Report Documents Huge Shortage of Black Women Faculty in STEM Disciplines

image_thumbA new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that minority women are vastly underrepresented in STEM disciplines on the faculties of colleges and universities in the United States. In 2010, underrepresented minority women (Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and multiracial) made up just 2.1 percent of all faculty in STEM disciplines whereas minority women in these groups are about 13 percent of the total U.S. working-age population. The gap between the percentage of Black women in STEM faculty posts and the percentage of Black women in the general working-age population is wider than for any other racial or ethnic group. In contrast, White men hold 58 percent of the faculty posts in STEM fields, but only 35 percent of the working-age population.

Cynthia Hess, the director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and co-author of the report, states, “Ensuring that women faculty of color have the supports to pursue and advance in STEM academic careers is increasingly important, especially given the projected growth of these fields in the coming years. To increase the number of highly skilled STEM workers and strengthen the economic security of U.S. families, we must engage the entire STEM talent pool.”

The full report, Accelerating Change for Women Faculty of Color in STEM: Policy, Action, and Collaboration, can be downloaded here.

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