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STAYING POWER: A convening on postdoctoral women in STEM

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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Keck Center)

500 5th St NW

Washington, DC 20001

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Event description
In collaboration with L’Oréal USA, the National Academies will host a gathering focused on supporting postdoctoral women in STEM.

About this Event

When: Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Reception to follow.

Where: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Keck Center, 500 5th Street NW, E Street Conference Room

What: In collaboration with L’Oréal USA, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host a gathering focused on effective practices for supporting postdoctoral women in STEM. At this convening, participants will hear a presentation of new research findings, commissioned by L’Oréal USA and the Heising-Simons Foundation, and carried out by RTI International, that explore the experiences of a cohort of researchers who were recipients of the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science (FWIS) fellowship during their postdoctoral years. The presentation of new research will be followed by a series of panel discussions to address key takeaways from the survey and policy implications. Through these discussions, we will dig deeper into how to support more women who would otherwise leave STEM fields, better understand which interventions are worthy of replicating at scale, and consider next steps to do so.

Background:

Though the representation of women in STEM fields has increased over the years, there remains a significant drop-off at every stage, particularly during the years between postdoctoral and tenure-track positions. Promoting the strategies that have proven effective in the retention of women in STEM fields at this critical postdoctoral juncture, as well as continuing to understand the factors that cause women to leave STEM, is essential to ensuring women attain leadership positions and achieve success at the highest levels of science.

Unfortunately, a lack of data on postdocs undermines efforts to better understand the factors that contribute to attrition and retention of women during the postdoctoral stage. To quote a 2014 study by the National Academies: “current data on the postdoctoral population, in terms of demographics, career aspirations, and career outcomes, are neither adequate nor timely.” In response to this issue, and to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the FWIS fellowship, L’Oréal USA partnered with the Heising-Simons Foundation to commission a study of the FWIS fellows that provides new data on this important topic.

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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Keck Center)

500 5th St NW

Washington, DC 20001

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