FABBS Signs Letter for LGBTQI+ Equity Data Development

In response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s request for information (RFI) on the Federal Evidence Agenda on LGBTQI+ Equity, FABBS joined sister scientific societies, AAAS, AERA, COPAFS, and COSSA, on a community letter urging the development of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) indicators. The effort was spearheaded by Dr. Jon Freeman, associate professor of Psychology, Columbia University, an active FABBS member.

The letter calls for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to measure, track, and report sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data in the U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by 2023. The letter also cites the disparities faced by LGBTQI+ people in U.S. STEM fields; the feasibility of implementing these measures in surveys; privacy and confidentiality measures to minimize identifiability risks; and the need for allocating NSF a budget to develop a SOGI data infrastructure. Surveys on the U.S. STEM population are currently administered by the NSF’s National Center for Science & Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and include the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR), and Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED).

FABBS works to support diversity, equity, and inclusion principles for and within our sciences. Addressing equity in data inclusion is a priority for FABBS. Previous FABBS efforts also include a community letter in 2018 requesting that NSF’s national STEM workforce surveys include sexual orientation and gender identity questions, a community letter in support of the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act (H.R. 4176), and being a cosponsor for Understanding Diversity in STEM: WMPD Day, among others.