Session Description: As ecologists we understand the integral importance of diversity for natural systems, however we tolerate (or don’t even recognize) the lack of diversity in our own institutions. If we want to address the great changes of our time, we must first address the inequalities amongst ourselves. While significant strides have been made to improve cis male-female gender parity in biological sciences, we still have significant gaps in racial, gender, and sexual minority representation. In this session, our goal is to improve understanding of the barriers that 2SLGBTQ+ professionals face in ecology and discuss actions we can take to increase the equity and inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ people in our institutions, which we will do through knowledge sharing and an open forum discussion with a panel of 2SLGBTQ+ ecologists. We will address the current gaps in representation and opportunity, including the specific systemic barriers students and professionals face. Additionally, we will propose/discuss actionable steps institutions can take to bridge these gaps. Diversity is important in our institutions, not only because it is a moral (or politically correct) good, but because minorities bring diverse lived experiences, skills, and perspectives that are unique, especially when it comes to handling hardships, creative problem solving, and succeeding despite the odds.