Leveling The Playing Field In Stem (Event)


A Free WBUR CitySpace Event Made Possible With Support From Olin College of Engineering -Tuesday, March 23

Olin College of Engineering is pleased to support Leveling the Playing Field In STEM, a WBUR City Space panel discussion led by Meghna Chakrabarti, host of On Point.

Black and Latinx Americans are underrepresented in STEM jobs. The root reasons are myriad: limited access to quality education, discrimination in recruitment and promotion practices, and disparities in STEM-based programming across youth communities to name a few. 

According to the 2019 Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering study by the National Science Foundation, just 13% of black or African American students and 26.5% Hispanic/Latinx students earned bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering fields compared to 56% awarded to white students in 2016. A 2020 analysis by Undark of the same study found that after decades of growth, “STEM-field bachelor’s degrees awarded to Black students peaked in the early 2000s and has been falling ever since — despite increasing federal spending on STEM diversity initiatives.”

“It is important for Olin to participate in these necessary conversations. In higher education, challenges of affordability, access and equity are pressing at almost every institution. These are difficult problems, and they have deep roots and we will need people from all areas including education, government and industry to come together to be part of identifying and implementing solutions,” said Olin College President Gilda Barabino.

A biomedical engineer trained in chemical engineering, with broad interest in global health, systems, and interdisciplinary engineering education, Barabino became the second president of Olin College on July 1, 2020. In the first year of her Olin tenure, she has pledged to focus on reducing inequity both within and through engineering education.

On March 23 at 6:00PM, Barabino will open the event with an address to the audience. “Leveling The Playing Field in STEM,” moderated by Chakrabarti, will be a wide-ranging conversation on how to develop solutions to reverse these trends with notable panelists:

Tarika Barrett - CEO, Girls Who Code

Nigel Jacob - co-chair, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics

Adrian Mims - founder and national director, The Calculus Project

Karl Reid - senior vice provost and chief inclusion officer, Northeastern University

Register for Leveling the Playing Field In STEM.

Founded in 1997, Olin College of Engineering instills passion and ignites innovation in its students and prepares them to envision, create and deliver products, services, and systems that transform and improve people’s lives around the world. Olin teaches students to be explorers and creators who design their own path forward. By challenging norms and sharing its unique approach to education, Olin is revolutionizing the way engineers, and all undergraduates, learn and create knowledge. Located in Needham Massachusetts, Olin is ranked among the top-three undergraduate engineering programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Learn more at Olin.edu.

WBUR CitySpace At The Lavine Broadcast Center brings the stories you hear every day from WBUR and NPR hosts and reporters to life. The CitySpace mission is to promote vigorous, intelligent and well-informed conversation about the most pressing issues facing our world, nation and community is central to the goal of addressing our most pressing social challenges. See more CitySpace events here.