At our university, women-identified individuals make up 23% of students in STEM fields; less than 15% of them graduate with a STEM degree. Nationally, more than 40% of women who enter a STEM job leave it within fewer than ten years. Gendered issues within STEM industries have been identified, yet we are far from equal opportunities for all genders. In 2018, we—the director of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) with colleagues in Math, Computing Sciences, and Chemistry—received a $45,000 grant to create a “Women in STEM Fellowship.” The inclusion of WGS made the fellowship interdisciplinary, intersectional, and informed our decision-making process via feminist diversity, equity, and inclusion approaches. Through WGS approaches to questioning oppressive systems as well as a community-building focus, we attempted to mitigate prevalent reliance on neoliberal individualism.
This article offers insights into the fellowship's activities and programs, challenges and successes, as well as assessment. We call on diversity initiatives in STEM to collaborate with academic and student success units—such as WGS or Black Studies—that house much-needed expertise and to refrain from isolating efforts in STEM departments.
Seethaler, Ina C. and Perez-Alvarado, Gabriela
"Women in STEM Fellowship: An Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Approach to Advancing Inclusion in the Sciences,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 20:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol20/iss1/4