The recruitment and advancement of women faculty within the STEM fields still proves to be a challenge at universities across the country. While most of the obvious institutional barriers to the advancement of women in academia have been eliminated, several factors, including an increased share of family obligations and fewer opportunities for mentorship and networking contribute to women not pursuing the tenure track or senior research and administrative positions in greater numbers.
In 2003, UMBC ADVANCE was awarded a $3.2 million Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation. Since then, the primary mission of UMBC’s ADVANCE Program has been to develop and implement policies which promote the recruitment and advancement of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
UMBC ADVANCE has successfully implemented a series of initiatives designed to encourage the advancement of current female faculty members, increase the numbers of women hired as faculty within the STEM departments, and educate women post-docs and graduate students on how to successfully navigate the faculty career pathway. While the ADVANCE program primarily focuses on the needs of women faculty in the STEM fields, its benefits have been felt university-wide.