Lack of visibility is a major barrier for retention of Black scientists in academia. While visibility seems like a small thing, several national surveys and publications have indicated that Black postdocs feel invisible at their respective institutions. Even when winning prestigious grants and awards, many express that they are rarely highlighted in university publications/social media/websites. This also has an impact on graduate students from underrepresented groups and their perception of how likely they are to succeed in a postdoc position.
The YBPA leadership created several programs/initiatives to improve visibility of its members as well as Black scientists outside of the Yale community. These initiatives are in alignment with Yale University’s commitment to improving diversity across the campus.
The YBPA is passionate about giving back to the community and helping to foster the next generation of scientists. Specifically, we believe it is important for budding scientists of color to be able to imagine themselves someday leading a lab or designing the next vaccine, and many of us know first-hand how impactful it is to have role models who look like you. In order to ensure that every young child can see themselves being a scientist, we’ve designed the following plans to connect ourselves to the local community and beyond:
The YBPA aims to expand upon the great career development programming currently offered at Yale and specifically by the Yale Postdoctoral Association, to offer additional training on topics relevant to its members. Additionally, YBPA aims to create opportunities for networking, not only in the broad sense, but also with faculty and industry professionals who are also from underrepresented backgrounds and can speak to aspects of their career experiences that may be unique.
In 2020-2021 we hosted several events: