ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation to benefit faculty in science, technology, engineering and math fields and build on prior NSF ADVANCE initiatives.The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has received a three-year, $1.25 million
Through a partnership, the grant will enable UAB, UAH and three of Alabama’s historically black colleges and universities — Alabama A&M University, Miles College and Oakwood University — to implement evidence-based activities that will lead to new and revised policies that promote gender equity for STEM faculty in the academic workplace.
“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, Ph.D., vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and principal investigator of the Alabama ADVANCE Partnership for Achieving Gender Equity in STEM.
“The number of women obtaining science, technology, engineering and mathematics doctoral degrees has increased steadily in recent decades,” she said. “However, women continue to be under-represented in STEM academic positions, especially at senior ranks and in leadership positions.”
“We also plan to increase representation and visibility of women, racial, ethnic minorities and other social identities in STEM departments by improving recruitment, retention and promotion practices and policies.”
~ Paulette Patterson Dilworth
UAB’s prior ADVANCE work focused on reducing implicit bias in hiring, tenure and promotion decisions that could lead women and individuals from different racial and ethnic populations to be evaluated less favorably and perpetuate under-participation in academic STEM careers.
The ADVANCE partnership will focus on intersectional, inclusive and intentional approaches to address systemic change strategies that promote equity for all STEM faculty in the academic workplace, consistent with UAB’s shared values of diversity, inclusion, excellence, achievement and accountability.
Intersectional approaches that address systemic change for STEM faculty recognize that gender, race and ethnicity do not exist in isolation from other dimensions of social identity, Dilworth says.
“We plan to utilize this partnership by implementing changes in practices and policies that inhibit gender equity and inclusion in STEM at partner institutions,” Dilworth said. “By gender we mean gender in terms of social identity. We also plan to increase representation and visibility of women, racial, ethnic minorities and other social identities in STEM departments by improving recruitment, retention and promotion practices and policies.”