2007: Electronic Mentoring Programs: Benefits to Minority Communities in Science and Technology

Electronic Mentoring Programs: Benefits to Minority Communities in Science and Technology
organized by Rochelle Diamond, NOGLSTP; and Amy Ross, NOGLSTP

presented in the Sustaining the S&T Work Force track at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco
Sunday, Feb 18, 2007, 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Symposium Abstract:

To maintain a competitive edge in the global science and technology work force, it is crucial that the United States educates, recruits, and retains highly skilled scientists, engineers, and technical professionals. Programs that seek to increase the representation of women and other minorities in the scientific, engineering, and high-technology work force thus gain additional importance. Recent studies have concluded that targeted mentoring programs for students and early-career professionals are vital in training of the next generation of highly skilled, globally competitive professionals. The emergence of electronic communications has provided unique opportunities for expanded mentoring opportunities in science and engineering, particularly for women and for ethnic and sexual orientation minorities. Studies suggest that the flexibility provided by electronic mentoring programs allows for enhanced self-disclosure and discussion in mentoring relationships, especially for members of minority communities. This symposium will discuss mentoring programs that serve the specific needs of the sexual orientation and gender identity communities, women, and under-represented minorities in science, engineering, and high-technology academic and industrial settings. Studies that showed statistically significant differences in the needs, experiences, and perceived benefits for African-American, Hispanic and Latina, and Caucasian protégés and mentors will be discussed.

Presentations:

Building Alliances for Education: Diversifying the STEM Work Force
Shirley M. Malcom, AAAS Education and Human Resources, Washington, DC, USA.

One-on-One Mentoring Programs: Making a Difference
Carol B. Muller, MentorNet, San Jose, CA, USA.

Mentoring: A Tool for Recruitment and Retention of a Diverse Work Force
Chase Hawkins, Raytheon, Tewksbury, MA, USA.