In the mid 1970s, the "cost" of becoming a scientist for women of color was detailed in the AAAS Report, The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science (Malcolm, et al., 1976). The Report also outlined definitive recommendations and programs for addressing the unique issues related, in large part, to the intersection of race and gender. Since this report, however, minority women remain disproportionately underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
To bring national attention to the issues related to minority women in the STEM field, an inaugural meeting of STEM Minority Women will be held. This two-day meeting will feature several keynote presentations, panel discussions, and various workshops. The meeting will serve as a vehicle to also promote role models of women and minority STEM professionals, scholars, and educators.
GPRA Strategic Management, Inc.'s (GPRASMi) will organize the conference, which is designed to heighten the awareness of topics of concern for minority women to a national level and promote the professional development of minority women in academic STEM disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate and faculty levels. Three objectives are proposed in order to meet this goal: Promotion of national attention to the issues related to minority women in STEM disciplines; Dissemination of relevant information for and about minority women; and Development of a vehicle for professional development and networking among minority women in STEM fields.
The impacts of this project lie in bringing attention to the issues that women of color face in the STEM fields. Since the above mentioned AAAS report, little has been done to focus national attention on the "Double Bind". The activities of this project are designed to not only bring attention and awareness to the issues related to women of color, but to also disseminate relevant information, and provide venues for professional development.
The purpose of this project was to heighten the awareness of topics of concern for minority women to a national level and promote the professional development of minority women in academic STEM disciplines from Undergraduate, Graduate and Faculty levels. Three objectives were proposed in order to meet this goal: 1. Promotion of national attention to the issues related to minority women in STEM disciplines; 2. Dissemination of relevant information for and about minority women; and 3. Development of a vehicle for professional development and networking among minority women in STEM fields. The broader impacts of this project lie in bringing attention to the issues that minority women encounter in the STEM fields. The project disseminated relevant information and provided a vehicle for professional development and networking. The promotion of national attention to the issues related to minority women in the STEM field was achieved by hosting an inaugural meeting of STEM Minority Women. This two-day meeting consisted of several keynote presentations, panel discussions, and various workshops. GPRA Strategic Management, Inc. hosted approximately 125 minority faculty participants. Overall, participants evaluated the 2010 Conclave meeting very positively and indicated their desire to see such meetings continue in the future. Based on participant comments, it is recommended that STEM women of color would benefit from annual or biannual meetings. Participants found that the speakers and events that specifically focused on women of color in STEM to be most valuable. Participants greatly valued the opportunity to network with other women of color in STEM. Participants recommended that future meetings use a combination of formats and include topics on mentoring, research on women of color and leadership development. Participant comments suggested that women would most benefit from events or activities that facilitate their career development. To address the second objective, the dissemination of relevant information for and about minority women was achieved by publishing a directory that contained information about women of color in various STEM disciplines that agreed to serve as reviewers of grant applications for the National of Science Foundation. On January 8, 2011, a feature article was published in the Afro-American Newspaper that discussed the 2010 STEM Women of Color Conclave and issues of women of color in STEM. This article also focused on GPRA Strategic Management as a small minority, woman-owned business in Prince Georges County Maryland that partnered with NSF in this effort. Overall, the article served as another catalyst to bring attention to this issue. Finally, the creation of a professional development society for STEM Women of Color was developed to address the third objective. Although the establishment is in the developmental stages, we were able to have a presence through the website at www.sswoc.net and establish an advisory conmmittee and volunteers to assist with the structure and continued development activities.