2023 DEI Annual Progress Report

Our Values in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This year's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) progress report focuses on the promise that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center values are grounded in and expressed through the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. To highlight this, we are presenting the progress we have made in the context of each of our values and sharing stories that help to support our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, anti‑racism, anti‑oppression and accessibility.

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 Statement

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.


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center values are grounded in and expressed through the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. We structured this report around each of our values to highlight how we are moving the organization forward by honoring the commitment of our values to ourselves and our community.

Collaboration: Collaboration for the Future of Science
Compassion: Pursuing Health Equity as Access to Compassionate Care
Determination: Determined to Win
Excellence: Pursuing Inclusive Excellence to Sustain Our Mission
Innovation: Innovative Leadership Extends Our Reach and Impact
Integrity: Our Integrity is Our Bond with Our Patients and Each Other
Respect: Showing Respect Through Inclusion and Affirmation

Learn more about the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Values.

A Note From the Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer

During this time of heightened attacks and confusion about diversity, equity and inclusion, Fred Hutch Cancer Center remains steadfast and clear about our commitments and strategy, reflecting our values and recognizing the urgency of our mission.

In this year’s progress report, we continue to share the progress we’ve made, challenges/opportunities to take our work further, and lessons we have learned. This report distinguishes itself from 2021 and 2022 with the sharing of brief stories and other data. We have organized this report to highlight our values, how we reflect and aspire to them, and our determination to share our truth.

We anticipate that this snapshot and excerpts of our work will provide inspiration and insight, raise questions and wonderings. It is our intention to demonstrate that this work is unfinished—we abstain from the enticing notion of tidy DEI work. We aim to tell our truth, at least an appropriate summary of it, here and at this time with the goal of coherence and perhaps a plan for more celebration in next year’s report.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team
From left: Tavarius Horne, Dr. Joshua Marceau, Walker Nasser, Maxine Ellis, Dr. Paul Buckley, Dr. Joe Ungco, Theresa Lee, Natassia Kimbrough and Sierra Bigting Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Overall, we are proud to say that we are making steady progress—not by any one measure, but the totality of our efforts to center inclusive excellence and our shared humanity as principles for workplace culture, scientific excellence and compassionate patient care.

We continue to hold ourselves responsible to this standard.

In partnership,

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

Paul Buckley

Collaboration for the Future of Science

Pathways to Science as a Collaborative Effort

Collaborative partnerships are essential to science education, and this approach also informed diversity, equity and inclusion priorities for the Office of Graduate Education (OGE). Internal strategies have included efforts to build community and address health and wellness for marginalized populations, as well as external outreach and program recruitment.

In coordination with the Fred Hutch Basic Sciences Division, the Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) group developed a facilitated wellness group for graduate students and postdoctoral fellowship recipients. The monthly facilitated group for BIPOC graduate students and postdocs was also made available to trainees at all Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium institutions.

Along with Human Resources and the DEI Core team, the OGE included Fred Hutch staff, student and postdoctoral fellowship recipient representation at national conferences focused on students from historically excluded groups.

Science Education program Underrepresented vs. Not Underrepresented
Breakdown of Science Education program Underrepresented vs. Not Underrepresented
  • In FY 23, 81% of Science Education program participants were from historically underrepresented backgrounds across categories (disability, low SES, first generation, race/ethnicity, or disadvantaged backgrounds).

The Office of Education & Training (OET) houses programs committed to training the next generation of scientists, with a commitment to increasing access and creating pathways for people who have been historically excluded from science.

The Explorers Program group photo
The Explorers Program group photo Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

OGE and MCB staff, faculty and students are collaborating with Dr. Paul Buckley, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and an outside consultant to create the first MCB DEI strategic plan. The strategic plan will include DEI strategies for four to five years.

The Faculty Development Program supports the success of Fred Hutch faculty through cohort-based programming to enhance mentoring and leadership skills, and to provide professional development resources.

  • Commencement of the Faculty Leadership Enhancement for all Professors (LEAP).
  • The Faculty Leadership Incubator (FLI) program for junior faculty. The fiscal year 2023 cohort included faculty cluster hires and includes DEI-focused curriculum.

Intentional efforts are currently under way to build new relationships with Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College through the collaborative efforts of Science Education, DEI Core and faculty in Computational Biology, Erick Matsen and Arvind “Rasi” Subramaniam. Fred Hutch was a sponsor for the Annual Research Day and Graduate and Career Fair at Spelman College this year. Internship experience included a cultural enrichment component that exposed interns to sense-of-place activities and Black history and community in the greater Seattle area.

The Postbaccalaureate Scholar program was developed in 2023 and will give historically excluded groups of people opportunities to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to go to grad school. Many basic sciences division labs have already accepted postbaccalaureate scholars for fiscal year 2024.

During summer 2023, the Stats Summer for Biomedical Data Science Research Training had 12 interns. This program supported underrepresented undergraduate students to gain skills and confidence in statistics and data science with the goal of grounding their belonging the field.

During summer 2023, the Computational Biology Summer Intern Program had 16 interns. The program included career opportunities and social activities for underrepresented students working towards their future in STEM fields.

The Informatics Technology for Cancer Research program supports researchers to develop informatics technology for cancer research and treatment for more diverse participation within the field.

The DataTrail program equips members of underserved communities with skills and support to work in data science.

The Geonomics Data Science Community Network includes a network of faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI), universities and community colleges working toward improving access and education in genomics.

PCSR is currently developing an internship program for medical assistant phlebotomy students from Renton Technical College.

Pursuing Health Equity as Access to Compassionate Care

Anti-Racism in Oncology Project

Bridgette Hempstead speaks during a panel discussion
Bridgette Hempstead speaks during a panel discussion Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

Bridgette Hempstead is a 62-year-old proud mother of three daughters and four grandchildren who has lived in Seattle for almost 44 years. On her 35th birthday, after insisting that she be thoroughly screened, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was the belief of her doctor at the time that Black women didn’t need a mammogram - a racist myth the doctor learned in medical school.

As Bridgette responded to her own health needs, she also thought about her community of Black women who share similar experiences of being turned away from life-saving medical services, not being believed by their care providers, or being neglected in clinical treatment processes or trials.

With her personal experience in mind, she founded Cierra Sisters, a breast cancer survivor and support organization focused on African American and underserved communities. “Cierra,” a word from African roots, is interpreted as “knowing” and emphasizes Bridgette’s belief that knowledge can disrupt some of the impacts of racism.

Last year, Bridgette invited Fred Hutch to partner with Cierra Sisters to implement a project that would explore a shared understanding of racism and explore how racism as a systemic oppressive system can inform policies, practices and behaviors in oncology: Anti-Racism in Oncology. She wanted to demonstrate that the stories that Black women share about their experiences in health care — cancer care specifically — are real. The project produced a series of video vignettes that share these stories and feature insights from Fred Hutch clinicians and leaders. They are also being considered for educational use.

Bridgette Richardson Hempstead

"Like any mother, I want to protect my children and the world from danger. The work that I do here is really for them, and the community benefits from that."

Bridgette Richardson Hempstead (Cierra Sisters)

Health Equity SOGI Data Project

The Health Equity Program uses a DEI lens at the intersection of patient experience and clinical care in leading projects and initiatives to address health disparities for Fred Hutch patients. For fiscal year 2023, the program continued efforts to collect patient self-reported race and ethnicity data, as well as piloted sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection. A Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) pilot in a gastroenterology (GI) clinic was aimed at screening new patients and connecting them with Fred Hutch resources. With the success of the pilot, SDOH screening will expand organization-wide in 2024.


  • Launched the translation of the patient navigation and billing/insurance webpages into Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Korean.
  • Successfully completed the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) screening pilot in a GI clinic.
  • Successfully completed a sexual orientation, gender identity and pronouns collection pilot in the Prevention and Genetics Clinics. Decreasing the number of ‘gender identity unknown’ fields in the medical record from 46 percent to 27 percent.
  • Completed outpatient quality improvement efforts to reduce pain-related emergency department visits.
Richie Hurtado and Andrea Suzuki
Richie Hurtado and Andrea Suzuki Photo by Stefan Muehleis / Fred Hutch

Patient Navigation

Patient navigators are culturally sensitive staff who provide resource information and support that guides patients through their treatment at Fred Hutch. This year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) awarded our Patient Navigation Program a 2.5-year grant to strengthen navigation services for Spanish speaking patients, especially those with hematological and general oncology cancers. This included hiring an additional Spanish-speaking navigator, Richie Hurtado. Twenty sites nationwide were funded as part of the ACS’s competitive Navigation Capacity-building Initiative Grant Program.

Spanish-speaking patients can face many challenges: long distances to care, lack of health insurance, few FMLA and paid leave benefits, financial worries, and fears based on past negative experiences with the healthcare system. Hurtado makes proactive outreach calls to inform patients about navigation support, provides ongoing navigation consultation as needed, and conducts community outreach visits with colleague, Andrea Lolbe Suzuki, also fluent in Spanish. So far, these visits have included the Northwest Rural Health Conference in Spokane, Villa Communitaria events in the South Park and Duwamish River communities (Seattle), and the Latina Health Symposium in Granger. Community focus groups are planned, with our Fred Hutch colleagues in the Center for Community Health Promotion in Sunnyside, to learn more about ways we can tailor our services to better meet the needs of these communities.

Clinical Trials Work

Despite facing an inequitable burden related to specific diseases, racial and ethnic minorities are often underrepresented in clinical research. Increasing diversity in clinical trial participants is a priority initiative for Fred Hutch and is essential for generating accurate and generalizable results, understanding treatment impact across different groups, identifying potential adverse effects, promoting ethical considerations, fostering inclusivity and ensuring equitable health care outcomes for all. 

Initiatives Programs and Projects by Status
A dashboard for effective tracking of our projects to advance diversity and equity in clinical trials was developed by the Consortium Task Force. The chart is a demonstration of our effort.

The Seattle Vaccines Trials Unit (VTU) sustained strong diversity among newly enrolled HIV vaccine clinical trials participants:

  • Gender diverse (trans, non-binary, gender-nonconforming): 35 percent
  • Sexual preference diverse: 52 percent
  • Age diversity (age <30 years): 42 percent

The HVTN Faith Initiative conducted HIV research, educational and awareness activities nationally in diverse faith communities, including Southern Baptists, Buddhists, Islam and Bahá’í. The HVTN also developed strategic partnerships with the Black AIDS Institute, Treatment Action Group and Southern AIDS Coalition to amplify its engagement of BIPOC communities across the United States.

Service Excellence Program Launch

In 2023, Nursing and Patient Care Services focused on improving the patient experience and expanding access to clinical trials, screening, education and supportive care services. A signature achievement was the launch of the Service Excellence program, which applies to both external and internal service. Opportunities include expanding the Service Excellence program and growing partnerships to better serve all communities.


  • Developed a program dedicated to creating and supporting a culture of service excellence that is built on inclusion, safety, accessibility, collaboration and relationships.
  • Developed and implemented research nurse pre-screening to improve access to clinical trials and capture barriers to enrollment.
  • Expanded the nurse navigation program to focus on addressing barriers to care and improving access to screening and supportive care services.
  • Developed two new training programs for nursing and technical staff specific to underrepresented people in the community.

Determined to Win

Philanthropy Drives Research and Benefits the Community

Fred Hutch embeds DEI commitments throughout its work with philanthropic individuals, corporations, and foundations, and with community partners. This includes featuring diverse voices from across the organization in communications and engagement activities with new and existing supporters, such as ‘lunch and learn’ events, newsletters, behind-the-scenes videos, and opportunities like Obliteride, our annual bike ride and 5K that empowers people to help cure cancer faster by raising funds for Fred Hutch.

In addition, Philanthropy’s fundraising efforts help support programs that advance Fred Hutch’s shared goal of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Examples include health equity research projects as well as patient support services such as the patient navigator program and Patient and Family Assistance Fund, and education, training, and workforce development initiatives like the new Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program and Hutch Advance. Fred Hutch Philanthropy is also working to create inclusive, accessible spaces for our community members at events and to increase the diversity of our vendors and service providers through active collaboration with Procurement on the Supplier Diversity Program.

Pursuing Inclusive Excellence to Sustain Our Mission

Our Case for a Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Fred Hutch is a collection of concepts, strategies and practices that constitute our values and enable our mission. This work centers the human experience as one that shares dignity, worth, respect and ambition, while reflecting the variety of physical and social expressions, backgrounds, beliefs, languages and histories, to name a few. In our determination to find cures for the many cancers and infectious diseases that challenge our shared humanity with suffering, we strengthen our DEI work for several important reasons:

  • We desire for every person from every community who is impacted by cancer to experience relief informed by our excellent scientific research and our highest quality of compassionate care.
  • Research shows that diversity of people, perspectives, training and backgrounds fosters innovation.
  • A culture of inclusion that mitigates stereotype threat reduces performance decline for particular social groups.
  • Social constructs that create hierarchies of worth for human beings translate to inequities in access to resources, including finances, services, empathy and respect.
  • Science tells the story of humanity’s need to help one another to live our best lives and be our best selves.

For these reasons and others, we are steadfast in our equity and inclusion pursuits, to eradicate human suffering caused by cancer and infectious disease. We leave no one out; we are in this together.

Rosevalentine Bosire working in the Adeyemi Lab.
Rosevalentine Bosire working in the Adeyemi Lab. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch
"Our DEI strategic effort is not about arguments, separation, cancelation or condemnation. Rather, it is a comprehensive examination of our work and an enduring commitment to take unified actions that are corrective or creative toward inclusive excellence in advancing our mission with integrity and compassion."

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

DEI Strategic Plan Refresh

The 2024-2026 Fred Hutch DEI Strategic Plan is the first comprehensive strategic plan focused on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at Fred Hutch that engaged all divisions and areas in its development. This historic strategic plan development process, led by our VPCDIO, included three phases of work:

  • Preparation phase: Review of the fiscal year 2020-2023 plan, institutional commitments and the DEI Core department’s guiding pillars.
  • DEI Strategic Plan Refresh Retreat: In January 2023, we held a retreat that included DEI Steering Council membership and other invited guests to lend insight and development of the new plan and the core strategic actions associated with each priority. The retreat was facilitated by a leader in the DEI field, Paulette Granberry Russell, JD, independent consultant and president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).
  • Review phase: The VPCDIO reviewed and refined the strategic priorities and actions with our DEI Steering Council. Then, all executive leaders were invited to further review the core strategic actions — and to submit their own — to create a comprehensive DEI Strategic Plan for Fred Hutch that is approved and supported by our President and Director, Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD, holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair.

HR and Recruitment Process Updates

The merger in April 2022 and the resulting process of integration requires us to review and align policies and strategic practices across the enterprise. This process includes DEI best (and promising) practices for employee recruitment that were instituted for a portion of the organization pre-integration. Here is an update of our efforts:

  • Integrating the applicant DEI statement process across the organization, including informational sessions to all hiring managers from the legacy organization.
  • Continued our robust diversity sourcing strategy that includes job postings on targeted websites and attending diversity-focused job fairs. Our strategy will be to continue to include new sources and websites as they are created and made available.
  • Added DEI-related questions to the exit survey and began providing DEI exit survey data on a quarterly basis to DEI Core in fiscal year 2023.
  • In partnership with the DEI Core, embedded DEI content into the new employee orientation program that will be launched in fiscal year 2024.

Inclusive Excellence in Recruitment and Retention Update

After developing our Inclusive Excellence in Recruitment and Retention (IXRR) Plan in 2022, we launched the IXRR Task Force, a small group of staff members whose work focuses on making various elements of the plan operational in 2023.


  • Our plan is published center-wide to support internal engagement.
  • Some aspects of the plan are already under way and documented, such as:
    • We completed an audit of our onboarding program and developed a new onboarding program to be launched in fiscal year 2024.
    • We have had 100 percent participation in the non-faculty performance appraisal process.
    • We developed achievement goals for all new managers to engage our comprehensive DEI education program within their first 90 days.


  • Early in our work, we recognized challenges in our ability to collect and analyze some relevant data related to candidate attraction. Our multi-year approach with DEI initiatives allows us to pivot as needed to maintain momentum.


  • Pursue additional data collection and aggregate reporting of job applicants moving through the recruitment process.

Academic Policies Review


  • Implementation of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and completion of DEI-focused language review in academic policies gives appointment and promotions reviewers a holistic view on scholarly output, champions community-based research and team science, and looks at other indicators of merit such as clinical trials and mentorship roles.


  • Seek out additional awards, prizes and memberships for underrepresented populations and early career scientists.
  • Assure faculty policies and processes are compatible with the recent restructuring, including new divisions.
  • Support recruitment and retention efforts to build and maintain a world-class and diverse faculty.

Clinical Research Division Advances Inclusive Excellence


  • Successful recruitment of three of nine (33 percent) fellows who have been underrepresented in medicine (URiM) and three of nine (33 percent) who identify as LGBTQIA+ starting July 2023.
  • Enhanced the process for recruiting diverse faculty.
  • Current active research is under way on DEI topics such as: race/ethnicity and income and transplant outcomes, disparities in access to novel hormonal therapy for prostate cancer and race/ethnicity’s influence on colon cancer diagnoses and follow up.


  • Sustain inclusive recruitment of URiM Fellows.
  • Encourage equitable hiring practices by removing the requirement for a college degree from administrative positions.
  • Support DEI in all levels of medical training.
  • Encourage DEI research topics.
Hematology/Oncology Recruitment Underrepresented Minority (URM) Metrics
Hematology/Oncology Recruitment Underrepresented Minority (URM) Metrics
Recruitment of Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) and LGBTQIA+ Fellows
Recruitment of Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) and LGBTQIA+ Fellows

Employee Resource Groups, Affinity Groups and Affiliated Programs

Our affiliated groups and programs continue to foster safe and brave spaces for connection and community. They are valuable and important contributors to employee engagement and supporting a sense of belonging.


  • This year, we established a new framework that continues to support the open invitation for Employee Resource Group (ERG) membership, while providing and protecting safe spaces for employees with shared affinities. Affinity groups were organized by the BIPOC Caucus and we developed funding support in accordance with the new structure.


  • The process of clarifying group purposes and parameters for volunteers to engage with institutional DEI efforts can present difficult conversations. However, these dialogues are critical to pursuing change and sustaining relationships. It is important to be mindful and responsive to the employment context, since this framework informs how groups and volunteers are expected to operate.


  • We will explore ways to expand group memberships and enhance the connection and community development capacity of these groups with greater attention.

The Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus (the Caucus) is an initiative of the DEI Core department that centers the voices and experiences of people of color at Fred Hutch as members of the global majority. The Caucus prioritizes joy and wellness as a part of the ongoing work within and outside Fred Hutch and to thrive within and dismantle systems of oppression and domination. All BIPOC folx (faculty, clinicians, staff and administrators) are welcome to attend monthly gatherings and participate in other offerings for the BIPOC community. Racial/ethnic affinity groups are chartered under the BIPOC Caucus program.

CERE is committed to serving the Fred Hutch community by giving a voice to racial and ethnic minorities, promoting employee engagement through diversity and inclusion educational initiatives, and celebrating successes through inclusive representation in internal and external communications.

FHREE’s goal is to support the mission of Fred Hutch by ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff, promote education and awareness. Its purpose is to create a community of support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and employees with associated identities or relationships. FHREE aims to create a space where employees feel safe and included in their work environment at Fred Hutch and to increase the cultural competency of straight and cisgender employees. This will strengthen our ability to serve diverse communities and accomplish our scientific goals.

Hutch United plays a key role in fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment for scientists and scientific support staff at all levels and positions. This voluntary and employee/trainee-led group serves to add value to the organization and strengthen retention. Hutch United has distinct goals tied to the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion and the mentorship and career development of its members. The group’s core values, principles and practices advance the Fred Hutch mission of eliminating cancer and related diseases.

Employee Data

Our workforce reflects an increasingly diverse organization of talented scientists, clinicians and professionals who are committed to the mission and values of Fred Hutch. In our work toward inclusive excellence, we are beginning to see the results of DEI best practices followed by committed leaders and departments across the center reflected in our workforce. 

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. These data, along with other information from Human Resources on different job categories, were used to assemble this report. Over 95 percent of our employees voluntarily provided these data that inform our annual report. While these data are quite complete, a clear limitation is our inability to assess our workforce along other dimensions relevant to DEI. These include sexual orientation, gender identity beyond male/female categories, education, language, nationality, socioeconomic status and immigration. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Core department is preparing to collect these types of data in the future, but none are yet available to report.

Note: Because the majority of graduate students at Fred Hutch are employed by the University of Washington, this report does not include demographic information about this population.

Gender: The current Gender categories are "Female," "Male" and "Other.”

Race/ethnicity: Available racial/ethnic data 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 who have indicated that they identify with at least one of the following categories: “American Indian,” “Asian,” “Black,” “Hispanic,” “Pacific Islander” and/or “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” or “Pacific Islander.” We recognize that there is some amount of undercounting present since we could not identify and include individuals who identify with “Two or more” racial/ethnic groups when one of those groups is URM group.

Some individuals with known identifiers in multiple categories are counted in each.

Time trends in employee demographics by gender and race/ethnicity (2020-2023)

Time trends in employee demographics by gender and race/ethnicity (2020-2023)

Gender and racial/ethnic composition of different sectors of the Fred Hutch workforce in FY23

Gender and racial/ethnic composition of different sectors of the Fred Hutch workforce in FY23
  • Over the past year, our executive leadership team has grown with some notable diversity-expansive appointments. These are celebrated actions that enhance our executive leadership and hold promise for mission. However, BIPOC and URM representation remain extremely low.
  • Our overall workforce has grown by about 450 employees, and we have maintained essentially the same proportion of female employees (70%) and BIPOC individuals with marginal change (38% to 39%) from 2022. 
  • Note: The Fred Hutch workforce is largely white and female. Although not clearly represented in the above charts, BIPOC women represent 28% of all female employees—up from 24% three years ago.
  • URM representation among people managers, faculty, and clinicians reflect marginal increases. BIPOC and female promotions are demonstrated in the faculty tenure process. Increases in female and BIPOC representation among principal and senior staff scientists are most notable.
  • We have maintained our relatively high BIPOC proportion of postdoc employees at 45%, although we have not regained our pre-2021 level.
  • Overall, we are trending in a diversity-expansive way and remain most challenged to increase our URM population at all levels and in all areas of the center. 

Demographics of applicants to all open positions, new hires and employees who left (voluntarily and involuntarily)

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

Percentage of total FY23 new hires by job category

Percentage of total FY23 new hires by job category
  • The proportion of BIPOC applicants to our open positions demonstrates our efforts yielding greater, richer diversity in our pools.
  • Our post-doc hires were predominantly BIPOC- specifically Asian.
  • There has been a small percentage increase in overall BIPOC, URM, and female new hires. However, increases in BIPOC and URM new hires at the people manager level are notable.
  • However, there have been little to no new people managers hired among our Native American/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander groups, respectively.
  • The same is true for our post-doc hires which have 12% URM representation.
  • Black and Hispanic/Latino/a/e hires reflect marginal increases to those populations in the workforce.

FY23 Attrition by job category

Attrition by job category
  • Compared to FY22, the proportion of BIPOC, URM and female attrition has risen. This is most dramatic among BIPOC people managers (from 15% FY22 to 29% FY23), mostly reflecting the Asian population.
  • Overall, there is a greater number and proportion of BIPOC hires than there are losses to our workforce.

Innovative Leadership Extends Our Reach and Impact

Dr. Andrasik Demonstrates Groundbreaking Leadership

Michele Andrasik, PhD
Michele Andrasik, PhD Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

In addition to receiving this year’s prestigious Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Award for Scientific Leadership, Michele Andrasik, PhD, was recently awarded a groundbreaking National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant (R01) for a multilevel communication campaign to increase HIV vaccine trial enrollment. The awarded project focuses on increasing participation of diverse populations in early phase HIV vaccine clinical trials in the United States. 

Dr. Andrasik is a senior staff scientist and clinical health psychologist who is director of social and behavioral sciences and community engagement at the Fred Hutch-based HIV Vaccine Trials Network, or HVTN. For more than a decade, Dr. Andrasik has been working in Seattle on ways to increase opportunities for underrepresented minorities at risk for HIV to participate in clinical trials of vaccines and drugs to prevent it.

Every HVTN site has a community advisory board to ensure that local voices are included at every step of the clinical trial, from design to recruitment to implementation. Some community advisory board members have participated with HVTN sites for years or decades.

HVTN is one of four research networks funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), three of which focus primarily on HIV. These networks were called on to recruit participants and run clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines, and together they formed the new COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN). The same community-specific communication, engagement and recruitment strategies were also put into place during clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cancer Center DEI Network

Drs. Wendy Law and Christopher Li are founding leaders of the Cancer Center DEI Network, which now has representation from all comprehensive cancer centers across the nation. Monthly meetings provide mutual support on DEI initiatives mandated by the National Institute of Health and sharing of effective strategies. The network is a significant development in DEI work in cancer centers nationally.

EDGE: Employee DEI Growth & Commitment Across the Enterprise

EDGE invites managers and direct reports interested in guided approaches for writing, discussing and engaging their individual DEI commitment statement. This employee-driven document outlines contributions, experiences and learning opportunities relevant to Fred Hutch’s commitment to being an equitable, inclusive and anti-racist organization. This multi-year pilot will inform the organization’s next steps in implementing DEI accountability and alignment with the employee performance evaluation process.


The pilot has reached the end of the first year. Current participants have learned how to understand, construct and deliver their diversity, equity and inclusion personal commitment statements with attainable goals. There were 33 members who successfully completed year one and 30 who will be continuing to year two.


Developing a useful framework for individual DEI Commitment Statements is a disruption to ways this practice has been socialized at some other institutions to focus on personal traumas, rather than aspirations and actions.


In the second year of the pilot, the DEI Core has developed enhanced peer support through small groups and mentoring pairs.

The DEI Core's New Advisory Model

The DEI Core department is equipped with DEI practitioners who champion DEI goals, facilitate and coach effective practices across the organization. However, we believe in a collaborative strategy that is informed broadly by partners across the organization and by colleagues who offer advice on a regular basis. This year, we launched a new advisory structure to meet strategic needs.

The DEI Steering Council is comprised of three subgroups:

  • Executive Circle – provides regular counsel to the VPCDIO on strategic and sensitive matters
  • DEI General Advisory Committee – advises on programming strategy and making DEI efforts operational
  • Inclusive Excellence in Recruitment and Retention (IXRR) Task Force – advises the DEI Core and helps to apply the IXRR Plan


  • Successfully launched a new advising framework with active participation from its membership.


  • The importance of this committee to Fred Hutch and having a clear structure with expectations and timely topics has energized council members and provided very useful advice for the DEI Core department. Advising structures must serve the entity that chartered them, and we learned together that it’s ok to shift and change meeting cadence or approaches to suit your needs.


  • We have focused our first year on strategic planning and informing the council about our activities and the principles of our work. In the year ahead, we will welcome further advice about our early plans and ideation processes while preparing them to serve as ambassadors in their own areas of work.
    • Government and Community Relations Engagement with community
    • Office of Community Outreach & Engagement efforts and Spokane office opening
    • Cancer Center DEI Network 100% participation
    • National Cancer Center Network DEI Council
    • Expanding the diversity of our Leaders

Our Integrity is Our Bond with Our Patients and Each Other

Recognizing Staff Who Demonstrate Integrity and Excellence in Patient Care

The burden on health care systems across the nation has been acutely felt in the COVID-19 era. Staff and clinicians who support the overall experience for patients demonstrate a genuine commitment to excellence in their everyday work; our patients are the most important part. We show up to make sure patients and their caregivers and loved ones experience the highest quality compassionate care at Fred Hutch. If we don’t get it right the first time, we stand ready to make it right, right away. This culture of integrity is the circulatory system of our clinics, felt in our care neighborhoods, and among our teams. Below are a few of our outstanding nurses who have been recognized for their generosity of spirit, rooted in our values and mission.

The Overlake Medical Center nursing staff has demonstrated integrity, compassion and collaboration in their work. They recently were recognized for their outstanding dedication, compassion and excellence in patient care. They consistently go above and beyond in their roles to make sure patients receive the highest quality of care and feel supported throughout their experience. They are attentive to patients' needs, responsive to their concerns and provide education and guidance to patients and their families. Their commitment to teamwork, collaboration and communication ensures that patients receive seamless care, and their positive attitude and warm demeanor make patients feel comfortable and cared for. This team is a shining example of what it means to be a health care professional, and they truly deserve recognition for their exceptional work. 

Overlake Nursing Team
From left: Stephanie Baumann, Lauren Frazier, Patrick Murphy, Chanelle Asasy, Jenna Jarmon and Lisa Morris
Overlake Nursing Team
From left: Heather Hambleton and Kristin Wersom

Holding Ourselves Responsible: Bias Mitigation Education

Overall Bias Mitigation Completion Across Fred Hutch
Overall Bias Mitigation Completion Across Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch has committed to continuous DEI education to build our capacity in pursuing equity and equip us to co-create inclusive spaces where each of us feels a seamless sense of belonging and the ability to thrive. The Bias Mitigation Education (BME) course, the first step in our comprehensive educational initiative, is completed in three steps: an online pre-work assignment, attending a live module, completing the post-work online.


  • A year ago, 1,635 employees completed the first two steps in the BME course. Over the last year, an additional 1,834 employees have completed the course in its entirety, for a total of 3,459 course completions - representing almost 60 percent of our workforce.


  • Even with a clear commitment and policy in place, it still takes time for an organization with approximately 6,000 employees to embrace proactive behaviors that support our commitments. Persistence and regular communication are key elements of our campaign to lay the foundation for our educational initiative.


  • As we continue to roll out our required comprehensive educational initiative, we will be considering:
    • Supplier Diversity
    • Data Infrastructure development (from the Chief Data Officer, and also a DEI Core approach)
Bias Mitigation Education Status by Division: All Employees
Bias Mitigation Education Status by Division: All Employees

Showing Respect Through Inclusion and Affirmation

LGBTQIA+ in Cancer

Pride flag
The flag is raised during the PRIDE Mini Parade & PACD LGBTQIA+ Art unveiling. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch

From delayed diagnoses to missing choices on medical forms to simply not being seen, heard, acknowledged or offered much-needed preventive screening — having cancer while queer can be frustrating, heartbreaking and at times, much harder than necessary. (The word “queer” has become a sort of umbrella term for non-heterosexual individuals and identities including lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer/questioning, Two-Spirit, intersex, asexual and more.)

Fred Hutch researchers have been focused on ways to improve cancer care for LGBTQIA+ people that acknowledges their personal histories and experiences, with the goal of providing inclusive, affirming care.

“People have been turned away from care, made to feel not welcome and been discriminated against — either overtly or through microaggressions,” said Matty Triplette, MD, MPH, a health services researcher and physician who serves as medical director of the Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Clinic at Fred Hutch.

LGBTQIA+ people with cancer aren’t just facing discrimination, distress and delays, however. Other research shows they may also face higher risk of cancer recurrence. And substances like tobacco and alcohol, often marketed directly to communities, have also impacted people’s health and well-being.

As director of Fred Hutch’s Tobacco-Related Health Disparities Research Group, public health scientist Jaimee Heffner, PhD, has been working with LGBTQIA+ adults for several years, coming up with interventions to help people quit using tobacco.

Discovering what’s at the heart of these health disparities and poor outcomes is crucial, especially as the population ages and the number of cancer patients — of all stripes — continues to rise. This is where the collection of self-reported sexual orientation and gender identity information becomes a necessary component.

The two researchers recently launched a pilot study to create a standardized process of collecting SOGI data and pronouns for all patients in order to better serve this community through the entire cancer continuum. The study is in partnership with the National Cancer Institute, or NCI; the National LGBT Cancer Network and Fred Hutch’s Health Equity Program.

“There are minimal things that can make a huge difference to how people feel about navigating a space,” said Triplette. “When a staff person shares their pronouns first, that can make it more comfortable. Many LGBTQIA+ people will walk into a medical space and expect the worst — that they’ll be discriminated against, that they’ll have to explain themselves and face resistance. These are real experiences people have had, and they may avoid care to not have them again.”

Tailored care is especially important for LGBTQIA+ patients with breast or prostate cancer who may need to suppress hormones as part of their treatment, or where surgical decisions may be impacted by gender identity.

Patients with cancer mainly just want to feel seen and accepted, the researchers said.

Matty Triplette, MD, MPH

"That was the thing that meant the most to the patients we talked to. They want to feel that they’re going to a clinic or provider that affirms their identity."

Matty Triplette, MD, MPH

Gender Inclusive and Accessible Spaces Initiative (GIAS)

The GIAS goal is to ensure that all spaces on campus are accessible physically and socially for all members of the Fred Hutch community.


  • Expanded scope of the initiative to include clinical and rented buildings in South Lake Union.
  • Centralized information on our internal website.
  • Temporarily redesignated three restrooms as multi-stall, all-gender restrooms in the buildings Arnold, Thomas and Yale.
  • Updated signage for “Lactation Rooms” and “All-Gender” Restrooms.
  • Established two personal care rooms in the Arnold and Steam Plant buildings.
  • Provided menstruation products in restrooms on-campus (All-Gender and Women’s Restrooms; some Men’s Restrooms).
  • Approved to install two additional automatic door openers for the Thomas building.


  • Employee interest in our progress outpaces our capital investment capacity. We must engage in multiple modes of communication and focus on our progress to sustain our efforts until all projects are complete.


  • We will expand the permanently designated All-Gender restrooms in our older campus buildings through renovation work in the years ahead. Additionally, we are coming up with strategies for inclusive locker rooms and showers.
  • We can continue to improve information accessibility by creating consistency with campus signage, continuing to develop internal webpages, improving wayfinding for visitors, and by creating an online reservation system for the lactation room.

Our Path Forward

We continue to challenge ourselves to create and sustain a seamless culture of inclusion that enables innovation and excellence in all of our work. We are moving forward, from the diverse composition of our workforce, our patients and clinical trial participants, to the inclusive engagement of our leadership and individual contributors to build our DEI capacity, and providing access to the highest quality of care for everyone. Our work must continue to engage community members as whole partners and to center healing, rather than harm. Our DEI strategy will remain coherent, cohesive, collaborative, and consistent. We are determined to activate practices that are promising, data informed, human centered, transformative, and rooted in our values.

Related News

All news
3rd Annual DEI Summit looks to the future Stakeholders across Fred Hutch and external partners meet to celebrate progress, inspire future work June 14, 2023
Me Loving You: Themes of healing and moving forward Public Art and Community Dialogue Program unveils fourth installation featuring work by Ariadne Campanella June 5, 2023
Art that weaves a community together Inspired by dialogue, work by artist Saiyare Refaei recognizes diversity at Fred Hutch January 23, 2023
Merkel cell carcinoma researcher Dr. Nick Salisbury named Brave Fellow Rare skin cancer is focus of work by Fred Hutch scientist who will receive support honoring runner Gabe Grunewald October 6, 2022

Questions? Contact diversity@fredhutch.org

Written by: Dr. Paul Buckley, John Kubalak, Jenny Rose Ryan and Diane Mapes. Designed by: Stephanie Liszewski and Milly Jeffries

Take a Look Back at Our 2022 Annual Report