Last week we discussed this article on how to attract latinas to STEM careers. It was particularly interesting that our discussion happened the day after the Science Career “advice” not to worry about a male advisor looking down at her chest.
Yes. Good mentors, but also ROLE mentors. At the very least, a good mentor can keep someone going in STEM. A good mentor should able to say ‘here is an e.g. of what i want/don’t want’. In the story for today, it seems like the mentor was a fairly serendipitous connection at first. A critical point is that your mentor *does not* have to be advisor and your advisor shouldn’t be only mentor. In fact, have a diversity of mentors, not everyone can mentor you in everything (nor should). Yet we rarely tell anyone this and focus on advisor being only source of mentoring. While having mentor that looks like you is important, others who can tell their struggles and relate can also be helpful.
Not an easy question. By letting them know they think the mentee belongs in STEM (or could if they so choose)? Instilling confidence for career choices? Mentoring is not equal to just advice. It has to involve listening, creating a good environment, & getting them to see doors to success.
It also has to be everyone’s job, if we only rely on mentors from underrepresented groups they have unequal burden! So the take home message is: BE A GOOD MENTOR!
Thank you all participants, hope to see you next time!
Doctor_PMS, Ian Street, Emily Klein