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."
Researchers trying to figure out how to get more black and Latino students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics usually focus on those students’ college years. In a new study that capitalizes on data from the National Center for Educational Statistics and methods that address causality, Cornell sociologists looked at an earlier portion of the pipeline - in high school, when students’ commitment to STEM fields tends to solidify.
When it comes to diversity in tech, the question that has haunted the industry for the past several years is ‘are we doing enough?’ “I don't know if I'll ever be able to say we're doing enough because I don't think I'll be able to say that until we're at 50%,” confesses McAfee Chief HR Officer Chatelle Lynch, “but we're sure doing everything I know how right now.”
In analyzing data from the Texas Education Research Center, SWE researchers found that less than 4 percent of female students chose engineering or computer science (ECS) majors compared to nearly 20 percent of men across two- and four-year institutions in the state. Evidence of a slight decrease in ECS major declarations among women comes despite more women than men enrolling in college each year.
Given the lack of diversity and reports of hostility and discrimination, Congressperson Bobby Scott called on the Government Accountability Office to conduct a report that examines diversity, inclusion, hiring and discrimination in the tech industry. The GAO’s takeaway is that federal agencies need to improve their oversight of tech companies and diversity data collection methods.