Examining Diversity Inequities in Fisheries Science: A Call to Action

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Abstract

A diverse workforce in science can bring about competitive advantages, innovation, and new knowledge, skills, and experiences for understanding complex problems involving the science and management of natural resources. In particular, fisheries sciences confronts exceptional challenges because of complicated societal-level problems from the overexploitation and degradation of aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Here, we examine the status of gender and race or ethnicity among the US fisheries science workforce on the basis of a survey of 498 faculty members from 56 institutions of higher education and 1717 federal employees. Our findings show that women and minorities are still a small portion of tenure-track faculty and federal-government professionals, likely because of systemic biases and cultural barriers. This forum provides a starting point for discussions about how the disparities of diversity in fisheries compares with other disciplines and what might be done to improve the climate and conditions for the successful inclusion of diverse scientists.

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