Erin A. Cech

Collaborative Research: ECR EIE DCL: Broadening Participation of Underrepresented Scholars in Academic STEM: The Influence of an Inclusive Climate on Early-Career Outcomes

Research Project Description
Isis Hattie Settles, Erin A. Cech

To increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic STEM faculty, we need a true transformation of the STEM climate. We are seeking funding to study how an inclusive climate affects academic STEM career outcomes, particularly for early-career individuals from underrepresented groups.

Despite the importance of diversity in science, success in achieving a more diverse STEM faculty has been limited. Career outcomes and attitudes are affected by having a workplace that is well-matched to one's needs, skills, and values. We argue that for individuals in STEM from underrepresented groups, 'fit' requires an inclusive climate (i.e., an environment that values differences and makes all feel welcome), which is related to positive career outcomes. In particular, given the overwhelming importance of academic publishing for developing faculty careers in STEM, we suggest that an inclusive authorship climate allows individuals to receive appropriate authorship opportunities and credit, thereby supporting the transition of underrepresented individuals to STEM faculty and positively affecting the careers of faculty who persist.

We will survey graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and assistant professors in STEM departments across the U.S. in order to quantify differences in the effect of an inclusive climate on the career outcomes of scholars at three different career stages, in departments with different institutional prestige, and in disciplines with different norms and cultures. With the goal of reducing barriers to full participation (e.g., high productivity, positive career attitudes) for underrepresented, early-career scholars, we will strategically share the results of our project to maximize their positive effect on diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM for early-career scholars in different types of departments and disciplines.

Funding:
National Science Foundation
(2000579)

Funding Period: 8/1/2020 to 7/31/2023

Website for: Collaborative Research: ECR EIE DCL: Broadening Participation of Underrepresented Scholars in Academic STEM: The Influence of an Inclusive Climate on Early-Career Outcomes

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