US agency obstructs LGBTQ+ equity in science | Science

The US National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) regularly conducts national surveys of the US-based PhD- and college-educated populations. These surveys monitor who receives degrees or is working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and what disparities exist based on sex, race, disability, first-generation status, or income background. Because the official statistics generated by the surveys directly inform national policies and fuel data-driven solutions, the questions they include determine which marginalized groups are made visible and which groups are overlooked. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQ+) are less represented than statistically expected (1) and face disproportionate career barriers and workplace harassment in STEM (2). NCSES’s omission of questions on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) prevents policy-makers from addressing these challenges.

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