By: Nora Dagher
It is common knowledge that women are underrepresented in the STEM world. More poignantly, women of color are almost nonexistent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and medicine. According to a new study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women of color –particularly Black women—are being left behind in increasingly important areas as global society ushers in a tech-based future.
In 2008, President Obama announced his administration's goal of making the U.S. a world leader in STEM fields. It is clear that Obama's initiatives still have not made an impact, as the institute's report “Accelerating Change for Women Faculty of Color in STEM: Policy, Action, and Collaboration” will speak to. The report states that women faculty of color including Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and those who identify with more than one race, are playing a minimal role in advancing this agenda and are significantly underrepresented in academic STEM-related jobs.
The study showed that in 2010 minority women professors constituted 2.1 percent of STEM faculty at four-year colleges and universities in the U.S., though they constituted 13 percent of the U.S. working-age population. White men, on the other hand, held 58 percent of these positions while making up 35 percent of the working age population. White women held 18 percent of STEM positions while making up 36 percent of the working age population and men of color held 18 percent of positions while making up 14 percent of the working age population. 6,400 women of color with STEM doctorates hold assistant, associate or full professorships, compared with 19,800 White women, 20,500 men of color, and 65,100 White men.
The data was the result of a meeting in May of 50 experts who sought to understand and find ways to reverse the trend. Hostile work environments, lack of mentorship, challenges to maintain a work life balance and the failure of many departments to adopt a multicultural perspective remain the major hurdles to women of color in STEM fields.
Hopefully, more research will continue to shed light on the lack of different perspectives in STEM culture and work toward improving the discipline in the future.
WELCOME, UMICH SCIENTISTAS!
SORT BY TAG
The Network for Pre-Professional Women in Science and Engineering
The Scientista Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) -- Donate!