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Diversity and inclusion

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Sports Business Journal

Sloan Lecturer Shira Springer’s essay in Sports Business Journal makes the case for “investment in sports tech designed and developed with female athletes in mind.” Springer adds: “with fewer resources across the board in women’s sports, with all the gaps to close, sports tech can do more for women’s sports.”

GBH

The Sloan School of Management hosted the “Creating Opportunities for Second Chance Hiring” conference to explore ways to “reduce barriers and increase opportunities for job seekers with a criminal history,” reports Paul Singer for GBH.

Mashable

Mashable reporter Adele Walton spotlights Joy Buolamwini PhD '22 and her work in uncovering racial bias in digital technology. “Buolamwini created what she called the Aspire Mirror, which used face-tracking software to register the movements of the user and overlay them onto an aspirational figure,” explains Walton. “When she realised the facial recognition wouldn’t detect her until she was holding a white mask over her face, she was confronted face on with what she termed the ‘coded gaze.’ She soon founded the Algorithmic Justice League, which exists to prevent AI harms and increase accountability.”

The Guardian

In an article for The Guardian, Angela Saini, an instructor in the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, details her research studying the origins of the patriarchy. “Anthropologists have documented at least 160 matrilineal societies still in existence today, in which people trace their lineage through the women in their family rather than the men,” explains Saini. “There is an entire ‘matrilineal belt’ that stretches across Africa, and others dotted across Asia and North and South America.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Adri Pray spotlights the Women Take the Reel Film Festival, an annual celebration of female filmmakers that “features themes of gender, sexuality, race, feminism, and class.”

The Washington Post

Alicia Chong Rodriguez SM ’17, SM ’18 founded Bloomer Tech, a health tech startup that aims to improve health care diagnostics for women using medical-grade data to develop new therapies and care models, reports Carol Eisenberg for The Washington Post. Rodriguez and her colleagues "developed, patented and tested flexible washable circuits to turn articles of clothing into devices that can relay reams of information to the wearer’s smartphone,” writes Eisenberg.

Bloomberg

Prof. Fiona Murray, associate dean for innovation and inclusion at MIT Sloan, speaks with Bloomberg Law reporter Lauren Castle about her recent study that found female PhD students are 17% less likely to become new inventors compared with their male counterparts. “What we can show is relative to the supply into Ph.D. programs, there’s still just this huge difference in the percentage of women on patents coming out of the labs than there are in the university,” says Murray.

Inside Higher Ed

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Columbia University Simons Fellow Robert W. Fernandez highlights MIT’s “publicly published outcomes for students of color.” “MIT’s data showed, for example, that the population of enrolled graduate students in biology who identified as underrepresented minorities increased from 4 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2023—suggesting that the institute’s recruitment efforts for that department have improved over time,” explains Fernandez. 

The Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor reporter Ira Porter spotlights undergraduate Subin Kim and his experience transferring from community college to MIT through the Transfer Scholars Network, which is aimed at helping community college students find a path to four-year universities. “Every student that we admit, we’re looking for academic excellence and personal excellence,” says Stuart Schmill, dean of MIT admissions and student financial services. “And the students that we’ve brought in from the Transfer Scholar Network and in general from community colleges are remarkable individuals.”

Fortune

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found that “Black women who work in predominately white teams may have worse job outcomes,” reports Ruth Umoh for Fortune. The researchers, “studied 9,037 inexperienced new hires in a large, elite professional service firm from 2014 to 2020, focusing on retention and promotion rates,” explains Umoh. “Black women were the only demographic whose turnover and promotion rates were significantly affected by the racial identify of their coworkers.”

The Boston Globe

A new study co-authored by Prof. Roberto Fernandez examines the obstacles facing women seeking to advance their careers in tech, reports Sarah Shemkus for The Boston Globe. The researchers found “recruiters were more likely to reach out to men and had longer conversations with male candidates,” writes Shemkus. “And women needed more impressive resumes to make the cut for recruiter outreach.”

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Brian Merchant spotlights Joy Buolamwini PhD '22 and her new book, “Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What is Human in a World of Machines.” “Buolamwini’s book recounts her journey to become one of the nation’s preeminent scholars and critics of artificial intelligence — she recently advised President Biden before the release of his executive order on AI — and offers readers a compelling, digestible guide to some of the most pressing issues in the field,” writes Merchant.

The Boston Globe

Joy Buolamwini PhD '22 speaks with Brian Bergstein of The Boston Globe’s “Say More” podcast about her academic and professional career studying bias in AI. “As I learned more and also became familiar with the negative impacts of things like facial recognition technologies, it wasn’t just the call to say let’s make systems more accurate but a call to say let’s reexamine the ways in which we create AI in the first place and let’s reexamine our measures of progress because so far they have been misleading,” says Buolamwini

Women We Admire

Prof. Fiona Murray and her colleagues have found that female STEM PhD students are less likely than their male counterparts to receive mentorship from top inventor advisors, reports Women We Admire. The researchers “emphasize the importance of early intervention and encouragement for female PhD students aspiring to become inventors. Programs that actively support female professors in their patenting endeavors can indirectly lead to a surge in female inventor PhDs, thereby plugging the leaky pipeline.”