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      Strategies to improve equity in faculty hiring

      a , *

      Molecular Biology of the Cell

      The American Society for Cell Biology

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Through targeted recruitment and interventions to support their success during training, the fraction of trainees (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) in academic science from historically underrepresented groups has steadily increased. However, this trend has not translated to a concomitant increase in the number of faculty from these underrepresented groups. Here, I focus on proven strategies that departments and research institutions can develop to increase equity in faculty hiring and promotion to address the lack of racial and gender diversity among their faculty.

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          Most cited references 54

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          Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students.

          Despite efforts to recruit and retain more women, a stark gender disparity persists within academic science. Abundant research has demonstrated gender bias in many demographic groups, but has yet to experimentally investigate whether science faculty exhibit a bias against female students that could contribute to the gender disparity in academic science. In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student-who was randomly assigned either a male or female name-for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant. The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student. Mediation analyses indicated that the female student was less likely to be hired because she was viewed as less competent. We also assessed faculty participants' preexisting subtle bias against women using a standard instrument and found that preexisting subtle bias against women played a moderating role, such that subtle bias against women was associated with less support for the female student, but was unrelated to reactions to the male student. These results suggest that interventions addressing faculty gender bias might advance the goal of increasing the participation of women in science.
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            Race, ethnicity, and NIH research awards.

            We investigated the association between a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 applicant's self-identified race or ethnicity and the probability of receiving an award by using data from the NIH IMPAC II grant database, the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, and other sources. Although proposals with strong priority scores were equally likely to be funded regardless of race, we find that Asians are 4 percentage points and black or African-American applicants are 13 percentage points less likely to receive NIH investigator-initiated research funding compared with whites. After controlling for the applicant's educational background, country of origin, training, previous research awards, publication record, and employer characteristics, we find that black applicants remain 10 percentage points less likely than whites to be awarded NIH research funding. Our results suggest some leverage points for policy intervention.
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              Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention.

              We developed a multi-faceted prejudice habit-breaking intervention to produce long-term reductions in implicit race bias. The intervention is based on the premise that implicit bias is like a habit that can be reduced through a combination of awareness of implicit bias, concern about the effects of that bias, and the application of strategies to reduce bias. In a 12-week longitudinal study, people who received the intervention showed dramatic reductions in implicit race bias. People who were concerned about discrimination or who reported using the strategies showed the greatest reductions. The intervention also led to increases in concern about discrimination and personal awareness of bias over the duration of the study. People in the control group showed none of the above effects. Our results raise the hope of reducing persistent and unintentional forms of discrimination that arise from implicit bias.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Monitoring Editor
                Journal
                Mol Biol Cell
                Mol. Biol. Cell
                molbiolcell
                mbc
                mboc
                Molecular Biology of the Cell
                The American Society for Cell Biology
                1059-1524
                1939-4586
                15 October 2019
                : 30
                : 22
                : 2744-2749
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
                University of California, Berkeley
                Author notes
                *Address correspondence to: Needhi Bhalla ( nbhalla@ 123456ucsc.edu ).
                Article
                E19-08-0476
                10.1091/mbc.E19-08-0476
                6789160
                31609672
                © 2019 Bhalla. “ASCB®,” “The American Society for Cell Biology®,” and “Molecular Biology of the Cell®” are registered trademarks of The American Society for Cell Biology.

                This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License.

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