The aspet mentoring network: Enhancing diversity and inclusion through career coaching groups within a scientific society

Veronica Y. Womack, Bhoomi K. Thakore, Christine V. Wood, David C. Jewett, Remi F. Jones, Susan L. Ingram, Janet A. Clark, Catherine L. Fry, Lynn Wecker, Richard McGee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Over the past decades, two persisting priorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) training have been: 1) increasing the knowledge of and access to careers beyond academic scientist; and 2) increasing the diversity of the STEM workforce. Previous studies show that a uniquely constructed career coaching group provides strong support and progress for both priorities. This report extends this design into a more sustainable model that is positioned within the professional context of rising young scientists. This new model is based in the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)—the ASPET Mentoring Network. Groups of PhD students and postdocs were assigned to an ASPET professional (academic or other career) member (the coach) with an initial meeting held the day before the society’s annual meeting. The coaching groups interacted during the meeting and then virtually for a year. Extensive survey and interview evaluation data gathered from the first three cohorts (12 coaching groups) in 2016– 2018 provided strong evidence of the perceived and real benefits of the network. This new version of career coaching groups is both feasible and linked to career success due to its close association with a scientific society, peers, and coaches who share scientific identities and aspirations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberar29
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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