Abstract Detail



ASPT Incoming President Address - Pamela Soltis

Soltis, Pamela [1].

Fixing the Leaks in the Pipeline:  Expanding Inclusiveness in Botanical Sciences.

As a society, we have made great strides in educating a diverse public: enrollment in undergraduate programs at US colleges and universities increasingly reflects the growing diversity of the U.S. population, which in 2014 was ~50% women and composed of the following racial and ethnic groups: Hispanics, 17%; blacks, 13%; Asians, 6%; and other racial and ethnic groups combined (American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and individuals who report more than one race and are not Hispanic), 2%. Likewise, gender equity has also improved, with ~50% of all Science and Engineering (S&E) bachelor’s degrees awarded to women over the past 20 years (NSF 2017). However, despite increased participation in the educational process by groups other than white men, women and minorities remain underrepresented in the workforce, with 49% of all S&E jobs held by white men. Part of this gap reflects gaps in degrees awarded, but additional societal factors also contribute even when the number of awardees is similar. In fact, many such factors also affect the choices of students to enter S&E degree programs. The numbers of degrees awarded to women vary across scientific disciplines and among bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. In the Biosciences, women earn more bachelor’s degrees than men, with equal numbers of Master’s degrees to each gender, and slightly more Ph.D.s awarded to women. However, in Computer Science and Engineering, women are only 20% of the bachelor’s degree recipients, 25-30% of the Master’s recipients, and 20% of the Ph.D. recipients. The percentages for minority women are even worse. Similar numbers are reflected in the composition of those who participate in workshops on digitization of biodiversity collections. Together, these numbers indicate that greater efforts are needed to develop a more diverse, inclusive, and therefore stronger scientific workforce, particularly in the areas connecting data sciences and biodiversity.    


1 - Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Special Presentations
Number:
Abstract ID:1059
Candidate for Awards:None


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