Diversity in Stem

With role models come persistence

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1373-1374
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6421.1373-g

Role model programs centered on women and underrepresented groups have been successful for early career scientists, but are they successful for undergraduate students? Hernandez et al. describe PROGRESS, a role modeling and mentoring program aimed at supporting undergraduate women in the geosciences, a historically male-dominated field. PROGRESS participants reported higher rates of persistence in geoscience-related majors, which was related to the number of female STEM career role models that they were able to identify; participants' odds of persisting in geoscience approximately doubled for each role model identified. The preliminary evidence suggests that presenting undergraduate students with successful female role models can encourage undergraduates to believe that they, too, can be successful scientists.

Geosphere 14, 2585 (2018).

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