Turning the Tide for Academic Women in STEM: A Postpandemic Vision for Supporting Female Scientists

Anuj Shah, Isabella Lopez, Bapurao Surnar, Shrita Sarkar, Lunthita M. Duthely, Asha Pillai, Tina T. Salguero, Shanta Dhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The "leaky pipeline"of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which is especially acute for academic mothers, continues to be problematic as women face continuous cycles of barriers and obstacles to advancing further in their fields. The severity and prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic both highlighted and exacerbated the unique challenges faced by female graduate students, postdocs, research staff, and principal investigators because of lockdowns, quarantines, school closures, lack of external childcare, and heightened family responsibilities, on top of professional responsibilities. This perspective provides recommendations of specific policies and practices that combat stigmas faced by women in STEM and can help them retain their careers. We discuss actions that can be taken to support women within academic institutions, journals, government/federal centers, university-level departments, and individual research groups. These recommendations are based on prior initiatives that have been successful in having a positive impact on gender equity─a central tenet of our postpandemic vision for the STEM workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18647-18652
Number of pages6
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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