Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

Addressing the Cultural Context of STEM Pursuits

By Angela Byars-Winston - 01.16.2012

On December 9th, the White House honored twelve individuals as Champions of Change in America.

They were recognized for their efforts to recruit and retain women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

I am humbled to be selected as one of those twelve individuals and share this honor with numerous mentors and colleagues with whom I have had the tremendous opportunity to collaborate on research.

Two years ago, President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign was launched to improve the nation’s participation in STEM, particularly for youth.

Among the three pillars of this campaign is the commitment to “expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls.”

My scholarship supports this third pillar by contributing research evidence to the STEM discourse on the impact of cultural factors on academic and career outcomes….

Addressing Career Development.

Many individuals are highly motivated to pursue and intrinsically interested in STEM fields but have limited knowledge about the diverse career pathways and jobs they can pursue with a STEM degree.

In a recent New York Times article on November 4, 2011 titled, “Why Science Majors Change Their Minds”, data from the National Science Board was reported that many STEM students lose sight of why they pursued the field in the first place.

Facilitating career exploration, career planning, and career commitment may help address this erosion of STEM career goals.

What can you do?  Consider these six ideas:

I am doing my part to support President Obama’s challenge to “Out-Build, Out-Educate, and Out-innovate” future competitors.

Please join me and the other 2011 Champions for Women in STEM in doing the same.


3 Responses so far

Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire: “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

I’m so pleased that this opportunity is becoming available to young women. I hope it gives them strength and courage to chase their dreams and become successful. Too many times, regardless of color, women are succumbing to the “housewife” role still.

I think that you are right, the ladies in the world are put down in many ways. I think giving us equal chances is very important.

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