Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$58.00



View/Hide Left Panel

Chapter 7


Successful Strategies and Resources for Moving Ahead

This chapter summarizes the suggestions of conference presenters and participants on successful strategies and resources for increasing the representation of women of color in academia in order to maximize the talent in STEM disciplines. Opinions and suggested actions are those of the individual participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all conference participants, the planning committee, or the National Research Council.

U.S. scientific and technological competitiveness relies more than ever on capturing the talent distributed throughout the U.S. population; however, a large percentage of the creative, bright, and ambitious individuals needed by the nation’s academic institutions opt—for a variety of reasons—for careers outside of STEM, outside of academia, and outside of both. Likewise, institutions of higher education often fail to support outstanding women of color as they proceed through graduate school and postdocs and into tenure-track positions. Academia’s failure to capture American talent pertains to every demographic, but the failure is most profound for women, people of color, and—most notably—women of color.

Presenters, conference participants, and professional societies’ written testimonials offered up a wealth of promising and proven strategies for capturing the full breadth of American talent—strategies for solving a problem that is structural as well as personal and that must be addressed by members of society together. They articulated the needs visible from their vantage points in academic institutions, research institutes, federal agencies, professional societies, and beyond, and offered their ideas for how institutional structures can evolve to keep pace with the diminishing of bias elsewhere in society. Conference participants spoke of resources available to people in a wide range of positions who have the power to create change, and they cited research done as well as research needed on multiple angles relevant to the challenge of maximizing American talent.

This chapter compiles the various programs, initiatives, and ideas with which conference participants have had success or that they suggested as promising activities that many organizations may find useful as they work to make their institutions more inclusive.

Additional suggestions for action as well as examples of successful strategies can be found in Appendix E-1, where the diverse and rich testimonials from the professional societies and federal agencies are summarized according to topic area. The complete written testimonies submitted from professional societies and federal agencies can be found in Appendix E.

RESEARCH, DATA COLLECTION, AND ANALYSIS

Two contrasting perspectives on the need for more data were expressed often by conference participants:

•   The key data points have been known for quite some time, but the primary need now is to act on what is known.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 42
Chapter 7 Successful Strategies and Resources for Moving Ahead This chapter summarizes the suggestions of conference presenters and participants on successful strategies and resources for increasing the representation of women of color in academia in order to maximize the talent in STEM disciplines. Opinions and suggested actions are those of the individual participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all conference participants, the planning committee, or the National Research Council. U.S. scientific and technological competitiveness relies more than ever on capturing the talent distributed throughout the U.S. population; however, a large percentage of the creative, bright, and ambitious individuals needed by the nation’s academic institutions opt—for a variety of reasons—for careers outside of STEM, outside of academia, and outside of both. Likewise, institutions of higher education often fail to support outstanding women of color as they proceed through graduate school and postdocs and into tenure-track positions. Academia’s failure to capture American talent pertains to every demographic, but the failure is most profound for women, people of color, and—most notably—women of color. Presenters, conference participants, and professional societies’ written testimonials offered up a wealth of promising and proven strategies for capturing the full breadth of American talent—strategies for solving a problem that is structural as well as personal and that must be addressed by members of society together. They articulated the needs visible from their vantage points in academic institutions, research institutes, federal agencies, professional societies, and beyond, and offered their ideas for how institutional structures can evolve to keep pace with the diminishing of bias elsewhere in society. Conference participants spoke of resources available to people in a wide range of positions who have the power to create change, and they cited research done as well as research needed on multiple angles relevant to the challenge of maximizing American talent. This chapter compiles the various programs, initiatives, and ideas with which conference participants have had success or that they suggested as promising activities that many organizations may find useful as they work to make their institutions more inclusive. Additional suggestions for action as well as examples of successful strategies can be found in Appendix E-1, where the diverse and rich testimonials from the professional societies and federal agencies are summarized according to topic area. The complete written testimonies submitted from professional societies and federal agencies can be found in Appendix E. RESEARCH, DATA COLLECTION, AND ANALYSIS Two contrasting perspectives on the need for more data were expressed often by conference participants:  The key data points have been known for quite some time, but the primary need now is to act on what is known. 42

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD  Even though we have good data and should act on them, we nonetheless lack important data points and types of data that are needed to inform and guide future efforts. Regarding the second point, most existing data pertain to individuals, and data on institutional context are much weaker. Running parallel to the individual/institutional problem is that of quantitative versus qualitative data. A good deal of quantitative data are available (although they are not complete), but several participants cited a lack of certain types of qualitative data that would elucidate key information about individuals’ choices and career patterns, and institutions’ climate, practices, and policies. For example, when the data show a drop in the number of women of color between high school graduation and college graduation, and between college graduation and completing a Ph.D., it is not known whether the “missing” individuals began graduate programs and dropped out or whether they did not enroll in the first place. Moreover, qualitative data gathering is necessary to reveal the nuances of individuals’ perceptions, choices, and experiences. The need for longitudinal data, in particular, was highlighted by numerous participants, as was the importance of periodic reassessment of metrics for productivity, advancement, and retention. These nuances could greatly enrich and inform institutions’ and organizations’ efforts to capture and retain top American talent. Some of the data needs identified by conference participants included:  Disaggregated data. Comments from the conference participants and written testimonies submitted by professional societies underscore the need for data disaggregated by race/ethnicity and gender.  Longitudinal data. There is a need for longitudinal data that are tied to multiple factors simultaneously: individuals in the training period (e.g., students, graduate students, and postdocs) as well as academic institutions (e.g., programs and policies; and rates of recruiting, enrolling, and supporting women of color).43  Qualitative data. Several presenters pointed to a need for more qualitative data that add nuance to the quantitative data currently existing or in the process of being gathered.  Better response rates from women of color and people in other potentially disadvantaged groups. In the breakout session “What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us,” the discussion pointed to the difficulties of gathering critical information from members (in the case of professional societies) or study populations (in the case of researchers). Women of color, for example, often may not respond to surveys or may choose not to provide identifying information—rank, race/ethnicity, or department—because they are concerned that they may be identified by doing so and their responses may become public. Trust, therefore, is a key component of obtaining higher response rates from women of color.44  The ability to determine the exact number of faculty working in STEM fields and their corresponding demographic information using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). 45 The commissioned paper from Hurtado underscored the challenge that the Higher Education Research Institute faces in 43 Appendix A-1: Education and Academic Career Outcomes for Women of Color in Science and Engineering. 44 See footnote 5 on the tension between acquiring more specific, actionable information and the need for confidentiality. 45 http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/ 43

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS weighing the responses from faculty in STEM disciplines due to data limitations; therefore, their research is less explicit.46 In addition to the broad discussion on data, attendees of the conference also discussed data needs on specific topics: a) Needed data on faculty, departments and institutions:  Diversity index. A diversity index would contain institutions’ and departments’ track records in training and supporting doctoral students as well as notes on students’ progress as they move forward in their careers. Many participants believed that a diversity index would be valuable to inform the choices of prospective students—particularly women of color—in terms of research programs and careers in STEM.  Collaboration among professional societies to identify successful strategies for engaging and supporting women of color. Emphasized and noted by many professional societies (e.g., Society of Neuroscience, American Society of Civil Engineers) 47, there is a need for research funding for collaborations across disciplines and across professional societies to support the collection of data about what strategies work to engage women of color in professional societies and support them in their career pathways.  Components of successful mentoring programs. There is a great need for data on how, when, and why mentoring works and how, when, and why mentoring fails.  Strategies in context. There is a great need to capture institutional and departmental contexts and climates, quantitatively and—the more acute need—qualitatively. It would be beneficial to put institutions’ successful strategies in context so that institutions and departments can judge which interventions are most likely to be successful in their particular contexts.  Attrition within the faculty ranks. It would be valuable to study attrition to determine faculty’s reasons for leaving academia. b) Needed data on students:  Undergraduate students trained or mentored by women faculty of color at minority- serving institutions. There was an interest in knowing the numbers of women of color in STEM who were mentored and trained by women of color in minority-serving institutions (versus those mentored and trained by non-minority faculty members at non- minority-serving institutions). Ginther noted that in quantitative research it is very difficult to match faculty with their students, with the closest possible option being to match Ph.D. students and their faculty advisers.  Enrollment rates/activity of students. Some participants noted a need to analyze enrollment rates/activity of undergraduate and graduate students (to complement existing data on graduation rates). These data are needed in order to see what choices are being made by women of color at various critical points during their education. 46 Appendix A-2: Women of Color among STEM Faculty: Experiences in Academia. See footnote 5 regarding the important tension between need for individuals’ confidentiality and the need for disaggregated data. 47 The professional societies listed in the parentheses in this chapter are examples of some of the relevant practices that professional societies are engaging in. These examples were gathered from the public discussions following the plenary and breakout sessions as well as the written testimonies submitted by the professional societies. Please see Appendix E for all of the written testimonies. 44

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD  Entrance into and completion of doctoral programs. As noted above, the representation of women of color among college graduates versus recipients of the Ph.D. declines. In contrast, the representation of white women in the two situations rises. There is a need for data that clarify whether women of color are failing to complete Ph.D.’s, are choosing not to complete Ph.D.’s, or are choosing not to enter Ph.D. programs at all and are opting for alternative career pathways. Suggestions offered by members of various professional societies provided a rich variety of calls for action, some aimed at specific types of organizations and some as invitations to all. Several participants with experience in professional societies mentioned having difficulty learning the race or ethnicity of the societies’ members and stressed the need for disaggregated data. Representatives from professional societies also called into question the effectiveness of diversity programs and emphasized the need to evaluate them. Many participants urged improved data collection on women of color along the academic pathway, particularly at career transition stages. Additionally, some participants encouraged junior members of societies to identify their ethnicities in surveys. A participant urged professional societies to collect data on the profession as a whole—data not only on their members but also, and perhaps more importantly, on their nonmembers. Many attendees agreed that data from all members would greatly assist professional societies’ leaders in better recognizing and meeting their memberships’ needs. CAREER PATHWAYS AND TRANSITIONS Two research papers were presented at the conference. The data used for analysis were collected on all stages of the academic career for women of color and on how they compared to other groups.48 The key transition points along the academic pathway identified in the research included:  The stages at which women of color continue along an academic path in science and engineering at a rate similar to that of other groups, including: o Graduating from high school o Receiving tenure at research I institutions  The stages at which women of color continue on an academic path in science and engineering at a rate lower than that of other groups, including: o Entering college and completing college degrees o Completing Ph.D. degrees o Securing tenure-track positions at non-minority-serving institutions (this encompasses the postdoctoral stage) o Receiving tenure at non-minority-serving, non-research I institutions Therefore, according to the two researchers, important points for intervention for women of color and for academic institutions, are:  The period between high school graduation and college graduation. 48 For more complete information about their methods and findings, please refer to the summaries of their presentations in Chapter 1 and the complete papers and references in Appendix A. See also the Higher Education Research Institute’s faculty survey 2013 (http://heri.ucla.edu/facoverview.php). 45

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS  During the college years, since women of color begin college at the same rate as other groups but graduate at a lower rate. (These data pertain to all majors, not just STEM.) Interventions could be designed to prevent attrition of women of color from four-year colleges and assist them in the transition from two-year to four-year colleges. Data on STEM majors specifically show women and men of color graduating at similar rates (women of color: 3.4 percent/men of color: 3.0 percent), and white women and men graduating at similar rates (white women: 6.5 percent/ white men: 6.7 percent); hence, the lower numbers of women of color here may be a function of their rates of entering college to begin with.  Between graduating from college and completing a Ph.D.: o The time between college and a graduate program o During the graduate program  Between completing the Ph.D. and obtaining a tenure-track job: o The decision point after completing the Ph.D. o During a postdoctoral fellowship o The hiring process for tenure-track positions (especially at non-minority-serving non-research-I institutions) The professional isolation in departmental and university-wide climate experienced by women faculty in STEM disciplines is another factor contributing to job dissatisfaction, the research papers find. Women faculty report a lower level of job satisfaction than do men, with professional isolation being a common reason for leaving their departments or institutions. Women of color faculty in STEM disciplines experience even greater professional isolation, as they often lack senior colleagues who are women or women of color who can mentor and guide them. Examples of stressors created in this isolating environment that affect women of color faculty in STEM were raised by the commissioned research papers and echoed by some conference participants (See Table 5). 46

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD Table 5. Percentage of faculty by race responding having experience “somewhat” or an “extensive” amount of stress in the last two years due to the following stressors.49 Top Ten Stressors for URM Female Faculty in STEM URM Women URM Men White Women White Men Lack of personal time 86.4 69.7** 88.5 76.8** Self-imposed high expectations 82.4 79.4 88.0* 79.5 Managing household responsibilities 79.0 66.8* 80.5 68.5** Working with underprepared students 69.9 63.3 74.5 69.6 Institutional budget cuts 66.0 64.2 66.5 64.0 Personal finances 65.8 65.7 59.6 57.9* Research or publishing demands 61.8 61.9 65.0 63.8 Institutional procedures and red tape 61.0 62.6 67.2 68.9* Teaching load 61.0 56.3 68.3* 60.0 Students 58.5 51.7 69.6** 60.1 Note: Significantly different from URM women faculty, *p<.05, **p<.01. Source: Hurtado, S. and T. Figueroa, Women of Color among STEM Faculty: Experiences in Academia. Paper presented at the Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia Conference, June 2012, Washington, D.C. Interventions along the educational and career pathways in STEM disciplines could address the needs of students as well as institutions. The needs of undergraduate students identified by presenters and participants throughout the conference included:  Customized academic training. Some talented and driven students lack specific skills or knowledge that their high schools were unable to provide. Colleges and universities need to offer (and receive the funds to offer) customized mentoring, tutoring, and/or coursework to fill specific gaps in these students’ backgrounds and set them on solid footing to succeed in high-powered graduate programs.  Faculty support and attention. Some participants mentioned that students of color are given less time and attention by faculty than are non-URM students. Evelynn Hammonds, dean of Harvard College, urged that students of color receive attention by faculty that is on par with that received by non-URM students.  Identity: A vision of a viable career in science and technology. Studies have shown that students need to be actively engaged in doing science and communicating their results from an early point in their education. 50 A key component of students’ forming 49 See commissioned paper from HERI on Appendix B-2. 50 Tytler, R., J.F. Osborne, G. Williams, K. Tytler, and J. Cripps Clark. 2008. Opening up pathways: Engagement in STEM across the primary–secondary school transition. A review of the literature concerning supports and barriers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics engagement at primary–secondary transition. Canberra: Commissioned by the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. See also Herrera, F. A. S. Hurtado, G. A. Garcia, J. Gasiewski (2012). A model for redefining STEM identity for talented 47

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS identities in a field or discipline is seeing people that they can relate to in teaching and research positions. Female students are particularly disadvantaged in this area because of the small number of women of color in research and teaching positions, particularly in non-minority-serving institutions.  Learning by doing. Programs are needed in which students who are women of color learn by doing. Several participants described how STEM teaching needs to be restructured, ensuring that students are learning by doing. Some opportunities exist, and more are needed, for bright students to be integrated into teams of professionals. Where this partnership is one between minority-serving institutions and research laboratories it needs to be, in part, a financial one, in order to prevent a situation in which minority- serving institutions feel that their students are being “poached” by large research institutions. LEARNING BY DOING Box 1: Opportunities for Undergraduate Students Several participants highlighted examples of opportunities for undergraduates to become involved in STEM research, urging women of color to apply to these programs.  At the Olin College of Engineering, undergraduate students work full time for six to twelve months with experienced researchers.  SACNAS’s collaboration with University of California, Santa Cruz, involved an overnight field trip to UC Davis during the 2011 SACNAS National Conference, where students of color visited the campus as well as different research labs and had a conversation with faculty and graduate students.  Harvard Medical School’s Biomedical Science Careers Program collaborates with the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and device industries, as well as colleges and universities, offering scholarships and mentoring to students about a wide range of career opportunities. The program is supported in part by the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership.a  The NSF has a Scholarship for Service program in cybersecurity. The awards provide funding for two years to undergraduates and graduate students, including full tuition plus a stipend, and provide internships at federal agencies. Students do three years of government service after the completion of the award. ____________ a www.bscp.org and www.hms.harvard.edu/dcp  Awareness of the breadth of career paths in STEM. Faculty, specifically graduate advisers, should maximize the types of projects and career paths that undergraduates and graduate students are exposed to, so that they can make optimal choices about where to invest their creativity with full information about where the opportunities are in the world of STEM careers.  Information about universities’ track records in recruiting, retaining, and promoting women of color. STEM graduate students. Higher Education Research Institute. Available online at www.heri.ucla.edu/nih/downloads /AERA2012HerreraGraduateSTEMIdentity.pdf 48

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD o Information about institutional commitment. In order for undergraduate students to make informed decisions about where to pursue graduate degrees, they need information about an institution’s commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of inclusion. Information needs to be available for all levels: faculty, department, college/school, and university overall. o Proposed faculty consumer report. A participant described the value of having a faculty consumer report, a document that would be a resource with which prospective undergraduates and graduate students could track the performance of institutions regarding the success of their students (time to Ph.D., number of women and underrepresented minorities, career trajectory after leaving the institution). Conference participants also discussed the needs of institutions that train undergraduate students of color. Minority-serving institutions invest a great deal of time and resources in training talented undergraduates and preparing them to pursue higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. There is a need for stronger and fairer partnerships between minority-serving institutions and institutions that train Ph.D.’s, with, in the view of some conference participants, the doctoral programs contributing funds for the crucial aspects of outstanding training for high-achieving undergraduates. Conference participants also discussed the needs of the graduate and postdoctoral students themselves. Several participants emphasized the importance of nominating outstanding scientists who are women of color for awards in their disciplines. Box 2: Useful Resources on Nominations  The American Association of Medical Colleges has instructions for nominees and nominators.a  The American Association of Medical Colleges has compiled a list of 10 tips for people nominating their colleagues and includes the list in its calls for nominations. This action has dramatically increased the representation of women of color among the candidates for awards.b  The Raise Project has tips for making successful nominations of women in STEM disciplines.c ____________ a www.aamc.org/members/gfa/faculty_vitae/148590/successful_nominations.html b www.aamc.org/download/310694/data/10tipsforgwimsreps.pdf c www.raiseproject.org/index.php?page=Tips AWARENESS RAISING OF UNCONSCIOUS BIAS Unconscious gender and racial bias is pervasive in our society and affects, implicitly, the perceptions and decisions of a wide range of people in a wide range of organizations. Raising individuals’ awareness of unconscious bias can cause the biases to diminish or dissipate entirely, and several conference participants described how this has taken place at their own institutions. This conference summary includes an overview of research on unconscious bias (Chapter 3) as 49

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS well as presentations by leaders in academic institutions and federal agencies who have seen firsthand the positive effects of bias awareness training (Chapter 6). Since unconscious bias is cognitively automatic, as discussed by Joan Williams and summarized in Chapter 3, biases will persist unless people are made aware of them, for example, through bias awareness training. Such training has an excellent track record, as research has shown and to which Williams and some conference participants attested. Just as faculty and staff are often required to attend training on sexual harassment, several conference participants advised additional training activities that identify how racial and gender bias occurs in academic settings and offer guidance to faculty and university leadership on how to diminish and eliminate bias. Among the actions at the institution level suggested by participants were:  Including bias awareness training at key points in university processes. Important points at which to provide bias awareness training include: o Searches for new faculty and postdocs (for search committees) o Regular occasions for faculty evaluation—annual reviews, third year reviews, tenure and promotion reviews (for all faculty) o Reviews of research grants (for reviewers) o The hiring of a “solo” —the department’s only [anything], a woman, woman of color, etc. (for departmental chairs, faculty members, staff)  Incorporating bias awareness training in universities into training programs that already exist. See the initiatives described above.  Aligning university policies with exemplary practices. Universities policies and programs can be compared against these practices to determine whether any are inadvertently biased against women or minorities.  Applying the exemplary practices at every decision-making step pertaining to a faculty career. Faculty and university administrators can use these practices for activities such as negotiating workload, determining start-up packages, carrying out performance reviews.  Soliciting the help of experts in organizational change. Universities are complex organizations, and their practices are difficult to change because of their relative lack of hierarchy; members of a college or university community often have more autonomy than do employees in the commercial sector, for example. A participant reminded the conference attendees that there are people whose major focus is on organizational change, and she encouraged institutions to make use of these individuals’ expertise. In addition, several professional societies advocated:  Awareness-raising for issues related to the hiring and advancement of women of color in STEM fields (e.g., American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Astronomical Society, American Physical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, National Institutes of Health, National Postdoctoral Association, Rutgers Women of Color Scholars).  Offering training to people whose actions have an impact on the careers of talented women of color in STEM, including people in leadership positions in federal agencies, academia, and the scientific community overall (e.g., Biomedical Engineering Society, National Institutes of Health, American Astronomical Society, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers). 50

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD RISING AWARENESS Box 3: Successful Strategies on Addressing Bias  The Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) program at the University of Michigan aims to maximize the likelihood that faculty search committees will identify diverse, well-qualified candidates, and, when diverse candidates are offered positions, provides information about helping to ensure that they are retained and promoted. The STRIDE committee leads workshops for faculty and administrators involved in hiring and works at the departmental level to assist department chairs and faculty with recruitment and retention. STRIDE offers handbooks on hiring and retention and other resources for deans and department chairs, disseminates research on policies and practices a at the university, and provides other resources for faculty and administration.  Jackson State University offers a bias awareness training program. b  Since 2009, NSF has offered an online implicit bias training as one of its applied learning activities. The module describes the problem of unconscious bias and references the social psychological literature that demonstrates the effects of unconscious bias.  The Gender Bias Learning Project provides animated scenarios to illustrate the four patterns of gender bias.c  The Harvard Implicit Association Test is a set of online tests that help people to understand the divergence between what they think they think or believe about others, and what they actually think or believe about others.d  Research on the subject has been conducted by the Center for Work-Life Law at University of California, Hastings, including these examples: o “Effective Policies and Practices for Retention and Advancement of Women in Academia”e o “The Economics of Retaining Women”f o “Gender Bias in Academia: Findings from Focus Groups”g ____________ a http://sitemaker.umich.edu/advance/stride_committee b http://sites.jsums.edu/jsuadvance/programs/bias-prevention-training c www.genderbiaslearning.com/stereotypes.html d https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ e http://worklifelaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Effective-Policies-and-Programs-for-Retention-and Advancement-of-Women-in-Academia.pdf f http://worklifelaw.org/womens-leadership/gender-bias-academia/retaining-women g http://worklifelaw.org/pubs/gender-bias-academia.pdf MENTORING AND SPONSORSHIP51 The sentiment was frequently expressed by conference participants that mentoring and sponsorship are crucial for supporting the success of outstanding women of color along the STEM academic pathway. Several participants emphasized the differences between mentorship and sponsorship, and urged that the importance of sponsorship not be forgotten. Whereas mentorship pertains to an individual’s development and growth (in teaching, research, and service), sponsorship has to do with promotion and advancement—the active support for a high- achieving individual’s movement up through the ranks by a more senior person. Participants 51 Also see footnote 5. 51

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS noted that most if not all leaders in science and technology, as well in academia, have relied on multiple mentors along their paths, and sponsorship at key transitions. Mentorship and sponsorship are two key areas where people who are not women or not of color are often almost imperceptibly woven into the networks of their more senior colleagues. Women of color, in contrast, and their senior colleagues often must be much more proactive and deliberate in forging those essential professional bonds. Individual participants offered the following suggestions and views:  Data on mentoring. As mentioned in the data section above, there is a need for data on how, when, and why mentoring works and how, when, and why it fails.  Cross-generational mentoring. While cross-generational mentoring already takes place informally, it would be very valuable for universities and departments to scale up such efforts by actively providing senior faculty with an opportunity to contribute to the success of early-career faculty and giving early-career faculty an opportunity to mentor postdocs and graduate students. Graduate students and postdocs can also serve as valuable mentors to undergraduates.  Sponsorship of accomplished junior faculty by senior women of color. Since sponsorship does not lend itself to encouragement through policies, individuals must take the lead. Some participants encouraged senior women of color to continue to be or to become more aware of opportunities to sponsor talented junior faculty who are women of color as these faculty advance their careers.  Mentoring in specific areas. Several participants urged universities to provide structures for mentoring in these areas and encouraged postdocs to seek out mentoring programs and to initiate them if they do not yet exist: o Publishing o Grant writing, including budget formulation and coaching on how to ensure that sufficient funds are requested o Promotion and tenure processes Box 4: Useful Resources on Negotiating  The annual conference of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics, Chicanos, and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) includes a session on “Coaching Strong Skills,” which addresses the need for women to increase their assertiveness in an academia-friendly manner.  The University of Oregon’s COACH program trains women to be more effective negotiators. a ____________ a http://coach.uoregon.edu/coach/index.php?id=7 Professional societies are advocating for and supporting mentoring by:  Providing mentoring to women and people from underrepresented groups to encourage talented individuals to pursue STEM coursework (in both high school and college) and careers (e.g., American Political Science Association, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society for Microbiology, American Sociological Association, Association for Women in Mathematics). 52

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS  Make public and clear the institution’s policies on promotion and tenure.  Increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in candidate pools—an approach that has been demonstrated to increase the numbers of talented women of color in the faculty ranks.  Increase awareness of unconscious bias. Given that unconscious bias is cognitively automatic, the failure to increase awareness will result in the biases being repeated. The need to capture top American talent is clearly important for the United States to maintain its scientific and technological competitive edge. But in addition, universities have an economic imperative to reap the full benefits of the scholarship and innovation of the top-flight researchers that they successfully recruit. To serve both imperatives, presenters and conference participants in multiple conference sessions discussed the importance of university leadership creating and enforcing well-crafted policies that support people who have a greater involvement in family and community responsibilities than the “historically ideal worker” typically has had. The perception of diversity not as a side branch of an institution but as an integral part of an institution’s identity is an important step for the empowerment of faculty who are women, and especially women of color. For many leaders in academia this is new territory, and conference participants offered a variety of models, strategies, and suggestions to help guide university leaders’ efforts. The departmental level is key for ensuring that the tenure process is equitable and flexible and for improving the retention of women of color. Individual participants made the following suggestions regarding research needs:  Research on work-life balance. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has sponsored surveys on work/life balance in academia and medical schools, which gets at the local context. The research shows that the department level is key as the place where individuals are brought onto faculties and where career milestones are judged.  Salary equity studies. Institution by institution, there is a need for centrally conducted salary equity studies that will create an institution-wide check on disparities within departments. University leadership may request that deans and department chairs review the gaps associated with specific salary differences and consider corrective action.  Studies of women faculty considering leaving or who have left an institution. Studies can be conducted of women faculty who are considering leaving an institution or who have left it for another university or a career outside of academia. These would shine light on departmental and university climates that are not inclusive and may point to policy actions that would lead to a welcoming, supportive environment for all faculty.  Evidence-based interventions. The Harvard Medical School’s Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnerships is using an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Pathfinder Award to create a repository of analytical tools that the research community can use as it asks different questions and develops new tools to identify theory-driven, evidence-based interventions for maximizing talent by increasing diversity. In addition, individual participants and presenters suggested actions that could be implemented at the department level:  Department-level proof-of-concept programs. Proof-of-concept or pilot programs in just a single department can be very useful. The small scale is useful for experimentation, 56

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD and if the program works well, other departments are likely to adopt it. Not all departments need to be involved at the outset.  Ownership and champions. It is important that department chairs have ownership of any modifications made to retention and tenure activities and policies. Within departments, it is important that there be faculty champions: individuals who are already recognized leaders in the department. It is extremely beneficial when at least some of the faculty champions are white women and men.  Accountability and commitment. Mutual accountability between departments and central university administration is important. Departments need to be accountable to the university leadership, and, conversely, they need commitment from the university leadership. At the Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, the president cochairs a multicultural affairs committee where department chairs report on their departments’ accomplishments in supporting and retaining people of color as well as future initiatives being planned.  Recognition of the different student needs served at minority-serving institutions versus non-minority-serving institutions, and the accompanying differences in the obligations and contributions of faculty. A participant discussed the significant differences in obligations and time commitments between faculty at minority-serving institutions and those at nonminority-serving institutions, relating these differences to institutions’ reward structures. Often, faculty at minority-serving institutions must address the needs of students whose high school educations left them with gaps in knowledge and skills. In these cases, mentoring and tutoring occupies a great deal of the faculty’s time at these institutions, leaving them with proportionately less time to commit to research activities. 52 The participant encouraged institutional yardsticks to reflect the realities of an institution’s student body and faculty, giving respect and support for the hard work done by faculty to prepare students of color to excel in their subsequent graduate studies and careers in the STEM workforce. 53  Dissemination of information about zero-tolerance policies for harassment and discrimination. Universities should widely disseminate information about zero-tolerance policies and procedures for dealing with harassment and incidents of discrimination.  Visibility. It is very valuable for positive changes in university culture and climate to be made visible and transparent. For example, the NSF ADVANCE program at Jackson State University generated a great deal of interest among department chairs wanting to take advantage of the program’s trainings on unconscious bias for search committees, interest that was widely expressed even before the first training had been offered because of the program’s visibility from the outset.  Guidance when hiring a “solo.” When a department hires a “solo” (and thus comes to include a sole individual of any group), it must deliberately work to ensure that its climate and policies do not inadvertently discriminate against the new faculty member or hinder her or his ability to thrive in that community. It is beneficial if university leadership is available to provide this guidance. 52 It should be noted that this problem is not always present at minority-serving institutions, and it is also present for many faculty at non-minority-serving institutions. 53 It is important when comparing teaching responsibilities among institutions to look beyond credit hours taught and to incorporate a broader understanding of each institution’s expectations of its faculty, its admission requirements, and the competencies of its students when they arrive. 57

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS  Funding for initiatives that support networks and collaboration for faculty from underrepresented groups. Funding is needed for activities that reduce faculty isolation and address key problems associated with underrepresentation. Funding could support activities such as workshops and research collaborations.  Importance of the voices of white women and white men. Several participants discussed the great value of having non-minority and non-female faculty involved in leading efforts to make departmental climate and policies welcoming to all. Individual conference participants also offered suggestions for actions that could be taken by search committees during recruitment:  Greater numbers of underrepresented minorities in the candidate pool. Numerous participants urged institutions to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the candidate pool—the demonstrated most-effective way of bringing the representation of women and minorities on the institution’s faculty more in line with the representation of these groups in the general population.  Active recruitment of top talent. Search committees may want to operate in a manner similar to sports coaches, who, rather than wait and see which candidates appear, actively recruit top talent.  Inclusion of women and minorities on the search committee. Several participants felt that search committees, particularly for leadership positions, should include women and underrepresented minorities. Some participants commented that it would be beneficial if tenure clocks longer than seven years were universities’ default. Institutions where this is the case have found it to be valuable for leveling the playing field. Other participants expressed concern regarding the extension of uncertainty that would result from longer tenure clocks and how that can impact personal and professional ambitions. Box 7: Exemplary Practices on Tenure Clocks The University of Michigan has program called Strategies Toward Excellent Practices (STEP), which was developed with support from an NSF PAID grant that followed the ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program. In STEP, teams of faculty from departments attend a two-day workshop to learn how to effect local change. Climate and inclusion are often the focus of team projects, in a range of contexts including curriculum, faculty evaluation, recruitment, and department life. The university was able to create a flexible context for different schools and colleges to set tenure clocks and to provide flexibility to individuals within those clocks. The University framework indicates that as long as an individual is reviewed for tenure within a ten-year overall framework, it is acceptable. Within this framework, different schools and colleges are free to set different internal schedules for tenure review, and to provide for individuals the freedom to have an early review or delay the review easily. At Indiana University, a faculty member is not required to request permission to extend the tenure clock; the faculty member simply notifies the department head that s/he wishes to extend the clock. In addition, several participants suggested that universities improve their family-care policies, including relevant leave policies (see below) and childcare offerings. It was noted that access to childcare is very important for academic women of color who have children, since women of color who are parents are disproportionately single parents or heads of households. 58

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD Postdoctoral candidates may make better-informed decisions about joining a given institution by comparing the “Work-Life Law Best Practices” checklist against the policies of the institutions they are considering. The checklist includes exemplary practices for leave policies and is available in document and video form at http://worklifelaw.org/womens-leadership/gender-bias- academia. Some participants expressed the opinion that the utilization of family leave policies needs to be encouraged for all junior faculty, including men. Other participants believed that family leave should be paid leave and that family leave should be under the purview of the university’s human resources division and not at the discretion of department chairs. Many conference participants suggested that universities provide public reports on their student and faculty demographics and on rates of promotion for the benefit of the public as well as members of the university community. One example of this is the University of Michigan’s publication of their “Indicator Report” for the university president and provosts. The report details changes in the composition of faculty, the rates of success in getting tenure, rates of attrition, and exit interviews with faculty who leave the university before the tenure decision.54 Also, every five years for the past 15 years, the university has performed an institution-wide climate survey examining the institution’s inclusiveness. Finally, some participants suggested that university deans and provosts take responsibility for the actions of faculty and department heads who act in ways that undermine the institution’s goals or values, specifically related to the institution’s goal of inclusion. Box 8: Exemplary Practice from Industry IBM successfully changed institutional culture by using an individual/institutional hybrid approach. IBM employees were encouraged to form “affinity groups” and to make specific suggestions about ways that the company could improve their experiences as IBM employees. For example, a gay-lesbian-transgender group requested spousal benefits. A group composed of women requested job-sharing options at the executive level and requested access to more weighty projects. IBM management responded to these requests, and the result was a marked improvement in the organization’s culture and morale. Box 9: Exemplary Practices as Models Various models of exemplary practices were explored and recommended to encourage their dissemination:  Video presentations and scripts on exemplary practices are available from the Center for a Work-Life Law at University of California, Hastings.  NASA offers the report “Title IX and STEM: A Guide for Conducting Self-Evaluations in b Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Programs.”  A participant noted that the American Association of University Women has a STEM initiative for which the association is seeking a demonstration campus where all the exemplary practices for supporting women in STEM are put into place. She alluded to interest by some foundations in this type of activity as well, indicating that this is a potential funding source that can give institutions the money needed to fine-tune and scale up these practices. ____________ a www.genderbiaslearning.com/teachingandtraining.html b http://odeo.hq.nasa.gov/documents/TITLE_IX_STEM_Self-Evaluation.pdf 54 Clearly, the need for detailed data needs to be tempered by the need for individuals’ confidentiality, as noted in footnote 5. The report is available at http://sitemaker.umich.edu/advance/institutional_indicator_reports 59

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES AND FEDERAL AGENCIES: ACTIVITIES AND SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION Many representatives of professional societies offered suggestions, comments, and guidance at the conference, and 28 professional societies submitted informative written testimonials. These testimonials describe their efforts to maximize STEM talent in their own disciplines through inclusion of women (and men) of color and offer their recommendations for initiatives that, in their view, would help to maximize the participation of talented women of color in academia. Below is a summary of activities and recommendations offered by the professional societies as well as by individual participants at the conference. Please see the testimonials in their entirety in Appendix E.  Diversity audits and exemplary practices. Professional societies could carry out diversity audits with the relevant academic departments and publicize the practices that they find among the departments most successful at recruiting and retaining top talent among women of color.  Legislation and advocacy. Professional societies encouraged other societies to actively support federal policies and legislation designed to support the success of women and people of color at all levels of education and career development (e.g., American Society of Civil Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society).  Professional development funds. There is a need for professional societies to offer professional development funds for tenure-track faculty at resources-constrained universities or departments for expenses such as publication costs for research that is not supported by grants.  Using social media to build networks. Professional societies may want to utilize social media to create and maintain connections among their members, in particular women of color, making sure to devote sufficient resources to this substantial task and to have a “champion” who pushes the social media strategy forward.  Annual meetings and symposia o The suggestion was offered that professional societies host a symposium to discuss the suggestions and tools offered at the Seeking Solutions conference. o A participant noted that some high-level research conferences have diversity requirements for the presenters. o Some professional societies aim to maintain an inclusive climate at annual meetings and other society initiatives (e.g., American Mathematical Society, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology). 60

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD Box 10: Inclusive Climate at Meetings  The Office of Naval Research requires that symposia that it funds include a diverse array of speakers, including gender and racial diversity as well as a range of career stages and employment types (e.g., researchers working outside of academia).  The annual meeting of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology aims to be a fertile intellectual environment for all scientists and attempts to specifically support the professional development women of color. At its annual meeting, the society requires at least 33 percent female or minority representation among the presentations given in the theme- based scientific programs.  The NIH Research Conference Grants (R13) request for proposals requires that applicants facilitate the attendance of people with family-care responsibilities by identifying resources for family care (including child care) at the conference site.  Governance of professional societies. A participant suggested that professional societies invite a speaker to present at the society’s governance meeting about the suggestions and tools offered at this conference.  Leadership skills. Several professional societies advocated providing leadership training to mid-level professionals in academia, industry, and government (e.g., National Society of Black Physicists, National Society of Hispanic Physicists).  Faculty development programs. Several professional societies advocated faculty development training for women and people of color (e.g., American Indian Science and Engineering Society, American Sociological Association, Biomedical Engineering Society).  STEM Education (K-12). Several professional societies noted the importance of the following, with an emphasis on women of color: o Increasing public awareness of STEM careers, including supporting efforts to foster outreach to all students, teachers, parents, and K-12 guidance counselors (e.g., American Chemical Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society for Microbiology, Society for Neuroscience). o Engaging professional societies as well as academic leadership to conduct research to identify and promote strategies that help students transition into STEM professions (e.g., American Political Science Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Institutes of Health). o Providing all K-16 students with rigorous STEM curricula and hands-on laboratory experiences (e.g., American Physical Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, Society for Neuroscience). o Improving the retention of students in introductory STEM courses (e.g., American Chemical Society, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, National Institutes of Health, Society for Neuroscience). o Strengthening support for students during the transition from undergraduate to graduate studies (e.g., American Institute of Physics, American Meteorological Society, American Physical Society, American Political Science Association, National Institutes of Health, Society for Neuroscience). 61

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS o Providing internship programs and other educational partnerships to expand the pool of candidates who are people of color and/or are women (e.g., National Aeronautics and Space Administration).  Highlighting and rewarding (including financial incentives) model programs that support women of color, carry out research on model programs, and compile lists of exemplary practices across academia, government, and industry (e.g., American Psychological Association, American Society of Engineering Education, Association for Women in Mathematics, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health). Given the proven effectiveness of funding agencies’ initiatives in shifting academic culture, professional societies encouraged the following actions and activities on the part of federal agencies: a) Compliance  Restructuring grant funding such that a portion is withheld until the grantee has reported on its achievements in the “broadening participation” component (e.g., National Society of Black Physicists, National Society of Hispanic Physicists).  Establishing vigorous civil rights compliance programs, including conducting full compliance reviews of grantees under the combined statutory mandates of Title VI and Title IX (e.g., National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Society for Neuroscience). b) Dialogue within academic institutions  Requiring that federally funded initiatives (such as the NSF ADVANCE program) engage in a direct dialogue with faculty and administrators who are women of color (e.g., American Society of Engineering Education). c) Mentoring and career development  Encouraging mentoring by funding protected mentoring time in grants (e.g., American Institute of Physics, American Psychological Association).  Requiring evaluations of career progress for women of color (e.g., Biomedical Engineering Society). d) Family and work life issues  Offering grant supplements to support maternity-related absences among grantees (e.g., American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Postdoctoral Association).  Ensuring that policies support postdocs by being family-friendly and emphasizing mentoring; and by providing funding and requiring accountability for these efforts (e.g., National Postdoctoral Association).  Funding the development of training materials that offer academic departments proactive guidance on how to promote a supportive, welcoming climate for women of color in academia (e.g., American Psychological Association). 62

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD A series of successful strategies undertaken by federal agencies were highlighted to shed light on various issues including the review process, research funding mechanisms, mentoring, and others (see Boxes 11 - 14). Box 11: Addressing Challenges to U.S. STEM Workforce  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). o Diversity and Inclusion Policya b o Diversity Leadership Guide o Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Implementation Plan for FY 2012 – 2015 o State of the People Report, an internal report on the demographics of NASA’s workforce, for use by division leaders  NSF Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering. c  “Building and Maintaining a Diverse, High-Quality Workforce: A Guide for Federal Agencies” by the US Office of Personnel Management.  “Diversity in the Federal Science and Engineering Workforce” by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.d  NSF’s science of broadening participation. NSF’s Division of Human Resources and Development is partnering with its Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to develop “the science of broadening participation.” Social science and education researchers will be funded to analyze how minority and majority institutions differentiate around the same interventions (e.g., mentoring), with the intent of helping the individuals who support women of color all along the educational and career pathways.  The Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, an advisory committee to the NIH director, focuses on critical transition points in biomedical education and careers, as individuals proceed from graduate school through obtaining independent research funding, to being awarded tenure at academic institution or achieving similar status in industry.  The NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers develops strategies to support the careers of women of color in biomedical and research careers, including the recruitment, retention, and advancement of accomplished scientists and practitioners in the NIH intramural community as well as in academia and industry (www.womeninscience.nih.gov). The NIH Women of Color Committee forms part of the Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers. ____________ a http://odeo.hq.nasa.gov/documents/Diversity_Inclusion_Policy_Statement.pdf b www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/NLS/LeadershipGuideSepOct06.pdf c www.opm.gov/Diversity/guide.htm d www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf11303/ 63

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS Box 12: Strategies on Review Process  NSF has a training module on implicit bias, and some NSF program officers include a discussion of the subject in their training presentation to review panels. The discussion includes three slides and references for research on unconscious bias.  NSF study of effects of proposal types on the success of researchers with less typical work histories. NSF designed an experiment that compared the successful pool of two groups of proposals, one involving typical research proposals and the other involving shorter proposals that focused on the scientific rationale and the concept to be studied. When the two groups went through the peer review, there was little overlap between the two lists. In the group of shorter proposals, there were more small institutions and researchers with less typical work histories (i.e., gaps in publications).  Research has shown that research grant applicants (specifically of NIH R01 grants) have greater success if they have served on a review panel. In response to this research, NIH a developed the NIH Early Career Reviewer Program to train new reviewers and do outreach to broad range of institutions. The program is designed to help early-career researchers become reviewers and to diversify the pool of reviewers by bringing in scientists from less research-intensive institutions.  NASA carries out Title IX compliance reviews of its grantees, designed to ensure that educational programs funded by NASA give equal opportunities to all potential participants and are free of gender discrimination and harassment.b The Title IX Compliance Program also unearthed many successful family leave policies among their grantees. ____________ a http://public.csr.nih.gov/ReviewerResources/BecomeAReviewer/Pages/Overview-of-ECR-program.aspx b http://odeo.hq.nasa.gov/compliance_program.html Box 13: Federal Agencies’ Efforts on Broadening Effective Mentoring  NIH Guide to Mentoring and Training in the Intramural Research Program sets forth guidelines for effective mentoring of research trainees in its intramural research programs. The guidelines cover communication skills, negotiation skills, legal and ethical aspects of scientific responsibility, planning of career pathways, and ways of balancing individual goals with the goals of the research group.a  NSF requires a mentoring component for every proposal that includes a postdoctoral fellow, and mentoring is an important component of its Faculty Early Career Development award (CAREER program).  The Environmental Protection Agency’s funding mechanisms require mentoring components for undergraduates, graduate students, and early-career faculty. ____________ a http://sourcebook.od.nih.gov/ethic-conduct/Mentoring percent20Goals-final.pdf and http://sourcebook.od.nih.gov/ethic-conduct/Training-Mentoring-10-08.pdf 64

OCR for page 42
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES AND RESOURCES FOR MOVING AHEAD Box 14: Research Funding Programs  NSF’s ADVANCE program (Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers) helps to foster the development of a more diverse STEM workforce by funding programs that aim to increase the representation and advancement of women in academia. ADVANCE programs support the efforts of academic institutions and professional societies to improve institutional structures and make institutional climates welcoming and inclusive.  NSF’s Career-Life Balance Initiative provides funding to support dependent care or personal concerns that require researchers to step away from their research for a short period of time.  NSF’s Directorate for Mathematics and Physical Sciences is partnering with a program in the Division of Human Resource Development, Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) to prepare minorities for faculty positions. The directorate also offers a supplement to support an additional graduate student.  NIH grant supplements are available to women researchers during the first year after the birth of a baby, available to fund technician support for NIH-supported research.  NIH’s Research on Causal Factors and Interventions that Promote and Support the Careers of Women in Biomedical and Behavioral Science and Engineering, a grant program, includes one grant focused on women of color. In addition, individual conference participants made the following suggestions for actions by federal agencies:  Federal funding agencies should consider conducting a robust Title IX compliance review of their grantees to ensure equal representation of women and of minorities, provide that information to university leadership, make a requirement for grant awards that the applicant explain how it will incorporate the principles of Title IX into the program once the grant is received, and consider withdrawing funding if diversity goals are not met.  If possible within current regulations, federal funding agencies should consider including diversity goals in requests for proposals.  All federal funding agencies should consider requiring grant reviewers to receive training on unconscious bias.  Several participants suggested that division directors be held accountable for the diversity in their review panels and urged that if the reviewer pool that presents has low levels of diversity, then division directors actively recruit a more diverse panel. 55  Federal funding agencies could investigate ways to ensure that graduate students receive the requisite mentoring in manuscript preparation and publication.  Federal funding agencies could evaluate which programs and practices are successful and which have only limited effectiveness. Specifically, several participants asked for randomized pilot programs at different institutions to see what practices improve inclusion under what conditions.  Federal funding agencies could offer more student support in workforce development and coordinate more closely. A participant from an organization doing workforce 55 This suggestion has different impacts depending on how it is implemented and in which disciplines. For disciplines with very few women of color, for example, the same people may be called on again and again to serve as reviewers, which, while it may have benefits for the review process, may also (because of the time commitment required) hinder the researchers’ own research productivity. 65

OCR for page 42
SEEKING SOLUTIONS development in cybersecurity with the support of the intelligence agencies spoke of the need for more student support and greater coordination among agencies, specifically, among NSF, the information technology agencies and the intelligence agencies.  Federal funding agencies could create programs that allow departments to fund a bridge year for entering doctoral students who are very bright but whose educational background has one or more gaps.  Federal funding agencies could allow training grants to fund tutoring of new graduate students by more senior graduate students, an activity that some departments have found to be very successful and that frees faculty time from tasks that can be done by others.  Federal funding agencies could survey doctorate-granting departments for successful strategies and modify their grant programs accordingly. In addition, various professional societies called for national organizations to take the following initiatives:  Establish a working group focused on faculty success, identifying synergistic goals that support women of color faculty and faculty overall (e.g., American Society of Engineering Education).  Develop a career development program focused on the challenges faced by women of color faculty, which can be presented to professional and student groups around the country (e.g., American Institute of Physics, National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers).  Create a distinguished lecture series aimed at highlighting the achievements of accomplished women of color in STEM fields (e.g., Association for Women in Mathematics).  Hold mini-summits of faculty who are women of color at core meetings at the National Academies that include opportunities for these scholars to interact in a focused manner with the key constituencies in the Academies (e.g., American Society of Engineering Education).  Establish conferences and workshops aimed at women of color (and women overall) in STEM disciplines, including both research and mentoring components (e.g., Association for Women in Mathematics). 66