The FIU ADVANCE team is conducting a social science study, the Microclimate Project, that is designed to explore the complexity of how a multiethnic cultural climate within FIU STEM departments affects the advancement of women in STEM, particularly Hispanic-American and African-American women faculty, with a focus on intersectionality. Intersectionality refers to the interconnections of race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, and the overlapping and interdependent systems of advantage or disadvantage they create. Both qualitative (focus groups and interviews) and quantitative methods (network analysis) are being used in this investigation.
This innovative approach will allow us to uncover patterns of connections, influence, information flow and exchange of resources that are hampering the advancement of women and underrepresented minority women in STEM.
The knowledge gained will be used to develop activities, including the Bystander Leadership and AWED Theater Programs, which aim to reduce bias among these populations and encourage innovation in terms of advancing women in STEM.