STEM fieldsThe STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields continue to grow in the United States, but the rate of women faculty of color teaching these disciplines has not seen the same significant rate of growth. According to a new study released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, as of 2010, there were only 2.1 percent of minority STEM faculty members at colleges while making up 13 percent of the U.S. working aged population.  

The report also shows that these same women face work-life balance issues, hostile workplace environments and adversity from the academic departments in which they interact.

Although salaries seemed on par if not higher than other careers, the report did find that women faculty of color did not have much representation and support at the doctoral level.

“Ensuring that women faculty of color have the support to pursue and advance in STEM academic careers is increasingly important, especially given the projected growth of these fields in the coming years,” said Cynthia Hess, IWPR Study Director and report co-author. “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.”   

Solutions identified for progress included the development of a “scorecard system for monitoring and publicizing individual institutions’ progress on diversity in STEM, making targeted funding available to women faculty of color, and shifting university hiring and promotion practices.”

Read more at IWPR.org