Our third #DiversityJC article was this letter presenting and analyzing the changes in women and minority involvement in the Ecological Society of America, at both the membership and leadership levels. As a letter from members of the Society, to the Society, critiquing the Society, it represents an important type of critical feedback, and it gives us a chance to see the Society’s response to the letter (as well as the community response).
The letter suggested that the absence of women and underrepresented minorities in the Society leadership could be attributed to either a time lag as we wait for the recent changes in membership proportions to propagate to leadership, or that selection committees preferentially exclude women and underrepresented minorities from consideration, whether intentionally or otherwise.
I think we agreed here, that just giving it time would not lead to balancing out the proportions.
Another point that was discussed was that it’s often potentially damaging to one’s career to speak out about these kinds of issues (diversity, harassment, injustice generally). I’ll leave off embedding those tweets as it seems wrong to publicly blog an embedded tweet in which someone expresses concern about speaking out.
We also discussed what happens outside of academia. Is it better or worse? What role does academia play in the larger culture?
Finally, many links were shared to try to answer some of these questions:
The importance of open access to research for supporting diversity:
An example of the scale of hostility that can exist outside academia:
Reports from various STEM-related organizations on career trajectories: