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University of Alabama Grant to Address Gender Equity in STEM Faculty

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has received a $1.25 million grant to promote gender equity for STEM faculty in the academic workplace, the school announced in a release.

The university’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion received the three-year ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation to further equity and inclusion among the STEM faculty members.

The school will collaborate with the Alabama A&M University, Miles College, Oakwood University and the University of Alabama at Huntsville to implement evidence-based activities that will lead to the participation of more women in STEM academic positions.

“UAB has been a leader in efforts to advance gender equity in STEM, so it makes perfect sense for us to continue our leadership in this area,” said Paulette Patterson Dilworth, vice president for UAB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“The number of women obtaining science, technology, engineering and mathematics doctoral degrees has increased steadily in recent decades. However, women continue to be underrepresented in STEM academic positions, especially at senior ranks and in leadership positions.”

The partnership will mostly focus on intersectional, inclusive and intentional approaches to address systemic change that promotes equity for all STEM faculties. The university will also improve its recruitment, retention and promotion practices and policies to increase representation and visibility of women, racial, ethnic minorities and other social identities in STEM departments.

Recent studies find that the growth of faculty diversity is happening slowly in many higher education institutions across the country. The gender and ethnoracial faculty data suggest that only 4.6 percent of tenured faculty at such schools are Hispanic, and only 4.05 percent are African American.

Representation of women in tenured faculty-level positions at doctoral level institutions also continues to lag behind the men. Only 32.63 percent of women enjoy tenured faculty status within these institutions.

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