Category: Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Afghanistan’s terrified scientists predict huge research losses

Read the full story in Nature.

For 20 years, science has blossomed in Afghanistan. Now many researchers are fleeing and those who remain face lost funding and the threat of persecution.

The 7 R’s of integrating tribal and Indigenous partnerships into aquaculture literacy

Read the full story from NOAA.

Aquaculture, the fastest growing form of agriculture in the world, has the potential to create jobs, support resilient working waterfronts and coastal communities, and sustainably produce healthy food. As U.S. aquaculture grows, aquaculture resource managers and their partners have the opportunity to shape a community that is diverse, inclusive, and accessible. Integrating perspectives from tribal and Indigenous groups who have important histories and expertise with aquaculture is a critical step of this process.

More women than ever are starting careers in science

Read the full story in Nature.

But a study of the publications of millions of researchers also suggests that women are less likely to continue their academic careers than their male counterparts.

Cook Forest Preserve youth program aims to diversify conservation workforce

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Forestry and related fields have historically been dominated by white males but a program for suburban Cook County teens has a goal of drawing more workers of color.

A Caltech scientist has apologized for damaging a sacred site. Is it enough?

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

A Caltech professor who outraged Native American tribes by drilling holes in an ancient petroglyph site while doing research without a permit near Bishop, Calif., has issued a public apology, saying he was “horrified” by what he had done.

“While the area’s geology is of significant interest, it is also of cultural and historical importance,” the scientist, Joseph Kirschvink, wrote in a statement. “I am horrified that I inadvertently collected samples from a sacred area that I too cherish and respect. I sincerely and deeply apologize for the disturbance we caused.”

But even as Kirschvink and officials at Caltech seek to make amends for damage caused at a protected archaeological site, a growing number of Indigenous groups and academics say more needs to be done to protect cultural resources from unfettered scientific inquiry.

Black birders harness social media to push for field safety

Read the full story from WUNC.

Lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic motivated some people to pick up new hobbies, like baking or knitting. Lauren Pharr turned to bird blogging.

“[I was] in my house, just twiddling my thumbs,” Pharr said. “I was just kind of like, ‘Oh, let’s start a blog and start sharing all of my birding info’.”

Pharr is a PhD student and avian ecologist at North Carolina State University pursuing a degree in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology. During lockdown, she started blogging about her research, which investigated the impacts of light and noise pollution on bird survival.

“There were a ton of people who would reach out to me to say, ‘Wow, I never knew how light pollution could impact birds,’ and wanting to know how to fix these environmental issues,” Pharr said. “That’s like the icing on the cake right there, because it lets me know you’re wanting to fix this problem. You’re wanting to be part of the solution.”

A year later, Pharr posts regularly on her Instagram and Twitter accounts about birding. She is an intern with the North Carolina Sea Grant and has written several blog posts for The Nature Conservancy’s Cool Green Science series.

But as a Black birder, science communication has grown to be about more than sharing research for Pharr. It’s also about visibility: letting her roughly 6,000 Twitter followers and 6,000 Instagram followers know about her experiences as a Black birder, and the ground that remains to be covered when it comes to keeping her safe in the field.

Geocaching while Black: Outdoor pastime reveals racism and bias

Read the full story at NPR.

On a sweltering day earlier this summer, Marcellus Cadd was standing in a trendy neighborhood in downtown Austin.

His phone told him he was 20 feet from an object he was honing in on using GPS coordinates. He walked over to a bank of electrical meters on a building, got down on one knee, and started feeling underneath.

“Holy crap, I found it!” he said as he pulled out a small metallic container. Inside was a plastic bag with a paper log. Cadd signed it with his geocaching handle, “Atreides was here.”

Cadd is one of more than 1.6 million active geocachers in the United States, according to Groundspeak, Inc., which supports the geocaching community and runs one of the main apps geocachers use.

Every day for the past three years, he has taken part in what is essentially a high tech treasure hunt. It’s a volunteer-run game: some people hide the caches, other people find them.

But soon after he started, Cadd, who is Black, read a forum where people were talking about how they were rarely bothered by the police while geocaching.

“And I was thinking, man, I’ve been doing this six months and I’ve been stopped seven times.”..

He writes about encountering racism on the road on his blog, Geocaching While Black. He’s had some harrowing encounters, such as being called “boy” in Paris, Texas. Or finding a cache hidden inside a flagpole that was flying the Confederate flag.

Scientific publishers expedite name changes for authors

Read the full story in Nature.

Safety and equity concerns prompt some journals and scientific societies to hasten use of new names on transgender authors’ works.

Building a shark science community for women of color

Read the full story at NPR.

Jasmin, along with Amani Webber-SchultzCarlee Jackson, and Jaida Elcock, launched Minorities in Shark Sciences, or MISS for short, last year on Juneteenth. Their goal: create a community for women of color interested in studying sharks.

Why women need male allies in the workplace – and why fighting everyday sexism enriches men too

Women who perceive their male colleagues as allies are more likely to feel included in a workplace. 10’000 Hours/DigitalVision via Getty Images

by Meg Warren (Western Washington University)

Women and groups advocating for gender equality are increasingly urging men to become allies in the fight.

Research has shown that in the absence of male support, women have to shoulder the burden of battling routine workplace sexism such as misogynist humor and microaggressions on their own. This can lead to a sense of isolation, stress and exhaustion.

But what difference can one un-sexist man make?

My colleagues and I had a hunch that the actions of individual male allies – even through simple acts such as highlighting the strengths of female colleagues or checking in on their well-being – might serve as a counterweight to the negative effects of everyday sexism. But not only that, we decided to study how that might impact men as well.

How to behave like an ally

My colleagues and I tested these hunches in a new study published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinities.

We recruited 101 pairs of male and female colleagues employed in male-dominated departments across 64 research universities in the United States and Canada. We asked department heads to distribute our survey to female faculty members, and we then invited the women who responded to nominate a male colleague they work with regularly to take a companion survey.

We asked the women to what extent the male colleague they nominated behaved as an ally, such as by taking public stances on issues facing women and standing up when he sees discrimination. We also asked women if they felt like the colleague appreciated them – which is seen as a sign of inclusion – and how enthusiastic they felt working with him.

We asked the men to what extent they thought they behaved as allies, such as by reading up on the unique experiences of women or confronting sexist colleagues. We also wanted to know the extent to which they felt their support for women helped them “do better things” with their lives and acquire new skills that help them become a “better family member.” All answers were reported on a scale.

More inclusion for women, more growth for men

Just under half of women rated their male colleague as a strong ally. We found that women who perceived their male colleagues as allies reported higher levels of inclusion than those who didn’t, which is also why they said they experienced greater enthusiasm in working with them.

In other words, having men as allies in male-dominated workplaces seems to help women feel like they belong, and this helps them function enthusiastically with their male colleagues on the job.

This pattern has important long-term implications. If women feel energized and included, they might be more likely to stay with their employer – rather than quit – and strive to change a sexist workplace.

Men who were more likely to act as allies to women reported proportionately higher levels of personal growth and were more likely to say they acquired skills that made them better husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. This tendency suggests the possibility that being a male ally creates positive ripple effects that extend beyond the workplace.

An important first step

Despite these promising results, our research has a few caveats.

Our study found men and women often have differing perceptions of who is an ally. For example, 37% of women whose male colleagues saw themselves as strong allies disagreed with that assessment. And just over half of the men who were perceived as strong allies by women didn’t see themselves that way.

Yet, men benefited from seeing themselves as allies whether or not their female colleagues agreed. And importantly, women gained from perceiving their male colleagues as allies, even when the latter didn’t view themselves that way.

Our findings are also limited given the small sample size. And we don’t know what the men who identified themselves as allies have actually done, if anything, to help women. But that may be somewhat beside the point.

Ultimately, even men’s mere signaling that they want to be good allies is an important first step toward a shift in the way many men have historically treated the women in their lives. We believe it also leads to more workplace equality.

When women perceive men as supportive colleagues, it makes them feel more integral to the workplace. This suggests a good starting point for men who want to be allies: find more ways to express that support at work.

Meg Warren, Associate Professor of Management, Western Washington University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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