From the Spokesman-Review :
The nearly $600,000 grant also seeks to help advance women who are teaching in colleges and universities.
While representation in science and technology fields has improved during the past half-century, “women remain vastly underrepresented among working engineers and in many STEM fields,” said Joanne Smieja, a GU chemistry and biochemistry professor, who is leading the effort.
A 2010 study by the American Association of University Women concluded that there are three reasons for the inequality between men and women in the sciences: “Social and environmental factors shaping girls’ achievements and interest in math and science; the college environment; and continuing importance of bias, often at an unconscious level, blocking women from STEM.”
The five-year project is in its first year.
The grant money will help Smieja lead a nationwide network of 70 female faculty members from 12 undergraduate institutions in an effort to change the “current culture in STEM fields.” The project will use mentoring to encourage female faculty to advance in their careers.