Systemic disadvantages for LGBTQ professionals in STEM

Thursday, March 18 at 9:00am

Zoom Link:

Speaker: Erin Cech, PhD, University of Michigan

Researchers have documented race and gender bias in STEM for decades, but there has been little parallel examination of LGBTQ status as an axis of inequality. How do LGBTQ-identifying STEM professionals fare in STEM? Drawing on the NSF-funded STEM Inclusion Study data of over 25,000 STEM workers, Dr. Cech will discuss her recent study of LGBTQ inequality among STEM professionals. Her research is the first to document persistent and systemic disadvantages for LGBTQ STEM professionals, compared to their non-LGBTQ peers, and she documents these disadvantages along numerous dimensions: day-to-day workplace experiences, career limitations, professional devaluation, marginalization and harassment, turnover intentions, and health and wellness issues. This research reveals LGBTQ status as a clear axis of inequality in STEM and underscores the need for organizational and cultural shifts to address these patterns.

Dr. Erin Cech is an Assistant Professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC San Diego and undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Sociology from Montana State University. Cech's research examines cultural mechanisms of inequality reproduction--especially through seemingly innocuous cultural beliefs and practices. Her work on inequality in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions focuses on the recruitment and retention of women, people of color, and LGBTQ-identifying persons in STEM degree programs and STEM jobs. Her research has been covered in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Harvard Business Review, and the news sections of Science and Nature, and in 2020, she was honored as one of “40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40” by Business Equality Magazine.

Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning
CITRAL, UC Santa Barbara Library, Room 1576