The Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) is committed to fostering scientists and technical experts that welcome diverse people, approaches, and ideas. While ARO is becoming more diverse, it reflects a profile largely of Causasian/white and male-identifying members that is characteristic of STEM fields. Thus, the ARO Diversity & Minority Affairs Committee (DMAC) is dedicated to increasing equity and inclusion within the ARO community with year-round educational programming for its members. Last year, the ARO DMAC hosted a well-attended MidWinter Meeting workshop that discussed microaggressions, allyship, and equitable mentoring focused on racial, ethnic and sexual identity minority groups. The culture of sexism, however, is still present in the STEM community. Workplace sexism is a source of stress for non-male-identifying individuals that leads to work dissatisfaction, burnout, and job departure. Allyship by male-identifying coworkers can be a powerful tool for mitigating the impact of sexism. Therefore, for the 2024 MidWinter Meeting, we propose to dive deeper into gender allyship. The main objectives of this workshop are to provide participants with a descriptive overview of allyship, help them identify situations when allyship is needed, and educate them on how to build allyship safely and supportively.
The "leaky pipeline" metaphor describes the phenomenon that leads to a progressive loss of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines at each stage of the educational system. Women in academia face many barriers to workplace equality, and although they represent more than half of all doctoral recipients in biology-related fields, they only make up 27% of the STEM workforce. Correspondingly, people of color, with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, and from low socioeconomic backgrounds often encounter harassment, prejudice, stereotype, and bias in form of microaggressions, stereotype threat, and imposter syndrome, which might contribute to reduced career achievements. The COVID-19 pandemic has further intensified the leaky pipeline and the underrepresentation of women and minorities in STEM. Numerous studies have shown that this continuing disproportionately low representation of women and minorities impedes innovation and discovery by systematically excluding individuals with the ability to make significant contributions to the scientific enterprise. The goals of this symposium are to provide tools to promote diversity in STEM and create opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities. For this, we have invited three distinguished speakers to discuss the societal factors that contribute to the leaky pipeline phenomenon, explore strategies for fostering inclusivity and equitable opportunities within institutions, share insights on empowering marginalized communities through mentorship and support networks, and present recommendations for creating inclusive workplaces that retain diverse talent.