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STEM Workforce Retention Topic of New Book From Association of Women in Science (AWIS)

CHICAGO, February 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Elsevier Foundation provides support to AWIS to publish Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices

Note to Editors: Authors Dr. Donna Dean and Janet Bandows Koster are available for interview.

An e-book and hard copies of this book are available for review.

Please contact: [email protected]  or [email protected]

"Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices," a new book from the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) that addresses work/life integration and satisfaction issues faced by those in STEM careers, will premiere at the AAAS national conference in Chicago, February 15. The project was funded by the Elsevier Foundation.

Although work/life satisfaction is typically regarded as a women's issue, "Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices," finds that it is an issue that crosses gender lines. Co-authored by Donna Joyce Dean, Ph.D., an expert on scientific and technical workforce issues, and Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director of AWIS, the book was developed to provide both academic and private sector STEM work environments with the tools they need to retain their workforce, especially women.

"The issue of developing STEM talent is at the top of the national conversation, but the attrition of top talent from the scientific workforce severely hampers countries' ability to lead in innovation and stay globally competitive in these disciplines," said Janet Bandows Koster, AWIS Executive Director & CEO. "Women make up 51% of the overall U.S. workforce but account for only 25% of STEM workers. More significantly, women who have advanced degrees in STEM are far more likely to leave related occupations than women in other professions."

"Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices" was developed as a result of the largest global survey ever undertaken about work/life integration issues among scientists. More than 4,000 researchers in both academic and corporate settings responded to the study that revealed 83 percent work more than 40 hours per week and that half those said that work demands conflicted with their personal lives at least two to three times per week. The survey's findings raised serious concerns about retaining the necessary level of scientific talent required to sustain innovation. The data showed that key factors including lack of flexibility in the workplace, dissatisfaction with career development opportunities and low salaries, are driving many researchers of both genders to reconsider their profession.

"Many institutions and organizations have begun to recognize the need to address this issue," said co-author Dr. Donna Dean. "The book provides case studies of successful, well-researched programs that are models for both academic as well as corporate workplaces. Each chapter offers practical tools that can be rescaled to develop programs similar to those described in the case studies."

The Elsevier Foundation funded the development of "Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices" as part of their commitment to the research community. "Millions of dollars are being invested to encourage young people to consider STEM based careers," said David Ruth, Executive Director, Elsevier Foundation. "The Elsevier New Scholars have created evidence-based programs that address the work/life challenges of STEM employment, including dependent-care responsibilities, dual-career relationships, mentoring, as well as the ability to travel to professional meetings. If we want to retain our STEM workforce we have to help those professionals be both successful and satisfied in this career choice. We are proud to support the development of this book."

"Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices" is currently available through Elsevier Store for $44.95. Read more at: http://www.elsevier.com/connect/new-book-proposes-solutions-for-stem-workforce-retention

About the Authors

Donna J. Dean, Ph.D., is a consultant on leadership and talent development. She has presented more than 60 workshops and seminars at universities and professional meetings in the past three years on those topics, many in her roles as Executive Consultant to the Association for Women in Science and Career Consultant to the American Chemical Society. Prior to 2010, she was Senior Science Advisor for five years with Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a government relations firm. She has 27 years of experience in research and science policy at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Her training includes the B.A. in chemistry (Berea College), Ph.D. in biochemistry (Duke), postdoctoral research (Princeton), and executive leadership (Harvard JFK School of Government). Recent honors include the Berea College Distinguished Alumnus Award for her career achievements in the public sector and advocacy for underrepresented groups in science and engineering. She is a fellow of the Association for Women in Science, AAAS, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and Washington Academy of Sciences. Dr. Dean has been a pivotal leader on scientific and technical workforce issues, in women's health, and in career development strategies for young scientist. She has written two books, "Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in Stem" (Springer 2009) and "Equitable Solutions for Retaining a Robust STEM Workforce: Beyond Best Practices" (Academic Press, 2014). She currently is on the Advisory Board for the AAAS Center for Advancing Science and Engineering Capacity and the Senior Women's STEM Council, University of Maryland.

Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Association for Women in Science has served as executive director and chief executive officer of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) since July 2006. She has over 25 years of experience leading organizations in both the United States and overseas with particular expertise in global gender and workforce issues. A significant facet implicit to the mission of AWIS is the transformation of outmoded workplace structures. In rigorous, competition-driven work such as scientific research, where scientists are expected to publish papers, apply for and maintain grants with multiple research projects, manage postdocs and graduate students, teach undergraduate courses, and participate in their respective disciplinary societies, truly attaining "work-life balance" can be elusive. As Executive Director and CEO of AWIS, Bandows Koster has authored numerous reports and presented at professional meetings about issues at the nexus of gender and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She is Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator on several federal grants including AWARDS (Advancing Ways of Awarding Recognition in Disciplinary Societies) which partners with 20 disciplinary societies to increase women's contribution to the research enterprise. Bandows Koster holds degrees in international relations as well as an MBA in international business. Most recently, she has served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Society of Women Engineers as Director of International Initiatives. She is a Certified Association Executive, a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.

About AWIS

Founded in 1971, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the largest multi-discipline organization for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). AWIS is dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. AWIS reaches more than 15,000 professionals in STEM with members and chapters nationwide. Membership is open to any individual who supports the vision and mission of AWIS.

About The Elsevier Foundation

The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate charity funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a focus on developing world libraries, nurse faculty and scholars in the early stages of their careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities. http://www.elsevierfoundation.org

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