engineering, mathematics, and related fields).The conference is an excellent place to start and should be a launch pad for continuing discussion and action.
• Better data collection and reporting – It is critical to be able to assess current conditions related to women of color in STEM as well as to measure progress and evaluate the impact of interventions undertaken to improve their status. Data must inform this work. Disaggregated data are essential if institutions and organizations are to identify baselines and measure progress.
• More funding for research – More funding is needed for research related to minority women in STEM. It will be difficult to make progress in advancing women of color in STEM without better information regarding effective strategies.
• More funding of research – Minority women in STEM need more support for research. Malcom and Malcom, 2011 note that minority women in STEM are more likely to be engaged in instructional as opposed to research activity in higher education institutions. Support for start-up research funding and for time to pursue research is critical. In the recent article in Science magazine related to disparities in RO1 grants (NIH funding) received by African Americans, data were not provided by sex, making it hard to determine the role of gender in contributing to the results seen (Science 19 August 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6045 pp. 1015-1019DOI: 10.1126/science.1196783).
In light of the continuing isolation and absence from many networks that provide informal mentoring and support, there remains the need for mainstreaming issues and concerns related to women of color in STEM even as we target, as needed, to address specific professional development and career-family issues that may be group specific. Guidance is needed for those who develop and implement STEM programs, K-grad, regarding strategies for identifying, recruiting, retaining and supporting women of color as well as for reaching out to and working with parents and communities to support these women’s STEM career aspirations.
Professional societies have much to offer in creating professional development and support programs as well as online resources to benefit the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women of color and women with disabilities in the STEM workforce, and in fostering their recognition within and integration into their discipline and the profession.