This award by the Chemistry Division will support a workshop entitled: "American Chemical Society Women Chemists of Color Summit." The workshop will coincide with the Fall 2010 National ACS Meeting, in Boston, MA and will bring together chemists to discuss the issues faced by women chemists of color in the chemical workplace, particularly young and mid-career chemists. The heart of the workshop will consist of two symposia, informal networking events, and post-conference networking activities, including via web-based social networks.

If the United States is to take full advantage of its native intellectual capital, it must learn mechanisms to develop all of the underutilized sources. In science and technology fields, women and minorities are less prevalent than their fraction in the general population. Efforts like the one funded by the present award are making efforts to learn ways in which underrepresented groups can be recruited into and retained in the technological workforce.

Project Report

While there has been focus on recruitment and retention efforts for underrepresented minorities and women in science, there have been fewer efforts focused on women of color and the challenges and opportunities at the specific intersection of gender and ethnicity. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 18% of the population in the United States is female and minority (Hispanic race and/or an ethnicity among Black; American Indian/Alaska Native; Asian; and Pacific Islander) either from one race or multiple races. In the academic trajectory, minority women comprise 19% of the undergraduate enrollment1; 18% of Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry2; 11% of Doctoral degrees in Science and Engineering2; and 7% of Doctoral degrees in the Physical Sciences2 (data specific to chemistry are not available). An American Chemical Society (ACS) Women Chemists of Color Summit was convened to broaden awareness of challenges for women of color; to gather more data about women chemists of color; and to provide a forum for building community among women of color. The Summit included two symposia with 11 speakers that engaged approximately 80 attendees; a networking reception; and a mentoring dinner. Summit travel awards funded the participation of 16 students and professionals. Efforts beyond the Summit have included regional and national programming and events. Intellectual Merit The Women Chemists of Color Summit and succeeding activities led to the development of a strategic framework informed by the results of the evaluation components. Vision: Women chemists of color are respected for their complete professional and personal identities; are full and equal participants across the American Chemical Society and the chemical enterprise; and, are equipped with tools and resources to attain their fullest potential. Mission: Empower women chemists of color to maximize their opportunities in the chemical professional while cultivating an environment that fully engages these members. Strategic Priorities: Community Building – Identify and support these chemists in a community of role models and peers where networking and mentoring can occur. Communication – Disseminate information about and resources for women chemists of color across the Society and throughout our partnerships through the website, social media, electronic communication, and other vehicles. Advocacy – Broaden awareness of the challenges and opportunities for women chemists of color, influence leadership, foster advocacy through partnership to achieve our vision. Resources – Identify and develop resources that enable and empower women chemists of color. Broader Impacts The evaluation results and strategic framework provide a foundation to further promote advocacy, community, communication, and resources for a community that has been underrepresented and underserved. The goal is for women chemists of color to achieve their fullest potential in an environment that fully engages them. Increasing the participation of women of color will create a more robust discipline and scientific workforce to address economic and technological needs. The Women Chemists of Color initiatives were disseminated using a variety of mechanisms and formats. Both Summit symposia were recorded and are available on the website,, and on Facebook, Twelve recorded interviews with Summit participants are posted online to serve as profiles of successful women of color in chemistry and to highlight how they became interested in science, the role of their mentors, and their advice for others. In addition, a brief summary video was produced to provide an overview of the Summit and four brief impromptu interview videos were produced to help capture the Summit’s impact. The empirical studies symposium was also recorded and is online. A Chemical & Engineering News editor’s blog featured the Summit, in addition to an article about mentors for minority women. Two articles were also written by a science writer to help disseminate the activities and outcomes. Various social media outlets include a website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Lastly, the activities have been disseminated through scientific conferences. The initiatives have stimulated additional collaboration between the ACS and the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). In 2011 ACS collaborated with NOBCChE on their First Annual Women’s Networking Breakfast which highlighted the Summit. As a follow up in 2012, ACS partnered with NOBCChE on a Women’s Reception and an Empirical Studies on Women of Color in STEM symposium at their annual conference. Finally, the ACS has institutionalized the grant initiative into a standing program of the Society. This program is administered by the ACS Department of Diversity Programs and has an advisory board of seven ACS members. The program's mission and strategic priorities are outlined in the intellectual merit section. 1National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Fall Enrollment Survey, 2001–08. 2National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey, 2001–2009.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Michelle Bushey
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American Chemical Society (ACS)
United States
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