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conversations with black women working in stem

The research project explores (in)visibility, (in)equity and access to higher education (HE) science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from the perspective of Black women of African and Caribbean descent, at PhD level and above, engaged in HE STEM. The study seeks to investigate three parts of the same story: 1) being a woman working in HE STEM, 2) being a BME woman working in HE STEM, and 3) being a women from African and Caribbean descent, within the BME category, working in HE STEM. Its aim is to create a space where resources can be developed, revised and shared so as to collectively build strategies for survival, resistance and transformation within HE STEM institutes for Black women. The project also endeavours to support Black women currently journeying though the undergraduate and masters framework of science, and Black girls who are considering a career in STEM.

If you would like to participate, you can take part in an in-depth conversation. These are conducted face-to-face in a place where you feel comfortable, or via Skype. These conversations are about providing a space for Black women to talk about their experiences in academic science, and the journey they took to enter academic science. My research opposes prejudice in all forms; it challenges the persistence and perpetuation of prejudice within the educational and institutional framework. Its purpose is one of nurture, respect and alliance. My focus is on life stories, as told to me, by the women who choose to collaborate in the research.

The project draws on a new methodology, which focuses on allowing a space rather than interviewing, as society provides very little room for Black women to talk openly about their experiences in institutional frameworks. As such, we will be having more of a conversation than anything else. You can expect the conversation to take between 30 to 90 minutes, but we can stop at any time should you choose.

There will be time at the end to ask me any questions you have, and the hope is that we can explore together some of the research findings, and what it all might mean in relation to the breadth of Black women's experiences within science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The conversation will be audio-recorded, with your consent, and transcribed. Your data will be fully anonymised, and participation is confidential.  All information will be kept on secure, password-protected computers and in locked filing cabinets in locked offices at University College London. You will be sent the audio recording of your interview before it is finalised and you can make any changes you wish. 

As a participant in the project, and due to the collaborative nature of my research, you will also be the first to receive a breakdown of the findings; this is due in September 2019.

For an in-depth overview of the project click here.

For frequently asked questions click here.

Download the project poster here.

If you would like to be involved in the project, or if you have any questions or suggestions please contact me on katherine.cecil.15@ucl.ac.uk, or drop me a message below. 

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