My head spins when I see science opportunities designed to increase the diversity of applicants to graduate STEM programs, they are designed to exclude students who just graduated. I think this filters out a lot of the target population.
Low-income students receive less support as undergraduates, so it’s harder for them to make the transition into grad school while they’re enrolled as undergraduates. Then, once these students graduate, they get even less support!
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The pipeline metaphor has a lot of problems. In STEM careers, people come from a wide range of backgrounds, receive undergraduate and graduate degrees, and are bound for a wide variety of destinations. A path into a STEM career shouldn’t have to be linear, so a pipeline doesn’t make much sense.
However, I get why people like to use the pipeline metaphor. Continue reading →
When we talk about increasing the representation of women and ethnic minorities in STEM, the path towards a professional career is often characterized as a “pipeline.”
The pipeline metaphor is so entrenched, it affects how people think about our deep-rooted problems. This metaphor has become counterproductive, because it fails to capture the nature of the problem that we are trying to solve. Even if we were to magically repair all of the so-called “pipeline,” we still would have what some would call “pipeline issues.”
What are the problems with the pipeline metaphor? Continue reading →