1031A Retaining LGBTQ+ Students and Early Career Professionals in STEM through Holistic Engagement

Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
K. Ryder Fox, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM; and A. J. Pina

Over the last few decades, successful initiatives welcomed in larger numbers of minorities into the STEM community, though current studies demonstrate retention challenges among LGBTQ+ people. Citing adverse climates, students and early career professionals often change directions mid-stride. A particularly marginalized group, transgender people may be twice as likely to endure workplace obstacles to entering the sciences as people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Additional barriers to LGBTQ+ people of traditional college age exist, including a fact that 40% of the homeless youth population identify as LGBTQ+.

A recent AMS survey to its members showed approximately 4% of respondents identified as LGBTQ+, which asks the question of how we can best support this population’s success and share their insight within our community. Perseverance, innovation, problem solving, and leadership are among the unique capacities mentors can foster by holistically engaging LGBTQ+ students and early career professionals. In this talk, presenters will address common questions faced by educators and mentors working with LGBTQ+ students and early career professionals and will offer insight into resources such as Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) that empower LGBTQ+ people and their mentors.

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