Women of color often play an outsized role in mentorship, service, and outreach to make science more inclusive, equitable, and socially just. However, these efforts are rarely professionally acknowledged or rewarded. Our Fellowship for the Future elevates these women’s voices and leadership—and provides them with additional resources to amplify their contributions in STEM.
As we have written before, to address the institutional barriers and biases that push women out of science, we cannot solely focus on issues of gender in science without recognizing intersectionality. We need to explicitly address additional forms of privilege and inequity that exist in STEM, including racial inequity. Currently, white men and women each comprise approximately 30% of the U.S. population, but white men hold ~49% of science and engineering occupations compared to ~18% of white women. The statistics are lower for Black, Hispanic, and Native women, who make up ~16% of the U.S. population, but make up ~5% of the science and engineering workforce (see Figure below). Overall, approximately 1 in 10 working in science or engineering is a woman of color.
Our fellowship aims to change this statistical story by building a new network of leaders and projects that help break down barriers in STEM and connect women of color together in leadership.