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Christiana Sudol, Katharine Lynn, and Camille Kelly

Sudol, Universum's research project manager, graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She comes from a technology startup background and specializes in client-facing market research and project management. Lynn, Universum's communications project manager, graduated from Georgetown University in 2012. Her primary focus is writing; prior to Universum, she worked in development and fundraising. Kelly, Universum's VP of employer branding, worked as a business partner and employer branding consultant for more than eight years. At Universum, she started the Diversity Advisory Board, has consulted senior level HR professionals at Fortune 1000 companies about their employer brand perceptions among college students, and presented analyses of survey data to executive-level decision-makers.

Christiana Sudol, Katharine Lynn, and Camille Kelly RSS feed Articles by Christiana Sudol, Katharine Lynn, and Camille Kelly...

How Science-Tech-Engineering Employers Should Address Diversity

by
Christiana Sudol, Katharine Lynn, and Camille Kelly
Mar 19, 2013, 5:41 am ET
photo from Boeing

photo from Boeing

Diversity recruiting poses a particular challenge for employers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. STEM majors are a small group in high demand, and employers are faced with the question of how to differentiate themselves and to attract an even narrower subset of these students: top diversity talent.

The lack of diverse employees in STEM fields in the United States is significant: Although African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos make up more than 27.9% of the total population, they only constitute about 7% of the STEM workforce, according to data from Monster. The remaining 73% is made up of non-Hispanic whites. Since diversity recruiting is recognized as an important business strategy to maximize creativity and productivity, the lack of qualified diverse candidates is a huge problem facing STEM employers.

To respond to the scarcity of diverse STEM majors, many companies are targeting younger age groups with branding efforts, including educational programs designed to generate interest in science among children. Boeing is one example of an employer taking action to begin “recruiting” diverse STEM candidates early on — even as early as preschool. Boeing is a sponsor of Sid the Science Kid, an animated television show on PBS that aims to make science exciting for children. Not only is Sid curious and enthusiastic about learning, but he also comes from a mixed background that is identifiable to children of all ethnicities. Boeing’s sponsorship is a strategic move, getting children excited about science and familiarizing them with Boeing at an early age.

Although these early branding efforts are certainly a step in the right direction, they aren’t always enough. keep reading…