Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

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Careers in science, engineering, and medicine offer opportunities to advance knowledge, contribute to the well-being of communities, and support the security, prosperity, and health of the United States. But many women do not pursue or persist in these careers, or advance to leadership positions - not because they lack the talent or aspirations, but because they face barriers, including: implicit and explicit bias; sexual harassment; unequal access to funding and resources; pay inequity; higher teaching and advising loads; and fewer speaking invitations, among others.

There are consequences from this underrepresentation of women for the nation as well: a labor shortage in many science, engineering, and medical professions that cannot be filled unless institutions and organizations recruit from a broad and diverse talent pool; lost opportunities for innovation and economic gain; and lost talent as a result of discrimination, unconscious bias, and sexual harassment.

Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine reviews and synthesizes existing research on policies, practices, programs, and other interventions for improving the recruitment, retention, and sustained advancement into leadership roles of women in these disciplines. This report makes actionable recommendations to leverage change and drive swift, coordinated improvements to the systems of education, research, and employment in order to improve both the representation and leadership of women.

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