According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make up 47 percent of the labor force, but only 13 percent of engineers are women. Currently, only 28 percent of STEM professions are filled by non-white people. But, by 2050, there will no longer be a majority race. The diversifying population makes it clear that America’s future global competitiveness requires engaging students at all stages of the educational pathway.
Lawmakers moved on a host of bills this week centered around educational technology, including legislation aimed at restoring student privacy, bolstering the nation’s cybersecurity workforce, funding school security and better understanding participation in science and technology-related subjects among underrepresented groups.
In some ways, tech’s equity gaps reflect a simple supply and demand imbalance. But it is an imbalance with artificial constraints. Because while Black and Hispanic students now earn computer science degrees at twice the rate that they are hired by leading tech companies, they are all but invisible to most recruiters.
The Meyerhoff Scholars program has been called the “gold standard” for providing a path into STEM research for African Americans, Hispanics, and economically disadvantaged white students who are underrepresented in the field. It has also been credited with changing the culture of the campus at UMBC.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Boeing today announced a new, $21 million partnership through which Boeing will invest $11 million to accelerate training in critical skill areas and increase diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Boeing becomes the first business to contribute at a national level to NSF INCLUDES, which aims to enhance U.S. innovation leadership through a commitment to broadening participation.
The five Alliances, as NSF calls them, will allow STEM educators to scale up existing diversity efforts by partnering with like-minded businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and local and state governments. The goal is to tear down disciplinary, geographic, and cultural barriers that hinder efforts to promote broader participation in STEM.
According to Micha Kilburn, director of Outreach and Education at the National Science Foundation’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics Center for the Evolution of the Elements, people have been studying STEM education for as long as we’ve been doing science. But it wasn’t until recent decades that these studies became more formal. Since then, the field of STEM education studies has been on the rise, with studies done both in academia and in industry, many dealing with diversity, inclusion and intervention.
The Federal Aviation Administration is endangering public safety by getting rid of key merit-based hiring criteria for air traffic controllers (such as rewarding high scores on the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam (AT-SAT), and graduation from FAA-accredited CTI Schools).
It is largely unclear why the University of Michigan needs such a large diversity department. Additionally, it’s unclear exactly what the department is responsible for. In a page on the university’s website entitled “Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” the department argues that they aim to make diversity and inclusion efforts a major part of the University of Michigan community.
The program, Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, now has 14 locations, boasts a 93 percent graduation rate, and has the capacity to graduate around 1,000 students each year. "Veterans are a talent pool we haven't sought in the past," says Microsoft's Vice President of Military Affairs Chris Cortez. "And the military vets very much represent our diverse country."