MRIGlobal Scientist Supports National Academy Of Science Program On Advancing Diversity


diversity_stem4x3Publication Cites Need for Game-Changing Environment to Add Women, Underrepresented Minorities to STEM Workforce.

The National Academy of Sciences has released a new report, “Advancing Diversity in the US Industrial Science and Engineering Workforce,” and MRIGlobal is proud to note the contributions of Robert P. Casillas, Ph.D., to the publication.

Casillas, Vice President of Global Health Security for MRIGlobal and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, served on the National Academy’s Committee on Capitalizing on the Diversity of the Science and Engineering Workforce in Industry.

The 10-member committee organized a workshop to explore options to correct the underrepresentation of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The workshop, “Creating a Game-Changing Environment for All in the Industrial Workforce,” enlisted leaders from industry, academia, and professional associations.

The Academy’s new publication is a summary of that workshop. The report is intended to facilitate continued discussion and action to address the disproportionally small fraction of minorities and women in STEM. Topics include best practices and innovative approaches in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women and underrepresented minorities in the scientific and engineering workforce.

“We found that there’s a lot more work needed to produce a ‘game-changing environment,'” Casillas said. “The evidence shows that women and minorities are not moving into science and engineering at the rates one would expect; they also are not advancing into leadership positions.”

Casillas noted several opportunities for change, including these documented in the report:

Earlier introduction, at kindergarten through grade 12, to science and engineering
Career guidance on STEM fields
Stronger outreach from industry to university programs
Greater diversity in recruitment staffing
Peer group or cohort mentoring, in addition to one-on-one mentoring
Research into societal factors that influence women and underrepresented minorities’ decision making regarding STEM careers
The publication is available from the National Academies Press as a free download or for purchase as a paperback book. In addition to the workshop summary, the report includes a list of selected literature on the topic of advancing diversity in the science and engineering workforce.

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