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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Modern scientific research depends on diverse collaboration for success. This interdisciplinary, global exchange of knowledge must be broadly inclusive, seeking contributions from all sources, based solely on excellence. The Optical Society is, by its nature, diverse. We are committed to it also being inclusive, and we strive to provide an atmosphere in which all people feel valued and respected and have access to the same opportunities. We are a professional community in service to the greater human community.

In support of this commitment, OSA hosts a growing and impactful suite of programing focused in improving diversity and inclusion in optics and photonics.

OSA Board Directives and Initiatives

The OSA Board of Directors convened two committees with the specific charge of 1) improving gender equity within OSA and 2) examining OSA’s code-of-conduct and anti-harassment policy and recommending communication strategies, resources and reporting/enforcement procedures. 

Women in Optics and Photonics

Diversity and Inclusion Recognition

Acknowledges the outstanding dedication and accomplishments of OSA members, companies or organizations that demonstrate efforts to foster greater appreciation, advancement and celebration of diversity and inclusivity.

Training Programs at OSA Meetings

OSA and the OSA Foundation host a variety of training and development programs at our meetings with topics ranging from successful mentoring, salary negotiations, harassment resistance to unconscious bias.


Professional Conduct at Meetings

  • OSA Anti-harassment Policy and Code-of-Conduct – clearly defined policy with definitions, instructions on incident reporting and statement against retaliation
  • Third Party Incident Reporting Service – systems provides both online and phone reporting options code and policy violations. (Coming soon, in the meantime please send an email to

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

OSA extends our traveling lecture benefit to any HBCU requesting an OSA member visit their campus for technical presentations and/or professional development. Over 600 OSA members are a part of this program. To request additional information email

Manny, Nanny, Granny Grants

Provides up to $400 per year to support family care for members traveling to OSA meetings.

Dedicated Staff Resources

The OSA Board recognized the need for dedicated staff resources to support these efforts by approving the position of Senior Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Volunteer Cultivation.  This position is responsible ensuring the continuous cultivation of a diverse and dynamic pool of volunteers and members by i) researching, recruiting and building relationships with the volunteer community; and ii) management of volunteer events/activities. The senior director manages and oversees OSA’s organization-wide D&I vision and strategy, partnering with OSA’s executive team, volunteer committees and the Board to drive organization-wide D&I initiatives inclusive of policies, programs, and processes. This role is a critical liaison between OSA’s business units, its membership and the broader optics and photonics community.

In January 2019, Marcia Lesky was promoted to the position of Senior Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Volunteer Cultivation.  Marcia previously held the position of Director of Business Development, Science Programming.

Member Stories - Diversity & Inclusion