Posted on June 4, 2019

Underrepresented Faculty Play an Uneven Role in Advancing Diversity and Inclusion

Colorado State University,, June 3, 2019


But major disparities in gender, ethnicity and other aspects of a diverse workforce persist in various science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields at universities.

To learn more about these disparities, a team of researchers led by Colorado State University graduate student Miguel Jimenez and postdoctoral fellow Theresa Laverty surveyed 469 faculty members from ecology and evolutionary biology programs at universities across the United States.

They found that while most people who responded to the survey reported engaging in diversity and inclusion activities, those who participated in these activities at the highest levels were more likely to identify themselves as non-white, non-male or the first generation in their family to attend college.

The research team also found that this type of engagement was not perceived as being important for obtaining tenure and that faculty identified time and funding as major limitations to take part in diversity and inclusion activities. Based on the findings, the scientists recommend that institutions dedicate or reallocate more resources for diversity and inclusion activities and reconsider how faculty are evaluated to ensure shared responsibility.

The study will be published June 3 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.