Minority STEM professionals can employ a number of strategies to avert workplace obstacles. For one, developing a diverse group of mentors across gender, race, and expertise lines can prove to be invaluable. According to Quinn Gray, such relationships can help professionals gain an invitation into white male-dominated circles of decision makers who select which scientists will participate in a conference to present their work or collaborate on a project. A mentor relationship with someone outside of science is also beneficial to get exposure to the business side and learn to communicate with professionals that market and sell the company’s products.
It is also crucial for STEM professionals to distinguish their talents and find a niche within their company that aligns with its mission and business strategy. Offers McCrary: “If you are seen as an articulate and thoughtful leader that understands and can help add to the bottom line, that overcomes a lot of workplace obstacles, particularly discrimination.”