FIU promotes and supports women in STEM

It’s no secret that the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have been dominated by men.

Suzanna Rose

Suzanna Rose, founding associate provost of the Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity, is doing her part to change that standard by focusing on how to attract, recruit, promote and retain women faculty members.

FIU is known for their diverse student body, however, that diversity isn’t reflected in the faculty. In 2011, just 12 percent of STEM faculty were women. Since then, Rose and her associates suggested a more diverse and open atmosphere on campus.

The first step was to educate faculty members about the importance of diversity and inclusion during the hiring process. FIU’s STRIDE (Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence) Committee was formed to discuss issues related to diversity in faculty hiring and promotion.

Second, was the creation of a symposium, geared toward women faculty and designed to promote leadership and strategic career planning. Over its eight‐year history, the Women Faculty Leadership Institute (WFLI) has grown in scope and size, and has covered topics like assertive communication, networking and work‐life balance.

In one of the activities at WFLI, female faculty members sat down in small groups and created lists of change they wanted to see at the school. One common suggestion was an office dedicated to promoting women’s issues.

The Council for Women and Minority Faculty proposed the idea of establishing such an office. The result was AWED, founded in 2016 to achieve and sustain faculty equity and diversity.

Since becoming the founding associate provost at AWED, Rose has continued to promote awareness to equality and diversity in the workplace by collaborating with local schools, training bystanders about inclusion, and creating workshops and activities discussing salary equity and policy analysis.

To see more how FIU is supporting women in STEM, click here.