Minority Women in STEM Bi-Annual Scholarship

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Bold.org
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$3,000
1 winner every 6 months
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
12
Next Application Deadline
Apr 3, 2020
Next Winners Announced
May 20, 2020
Education Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Eligibility Requirements
Gender:
Woman-identifying
Major:
STEM field (or strong experience if not majoring)
School:
2- or 4-year undergraduate, graduate, technical, or vocational degree
Gender:
Major:
School:
Woman-identifying
STEM field (or strong experience if not majoring)
2- or 4-year undergraduate, graduate, technical, or vocational degree

From robotics, to computational biology and gene editing, to aerospace engineering, STEM fields are at the forefront of some of the most innovative advancements in our world today. STEM fields are high-paying, high-powered, and high-impact.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets the same opportunity to build careers in these fields.

In Computer Science, where the rate of job creation is 3x the national average, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that women will hold just 20% of computing jobs by 2025. This trend has gone in the wrong direction, as the number of women studying computer science has fallen steadily since the 80s. It’s no better for African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Latinos, who constitute 30% of the US population but account for just 12.5% of STEM degrees.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that women will hold just 20% of computing jobs by 2025.

The representation problem extends to the wage gap as well. Men in tech are offered higher salaries for the same roles 63% of the time, with a difference in starting salary ranging as much as 45% higher for men. Minorities, meanwhile, will earn 81-85% as much as their colleagues in the STEM workforce, on average.

While there are many systemic factors contributing to this problem, it is clear that achieving greater diversity and a more representative workforce in STEM industries is critical.

As we see stunning new headlines such as studies showing racial bias against African Americans in healthcare algorithms and facial recognition error rates more than 40x worse for black women as light-skinned men, it has never been more important that we do more to support minority women in STEM to achieve their career goals.

That’s why we’ve created the Minority Women in STEM Bi-Annual Scholarship, which will award $3,000 every 6 months to women from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM industries.

The Minority Women in STEM Bi-Annual Scholarship will award $3,000 every 6 months to women from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM industries.

Women applicants must currently be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a 4-year, 2-year, vocational, or technical institution in the United States to be eligible. Women must either be majoring in a STEM field or be actively engaged in personal projects or jobs in the STEM field to apply.

Winners will be selected based on their drive to succeed, ambition in their field, and the impact that winning the scholarship would have for them.

STEM
Selection Criteria:
Drive, Ambition, Need
$3,000
1 winner every 6 months
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
12
Next Application Deadline
Apr 3, 2020
Next Winners Announced
May 20, 2020
Education Level
Graduate, Undergraduate

Scholarship application essay

Essay Topic

Please write an essay that shares your career goals in STEM and how you plan on achieving them. What are your current activities in STEM fields? What is your dream job? What type of impact do you want to have in STEM fields?

500–1000 words

Winning Application

Madison Ambroise
Stanford UniversityBrooklyn, NY
When I was younger, a number of my family members and friends were diagnosed with cancer. Most of them lost their fights. I dedicated my time in school to studying human biology to cope with my loss, to try to understand-- How could this happen? I decided to become a doctor because I want to minimize pain by saving as many people as possible and keeping their families from feeling the grief my loved ones and I did. As I’ve grown older, my desire to be a physician has grown stronger as I have seen the experience of others too. In an ideal world, access to proper healthcare would be independent of race, socioeconomic background, sexuality, gender, or age. We live in a different reality. As a black woman, inequality in health care became clear to me quickly. I remember hearing how Serena Williams almost died after giving birth because her doctor wouldn’t take her complaints seriously. While doing research for an assignment, I read a paper that showed that doctors were likely to evaluate black patients’ pain as less than that of white patients with the same symptoms. Some populations will experience more death and injury because of healthcare inequity, myself and my family included. During my school’s winter quarter, I took a class called “Healthcare, Ethics, and Justice” which opened my eyes to a few truths about the healthcare system, namely that it often fails those whom it’s supposed to serve. Physicians, though usually well intentioned, are subject to internal biases like the rest of the population, and often contribute to the problem. That’s why the most equitable solutions are made at a higher level. But there is still so much work to be done among physicians. This class showed me that if I want to be a good doctor, I need to have more than strong clinical skills. To me, being a good doctor is being informed about how patients and their health outcomes can differ because of differences they can’t control. It’s recognizing and working against biases. It’s being willing to work extra hard to provide patients with access to care. I am committed to doing all those things. I will also make a difference through the mere action of being a black female physician. Medicine is a very white, male dominated field, and the more students of color who become physicians, the more empowered other young people will feel to pursue their high reaching dreams. Not to mention, increasing the number of doctors of color decreases health inequity in another way. It increases trust. A big part of healthcare inequity comes from a disconnect between physician and patient. Numerous studies have shown that patients of color feel less safe with doctors than white patients. One study shows that black patients are more likely to believe that if they are organ donors, the doctors won’t try as hard to save them. It’s important to have doctors of color so patients will feel comfortable sharing their symptoms and history, and will trust in the recommended treatments. I want to be seen as a safe face for patients of color. My first step to reaching my goals is becoming more informed. I plan to major in Human Biology, and to concentrate on the social determinants of health. I’m eager to explore how disadvantaged populations can be better supported, what factors can be addressed with technology and what with policy, and how inequality affects children and can be self perpetuating. I’ve also been studying Spanish since high school. Spanish is spoken widely in many U.S. states, and I want to be as accessible as possible. If Spanish speaking patients feel that they can communicate with me directly, with nothing getting lost in translation, they’ll feel safer. Even if a translator is in the room, I want patients to know that I hear them and am working to help them. My second step is to contribute to productive organizations that support what I believe in. I volunteer with an organization at my school called Women and Children Supporting Each Other (WYSE). It’s a club where university girls visit a middle school every Friday to mentor middle school girls. We talk about things like racism, sexism, mental health, and reproductive health, things that aren’t often discussed in schools but that have a big impact on their lives (and on their health). It’s safe to say I definitely will be a physician. But there are so many wonderful specialties that I struggle to pick which would be my dream job. I love the idea of being a gynecologist, because it’s a profession that succeeds most when trust is high, and disparities in reproductive health and education are large. Regardless of my specialty, I plan to apply my dedication to healthcare equity outside of just a clinical setting as well. I have interest in serving on ethics committees in hospitals that make important decisions about hospital policies. With my education, I will be able to think “big picture” about how different populations will be affected differently by blanket measures. I also plan to regularly volunteer at and support organizations that work to increase access to healthcare, such as free clinics, community health centers, and educational programs. I have a long way to go to reach my goals, and two school bills to pay to do it. But I’m determined to succeed, and to inspire other premed students to consider the importance of healthcare inequity while going about their studies. I hope this scholarship can help me dedicate as much time as possible to achieving my dreams.

FAQ