ~10-20 minutes and connected with members and shared our joys and struggles. For this year, we are planning numerous workshops (e.g., Maintaining Professional Portfolio during Unemployment, How to Write Equitable Reference Letters, Navigating Promotion and Tenure Post COVID) and special guest talks that will engage our members and provide the needed support, solidarity, and platform for self- and community-growth.
For more information or if you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Ranjana Mehta at email@example.com or visit https://www.hfewoman.com
Disability and Chronic Health Conditions (Chair, TBD)
This Affinity Group is currently being initiated within the society to serve as a space for networking, mentorship, and advocacy within HFES for people identifying as disabled or living with a chronic health condition. As this group gets started, we are looking for leaders interested in shaping both the structure and activities of this affinity group. If you are interested in becoming a member please contact Rupa Valdez, Internal Affairs Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HFES Affinity Groups are open to any member, they welcome any new members.
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