Reimagining the Pipeline: Advancing STEM Diversity, Persistence, and Success

Bioscience. 2014 Jul;64(7):612-618. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu076.


Achieving trainee diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is rapidly becoming a challenge faced by many nations. Success in this area ensures the availability of a workforce capable of engaging in scientific practices that will promote increased production capacity and creativity and will preserve global scientific competitiveness. The near-term vision of achieving this goal is within reach and will capitalize on the growing numbers of underrepresented minority groups in the population. Although many nations have had remarkable histories as leaders in science and technology, few have simultaneously struggled with the challenge of meeting the educational and training needs of underrepresented groups. In this article, we share strategies for building the agency of the scientific community to achieve greater diversity by highlighting four key action areas: (1) aligning institutional culture and climate; (2) building interinstitutional partnerships; (3) building and sustaining critical mass; and (4) ensuring, rewarding, and maximizing faculty involvement.

Keywords: STEM education; diversity; retention; training; workforce.