The Minority Scientists’ Experience: Challenging and Overcoming Barriers to Enhancing Diversity and Career Advancement

Tonya J. Webb, Mireia Guerau-De-Arellano, Harlan P. Jones, Cherié L. Butts, Luis Sanchez-Perez, Luis J. Montaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Minority groups face barriers in accessing quality health care, professional advancement, and representation in immunology research efforts as a result of institutional racism that if unaddressed can perpetuate a lack of diversity. In 2021, the AAI Minority Affairs Committee convened a cross section of academic and industry scientists from underrepresented groups at various stages of their professions to discuss how best to address the toll racism takes on study design and scientific careers. Panelists drew directly from their own experiences as scientists to share perspectives and strategies for countering a lack of representation in clinical research, responding to microaggressions, navigating academic advancement, and providing effective mentorship. The session reinforced the need for minority scientists to take an active role in advocating for diversity, engaging mentors, and taking responsibility to face rather than avoid institutional obstacles. Overall, increased dialogue and institutional awareness of the experience of scientists from underrepresented groups in research remain the best tools to ensure a health equity mindset and advancement of their careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume208
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2022

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