Advancing Women and Minorities in STEM

"Advancing Women in Oceanography. How NSF’s ADVANCE Program Promotes Gender Equity in Academia." Mary Ann Holmes. 2014. Oceanography.

Article discusses academic institutional barriers such as lack of networks, mentors and advocates for women STEM faculty. Solutions include implicit bias education, development workshops and addressing the stop-tenure-clock and dual careers policies. Focus is centered on transforming the institution.

http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/27-4_supp_holmes.pdf

 

"We Don’t Need More STEM Majors. We Need More STEM Majors with Liberal Arts Training." Loretta Jackson-Hayes. February 18, 2015. The Washington Post.

Jackson-Hayes argues that the artificial line between science and liberal arts/humanities disadvantages STEM students. Calling for a balanced integration of courses in science and humanities will produce the highest quality student creating a better STEM discipline. http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/02/18/we-dont-need-more-stem-majors-we-need-more-stem-majors-with-liberal-arts-training/

 

"Breaking Barriers and Creating Inclusiveness: Lessons of Organizational Transformation to Advance Women Faculty in Academic Science and Engineering." Diana Bilimoria, Simy Joy, and Xiangfen Liang. 2008. Wiley Interscience.

To increase the participation and representation of women and other minorities in organizations, workplaces need to become more inclusive. For this change to be sustainable and successful, organizations must systematically break down barriers constraining women’s participation and success. This study looks at 19 universities that have participated in the NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program. It describes facilitating factors, program initiatives, institutionalization, and outcomes of transformation. It also suggests a transformation model that all organizations can use to create an inclusive and productive workplace for a diverse workforce.

http://www.case.edu/provost/ideal/doc/Bilimoria_Breaking_Barriers.pdf

 

"What Makes Women Stay?" Society of Women Engineers, Winter 2015.

Studies show that women are more likely to complete PhD’s in STEM when they are enrolled in departments that have relatively higher proportions of female faculty. This article explores ways in which women with PhD’s in engineering and industry experience can play leadership roles in the academy. It also talks about the importance of attracting women of color into STEM leadership roles.

 

"Women in Academic Science: A Changing Landscape." Stephen J. Ceci, Donna K. Ginther, Shulamit Kahn, and Wendy M. Williams. 2014. Association for Psychological Science.

This article claims that gender discrimination is no longer a relevant cause as to why there are not as many women in STEM fields as other fields. It claims that pre-college factors relating to mathematical learning experiences are the root causes of a lack of women in STEM fields, particularly the more mathematically intensive fields. 

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/women-in-academic-science.html

 

"Why Just Filling the Pipeline Won’t Diversify STEM Fields." Audrey Williams June. February 23, 2015. Chronicle of Higher Education.

A recent study of 1500 biomedical PhDs strongly suggests that women and underrepresented minorities show disproportionately low interest in pursuing a career in academia at a research university after completion. This upsets the theory that just getting a more diverse spread of people into the pipeline itself will increase diversity in STEM fields overall. This study suggests that other structural elements that decrease the support for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields in academia need to be more thoroughly explored.

http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Just-Filling-the-Pipeline/190253/

 

"Career Stage Differences in Pre-Tenure Track Faculty Perceptions of Professional and Personal Relationships with Colleagues." Luis Ponjuan, Valerie Martin Conley, Cathy Trower. The Journal of Higher Education. May/June 2011.

This article examines the relationship between pre-tenure faculty members in different career stages during their tenure process and their perceptions of professional and personal relationships with senior colleagues and peers. Due to the employment shifts in faculty demographics (i.e., gender, race), particular attention is paid to the perceptions of female faculty and faculty of color.

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_higher_education/v082/82.3.ponjuan.html

 

"Disciplines That Expect ‘Brilliance’ Tend to Punish Women, Study Finds." Madeline Will. January 15, 2015. Chronicle of Higher Education.

New research has found that women tend to be underrepresented in disciplines whose practitioners think innate talent or "brilliance" is required to succeed. According to the findings, that’s true across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM fields; humanities; and the social sciences. The study’s authors suggested several reasons women could be underrepresented in fields that value raw talent. There could be bias, often unconscious, among the discipline’s practitioners. Women might also self-select out of those fields, either because they have internalized the stereotype that they are not as innately talented as men or because they anticipate a difficult work atmosphere in which they constantly must prove their worth.

http://chronicle.com/article/Disciplines-That-Expect/151217/

See also: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6219/262

 

"How To Attract Female Engineers." Lina Nilsson. April 27, 2015. New York Times Op Ed.

This opinion piece talks about making engineering work more societally meaningful as a way to attract more women into the field. The author’s reasoning is based on her experience in reaching 50 percent female enrollment without even aiming to do so purposefully. The program was one of the Blum Center for Developing Economies new programs. She argues that women seem to be drawn to engineering projects that attempt to achieve societal good.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/opinion/how-to-attract-female-engineers.html

 

"The Not Quite Stated, Awful Truth." Beryl Lieff Benderley. Science Magazine. January 8, 2015.

This article talks about the problems with post-doc appointments in science. It argues that for all but a small percentage of aspiring researchers, doing a postdoc at a university is a lousy idea because it will never result in an academic job, nor will it advance one’s career. This article also talks about how there is a mismatch between the number of post doc positions and actual career positions requiring that kind of research experience.

http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2015_01_08/caredit.a1500008

 

"Tech Diversity Bingo."  Cate Huston & Karen Catlin. 2014. MaleAllies.com.

Created by two technical women with different perspectives on a critical event in the history of gender diversity in tech. Now they’re working together to pave the way to a better world with examples of what men can do to improve the industry by playing bingo. http://www.maleallies.com/?p=64

  

"Meeting the Challenges of an Increasingly Diverse Workforce: Women in Astronomy and Space Science." Anne L. Kinney, Diana Khachadourian, Pamela S. Millar & Colleen N. Hartman. October 21-23, 2009. Conference, University of Maryland University College.

This is a comprehensive 361-page document that covers the proceedings of a three-day conference on the topic of women and diversity in space sciences. Document includes, but is not limited to: Mentoring & the Imposter Syndrome in Astronomy Graduates, Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in Careers of SEM Faculty, Addressing Unconscious Bias, Managing & Supporting Career Breaks in the Sciences, Parenthood: The Elephant in the Laboratory, Unearned Advantage and Disadvantage as Work Impediments, What it Takes to Become a Principal Investigator, Writing Research Proposals for NASA, and NSF Proposals: How Not to Get Funded. Further topics of conversation include Programs for Success, Gender Imbalance, Diversity and LGBT Issues, and Career Choices & Work Life Balance.

http://wia2009.gsfc.nasa.gov/WIA2009_proceedings.pdf

 

"Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing."  Christianne Corbet & Catherine Hill.  March 2015. AAUW.

Paper asks why there are still so few women in the critical fields of engineering and computing and explains what we can do to make these fields open to and desirable for all employees. Chapter topics: Women in Engineering, Why So Few? Gender Bias and Evaluations, Gender Bias and Self Concepts, Stereotype Threat in the Workplace, Making the World a Better Place, College Environment and Curriculum, Persistence and Sense of Fit, A Workplace for Everyone, and What Can We Do?

http://www.aauw.org/research/solving-the-equation/

 

"New Report Says Cluster Hiring Can Lead to Increased Faculty Diversity." Coleen Flaherty. May 1, 2015. Inside Higher Ed.

Article discusses report on cluster hiring practices as a way to advance faculty diversity or other aspects of the college or university mission, such as teaching or community engagement and concludes that when done right is a powerful way to build both institutional excellence and faculty diversity. Report analyzes impact on diversity and climate, negative effects and shifting the culture around cluster hiring practices.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/05/01/new-report-says-cluster-hiring-can-lead-increased-faculty-diversity

 

Science Careers: Now offering advice for privileged men from 30 years ago

Tenure, She Wrote Blog, July 13, 2015

https://tenureshewrote.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/science-careers-now-offering-advice-for-privileged-men-from-30-years-ago/

This blog is about Science publishing an essay under the heading “Working Life.” The essay is a first-person account of one path to success in a research career. Problematically, the path that Science chose to feature is one that it is inaccessible to most people today – as I’ll discuss below. When Science showcases such paths, they demonstrate that they are either out of touch with or don’t care about the reality of the majority of young scientists who are not white, het-, cis-, able-bodied and slavishly devoted to their work. I’m sure that some people will argue that this first-person essay is not Science saying that this is the way to succeed in a career, it’s simply one author’s advice. But Science gave it the page space and ink, rather than choosing to print a more inclusive (and probably more useful) career section.

 

Men Think They Are Math Experts, Therefore They Are

Released by Springer

Science Newsline, June 24, 2015

http://www.sciencenewsline.com/news/2015062401230053.html

Just because more men pursue careers in science and engineering does not mean they are actually better at math than women are. The difference is that men think they are much better at math than they really are. Women, on the other hand, tend to accurately estimate their arithmetic prowess, says Shane Bench of Washington State University in the U.S., leader of a study in Springer's journal Sex Roles.

 

Men (on the Internet) Don’t Believe Sexism is a Problem in Science, Even When They See Evidence

By: Rachel Feltman

The Washington Post, January 8, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/01/08/men-on-the-internet-dont-believe-sexism-is-a-problem-in-science-even-when-they-see-evidence/

 To see how different genders reacted to evidence of bias in science (on the Internet, anyway), researchers looked at the comment threads of three articles about studies on the issue, and quantified the responses.

 

Meet 12 Badass Scientists…Who Also Happen to be Women

By: Karen Eng

Medium, October 8, 2015

https://medium.com/ted-fellows/meet-12-badass-scientists-who-also-happen-to-be-women-ace8d797bcad#.jhzo5qicq

This article talks about 12 exceptional scientists who are also women. They gathered at the TEDFellows retreat in Pacific Grove, CA in August 2015. Each scientist is highlighted in the article. 

 

Now Hiring! Empirically Testing a Three-Step Intervention to Increase Faculty Gender Diversity in STEM

By: Jessi L. Smith, Ian M. Handley, Alexander V. Zale, Sara Rushing and Martha A. Potvin

BioScience, October 10, 2015

DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biv138

Abstract: Workforce homogeneity limits creativity, discovery, and job satisfaction; nonetheless, the vast majority of university faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are men. We conducted a randomized and controlled three-step faculty search intervention based in self-determination theory aimed at increasing the number of women faculty in STEM at one US university where increasing diversity had historically proved elusive. Results show that the numbers of women candidates considered for and offered tenure-track positions were significantly higher in the intervention groups compared with those in controls. Searches in the intervention were 6.3 times more likely to make an offer to a woman candidate, and women who were made an offer were 5.8 times more likely to accept the offer from an intervention search. Although the focus was on increasing women faculty within STEM, the intervention can be adapted to other scientific and academic communities to advance diversity along any dimension.

 

Hundreds of Scientists Ask Science to Stop Publishing a Smorgasbord of Stereotypes

By: Rachel Feltman

The Washington Post, July 17, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/07/17/hundreds-of-scientists-ask-science-to-stop-publishing-a-smorgasbord-of-stereotypes/?wprss=rss_national

More than 300 scientists and counting have signed an open letter to the journal Science, according to scientific publishing watchdog Retraction Watch. The letter, which has been circulated among scientists on social media sites such as Facebook, takes the prestigious journal to task for promoting harmful stereotypes against women and other marginalized groups. The problem, these scientists say, is that the industry remains an unwelcoming place for minorities.

 

Gender Bias against Women of Color in Science: An Interview with Professor Joan Williams

 By: Lisa Levey

Work and Family Researchers Network, May 2015

https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/content/news/gender-bias-against-women-color-science-interview-lisa-levey-professor-joan-williams%20

Abstract: Over several decades, social scientists have identified clear patterns of gender bias that women encounter at work. Yet little is understood about the nuances of how these patterns manifest for women of color.   The Spring 2015 WFRN Research Spolight features an interview by Lisa Levey with Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings, on her research exploring how gender plays out in the everyday interactions of women scientists and how they differ by race and ethnicity. Professor Williams partnered with colleagues Katherine Phillips at the Columbia Business School and Erika Hall at Emory University (formerly a graduate student at Northwestern) to conduct 60 in-depth interviews with women of color scientists. In addition, they surveyed more than 500 women to quantify the experiences of White, Black, Asian-American and Latina women in STEM.

 

Barriers to Career Success for Minority Researchers in the Behavioral Sciences

By: Rebecca R. Kameny, Melissa E. DeRosier, Lorraine C. Taylor, Janey Sturtz McMillen, Meagan M. Knowles, and Kimberly Pifer

Journal of Career Development, February 2014

DOI: 10.1177/0894845312472254

Abstract: The United States falls short in the diversity of its scientific workforce. While the underrepresentation of minority researchers in the behavioral sciences has been a concern for several decades, policy and training initiatives have been only marginally successful in increasing their number. Diversity plays a critical role in our nation’s capacity for research and innovation, yet current approaches prove inadequate. The current study used a qualitative approach to investigate the institutional, cultural, skills, and personal career barriers faced by minority researchers in the behavioral sciences. Data were collected from a select group of minority researchers (defined for this study as women and/or people of color) who attended a 3-and-one-half-day intensive workshop developed specifically to address career barriers. Seventy-two percent (n = 43) encountered workplace barriers relating to race/ethnicity; 26% reported barriers related to gender. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

 

#Ilooklikeanengineer Wants to Challenge Your Ideas about Who Can Work in Tech

By: Susan Svrluga

Washington Post, August 4, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/08/04/what-one-engineer-did-when-she-got-tired-of-sexism-at-work-like-having-dollar-bills-thrown-at-her/

This article calls attention to the #ilooklikeanengineer hashtag started by a female platform engineer from San Francisco after her company used her image in an advertisement. A lot of negative comments began circulating about how she did not “look” like an engineer. She created the hashtag and hundreds of other women (and some men) joined in to share what real life engineers look like.