Without Inclusion, Diversity Initiatives May Not Be Enough

Friday, September 15, 2017
Resource Type:
Mass Media Article | Reference Materials
Environment Type: 
Higher Education Programs
Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Administration/Leadership/Policymakers | Educators/Teachers | Scientists | Learning Researchers
Education and learning science | General STEM
Access and Inclusion: 
Women and Girls
People with Disabilities
University of California–San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, North Carolina State University, University of Oxford, Farallon Institute, Utah State University, Howard University , Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Arizona State University
Description or Abstract: 

Diversity among scientists can foster better science, yet engaging and retaining a diversity of students and researchers in science has been difficult. Actions that promote diversity are well defined, organizations are increasingly focused on diversity, and many institutions are developing initiatives to recruit and enroll students from underrepresented minority (URM) groups (racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, or persons with disabilities). Yet representation of URM groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields lag behind demographics in society at large, and many URM students feel unwelcome in academic departments and in scientific fields. Why is progress so limited? We see a widespread and under-acknowledged disconnect between initiatives aimed at increasing diversity in academic and professional institutions and the experience of URM students (including many of us authors). We argue that failure to grasp foundations of this disconnect is the crux of why diversity initiatives fail to reach the students that they were made to recruit. We believe that addressing this will resonate with other individuals and groups and help advance discussion in the scientific community.

Publication Name: 
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Team Members

Chandler PurittyChandler PurittyAuthor
Lynette R. StricklandLynette R. StricklandAuthor
Eanas AliaEanas AliaAuthor
Benjamin BlonderBenjamin BlonderAuthor
Emily KleinEmily KleinAuthor
Michael T. KohlMichael T. KohlAuthor
Earyn McGeeEaryn McGeeAuthor
Maclovia QuintanaMaclovia QuintanaAuthor
Robyn E. RidleyRobyn E. RidleyAuthor
Beth TellmanBeth TellmanAuthor
Leah R. GerberLeah R. GerberAuthor

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