The National Survey of College Graduates and related surveys administered by the National Science Foundation collect information about the education and career paths of U.S. college graduates. The survey collects demographic information from respondents, including race, sex, and other personal data. The survey does not currently collect data about respondents’ sexual orientation or gender identity.
Incorporating measures of sexual orientation and gender identity into the National Survey of College Graduates and related surveys would enhance the quality and utility of the information collected. The measures would provide vital data on the participation of LGBT people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and their representation in the nation’s STEM workforce.
The comment explains that collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity would provide vital information about LGBT participation in the STEM pipeline—from undergraduate and graduate education and into the workforce—and LGBT representation among the nation’s scientists and engineers. This information would enhance the ability of the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies to provide critical data and support to the scientific community. A group of 17 scientific organizations and associations of higher education, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Association of University Professors, and 236 scientists and engineers, including 17 members of the National Academies, committed to promoting diversity in STEM fields and inclusion of under-represented groups in the nation’s STEM workforce, joined Williams Institute scholars in signing onto the comment.