Society Letters Society Letters

Endocrine Society DEIA Response to NIH RFI

March 31, 2022

"As we stated in our comments on the UNITE initiative and elsewhere, many of the obstacles facing underrepresented minority (URM) scientists throughout their training, mentoring, and career path are compounded by the lack of diversity among faculty at all career stages; this is particularly pronounced at the highest academic ranks and career stages. For trainees, it is important that URM scientists can see themselves among institutional leaders and have mentors available who can relate to their experiences. The limited number of URM faculty therefore often have significant mentorship responsibilities, with few professional incentives to promote a significant mentorship load that may be unsustainable. In fact, taking on mentorship and other administrative responsibilities without associated effort can constrain URM faculty in their ability to get promoted, exactly the opposite of the desired outcome. While not a substitute for URM representation, non-URM scientists should be expected to participate in efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). Institutions should encourage the development of non-URM allies who can shoulder some of the work needed to achieve DEIA goals. We also note that training programs that might benefit from a more diverse candidate pool often focus on traditional entry points to biomedical research and may be missing opportunities to engage URM candidates elsewhere in educational systems. Diversified outreach to candidates throughout various undergraduate or graduate programs could help institutions recruit more trainees, but retention will require a diverse pool of senior scientists and mentors to provide support and develop confidence in promising URM candidates."

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