05/06/2014 10:07 AM
BATON ROUGE – Wednesday, April 9, marked LSU’s inaugural STEM Networking Breakfast
hosted by the LSU Women’s Center, the University Council on Gender Equity – formerly
the University Council on Women – and the Office of Academic Affairs. This event
was planned with the goal of bringing together women, and those who support women,
in the STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, fields for a chance
to meet other professionals and potentially collaborate.
“We all know that STEM fields are critical, but unfortunately, women aren’t always
well-represented in those fields,” LSU Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Stuart
Bell said. “LSU is fortunate to have a significant number of women teaching and mentoring
students in the STEM fields, and that – along with this event – gives me great hope.
Last year, LSU graduated 1,819 students in STEM fields, but only 662 of those were
women. We are committed to seeing those numbers increase, so that we don’t lose the
talents of such a large portion of the population when it comes to addressing some
of the most important issues we face as a society.”
Participants included students, faculty and staff, both men and women, who are interested
in the retention and recruitment of women in the STEM fields. Many participants in
attendance expressed interest in collaborating on an ADVANCE grant from the National
Science Foundation to – increase the participation and advancement of women in academic
science and engineering careers. These large, multi-discipline grants provide funds
for salary and equipment costs to increase the number of female faculty and postdoctoral
scholars at the host institution. This event served to bring interested people together
from different departments and begin the networking process that is so critical in
undertaking large endeavors like this.
Improving diversity, particularly gender diversity, in the STEM fields is part of LSU’s Flagship Agenda. An important step towards this goal is to increase campus-wide support for existing female students and faculty in the STEM fields and to increase women’s representation in the STEM fields at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. With these goals in mind, the University Council on Gender Equity and the Women’s Center plan on hosting more events to continue this important work.
Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2014