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National Academies Finds College Mentoring Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion in STEMM

National Academies Finds College Mentoring Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion in STEMM

In a recent report, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that mentoring could improve diversity and inclusion in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine), but that it is still not given the attention it merits. The study finds that without effective mentorships, underrepresented students in STEMM could be disproportionately affected, resulting in lower rates of retention and therefor greater disparity in STEMM fields. The report offers a series of recommendations for universities and colleges to implement in order to strengthen mentorships at their institutions to promote diversity and inclusion of underrepresented populations in STEMM fields.

The study was conducted by the Committee on Effective Mentoring in STEMM. The final report was released along with an online interactive guide to support institutions of higher education and faculty in implementing the report’s recommendations. Below is an outline of key findings and key recommendations included in the report:

Key findings of the report include:

  1. Sociodemographic Diversity Provides Benefits to STEMM that May Be Underrealized
  2. Effective Mentorship Is Associated with Positive Mentee Outcomes
  3. Effective Mentorship Involves Intentionality
  4. Identities Are Important for Inclusive and Effective Mentorship
  5. Effective Mentorship Is a Learned and Developed Skill
  6. Mentorship Processes and Outcomes Can Be Measured
  7. Broadening Access to Effective Mentorship Is Contingent on Institutional Change

Report recommendations include:

  1. Adopt an Operational Definition of Mentorship in STEMM
  2. Use an Evidenced-Based Approach to Support Mentorship
  3. Establish and Use Structured Feedback Systems to Improve Mentorship at All Levels
  4. Recognize and Respond to Identities in Mentorship
  5. Support Multiple Mentorship Structures
  6. Reward Effective Mentorship
  7. Mitigate Negative Mentorship Experiences
  8. Recommendations for Funding Agencies that Support Mentorship
  9. Recommendations to Scholars of Mentorship

To read the full report, please visit:

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