11 Professional Organizations That Support People of Color in STEM

Read the full story at Ripplematch.

Science, technology, engineering, and math fields are crucial to keeping our world functioning. They’re the basis for developing life-saving drugs and treatments, developing the software programs we depend on every day, solving environmental problems, and much more. However, there’s a large gap between the number of STEM jobs needing to be filled and people available to do them. The United States Department of Labor predicted that nearing 2020, 2.4 million STEM jobs would go unfulfilled, and the demand for qualified candidates to fill these roles is only going to grow. Despite the demand, people of color are vastly underrepresented in these fields. According to data on race and ethnic representation in STEM occupations from Pew Research Center, only 9 percent of STEM workers are Black and 7 percent are Hispanic. Other national data shows that in 2010, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders each made up only 0.2 percent of the STEM workforce.

To help close the racial/ethnic gap in STEM, a number of professional organizations exist to support people of color in STEM fields through networking, career development, scholarships, and more. With the high demand for STEM talent, employers should utilize every resource available to find promising candidates, including professional organizations. We’ve rounded up 11 professional organizations for people of color in STEM that should be on the radar of every employer working to create a diverse pipeline of talent – read on for the full list.

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