Extra! Extra!: BAME’s in the Science Industry

Scientists-wordpress

Hello, hello! Today is another Extra! Extra! segment, this is where I illustrate articles I like on a speculative basis (as in I wasn’t commissioned) or on the odd occasion, my own editorial-esque articles. So, first things first, I’ll admit I’m not totally happy with this image, I think I could have been a lot more dynamic in composition. Another side note is that I also posted my own version of the article title as I didn’t like the original. (BAME stands for Blacks And Minority Ethnics if you didn’t know.) Anyhow, I hope you like, as always let me know what you think – now onto the article!

Today’s article featured is ‘Black and Latina Women Scientists Sometimes Mistaken for Janitors’, from The Washington Post, originally posted on February 6th 2015. Note this is only an extract, link for the whole version can be found at the end.

In a series of famous studies designed to gauge at what age stereotypes sink into young minds, elementary school students were asked to draw a scientist. Kindergarteners’ drawings in these Draw-a-Scientist tests were all over the map. But by second grade, one standard image had firmly taken root: A scientist wore a white lab coat and glasses. And he was always a white man.

So it should perhaps come as no surprise that a new report on women of color in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, found that 100 percent of the 60 scientists interviewed reported experiencing bias and discrimination.

So much so that African-American and Latina scientists said they were routinely mistaken for janitors. “I always amuse my friends with my janitor stories,” one black woman scientist said. “But it has happened, not only at weird hours.”

More than three-fourths of the African-American women scientists surveyed – 500 in an online survey in addition to the 60 in-depth interviews – reported having to provide evidence of their competence over and over again. They tend to feel they can’t afford to make a single mistake. And more than women of any other race or ethnicity, black women were more likely to report a sense of “bleak isolation.”

Link to the online version is here.

 

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