YWCA of the City of New York Issues Recommendations Aimed at Addressing Race and Gender Disparities in the STEM Field

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Today's Relase of YWSTEAAM™ Offers Vision and Programmatic Approach Based on Advocacy for STEM Education Equity

“It is our hope that YWSTEAAMocracy will not only empower young women to pursue and persist in rewarding STEM careers, but also raise cultural and institutional awareness about the urgency of making STEM more equitable,” Dr. Danielle Moss Lee

Today, YWCA of the City of New York released its new publication “Welcome to the YWSTEAAMocracy ‘The Future of STEM is Inclusive'” Equity Ideas of Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The report contains a comprehensive analysis that frames persistent barriers that impede race and gender equity in the STEM field. In the report, research was distilled to outline an approach that uses activism as an important method to enhance the experience of women and girls in a variety of STEM settings.

“Our mission stands for the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women,” said Dr. Danielle Moss Lee, CEO of YWCA of the City of New York. “This has emboldened us to offer a set of equity ideas that will disrupt the status quo and tackle institutional barriers that impact race and gender equity in STEM programs,” she said.

Although in recent years women have advanced in both education and the workforce, the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers and programs –particularly those from marginalized communities persists. For example, women have held less than 25% of STEM jobs in the past decade and specifically, according to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, women currently only make up 14% of engineers.

To improve the experiences of women and girls and other underrepresented groups in the STEM field, the YWSTEAAM™ model seeks to embed 6 core principles in curriculum development, teaching strategies, classroom environment and the general ethos of institutions. The principles that make up the YW equity approach include:
1.    Hands-on/real world applications;
2.    Intentional cultivation of science identity;
3.    Explicit gender- and race-inclusive practices;
4.    Community building and near-peer mentoring;
5.    Leadership development;
6.    Social justice awareness.

“It is our hope that YWSTEAAMocracy will not only empower young women to pursue and persist in rewarding STEM careers, but also raise cultural and institutional awareness about the urgency of making STEM more equitable,” Dr. Lee added.

The full “Welcome to the YWSTEAAMocracy” report can be downloaded at: https://www.ywcanyc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FutureOfSTEM-Publication.pdf

About the YWCA of the City of New York
The YWCA of the City of New York was founded in 1858 to provide safe housing and educational resources for women. In its 158 years of operation, the organization has maintained its commitment to advancement and opportunity for girls and women through housing, job training and educational classes, while upholding its commitment to the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women. For more information, visit http://www.ywcanyc.org/. For specific questions about the Welcome to the YWSTEAAMocracy report, please contact ywsteaam(at)ywcanyc(dot)org.

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Brian Franklin
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