Women in STEM: Myths, Realities, and Improving the Culture

Carol Muller
Executive Director of Stanford WISE Ventures
Stanford University

For the last three decades, many have focused considerable effort to address and understand why women are not as well represented in STEM fields as their proportions in the population would suggest they should be. How have emerging research findings supported or challenged some of our longstanding approaches for advancing inclusive practices in STEM fields? What have we learned that helps to illuminate, clarify, and hone strategies for continued progress toward equity and social justice, along with better and more innovative scientific discovery, engineering practice, mathematical breakthroughs, and technology development? To begin to address these questions, this talk offers a narrative of a personal odyssey of activism, observation, questioning, and learning.

Carol B. Muller, Ph.D., is a university administrator, educator, and social entrepreneur in higher education, experienced in a wide range of responsibilities in academic administration, faculty recruitment and development, strategic planning and budget development, external relations, corporate and foundation relations, admissions, student development, educational program development, and facilities program planning. She is currently Executive Director of WISE Ventures at Stanford University, an initiative sponsored by the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, which serves as a catalyst to connect, support, and strengthen all elements of the campus "ecosystem" in support of increasing the success of women and advancing equity in science, engineering, and mathematics fields. Some of Carol’s past work includes service as associate dean for Dartmouth’s School of Engineering, co-founder of Dartmouth’s Women in Science Project, and founder and chief executive of MentorNet, the e-mentoring network for diversity in engineering and science. Her sponsored research and educational projects, disseminated through papers, presentations, and workshops, have been recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring and the Anita Borg Social Impact Award; she is a Fellow of the Association for Women in Science. A graduate of Dartmouth, she earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees in education administration and policy analysis at Stanford. An empty-nesting, bike-commuting, occasional workaholic Palo Alto resident, she takes time out for hiking, cycling, and travel, wine, cooking, and entertaining with her husband, and especially enjoys getting together with their grown children living nearby in San Francisco.