CGEST Policy Recommendations
We have compiled the following recommendations from our work with the WOCCC projects, program outcomes, and other research initiatives that offer many ways for key influencers and policymakers to engage in the process of bringing about meaningful progress.
1. Federal funding agencies should create and maintain in perpetuity one collated database of funding opportunities. This database should be accessible to the public, allow for viewers to search both solicitations and funded programs along with a multitude of sociocultural features, and be consistently updated. Features should reveal the race, gender, ethnic, Indigeneity, age, sexual orientation and other relevant identity markers of project participants and principal and co-principal investigators.
2. Federal funding agencies should require all institutions requesting funds to share disaggregated data over time and along professional status e.g. senior administrators, staff. An accountability system should be established and consequences to lack of progress in demographic data at all ranks implemented. Progress should be determined based on other factors than diversity. For instance, length of time and percentage of underrepresented women of color move through promotion, tenure, and into senior-level administration positions disaggregated by nationality, race, gender expansiveness, language, etc.
3. Federal funding agencies should invest time and resources to develop private-public partnerships. Similar to Funders for Reproductive Equity, the work should lead to an intentional and strategic series of "Big Bet" funds (~$10m) specific to supporting program development and culturally responsive evaluation about girls and/or women of color in STEM. These funds should minimally provide 10-years worth of monies with at least $1million in direct costs annually.
4. To adopt intersectionality as a funding framework, federal, private, and corporate funders need to agree on how the term should be applied in their solicitations and assessed for impact in their respective organizations. This type of evaluation needs to be historicized through empirical research and conducted over time.
WOCCC Policy Recommendations
1. To support women of color in STEM industries, create institutional policies and programs that enhance belonging like leveraging familial capital, formalizing mentorship programs, and expanding funding for ethnic and gender specific STEM conferences.
2. To engage Black and Latina youth in STEM, shift resources to attract and retain highly qualified STEM teachers and invest in STEM curriculum and materials that reflect the gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of public school students.
3. To advance equity for women of color in tech, require STEM faculty and advisors to complete training in systemic racism, unconscious bias, and intersectionality so they are more aware of the systems that contribute to inequities and better positioned to structure their courses to support women of color.
4. To sustain Black women’s participation in the field, addressing issues of access is not enough. Those with power must do the work to transform the field by building coalitions, mentoring, and maintaining relationships with Black women.
5. To reduce barriers causing funding disparities women of color STEM female entrepreneurs of color, startup incubators and investment firms should: Broaden networks, outreach, and deal sourcing strategies to make explicit efforts to reach tech entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds; Remove arbitrary selection criteria or decision-making that disadvantage entrepreneurs of color; remove “weed-out” philosophy from your program culture, operations, and curriculum to focus on engaging entrepreneurs through holistic support and flexible design.
WOCCC Policy Briefs
The Women of Color in Computing Collaborative is comprised of 14 research projects exploring the participation of women of color in computing in higher education, the technology workforce, technology entrepreneurship, and venture capital.
These emerging research findings has been used to inform practices and strategies that can be implemented by educators, DEI practitioners, tech industry leaders, and venture capitalists to ensure women of color are included as leaders and creators in our rapidly growing technology ecosystem.
View the policy briefs created through each of the research initiatives below.
- A Mixed Methods Study of the Experiences of Undergraduate Latina Students in Computing
- Trends in Bachelor’s Degree Completion among Women of Color in Computing
- The Developing Aspirations of Girls of Color Towards Computer Science: A Comparative Examination of the Role of Teachers, Peers, and STEM Stereotypes
- Speaking Truth To Power: Exploring the Intersectional Experiences of Black Women in Computing
- Building a Collaborative Network to Support WOC in UX/UI
- Intersectionality as a Methodological Tool for Understanding Undergraduate Women of Color’s Experiences as Computing and Engineering Majors
- Workplace Experiences of Women of Color in Tech
- A Leadership Academy for Women of Color in Tech
- Access to Capital, Funding Vehicles, and Growth of Startups for Founders who are Women of Color
- A Social-Psychological Intervention to Increase Retention of WOC in a Tech Company
- Addressing Investor Bias to Broaden Access to Capital for WoC STEM Entrepreneurs
- A Roadmap to Culture Change in the Technology Workforce that Advances and Promotes Women of Color