2021 DEI Annual Report

Laying the Foundation for Critical Change

Cultivating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Fred Hutch

This report provides you with an opportunity to learn about and (re)commit to diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism and anti-oppression at the Hutch. As you read about the initiatives, progress, programming, events and reflections from the 2020-2021 year, we challenge you to think about the role you have played and will engage moving forward. Pause, reflect and reengage as we continue to lay and build on our foundation of critical change in order to actualize our mission of the Hutch.

To view the report in full, download the DEI Annual Report PDF.

Land Acknowledgment

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Duwamish, Puyallup, Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations. 

Labor & Justice Statements

We also acknowledge exploited labor, racist, heterosexist, ableist, xenophobic, religious, sexist, trans-antagonistic and other oppressive violence, and the ongoing struggle for justice on this land. We reflect on the ancestors of our various peoples, nations, tribes and families; ancestors whose struggles, pain, power, privilege and strivings we hold in our very bodies. We recognize, with gratitude, all those whose sacrifice, struggle and labor make our daily freedoms possible, and challenge us to learn, work and live justly.

A Message from the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Core

The past year has been a historic one for our world and our nation in many respects.
At Fred Hutch we believe that one notable and prominent feature has been the dramatic growth in our institutional efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion. Existing efforts and new initiatives found a home in the creation of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Core in January 2020. A central component of this reorganization was the placement of DEI Core in the Director’s Office so that its work could more readily impact all sectors of Fred Hutch. Our first order of business was to create the institution’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. This plan, launched in June 2020, was informed by critical feedback we obtained from employees at all levels of the organization. This inaugural annual Fred Hutch DEI report is meant to serve the following overarching purposes:

  • Provide public accountability regarding the progress of our DEI efforts
  • Celebrate and recognize key successes
  • Acknowledge and address key challenges and barriers

Toward this end, this report is organized into two major sections. The first provides quantitative data regarding key metrics related to employee recruitment and retention and describes the demographics of our current workforce. Sharing data of this type is best practice and consistent with reporting done by both peer academic institutions and industry partners. The second section focuses on the work that has been accomplished this past year related to each of the five major objectives of our Fred Hutch 2020-23 DEI Core Strategic Plan. The accomplishments highlighted in this section reflect DEI investments across the center, and synergistic partnerships with the DEI.

We thank all members of our Fred Hutch community who have been engaged in a wide range of impactful DEI efforts over this past year, many of which are described in this report. The realization of our goal of becoming an anti-racist institution characterized by inclusive excellence is only possible through the collective action of every one of us.

Photo of Dr. Paul Buckley in the Fred Hutch offices

Dr. Paul Buckley
Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Core

Photo of Dr. Paul Buckley in the Fred Hutch offices

Dr. Christopher Li
Professor, Public Health Sciences Division
Faculty Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Core

Our Strategic Plan

We approach our work from a collective commitment to long-lasting change that utilizes justice and liberation frameworks.

Two people raise a Black Lives Manner flag outside of the Fred Hutch Arnold building. Colorful geometric elements accent the photo.

Renewing Our Commitment to a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Culture 

The work that has been done over this past year builds on the efforts and work of people prior to the institutional commitment to DEI. Every person across the Hutch must fully (re)engage and (re)commit to the lifesaving work of challenging all oppression in our science. For us to truly actualize that mission of the Hutch, we must and will be unwavering in our pursuit of diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

Four Core Areas of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Advancing opportunities for cancer disparities research; promoting participation of diverse populations in research centerwide.

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Workforce Development

Employee/faculty recruitment, retention and career development.

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Workplace Climate & Training

Promote and support a diverse workforce and culture of equity and inclusion.

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Community Relations

Outreach and engagement with underserved populations.

Our Objectives

The Fred Hutch 2020-23 DEI Strategic Plan lays out five major objectives that serve as a foundation for critical change to actualize our mission of the Hutch. Below under “DEI Efforts Across Fred Hutch,” you will find a snapshot of intentional programming, events and initiatives that have occurred across individuals, teams, departments and divisions. These accomplishments are a product of dedicated leaders, intentional collaboration and synergistic partnerships with the DEI Core.

1. Establish the DEI Core as a visible and central hub for the facilitation and coordination of DEI efforts across the Hutch

2. Advance opportunities for research that engage diverse populations and reduce health disparities

3. Develop and provide educational experiences for the Hutch community to expand awareness and engage practices that promote equity, inclusion and anti-racism

4. Enhance diversity and equity in recruitment and retention efforts at all levels toward greater inclusion at the Hutch

5. Solidify and expand strategic partnerships with local, regional and inter/national communities to advance equity and inclusion at the Hutch

Employee Data

The data below represent the present-day makeup of Fred Hutch and underscore the importance of cultivating an inclusive culture and climate.

Colorful abstract geometric illustration featuring a double helix, data, bar charts, and an eye

Setting a Baseline for Change

The scientific research we conduct at Fred Hutch is by necessity driven by data. Administrative, policy and financial decision-making at Fred Hutch also centers around data. This said, historically we have not evaluated or reported diversity, equity and inclusion employee data. Data are an essential component to DEI work as they are a means for evaluating the fairness of our institutional policies and practices as they relate to the recruitment, retention and promotion of our workforce. Further, reporting DEI data is critical both for evaluating the effectiveness of our efforts and in providing accountability.

Users on mobile devices can access the data in full through the DEI Annual Report PDF.

Our Data Sources

As a federal contractor, Fred Hutch is required to collect data from all employees at the time of onboarding related to gender, racial and ethnic identity and these data along with information from Human Resources on different job categories were used to assemble this report. Employees provide these data voluntarily and >95% of our employees have shared this information. While these data are quite complete, a clear limitation is our inability to assess our workforce along other dimensions relevant to DEI such as sexual orientation, gender identity beyond male/female categories, education, language, nationality, socio-economic status and immigration to name a few. DEI is considering ways to try to ascertain these types of data in the future, but none are yet available to report. While the data shown are largely reflective of our workforce in the current FY2021 fiscal year (n=3,606), since this is our inaugural report we also show some data back to 2010 in order to provide historical context.

Note: Unfortunately, information on graduate students could not be included in this report. Since our source of data is Fred Hutch employee records, and the majority of graduate students are supported through various departments at the University of Washington, we could not readily access demographic information on the entirety of our graduate student population.


Gender: At present the only gender categories available to us are “Female,” “Male” and “Other”

Race/ethnicity: Available racial/ethnic categories include “American Indian,” “Asian,” “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Pacific Islander,” “White,” “Two or more,” and “Not Specified.” For individuals who identify as “Two or more” we do not have information on which specific groups they identify with. Given the small numbers for some of these groups we created two variables defined as follows:

Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC): Includes all people identifying with one of the following categories: “American Indian,” “Asian,” “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Pacific Islander,” “Two or more”

Underrepresented Minority (URM): This grouping is based on the National Institutes of Health definition and includes people who identify with one of the following categories: “American Indian,” “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Pacific Islander.” We recognize that there is some amount of undercounting present since individuals who identify with “Two or more” racial/ethnic groups one of which is a URM group are not included since we could not identify them.

Fred Hutch Workforce

Table 1: Time trends in employee demographics by gender and race/ethnicity (2010-2021)

A time trend graph of employee demographics. A text version of this chart can be found in the full report pdf.

The majority of our workforce has and continues to be comprised of women. With respect to race/ethnicity, our workforce has become somewhat more diverse since 2010 with modest increases in our proportions of both Asian and multiracial employees. The proportion of our workforce that is Asian exceeds the 15% Asian population in the general Seattle area, but our proportions of Hispanic/Latinx and Black employees are somewhat lower than the general Seattle population which is 7% Hispanic/Latinx and 7% Black. American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander employees are not shown in this table because their proportions are <1% in all years.

Table 2: Gender and racial ethnic composition of different sectors of the Fred Hutch workforce in FY21

A visualized bar chart of the gender and racial ethnic composition of the Fred Hutch workforce. A text version of this chart can be found in the full report pdf.

* Scientific senior leaders include: President, EVPs, SVPs, IRC heads
DCOO to senior leaders include: COO, CDIO, CFO, VPs
% is not shown to protect confidentiality
§ Includes 28 full professors, five associate professors and one assistant professor

  • While there is strong representation of women among senior leadership, the proportion is somewhat lower than the Fred Hutch employee population as a whole.
  • There is limited diversity among senior leadership and our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer is the only non-white member of the senior leadership team.
  • Among faculty, the proportion of women is lower than the general employee population.
  • There is a lack of diversity with respect to race/ethnicity among our faculty and particularly among the full professors and endowed chairs. The proportions of Asian, BIPOC and URM faculty decline with increasing rank.
  • Our postdoc population is majority minority and is one of the most diverse employee populations at Fred Hutch. However, the proportion of URM postdocs is relatively low (n=16).
  • While equal proportions of managers (staff with at least one direct report) and individual contributors (those without a direct report) are women, the proportions of managers who are either BIPOC or URM is lower than among our individual contributors.

Recruitment & Retention

All Employees

Table 3: Demographics of applicants to all open positions, new hires and employees who left Fred Hutch (voluntarily and involuntarily)

A visualized bar chart of the data. A text version of this chart can be found in the full report pdf.

* Excludes applicants for faculty searches (see faculty data in Table 6).

  • New hires are somewhat more diverse than our existing employee population (BIPOC: 38% vs. 34%).
  • Attrition of Black, BIPOC and URM employees is somewhat higher than their overall proportions.
  • Lower proportions of BIPOC and URM individuals are hired (BIPOC: 53%-54% of applicant pool vs. 44% of new hires; URM: 15%-25% of applicant pool vs. 10% of new hires). 

Table 4: New hires over the last fiscal year by job category

A visualized bar chart of the data. A text version of this chart can be found in the full report pdf.

‡ % is not shown to protect confidentiality

  • The demographics of newly hired employees tracks closely with the demographics of our current workforce (current workforce is 34% BIPOC, new hires are 38% BIPOC).
  • Newly recruited managers are somewhat more diverse than our overall group of managers (BIPOC: 30% vs. 23%), though the proportions for URMs is similar (all current managers = 7% vs. new managers = 5%).
  • The demographics of newly recruited individual contributors and postdocs are similar overall to our current employees in these categories.

Table 5: Attrition over the last fiscal year by job category

A visualized bar chart of the data. A text version of this chart can be found in the full report pdf.

‡ % is not shown to protect confidentiality

  • Across all positions those who departed Fred Hutch over the last fiscal year were somewhat more diverse than our overall workforce (BIPOC: 39% vs. 34%, URM: 15% vs. 9%).
  • With respect to managers who departed Fred Hutch their demographics were similar to our manager population as a whole (BIPOC: 24% vs. 23%).
  • Looking at the data in Tables 4 and 5 together, overall the influx and loss of BIPOC employees was similar (38% vs. 39%), but there was less influx than loss of URM employees (10% vs. 15%).

Faculty Applicant Pools 

Table 6: Demographics of applicants to faculty searches FY18-FY21

Table with data. A text version of this table can be found in the full report pdf.
  • From FY18 to FY20 we observed a sharp decline in the proportion of applicants to our faculty searches who identified as URM.
  • This rebounded considerably in FY21 as in our faculty cluster hire specifically focused on increasing the diversity of our faculty. Twenty percent of the applicant pool identified as URM. This single search also had an applicant pool that was larger than the combined 27 faculty searches conducted across both FY18 and FY19.
  • We also observed an increase in the racial/ethnic diversity of the applicant pools across the other seven FY21 faculty searches.

DEI Efforts Across Fred Hutch

Delivering on our collective commitment.

Below you will find a snapshot of intentional programming, events and initiatives that have occurred across individuals, teams, departments and divisions at the Hutch.

For those interested in the full list of our efforts, view the PDF version of the DEI Core Annual Report.

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Establish the DEI Core as a visible and central hub for the facilitation and coordination of DEI efforts across the Hutch

Elevate and maintain Hutch leadership’s commitment to DEI

All Hutch senior leaders — the Hutch Executive Committee (HEC) and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) members — have been engaged in their own DEI learning projects and all have registered for or completed the first Fearless IDEAs Bias Mitigation Education module. The center director and president’s leadership, support and engagement in this work is visible and highlighted in the range of topics and approaches to town hall. Additionally, before the HEC was developed, ELT members engaged an anti-racism learning project that examined the history and social dynamics of racism and colonization in the United States and a reading of Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, which culminated in a panel discussion for the DEI Forum. The Hutch board has also begun important discussions on the topic, supported the funding of our faculty cluster hire initiative, and have dedicated time to building DEI capacity through facilitated Fearless Discussion.

The Hutch Executive Committee (HEC)
The HEC is organized as the center director and president’s team of executive leaders, which includes senior vice presidents from the academic divisions as well as vice presidents and assistant/associate vice presidents from key areas of the Administration Division. The HEC meets weekly. Dr. Tom Lynch convenes this group of leaders.

Executive Leadership Team (ELT)
The ELT includes vice presidents and assistant/associate vice presidents who report to the executive vice president, Steve Stadum, who convenes this group. All ELT members are on the HEC. The ELT meets biweekly.

Provide support to all sectors of the Hutch in their own development and pursuit of DEI

Throughout the year, DEI Core has actively supported the personal and organizational DEI work of leaders, staff, faculty and various teams. Our support has included:

  • Offering DEI analyses and perspectives for policy, program and initiatives development
  • Competency development
  • Guidance and coaching
  • Serving as a sounding board and following up on concerns and opportunities
  • Serving as a connector and conduit to advance collaborative work across the center

This objective and our progress reflects the less visible work of the DEI Core, which relates to the capacity building and influencing aspects of our office. DEI’s work and approach are highly collaborative. We have fully embraced the incredible demand for DEI services that have increased exponentially over the past 15 months. We regularly engage with members of the Fred Hutch community through 1:1 meetings, informal small group conversations and formal large group presentations. Those seeking support or guidance from ODEI can reach out to us directly at diversity@fredhutch.org.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment for everyone

Chartered through the DEI Core, the purpose and focus of each employee resource group (ERG) is to develop and encourage a deep sense of community, connection and growth at the Hutch. These voluntary, employee-led groups serve to add value to the organization and strengthen retention. The DEI serves as the primary partner with each ERG in achieving group-specific goals and objectives.

The Community of Employees for Racial Equity (CERE), is committed to serving Fred Hutch by building community, having critical conversations, and engaging all employees on topics of race, racism and identity.

FHREE (Fred Hutch Rainbow Employees for Equity) was founded in 2019 and aims to support the mission of Fred Hutch by ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, etc.) faculty and staff.

Hutch United acts primarily as a connection-maker.: connections to the community inside and outside the Hutch, connections with peers for support, connections with mentors for guidance, connections within ourselves as we embark on the necessary work, and connections to each other as a community.

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Advance opportunities for research that engage diverse populations and reduce health disparities

Recognizing researchers from under-represented groups in science

Fred Hutch leaders created the Dr. Eddie Méndez Award and Symposium to honor the late Dr. Eddie Méndez’s commitment to cancer research and supporting early-career scientists from underrepresented backgrounds, including those from different racial and ethnic groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders) as well as individuals with disabilities. The award recognizes outstanding postdoctoral fellows from any discipline who are conducting cancer, infectious disease or basic science research and have demonstrated their commitment to DEI work. Awardees present at a scientific symposium honoring Dr. Eddie Méndez and have the opportunity to meet with Fred Hutch faculty and senior leaders. Now in its third year, the now-28 awardees represent a piece of the legacy that is the late Dr. Méndez.

A photograph of Dr. Eddie Méndez
Dr. Eddie Méndez Fred Hutch File

“It was very uplifting knowing that Fred Hutch truly cares about diversity and is making an effort towards the goal of meeting equity and inclusion in science. Professionally, it gave us great exposure and the possibility to connect with outstanding fellows and faculty. I greatly appreciate it.”

– Dr. Eddie Méndez Award Recipient

Working to close the gap in health disparities

Formerly the Health Disparities Research Center, the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement works with community members to improve knowledge and awareness of cancer risk factors, screening services and treatment options. By engaging with members of underrepresented communities, the OCOE discovers where inequities exist, helping scientists and clinicians develop and apply new knowledge to help these at-risk communities. The more knowledge we gain, the better we are able to address the needs of different communities, further reducing health disparities.

Cultivating partnerships with key external organizations and institutions

In partnership with faculty researchers, Institutional Review Board members, the OCOE and ODEI, and research administrators across Fred Hutch, the Institutional Review Office has convened a working group to recommend ways to promote diversity in enrollment in clinical trials.  The group is considering enrollment data for cancer clinical trials, the resources currently available to investigators to reach diverse communities, and ways to help ensure that we are serving the diverse communities in our region and state. The group will conclude with a set of recommendations to present to Fred Hutch leadership in late June.

Highlighting current Hutch disparities research

A multitude of new and on-going research projects focused on disparities are led by Fred Hutch investigators. A comprehensive list of grants can be found in the PDF version of the DEI Annual Report.

COVID-19 Prevention Network


Applying a DEI lens to COVID-19 research and outreach

Fred Hutch Vaccine and Infectious Disease Divison faculty have adopted a distinct focus on COVID-19 prevention research that affects diverse communities, and in particular URM in the U.S. who are disproportionately impacted. They have also undertaken considerable efforts at not only recruiting URM to COVID-19 studies but communicating the value of the science to these communities.

Vet Flexiquit

Dr. Jaimee Heffner, National Cancer Institute

Optimizing acceptability, reach and effectiveness of cessation treatments for disadvantaged veterans

Although cigarette smoking rates have declined in the U.S. over the past 50 years, there has been an upturn in smoking among military personnel in the last several decades. Targeting low-socioeconomic status veterans over 18 years of age with mental health conditions, the goal of this study is to adapt a web-based, avatar-led smoking cessation program for veteran smokers at varying levels of readiness to quit.

Survivorship Care Plans and Telehealth Education

Dr. Eric Chow

Assessing the feasibility of providing remote survivorship care plans to rural cancer survivors

Patients living in rural areas often face barriers to survivorship care and report unmet needs. This study is engaging with rural cancer survivors through a pilot randomized clinical trial assessing the feasibility of providing survivorship care plans remotely and outside of the oncology setting.

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Develop and provide educational experiences for the Hutch community to expand awareness and engage practices that promote equity, inclusion and anti-racism

Facilitating DEI education experiences for Hutch employees

Fearless IDEAs (Inclusion, Diversity, Education, Anti-racism and Anti-oppression): Moving Science Forward is our required comprehensive anti-racist DEI educational initiative. A key feature of the initiative is that it rebuffs “diversity training” by engaging participants in a design for continuous education that involves pre-work, a live module, evaluation survey and post-work constructed for participants to integrate learning with their everyday work. The curriculum provides a holistic experience that expands intellectual and emotional capacities. Anti-racist DEI work is not only about learning and doing, but conscientious and empathic ways of being.

Our initial six module topics will engage Hutch employees over the course of about two years for completion. The initiative engages all Hutch employees in a continuous learning project to increase awareness, develop competencies, implement practices in our shared responsibility to make and sustain an inclusive and equitable center and positions the Hutch as an inter/national leader in DEI work. Upcoming modules include: Bias Mitigation: Taking Our Work Further and Anti-racism and the Hutch Commitment.

A selection of Fearless IDEAs materials featuring work document sheets and powerpoint sides.

“[Bias mitigation] takes ongoing work, attention and continued commitment. The tools and concepts presented are a great step at creating framework — especially around how people managers show up... Accountability and commitment are key.”

– Fearless IDEAs: Grounding & Commitment Attendee

Bias Mitigation Education: Grounding & Commitment

Percentage of people managers' module completion by division

Vidd 65%, Public Health Sciences 59%, Human Biology 54%, Clinical Research 44%, Basic Sciences 65%, Administration 80%

With the initial strategic focus on people managers (all faculty and other supervisors), we launched the Bias Mitigation Education (BME) module on Jan. 20, and have continued to offer six sessions each successive month. The graph here describes our progress for participation at the time of writing this report. All divisions are actively participating, with the Administration Division leading the way. We project that by the end of June, 79% of people managers and approximately 882 Hutch employees will complete the first module. We should note that Hutch Executive Committee members participated in the initial BME sessions for people managers and have begun to continue their learning as a cohort with other topics. 

Engaging the Hutch community in dialogue about racism and other forms of oppression

Implemented in July 2020, these virtual forums serve to engage the Hutch community in dialogue about racism and other forms of oppression. Programming has included panels, group dialogue and notable speakers including Dr. Khiara Bridges, Dr. Raychelle Burks, Dr. Chase Catalano, Ian Cheney, Stephen M. Graham, Dr. Tae-Sun Kim, Sharon Shattuck and Dr. Jane Willenbring.

A screenshot of the ODEI All Hutch Forum in session with Paul Buckley, Sharon Shattuck, Jane Willenbring, Raychelle Burks and Ian Cheney.
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Enhance diversity and equity in recruitment and retention efforts at all levels toward greater inclusion at the Hutch

Evaluating all existing recruitment and retention processes through an anti-racist lens

Central to our efforts toward cultivating an environment of inclusive excellence and dismantling structural racism is evaluating all existing policies and practices through an anti-racist lens. While this is envisioned as a multi-year project, it has begun in earnest with an emphasis on both faculty and staff policies: 

Faculty Policies

Led by Dr. Christopher Li, a review of all Fred Hutch faculty academic polices is underway. This work has started by conducting an assessment of faculty policies at a number of peer institutions and some recommended changes have already been made. One has been diversifying the Fred Hutch-wide faculty appointments and promotion (A&P) committee, which is responsible for approving all new faculty searches, hires, promotions and five-year reviews.

Staff Recruitment Process

Dr. Paul Buckley and Amy Packard reviewed current staff recruitment processes, which have broad variance in approaches given the diversity of job positions, and implemented the following updates as the first phase of strengthening inclusive recruitment strategies for non-faculty positions:

  • Implemented required diversity statements
    The statements, for all open searches in the finalist stage of the interview process, are used to signal Hutch values and our expectations for DEI commitment to the applicant and offers an additional data point for hiring managers to consider in the process. 
  • A certification process for implicit bias education and disruption
    In relationship to search processes, programming has been developed to ensure teams and/or search process participants can engage bias mitigation strategies close to the time of the search.  
  • The recruitment process transitions with onboarding
    The module now includes messaging from leadership and the chief diversity & inclusion officer about Hutch DEI values and expectations. The ERGs and the BIPOC Caucus are highlighted as spaces for community and connection toward employee retention.
  • Opportunities for further review
    These opportunities include inclusive search strategy development, job description and compensation review, interview questions development, use of rubrics, statement evaluation approaches and inclusive onboarding. These elements will be addressed in the next fiscal year through the “Diversity in Recruitment and Retention” Fearless IDEAs module and updated talent acquisition toolkits. The Talent Acquisition team creates resources and strategies that can be used by department hiring teams to engage diverse talent and promote an inclusive hiring process.

Committing resources to meaningfully increase the diversity of Hutch faculty

Supported by a set-aside of $10 million from our board of trustees, we launched a faculty cluster hire in fall 2020 aimed at increasing the diversity of our faculty and synergizing our science. As shown in Table 4, this search attracted a large and diverse applicant pool. Of the 527 applicants, the Hutch interviewed 28 and extended offers to 14 as we aimed to realize our goal of recruiting at least five new faculty members through this search. Additionally, we also had an open search focused on recruiting faculty whose research is focused on health disparities and health equity research.

Supporting trainees from underrepresented backgrounds

In partnership with the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s, over the past year we co-hosted three workshops focused on providing information to prospective applicants on how to apply for NIH diversity supplements. For trainees to be eligible for diversity supplements they need to be at Fred Hutch, but we have few diversity supplement-eligible trainees. To address this gap, in fall 2020 DEI Core initiated a new program to support the recruitment of under-represented trainees at any level.

Dedicated to training the next generation of scientists

The Office of Education and Training programs span the biomedical disciplines and research interests pursued at Fred Hutch, from basic, human biological, clinical and public health sciences research on a range of cancers and infectious diseases, with a commitment to increasing access and creating pathways for those trainees who have been historically excluded. The activities and training opportunities include programs for high school students, teachers, undergraduates and postdoctoral researchers.

A group photo of the 27-person SHIP cohort, taken in 2019.
The 2019 Summer High School Internship Program cohort was the last to be photographed as a group.
Office of Science Education and Training (SciEd) internships and programs for science teachers, high school students and undergraduates

The Science Education Partnership (SEP)
SEP supports its large network of secondary science teachers with a virtual program called Hutch@Home. This program offers teachers talks from faculty, postdoctoral and graduate student scientists who share about their educational/career paths as well as research. The talks have reached over 1,200 people either live or through views of recorded sessions archived on the SEP YouTube channel. Additional DEI-related topics for teacher workshops related to DEI in FY21 included Social Justice Phenomena in Science Education; History, Eugenics, and Genetics; Intention into Action: Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Science Classroom; Gender Inclusivity in Biology Education; and COVID-19 and Health Inequities.

High School Programs
Fred Hutch’s two high school programs, which focus on under-represented students in science, together engaged 64 students for six weeks in 2020. Through the Pathways Research Explorers program and the Summer High School Internship Program, students engaged in workshops that connected them with Hutch researchers, showcased a variety of Hutch careers, focused on college preparation and created community. To ensure equitable access to technology, Amazon donated a laptop to each of the 32 students in the program.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program and the Pathways Undergraduate Researchers Program offer hybrid internships in collaboration with the UW Department of Biostatistics.

Office of Graduate Education (OGE) graduate student administration and professional development

The OGE partnered with other Office of Education and Training programs and Fred Hutch Human Resources to represent Fred Hutch at large annual recruitment conferences: the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the California Forum on Diversity in Graduate Education.

Office of Scientific Career Development (OSCD) graduate student and postdoctoral fellow professional development

The OSCD gives specialized guidance for our underrepresented minority and international scientists, including programs that cover considerations for hiring and accepting positions in the U.S. and negotiating job offers. In FY21, OSCD partnered with OGE and the NIH Office of Intermural Training & Education to facilitate the "Becoming a Resilient Scientist" series for Fred Hutch and UW graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The themes of the series included resilience and wellness, self-talk, self-advocacy and assertiveness, and it recognized the additional stresses and challenges that exist for those historically excluded from scientific education.

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Solidify and expand strategic partnerships with local, regional and inter/national communities to advance equity and inclusion at the Hutch

Developing strategic relationships with DEI agents and groups

At the local level, the Hutch ODEI leadership has been engaged in developing strategic relationships — serving on the boards of Life Science Washington and the Greater Washington State Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, presenting at the Northwest Rural Health Conference, serving as a panelist for the Washington Global Health Alliance, and engaging with our Consortium colleagues at UW and Seattle Children’s. Further, the Hutch has been intimately involved as an institutional coalition member of the Washington Employers for Racial Equity. Members of the ODEI Team are developing connections with local agencies and community organizations such as the NAACP.

At the national level, DEI Core leadership has participated on the American Association for Cancer Research Task Force on Eliminating Racial Inequities in Cancer Research, presented at the American Association of Cancer Institutes Annual Meeting on increasing faculty diversity, and authoring the AACR 2020 Cancer Progress Report for a congressional briefing.

Cultivating new relationships with minority serving institutions

We are in the early stages of expanding our strategic partnerships with minority-serving professional associations in the sciences and higher educational institutions (Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions) and local industry partners to expose the Hutch to more URMs and bolster our recruitment pools. Within this Hutch-wide effort, DEI Core is excited to support the pilot summer program with Tuskegee University being led by Dr. Roger Brent. The Office of Graduate Education and the UW-Fred Hutch Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Graduate Program partner with Salish Kootenai Tribal College (SKC) and Seattle-area colleges on initiatives, including information sessions about graduate school, and participate in their events, including undergraduate poster sessions and SKC’s Graduation Pow Wow. MCB graduate students will also participate as teaching assistants in SKC undergraduate classes.

Our public statements, Washington Employers for Racial Equity coalition membership, other community engagements and external webpage all contribute to increased visibility of the Hutch.

Our Path Forward

Taking our work further.

A colorful geometric illustration featuring graphs, intersecting circles, and an eye.

The year 2020 marked a new chapter in Fred Hutch’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. As a center, we have made significant investments of energy, talent, ideas and the courage to renew our commitment through an anti-racist framework. This is demonstrated in the groundwork we have shared in this report. This is just the beginning, and a tremendous effort is required for the future. Our work ahead — in areas of recruitment practices that advance diversity in non-faculty roles, building inclusive and equitable team cultures for a consistent experience centerwide and community engagement with meaningful partnerships (locally and nationally) — demands our careful attention. We must maintain our progress and build on the foundation we have laid this past year in a strategic and sustainable way. As we establish our work — at the structural, cultural and inter/personal levels — we recognize and feel the sense of urgency shared across the Hutch community. The Hutch has a vital mission.  Our work can only be successful if it is strategic, human-centered and collaborative. As we pursue our strategic objectives, it is imperative that all members of the Hutch community pull together. There are many labs, several divisions, thousands of employees, yet one Hutch. We look forward to the next steps on our journey.

Our work can only be successful if it is strategic, human-centered and collaborative.

DEI Core’s work would not be possible without its outstanding team. This year we had the incredible fortune of welcoming Val Rie Smith, Sara Cole, Nikkita McPherson and Kaci Bray to our team who each represent the very best of Fred Hutch. We also recognize the enormous contributions of Ana Parada and Jessica Lam who worked with us in DEI this past year before moving on to other opportunities. We also want to give a special thanks to the Executive Steering Committee and our Advisory Committee, whose time and insights guide our efforts. We appreciate all our partners across the Hutch who have engaged with DEI Core this past year. We value you, your voices and your efforts. Thank you for your continued support and the progress we will make together.

“Cures start here, and cures start with a culture that fosters innovation, an inclusive culture that responds to diverse experiences and diverse expressions of disease.
Diversity, equity and inclusion work is critical to the mission of Fred Hutch.”

– Dr. Paul Buckley, Vice President, Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer

DEI Core News & Events

A persons hand holding up a card board sign that reads Black Lives Matter, written in black ink

Before you write your next corporate statement — thinking of George Floyd and the emotion of anti-racist DEI work

As we near the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s brutal murder in Minneapolis that charred the collective consciousness of Americans and world, Dr. Paul Buckley wonders how far we’ve come and what change has occurred in organizations and across the country today.

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Photo of the 12 recipients of Dr. Eddie Méndez award

Fred Hutch announces 12 recipients of Dr. Eddie Méndez award

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center has announced 12 recipients of the 2021 Dr. Eddie Méndez award, honoring a physician-scientist and cherished colleague at Fred Hutch.

The recipients are postdoctoral researchers from across the U.S. with research expertise in cancer, infectious disease and basic sciences.

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Written by Kaci Bray, Paul Buckley, Christopher Li & Nikkita McPherson. Designed by Sarah Jo White. Data visualizations by Jim Woolace. Photography by Robert Hood/Fred Hutch News Service.

Questions? Contact diversity@fredhutch.org