Study: The importance of recognizing diversity in STEM

Dec. 20, 2018

Educators can help support women of color pursuing STEM degrees by creating inclusive classroom environments and prioritizing activities that intentionally and meaningfully incorporate students’ personal identities and experiences.

By Cailin Riley-Missouri for Futurity

The National Science Foundation reports that women of color constitute fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers. And the women of color who are in STEM aren’t necessarily seeing their identities reflected and incorporated in STEM fields.

“Imagine walking into a lab or a classroom and seeing pictures of people on the walls that are nothing like you,” says Terrell Morton, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri. “People have a very narrow view of what science looks like, and right now, it’s older white men wearing goggles and holding beakers. When a young woman of color sees those images in a learning environment, it can make her feel unwelcome because there is nothing in that image that represents her.”

Morton says educators can help support women of color pursuing STEM degrees by creating inclusive classroom environments and prioritizing activities that intentionally and meaningfully incorporate students’ personal identities and experiences.

To learn more, read "How to make STEM more inclusive of black women" from Futurity.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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