The release of the 2021 biennial report, “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities (WMPD) in Science and Engineering,” inspired a day of online events dedicated to recognizing the progress that has been made and understanding the gaps that remain in the state of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The United States Congress first mandated the National Science Foundation (NSF) to transmit a biennial report on minorities and women in scientific and technical fields as part of the 1980 NSF Authorization and Science and Technology Equal Opportunities Act to “promote the full participation of minorities in science and technology.” The report is conducted by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, part of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate within the NSF.
FABBS, along with members Sage Publishing and AERA, worked with sister science organizations to pull together the very first WMPD Day on May 12, 2021. The online campaign shared events and invited everyone in all fields and career stages within science and engineering to recognize, celebrate, and build on the recent report findings. WMPD Day gave individuals, organizations, and communities the opportunity to speak on their own progress and measures to promote diversity in the STEM enterprise. The events featured social and behavioral science research, opportunities within academic and mentoring pathways, and accounts from leaders within the STEM industries who come from diverse backgrounds.
- 11 am ET | A 30-minute program organized by the NSF/NCSES that used findings from the most recent WMPD report to recognize gains that have been made and gaps that remain in the state of diversity in STEM. Leaders and pioneers from the STEM professions shared their stories of how broadening participation in STEM made a difference in their communities and across the globe. See the full roster of presenters and other event information here.
- 11:30 am ET | An open conversation following #AAASWMPD on Twitter was hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Inclusive STEM Ecosystems for Equity & Diversity (ISEED) Team. The tweets emphasized findings of the report regarding the current state of inclusion in STEM. See the conversation here.
- 1 pm ET | FABBS hosted a panel of scholars from the Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (PIBBS) Journal to discuss LGBTQ+ and multiracial demographics in our country and within STEM fields – and how the latest report might best serve diversity and inclusion in the future. See the video recording, panelists bios, PowerPoint slides, and other event information here.
- 2 pm ET | The Congressional Chemistry Caucus hosted a conversation with Camille Schrier – biochemist, Doctor of Pharmacy student, and Miss America 2020. She discussed how STEM subjects have influenced her life and further empower young students as she demonstrated the science experiment that won her the Miss America crown. Visit Schrier’s website here and the American Chemical Society website here.
- 3 pm ET | Sage Publishing hosted a webinar with academic leaders from Georgia State University to discuss how academic pathway programs have created safe spaces for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to receive training in STEM disciplines. They discussed several programs featured in their upcoming open resource guide, Academic Pipeline Programs: Diversifying the Bachelors to the Professoriate, and their best practices for supporting graduate study and beyond. See the website for the Academic Pipeline Project here.
- 4 pm ET | SAGE Publishing and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University hosted a panel of social and behavioral scientists to discuss how to address the issues and barriers that continue to stand in the way of building a more diverse and dynamic STEM workforce. In this closing event for WMPD day, scholars looked toward the findings of the next WMPD report to understand the extent of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the statistics of underrepresented groups in STEM. See the panelist bios and watch the video recording here.