People of color and women have historically been underrepresented in STEM, and particularly in mathematics. Departments and programs at the University of Washington are taking steps to change that through mentorship and networking, which have shown promise in improving racial and gender diversity in workplaces as well as helping employees feel more satisfied in their careers.
For students in math-related fields, the Math Alliance, a national mathematics mentorship and networking organization, serves that role. UW departments and programs have now enhanced their involvement in the Math Alliance.
“The Math Alliance's main goal is to demystify the prospect of graduate school for students of all backgrounds majoring in the mathematical sciences as undergraduates,” says Bernard Deconinck, chair of Applied Mathematics. “The Alliance helps these students through mentoring and networking: The students are paired with mentors who work with them to prepare their graduate school materials, and connect with Math Alliance alums and representatives from graduate programs around the country.”