The Mini-Symposium on Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Maria (Mia) Ong
TERC, Cambridge, MA
This report to the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) details the proceedings, findings, and suggestions from the Mini-Symposium on Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics that took place on October 27-28, 2009, in Arlington, Virginia.
The purpose of the Mini-Symposium on Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) was to provide opportunities for participants to:
- Share their experiential knowledge and/or current evidence-based findings about women of color in STEM with CEOSE and the general STEM community; and
- Provide comments and suggestions about how the recruitment, retention, and understanding about the experiences of women of color may be improved through research, practice, policy, and evaluation.
The Mini-Symposium acknowledged commonalities across all women of color in STEM, as well as unique aspects of races and ethnicities, disciplines, regions, and stages of life. Speakers and participants consisted of African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latina, and Asian American women who are graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior and senior faculty, and junior and senior professionals in industry and government in STEM disciplines. Also speaking and in attendance were staff from NSF and other federal STEM agencies, program leaders who serve to support women of color in STEM, policy experts and evaluation experts with an interest in diversity issues, and social science scholars who specialize in studying factors that promote and hinder women of color in STEM education and careers. The four foci of discussion were: Personal Perspectives, Qualitative Findings, Quantitative Research and Evaluation, and Policy and Action.