Women and minority faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Here, Florida International University (FIU) discusses FUI ADVANCE, a research mission tackling institutional bias against women and minority faculty

FUI ADVANCE received a five-year $3.2 million institutional transformation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has led to some interesting and brilliant change at the University.

Here, we learn about ‘microclimates’: the term describes local social climates within a department that may differ from the larger organisational climate. With this knowledge, we further learn about the projects established at FIU by the Women, Equity and Diversity (AWED) office.

Did you know that The Microclimate project at FIU used interviews, focus groups and personal stories alongside theoretical research? This enabled them to tap into the rhythms of thinking and bias at the University, then carefully alter those rhythms to enable more women of colour to attain Tenure.

For instance their previous project, the ACE five-year intervention, increased the number of tenure line faculty in STEM from 11% to 17%.

Another research output from the team at FIU involved the theory of intersectionality, looking at how gender, race class and cultural identity function together in a thriving, academic environment.

Through this, AWED worked further on how discrimination could be dismantled via analysing Middle Eastern men’s identities and applying the output to women of colour in STEM.

Finally, the team also have a bold and hopeful statistic: in three years, from 2016 to 2019, the FUI ADVANCE project has taken the percentage of women in tenure line jobs from 17% to 29%. You can read here how they achieved this crucial change, through their dynamic people-based approach to destroying the intricate glass ceilings for women and minority faculty.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here