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Private vaporware: Virgin Galactic can’t seem to get its SpaceShipTwo off the ground but, darn it, the company, in partnership with the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS), sure can run a diversity workshop!
While charging each attendee $500 for the privilege! This quote from the link above illustrates where Virgin Galactic appears to be placing its focus:
Virgin Galactic’s Executive Vice President of Spaceport and Program Development, Jonathan Firth, recently spoke to us about the industry’s need to expand behaviours and devise new ways to embrace a more diverse and inclusive workforce. “Presently only 16 per cent of the space industry workforce are female. In order to strengthen our industry and our chances of achieving great things long term we need to change this. We need to refocus on how crucial it is that we, as a company, an industry, a planet, are proactively encouraging a wide ranging of workforce from all walks of life, geographical locations, academia, gender and race. We’re sure that the event will share some incredibly informative and surprising truths about why some teams thrive and others falter,” said Jonathan.
Then there’s this quote from this news report about the workshop:
Lastly, Virgin Galactic and the ISPCS ask the public to consider “What does success look like, without self at the center?”
To me, success for a space tourism company is flying its ships and passengers in space, not spending its time focusing on the race and gender of its employees. So far, it appears that Virgin Galactic does not yet understand this.