Diversity in STEM

The (lack of) diversity in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines is an issue we must all consider as academics.

I am a first generation academic and am personally and professionally interested in how we can make "the Academy" a more representative sample of the world around us. I believe this is a worthwhile goal because faculty diversity not only increases the creative contributions of scientists but also increases learning in students, one of the fundamental goals of academics. 

I've compiled some links that begin to discuss the myriad issues associated with diversity in STEM - ranging from implicit bias to stereotype threat to how we're doing as a group. Please let me know if you know of webpages or articles that should be added here!

General Information

"Benefits and Challenges of Diversity in Academic Settings" by Eve Fine and Jo Handelsman for WISELI at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"On the importance of diversity in higher education" by the American Council on Education.

Women in Science

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has an incredible webpage with loads of information on The STEM Gap, Advancing Leadership and Economic Equity (to name just a few of their resources).

The NSF ADVANCE program aims "to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers" - UC Davis has one of these grants and a blog that's worth checking out!


Reducing stereotype threat - reducingstereotypethreat.org - lots of great information here.

The President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the University of California is a 30-year-long, proactive program to increase (and retain) underrepresented groups in the faculty of UC campuses.

Diversity - A Nature & Scientific American Special Issue

Teaching and Learning

Diversity & Inclusive Learning resource page from Vanderbilt University

Course Evaluations: Concerns with Gender and Racial Bias is an extensive bibliography of the studies showing gender and racial bias in teaching evaluations by students. Holman M, Key E, Kreitzer R. 2019

Programs at UConn

The McNair Scholar Program: "As part of UConn’s TRIO programs, McNair is open to low-income, first-generation college students or those from populations underrepresented in STEM graduate fields who are seeking to pursue a Ph.D. degree."

Diversity & Inclusion at UConn : lots of resources, information and events that promote diversity and inclusion in the UConn faculty, staff and students.

UConn has five cultural centers on campus: African American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center, Rainbow Center, Women's Center. There is also the Native American Cultural Progams community.

Primary Literature

Personal Note: Roper (2019) and Vettese (2019) are both great (and recent) reviews; I'd definitely start there if you don't know where to begin. *Not all of these are open-access. If you can't locate a copy, let me know and I can probably send it to you...

Adamo SA. 2013. Attrition of women in the biological scienes: workload, motherhood, and other explanations revisited. BioScience, 63(1):43-48.

Barres BA. Does gender matter? Nature 2006; 442:133-136

Bedi G, Van Dam NT, Munafo M. Gender inequality in awarded research grants. The Lancet 2012; 380:474

Bornmann L, Mutz R, and Daniel HD. 2007. Gender Differences in Grant Peer Review: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Informetrics 1 (3): 226–38.

Cameron EZ, Gray ME, White AM. Is publication rate an equal opportunity metric? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 2013; 28:7-8

Cameron EZ, White AM, Gray ME. 2016. Solving the Productivity and Impact Puzzle: Do Men Outperform Women, or Are Metrics Biased? Bioscience 66 (3): 245–52. 

Clancy KBH, Nelson RG, Rutherford JN, Hinde K. 2014. Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees report harassment and assault. PLOS ONE, 9(7):e102172. 

Damschen EI, Rosenfeld KM, Wyer M, Murphy-Medley D, Wentworth TR, Haddad NM. Visibility matters: increasing knowledge of women’s contributions to ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2005; 3:212-219

Devine PG, Forscher PS, Cox WTL, Kaatz W, Sheridan J, Carnes M. 2017. A gender bias habit-breaking intervention led to increased hiring of female faculty in STEMM departments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 73:211-215. 

Fox CW, Timothy Paine CE. 2019. Gender differences in peer review outcomes and manuscript impact at six journals of ecology and evolution. Ecology and Evolution, 9:3599-3619. 

Gorski, PC. 2019. Racial Battle Fatigue and Activist Burnout in Racial Justice Activists of Color at Predominately White Colleges and Universities. Race Ethnicity and Education 22 (1): 1–20.

Guarino CM, Borden VMH. 2017. Faculty service loads and gender: Are women taking care of the academic family? Research in Higher Education, 58(6):672-694. 

Handley IM, Brown ER, Moss-Racusin CA, Smith JL. 2015. Quality of Evidence Revealing Subtle Gender Biases in Science Is in the Eye of the Beholder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (43): 13201–6.

Holman M, Key E, Kreitzer R. 2019. "Evidence of Bias in Standard Evaluations of Teaching". (Extensive bibliography)

Holmes M, O’Connell S. Leaks in the pipeline. Nature 2007; 446:346-347 

Hutson SR. Self-citation in archaeology: Age, gender, prestige, and the self. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 2006; 13:1-18

Kaatz A, Lee Y, Potvien A, Magua W, Filut A, Bhattacharya A, Leatherberry R, Zhu X, Carnes M. 2016. Analysis of National Institutes of Health R01 Application Critiques, Impact, and Criteria Scores: Does the Sex of the Principal Investigator Make a Difference? Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 91 (8): 1080–88.

Ledin A, Bornmann L, Gannon F, Wallon G. 2007. A Persistent Problem. Traditional Gender Roles Hold Back Female Scientists. EMBO Reports 8 (11): 982–87.

Martinez ED, Botos J, Dohoney KM, Geiman TM, Kolla SS, Olivera A, Qiu Y, Rayasam GV, Stavreva DA, Cohen-Fix O. 2007. Falling off the Academic Bandwagon. Women Are More Likely to Quit at the Postdoc to Principal Investigator Transition. EMBO Reports 8 (11): 977–81.

Martin LJ. Where are the women in ecology? Frontiers In Ecology and the Environment 2012; 10:177-178

McGuire KL, Primack RB, Losos EC. Dramatic Improvements and Persistent Challenges for Women Ecologists. BioScience 2012; 62:189-196.

Milkman KL, Akinola M, Chugh D. 2015. What Happens before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations. The Journal of Applied Psychology 100 (6): 1678–1712.

Moss-Racusin CA, Dovidio JF, Brescoll VL, Graham MJ, Handelsman J. Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2012; 109:16474-16479

O’Brien K, Hapgood K. The academic jungle: ecosystem modelling reveals why women are driven out of research. Oikos 2012; 121:999-1004

Roper RL. 2019. Does Gender Bias Still Affect Women in Science? Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews: MMBR 83 (3).

Sheltzer JM, Smith JC. 2014. Elite Male Faculty in the Life Sciences Employ Fewer Women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (28): 10107–12.

Symonds MRE, Gemmell NJ, Braisher TL, Gorringe KL, Elgar MA. Gender differences in publication output: towards an unbiased metric of research performance. PLoS ONE 2006; 1:e127

Tushingham S, Fulkerson T, Hill K. 2017. The Peer Review Gap: A Longitudinal Case Study of Gendered Publishing and Occupational Patterns in a Female-Rich Discipline, Western North America (1974-2016). PloS One 12 (11): e0188403.

Vettese T. 2019. Sexism in the Academy. n+1. May 2, 2019. 

Williams WM, Ceci SJ. National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2015; 112 (17):5360-5365

Wong JS. 2017. Competing Desires: How Young Adult Couples Negotiate Moving for Career Opportunities. Gender & Society: Official Publication of Sociologists for Women in Society 31 (2): 171–96.