The Luce Foundation Awards $12.3 Million to Advance Gender Diversity in STEM

Feb. 5, 2024
The Luce Foundation Awards $12.3 Million to Advance Gender Diversity in STEM
Students from Bowie State University on their way to the 2023 Grace Hopper Conference in Orlando Florida.

The Henry Luce Foundation is pleased to announce its continuing support of efforts to advance gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The 2023 grants awarded through the Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in STEM and STEM Convergence Program totaled nearly $12.3 million.

“Through our Women in STEM programs,” shares Aida Gureghian, Director of Leadership Programs at Luce, “we are working to cultivate STEM ecosystems that encourage girls and women, especially from underserved communities, to learn and work in healthy and supportive environments, creating future generations of women STEM leaders in all sectors. The grants awarded in 2023 reflect our multifaceted, data-driven approach.”

These grants will assist approximately 94 women over the next six years. Eleven higher education institutions, including four minority-serving institutions, were selected. Combined with grants to 13 institutions supported in perpetuity (per Clare Boothe Luce’s will), this program awarded nearly $9.5 million to support women pursuing STEM studies and careers.

Student at Bowie State University presenting research.

Dr. Rosemary Shumba, Professor of Computer Science and Department Chair from Bowie State University, a CBL award recipient, shared that this award impacts undergraduate students and professors by reinforcing the importance of mentorship. For Dr. Shumba, mentorship "from female professors is instrumental in shaping their students' educational and career paths. It also contributes to meaningful research initiatives to reduce gender disparities in STEM." Bowie State has a strong record of effective mentorship, development pathways, and supporting women in STEM. The CBL award also complements other innovative programming at Bowie, such as its internship pipeline program.

For Megan Conrad, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, the program is an opportunity to strengthen students' confidence and STEM identities "by providing a strong network to help improve their sense of belonging ... In addition to supporting female students, the CBL scholarships will be used as an opportunity to create institutional structures capable of strengthening transfer student pathways into fields where women are historically underrepresented."

The work of the Clare Boothe Luce Program is complemented by the Foundation's STEM Convergence Program, which aims to encourage innovative, interdisciplinary approaches that help realize the Foundation's goal of achieving gender parity in STEM. The program made $2.8 million worth of grants in 2023. New grantees include Thrive Scholars for their STEM Career Pathways & Thrive Academy for Girls of Color in New York City, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) for continued support of their Science, Engineering, and Technology Equity Roundtable.

STEM students hard at work at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Clare Boothe Luce Program

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