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Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss the current status of women of color in academia and explore the challenges and successful initiatives for creating the institutional changes required to increase representation of women of color at all levels of the academic workforce. While the number of women, including minority women, pursuing higher education in science, engineering and medicine has grown, the number of minority women faculty in all institutions of higher education has remained small and has grown less rapidly than the numbers of nonminority women or minority men.

Seeking Solutions reviews the existing research on education and academic career patterns for minority women in science, engineering, and medicine to enhance understanding of the barriers and challenges to the full participation of all minority women in STEM disciplines and academic careers. Additionally, this report identifies reliable and credible data source and data gaps, as well as key aspects of exemplary policies and programs that are effective in enhancing minority women's participation in faculty ranks. Success in academia is predicated on many factors and is not solely a function of talent. Seeking Solutions elucidates those other factors and highlights ways that institutions and the individuals working there can take action to create institutional cultures hospitable to people of any gender, race, and ethnicity.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2013. Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

292 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-29591-8
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-29594-9
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xii
Introduction 1-3
1 Statistics on the Career Pathways of Women of Color Faculty in Academia 4-17
2 People Behind the Statistics 18-21
3 Multiple Marginality: Gender, Race, and Equity in Science Education and Research 22-26
4 The Key Role of Professional Societies 27-31
5 Impact of Federal Agencies: Leading by Example 32-36
6 Successful Practices and Strategies for Institutional Transformation 37-41
7 Successful Strategies and Resources for Moving Ahead 42-66
8 Moving Forward 67-70
Appendix A-1: Education and Academic Career Outcomes for Women of Color in Science and Engineering 71-92
Appendix A-2: Women of Color among STEM Faculty: Experiences in Academia 93-107
Appendix B: Agenda and List of Participants 108-116
Appendix C: Biographies of Speakers 117-134
Appendix D: Annotated Bibliographies 135-150
Appendix E-1: Call for Written Testimony & Summary of Programmatic Efforts and Recommendations from Written Testimonies 151-154
Appendix E-2: American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Minority Women in Science 155-159
Appendix E-3: Women of Color in Astronomy and Astrophysics 160-165
Appendix E-4: American Chemical Society Written Testimonies 166-167
Appendix E-5: American Indian Science and Engineering Society Written Testimony 168-169
Appendix E-6: Women of Color in Physics Departments: A Data Picture17 170-172
Appendix E-7: American Mathematical Society Written Testimony 173-182
Appendix E-8: American Meteorological Society Written Testimony 183-187
Appendix E-9: American Physical Society Written Testimony 188-194
Appendix E-10: American Political Science Association Written Testimony 195-197
Appendix E-11: American Psychological Association Written Testimony 198-203
Appendix E-12: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Written Testimony 204-206
Appendix E-13: American Society for Civil Engineering 207-210
Appendix E-14: American Society of Engineering Education 211-216
Appendix E-15: American Society of Mechanical Engineering 217-218
Appendix E-16: American Society for Microbiology Written Testimony 219-223
Appendix E-17: American Sociological Association Written Testimony 224-228
Appendix E-18: Association for Women in Mathematics Written Testimony 229-233
Appendix E-19: Biomedical Engineering Society Written Testimony 234-236
Appendix E-20: Academic Women of Color in Computing: A Testimony on the Issues and Possible Solutions 237-241
Appendix E-21: Geological Society of America Written Testimony 242-243
Appendix E-22: NASA and Women of Color: Recruitment, Building a Pipeline, and Ensuring Inclusion and Diversity in the Workforce 244-248
Appendix E-23: National Institutes of Health Efforts to Promote Advancement of Women of Color in Biomedical Research 249-255
Appendix E-24: National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Written Testimony 256-259
Appendix E-25: National Postdoctoral Association Written Testimony 260-264
Appendix E-26: National Society of Hispanic Physicists 265-270
Appendix E-27: National Society of Black Physicists 271-272
Appendix E-28: Rutgers University Women of Color Scholars Initiative 273-276
Appendix E-29: Society for Neuroscience Written Testimony 277-280

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