Refining an Assessment Tool to Optimize Gender Equity in Professional STEM Societies

WCER Working Paper No. 2021-7

Jan W. Peters, Rebecca A. Campbell-Montalvo, Gretalyn M. Leibnitz, Heather Metcalf, Andrea Lucy-Putwen, Donald L. Gillian-Daniel, Ershela L. Sims, and Verónica A. Segarra

November 2021, 9 pp.


Professional societies (ProSs) are instrumental in shaping science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) cultural norms. Existing legacy structures designed to serve majority groups and constructed in service of dominant norms and values present a clear obstacle to attracting, retaining, and serving minoritized STEM professionals, such as women, particularly women with additional intersecting marginalized statuses (Solebello et al., 2016). In this perspective article, we in the Amplifying the Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success project, known as ACCESS+, explain our development of an adapted diversity, equity, and inclusion assessment tool. ACCESS+ is an NSF ADVANCE Partnership that is adapting a pre-existing tool known as the Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework, which was developed in the United Kingdom jointly by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Council (2021). As with the original version, the purpose of the U.S. adaptation—the Equity Environmental Scanning Tool, or EEST—is to provide STEM ProSs with a way to benchmark their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, discern areas of organizational strength, and identify foci for organizational remediation. In this piece, we share background information for EEST refinement, including content adaptations and structural changes.

This paper is now published as: Leibnitz, G., Peters, J. W., Campbell-Montalvo, R., Metcalf, H., Lucy-Putwen, A., Gillian-Daniel, D. L., Sims, E. L. & Segarra, V. A. (2022) Refining a DEI Assessment Tool for Use in Optimizing Professional STEM Societies for Gender Equity. Frontiers in Sociology, 7:755372.

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keywords: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering. Mathematics), equity, professional societies and associations, assessment, survey design