Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion…Oh My!

These days, there are a lot of buzzwords like “diversity”, “equity”, and “inclusion” floating around when we talk about STEM fields. But what do these words mean?

  • Diversity: the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.
  • Equity: the quality of being fair and impartial.
  • Inclusion: the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups.

So, why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important in STEM fields and in STEM education? It’s no secret that STEM fields are white and male dominated. As teachers, and especially exemplary SCIENCE teachers, it is our responsibility to show our students that STEM fields are available for everyone, not just white men.

So, what can we do about it? 

Encouraging students to find joy in science, technology, engineering, and math. Showing the countless careers available in STEM and the best ways to reach them! Specifically, show your female students and students of color that STEM is for them too! 

Here is a TEDtalk by Keilly Santos about the importance of diversity in STEM.

Keilly Santos TEDtalk

Showing the joy to be found in STEM fields is very important, but it is not the end of the road. We need to go further than that. We need to consider the deeper reasons minorities are not flocking to STEM…

There are so many barriers keeping minorities out of STEM fields. 

  • wage gaps
  • harassment
  • discrimination
  • barriers to education and opportunity
  • a lack of role models or representation in the media 

A love for science isn’t enough, the culture of STEM careers needs to change. It starts with us!

In our classrooms, as STEM teachers, we need to model how STEM careers should be.

We should be encouraging collaboration, celebrating diversity, modeling equity, and providing inclusion! All of our students should feel welcome in our classrooms. We need to show all of our students that STEM is for them, and also for each and every one of their classmates too.

A great way to do this is to teach about minority scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technicians! These people are so important as role models and to show our students that people like them can and should be in these careers!

Here’s just one example (of many!).

When our students tour colleges and eventually apply for jobs, we want them to be able to see people that look like them. Focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion will improve the culture of STEM fields and provide a brighter future for our students.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you learned something that you can implement in the classroom! Remember…STEM is for everyone!!

https://twitter.com/p0werh0use_cell/status/1594816054836051968?s=42&t=uSKviYgYIVV9lQ3SGPjVNA https://twitter.com/p0werh0use_cell/status/1594816054836051968?s=42&t=uSKviYgYIVV9lQ3SGPjVNA


  1. Thank you for your comment! It was important for me to define these terms because they are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably! I’m glad you liked my post, thanks for reading it!

  2. Thank you for your comment! The best way to factor inclusion into STEM classrooms is to ensure all students are supported and accommodated if necessary. Historically, women, POC, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, and other minority groups have not been encouraged to pursue STEM. By showing your students historical and current people who had STEM careers or achievements who belong to these minority groups will help them feel like they belong as well.

  3. Hi!
    I really liked that you took time in the beginning to clearly define what is meant by the terms diversity, equity, and inclusion. I feel like these “buzzwords” are thrown around often without proper explanation of what they actually mean. I also thought your TedTalk was super informative and the graphics were amazing! I really enjoyed reading this post.

  4. Hello!
    The graphics within your post are awesome and very informative. I also liked how you expanded on the idea that equity and inclusion must be used within the classroom to encourage a love of STEM for students.
    How should I best include the factor of inclusion to encourage my students to take on a STEM career?

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