“The University of Delaware has received a prestigious National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant to enhance racial and gender diversity in our faculty. Diversity is a bedrock value at the University of Delaware because it strengthens and enriches us all. We are dedicated to ensuring that every voice is heard, every viewpoint considered, every value respected.” — Patrick Harker, former President, University of Delaware
While the number of women earning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) doctoral degrees has increased over the past two decades in the United States, women, especially women of color, continue to be significantly underrepresented in STEM academic positions. Moreover, their advancement to senior professorial ranks and leadership roles lags behind men’s. This underrepresentation of women is a critical issue for the nation as the need to develop a globally competitive and diverse workforce increases.
The National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program is aimed at increasing not only the representation but also the advancement of women in academic STEM careers through systemic change. This federal investment in ADVANCE programs demonstrates that diversity is a nationally recognized value.
In 2014, the University of Delaware received a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to effect large-scale comprehensive change and serve as a locus for research on gender equity and institutional transformation for academic STEM.
The objectives of UD ADVANCE are to
• Improve departmental microclimates for women faculty, especially women of color;
• Educate, mentor and support women STEM faculty, especially women post-tenure and women of color;
• Increase the transparency of policies, procedures and practices that affect faculty careers and enhance institutional data gathering, analysis and presentation; and
• Coordinate actions and discussions of diversity across the campus.