J. L. Smith, I. M. Handley, A. V. Zale, S. Rushing, and M. Potvin. 2015. Now hiring! Empirically testing a three-step intervention to increase faculty gender diversity in STEM. BioScience 65:1084-1087.
Workforce homogeneity limits creativity, discovery, and job satisfaction, nonetheless the vast majority of university faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields (STEM) are men. We conducted a randomized and controlled 3-step faculty search intervention based in Self-Determination Theory aimed at increasing the number of women faculty in STEM at one U.S. university where increasing diversity had historically proved elusive. Results show the numbers of women candidates considered for and offered tenure-track positions were significantly higher in the intervention groups compared to controls. Searches in the intervention were 6.3 times more likely to make an offer to a woman candidate, and women who were made an offer were 5.8 times more likely to accept the offer from an intervention search. Although the focus was on increasing women faculty within STEM, the intervention can be adapted to other scientific and academic communities to advance diversity along any dimension.