Removing systemic barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion: Report of a 2019 workshop “Inclusivity in the Plant Sciences” (Plant Direct)

In January 2019, a workshop was convened to explore strategies to address inclusivity in the plant sciences, and the recommendations emerging from this workshop are presented in a new report by Henkhaus et al. The authors recognize that this is an expansive challenge and requires action on many fronts, which they group into four areas: Early STEM exposure, Representation through personal stories, Shifting mentoring and sponsorship norms to broaden participation, and Breaking down systemic and institutional barriers. Specific recommendations and challenges for each area are provided. For example, ensuring that people are supported as they transition between degree programs or jobs is important, but how can that be implemented? Outreach by researchers into the broader community is crucial ,but rarely rewarded by tenure or salary decisions. Science benefits when researchers are free to work in different countries, but funding and immigration policies are tremendous barriers to effective international collaboration and cross-pollination. And finally, when people in power have benefitted from current systems, how can they be motivated to use that power to develop new, more inclusive systems? Included in the Supplemental Information are eight potential pilot projects envisioned by the workshop participants. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) Plant Direct 10.1002/pld3.432