The University of Kansas School of Engineering's diversity and women's program is celebrating its 50th year. IHAWKe was founded in 1971, and the addition of groups such as the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers in 1987 has helped foster diversity within the school in the years since.
Laura Kate Holden, a high-school senior from Columbus, Ga., has been conducting interviews with women in STEM for a podcast she launched in the fall as part of a school chapter of GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science). Holden, who uses scientific papers to find guests from around the world, says she got the idea for the podcast after a club networking event was canceled because of the pandemic.
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Hispanic workers account for just 8% of the STEM workforce despite representing 17% of all workers in the US, illustrating ongoing diversity challenges in STEM, according to a Pew Research Center study. Although the share of Hispanic workers in STEM has improved by 1% in the last five years, Hispanic and Black workers remain underrepresented while white and Asian workers are overrepresented, the study concludes.
A focus on diversity in engineering serves to lift everyone up, and the Catalyst organization's Men Advocating Real Change serves to highlight the existing inequity of white male privilege, Brian Pfeiffer writes. MARC encourages men in leadership to become allies of women and others to bring about diversity as a proven growth driver.
Plans for a $100,000 technology classroom are underway at a Pennsylvania high school with upgraded wiring, multipurpose furniture and laptop computers, says technology director Frank Gingras. Technology teacher Christine Morimando says she wants to collaborate with other teachers so that students can, for example, work with English or history students on video presentations or displays for projects.
Teachers at an elementary school in Texas are using Discovery Education's digital platform to integrate STEM lessons across the curriculum. Among other things, students use Zoom to complete digital STEM lessons, including one about polar bears in which students connected with scientists worldwide.
Smart leaders manage conflict well by reframing it as a misalignment and using their boss as a mentor and guide, among other tactics, writes Marlene Chism. "Although no leader enjoys conflict, competent leaders understand that conflict is not the problem: Mismanagement is," she writes.
Resiliency and innovation are rarely on the surface, and uncovering them requires inquiry of situations, other people's views and yourself, writes Larry Robertson. "The goal here is less an answer and more tapping the cognitive dissonance that shakes you free of the obvious," he writes.
Mentors, sponsors and allies are vital to "help people understand what their potential is" and improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce, said Dana Lodge, chief financial officer of Everest Insurance. Companies must ensure that top leadership is supportive of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and help middle management overcome unconscious bias regarding employees and job candidates, Lodge said.
Building a culture of inclusivity is key for retaining talent and spurring innovation in the chemical industry, said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling and Celanese CEO Lori Ryerkerk during the World Petrochemical Conference. While recruiting from a more diverse pool of potential workers is not difficult, "the hard part is retaining people and creating that culture of inclusion," Ryerkerk said.
The asteroid that struck Earth about 66 million years ago likely changed the makeup of the tropical rainforests of South America, a study in Science suggests. Researchers say the mass extinction eliminated dinosaurs, while ash from the impact may have added nutrients to the soil that boosted growth of tropical plants, among other possibilities.
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