1. Suzanna Rose
  2. Associate Provost
  4. Florida International University
  1. Sanaz Farhangi
  2. Postdoctoral Fellow
  4. Florida International University
  1. Ashley Garcia
  2. Account Manager
  4. Florida International University
  1. Kirsten Wood
  2. Associate Professor
  4. Florida International University

Bystander Leadership Program: From Insight to Action

NSF Awards: 1629889

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Graduate, Informal / multi-age

The intersectionality of gender, race, class, and cultural identity suggest unique barriers to recruiting minority and underrepresented women as STEM faculty and students. Florida International University (FIU) is a multicultural institution, but that means faculty members from around the world bring with them culturally-based gender stereotypes about women from their own culture and different gender-by-cultural stereotypes about women from other cultures.

The Bystander Leadership Program is a behavioral skills training program that educates faculty on implicit bias by raising awareness about the interplay between power, privilege, and bias often experienced by women and minorities. It then provides them with practice using a range of responses and actions that can be used to address instances of bias and to increase inclusion.

The workshop uses research-based interactive material to present skits concerning instances of gender and race bias derived from interviews and focus groups that are tailored to the academic setting. The workshop format allows attendees to interact with each other and the curriculum. Subsequently, attendees take an active role in intervention scenarios, performing the skills they learned during the workshop and developing the experience necessary to engage in real-world situations.

The program was launched in 2018-2019 as part of FIU's National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant. Over 150 STEM and Social and Behavioral Science tenure-track faculty members at FIU have attended to date. The overwhelming majority of participants reported that the workshop increased their confidence about using prosocial intervention skills and strategies, and said they were more likely to intervene in similar situations after the workshop. According to one, ““I think ALL faculty would really benefit from this kind of training program to help them understand various biases and to increase inclusion of women and minorities in academia.”

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