The Importance of Intentionally Inclusive Spaces in STEM
In March 2021, Creative Tuition Collective were able to speak with participants of the Polar Horizons Programme 2021. Polar Horizons is an initiative run by the Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative (DiPSI) and funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and NERC to introduce folks from currently underrepresented groups such as LGBTQ+, Disabled and BAME to UK Polar Science. Over two days, Creative Tuition Collective held 6 online focus groups with 33 conference participants using zoom.
Together, these findings provide an eye-opening compilation and analysis of the experiences of university students and early careers researchers in STEM. Focusing specifically on students’ experiences in education so far, this research explores what inclusivity means, what makes a space inclusive, what expectations students have for organisations in terms of diversity, representation and inclusivity. Additionally, this research serves to amplify the voices and experiences of the participants, who are either LGBTQ+, Disabled and/or BAME. With the data gathered in this study we have been able to compile an action-plan of practical steps that can help to make education and work environments and be truly inclusive and welcoming to all.