GCEC WEBINAR 10:
Advancing Equity: Dynamic Strategies for Authentic Engagement in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Friday, June 25, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. CST
In any field, fostering spaces that welcome a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds is essential; for excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) in science and technology, it is vital. However, the current composition of students in STEM I&E is not representative of the diversity of our society. This is a result of entrenched systemic inequities that deny some groups of people meaningful participation while simultaneously accelerating and amplifying the ideas and voices of people from majority groups.
Educators, entrepreneurship center leaders, and other stakeholders are hungry for strategies and solutions to increase equitable, inclusive access pathways for students, especially those students who identify as part of one or more underrepresented groups in STEM I&E. In response to these identified gaps, VentureWell commissioned a national study in 2019 to identify promising practices for broadening participation in higher education. While the study revealed that few strategies have been comprehensively implemented, tested, or proven across the ecosystem, six interrelated areas for action emerged and were published in a VentureWell report in summer 2020.
Our interactive session presents these action areas—conducting authentic outreach, creating inclusive spaces, building confidence, engaging mentors, validating multiple pathways to success, and developing a holistic organizational approach—and accompanying recommendations as a widely applicable “blueprint” for entrepreneurship centers, faculty members, and others in the innovation ecosystem who strive to broaden participation among early-stage inventors and innovators.