Intersectionality in STEM Fields: A Roadblock in Theory and Practice

Evelynn Hammonds
Feb 17, 2011 | 6:30pm

James Room
4th Floor Barnard Hall

Intersectionality is a concept that describes how socially constructed categories like race, class, and gender can interact on many different levels, leading to discrimination and inequality. While the notion of intersectionality has been a powerful idea to capture the multiple and complex ways that women of color have been marginalized in the academy, in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (also know as STEM fields) this idea is rarely, if ever, evoked or used. Evelynn M. Hammonds, Dean of Harvard College and advocate for the increased inclusion of women in the sciences, will address the implications of not using this concept in exploring the cause for the persistent under-representation of women of color in STEM fields.

Evelynn M. Hammonds is Dean of Harvard College and Barbara Gutmann Rosenkranz Professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies. Prior to her appointment as dean, she served as Harvard University’s first senior vice provost for Faculty Development and Diversity beginning in July 2005. Dean Hammonds joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2002 after teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology and Medicine. In February 2010, Dean Hammonds was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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