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ARC Network, a WEPAN Initiative

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May 7, 2024

The ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network promotes systemic change to address gender equity in the STEM professoriate. As the STEM equity brain trust, the ARC Network recognizes the achievements made so far while producing new perspectives, methods and interventions with an intersectional, intentional, and inclusive lens. 

WEPAN, the leading champion in North America to propel the inclusion of women in the field of engineering, serves as the backbone organization of the ARC Network, which is funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program, Awards HRD-2121468 and HRD-1740860.


Addressing overlapping systems of marginalization and privilege for systemic change

The ARC Network draws on decades of research and practice to equip the community with critical tools needed for improving the participation, advancement, and inclusion of a diversity of women in STEM. 

For example, the Resource Library contains thousands of curated resources related to advancing equity and justice in STEM, and makes a concerted effort to include voices, perspectives, movements, and methodologies often excluded and undervalued in STEM, DEI enterprises and scholarship, and academia more broadly. It also aims to ensure that disciplines often dissociated from STEM, including the social sciences, are integrated and recognized as foundational to driving systemic change in STEM. The Resource Library is available to ARC Network members, and becoming a member is easy and free

Through the Virtual Visiting Scholars program, researchers conduct meta-analysis, synthesis, and big data curation on topics crucial to STEM faculty equity and offer new insights and applications to the broader community. Scholars have explored topics such as  academic motherhood, industry-academia partnerships, and biases in citation analysis. 

Ramon Goings, a member of the 2020-2021 cohort, sees many benefits from participating in the VVS program, such as demonstrating an ability to get research funded, which can help with promotion and tenure, and opportunities for collaboration with the VVS network of scholars. “The connections you build with other scholars is great, and . . . i’s refreshing to have the flexibility to do a project in the way you envision, without restrictions or red tape.”


Cultivating critical self-awareness and action

The Emerging Research Workshops engage leading investigators in intensive, two-day workshops on innovative and emerging research on faculty equity in STEM, sparking new research agendas and shifting the dialogue from the status quo to new and creative ways to understand and successfully address equity issues in STEM. The scholars and practitioners who attend work in the topic area and represent a diverse array of disciplines, research specialties, institution types, career stages, and social demographic backgrounds.Workshop topics thus far have included identity-based harassment, big data and algorithms, exclusionary STEM language, and commercialization. Resulting reports are shared with the larger community for additional contribution and offer a series of recommendations for new scholarship, intervention, and practice.


Creating authentic, sustainable, and equitable environments

As the go-to hub for community collaboration, the ARC Network hosts events in partnership with the community, including online learning opportunities, town halls, webinars, and virtual workshops.

Since 2019, the NSF-funded ADVANCE Equity in STEM Community Convening (ADVANCE EiSCC) has served as the convening for NSF ADVANCE grantees in a format that facilitates engagement with change agents within and beyond the NSF ADVANCE community. The ADVANCE EiSCC brings together individuals from higher education, professional societies, industry, government, and non-profits in an engaged exchange of knowledge, resources, and support to drive systemic change in STEM.

Attendees have an opportunity to share new research findings and exchange resources; brainstorm strategies; collaborate in novel ways; learn about avenues for funding; and demonstrate effective programs and interventions for greater collective impact. According to one attendee at last year’s event, the ADVANCE EiSCC “has the best networking opportunities [they've] ever found at any conference,” while another applauded the “many opportunities for conversations with new people” and a third “was surprised to get some requests for discussions about potential work opportunities, which was great!”

If you aren't an ARC Network member, it's easy and free to join

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