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Turning the Tide for Academic Women in STEM: A Postpandemic Vision for Supporting Female Scientists.

Authors
  • Shah, Anuj1
  • Lopez, Isabella1
  • Surnar, Bapurao1, 2
  • Sarkar, Shrita1
  • Duthely, Lunthita M3
  • Pillai, Asha2, 4
  • Salguero, Tina T5
  • Dhar, Shanta1, 2, 6
  • 1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, United States. , (United States)
  • 2 Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, United States. , (United States)
  • 3 Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, United States. , (United States)
  • 4 Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, United States. , (United States)
  • 5 Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, United States. , (Georgia)
  • 6 Department of Chemistry, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33136, United States. , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
ACS Nano
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c09686
PMID: 34850631
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The "leaky pipeline" of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which is especially acute for academic mothers, continues to be problematic as women face continuous cycles of barriers and obstacles to advancing further in their fields. The severity and prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic both highlighted and exacerbated the unique challenges faced by female graduate students, postdocs, research staff, and principal investigators because of lockdowns, quarantines, school closures, lack of external childcare, and heightened family responsibilities, on top of professional responsibilities. This perspective provides recommendations of specific policies and practices that combat stigmas faced by women in STEM and can help them retain their careers. We discuss actions that can be taken to support women within academic institutions, journals, government/federal centers, university-level departments, and individual research groups. These recommendations are based on prior initiatives that have been successful in having a positive impact on gender equity─a central tenet of our postpandemic vision for the STEM workforce.

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