Addressing the leaky pipeline through mentoring and support: a personal perspective

Materials research is poised to play a pivotal role in addressing the grand challenges faced by society, from engineering better medicines to providing accessible clean water and renewable energy. However, complex problems require diverse teams. Therefore, there is an urgent need to address the diversity gap in materials science and engineering, especially for women.

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Fig. 1: Addressing the leaky pipeline.


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The author thanks those who have inspired and informed this Comment, including helpful discussions with J. Enszer, who is leading a number of relevant activities at University of Delaware related to student mentoring and teaching students how to learn, M. Sullivan, C. Kloxin, C. Grimes, C. Fromen and D. Konkolewicz; the ‘effective teaching: a workshop’ led by R. Felder and R. Brent (; and the Rosalind Franklin Society, including N. Emanuel for her presentation at the 2018 Annual Board meeting related to the gender gap and elements of her working paper entitled Why do women earn less than men? Evidence from bus and train operators.

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Correspondence to April M. Kloxin.

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The author declares no competing interests.

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ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) Outstanding Young Investigator Symposium:


AIChE Materials Engineering & Sciences Division (MESD) Biomaterials Future Faculty session:


Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence:

Chemical Engineering Summer School:;

Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program:

Impostor syndrome:

LearnChemE initiative:


National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity:

National Effective Teaching Institute:

National Institute of Health (NIH) Chemistry–Biology Program:

National Science Foundation (NSF), Science & Engineering Indicators, 2016:

NIH K99/R00:

NSF CAREER program Career-Life Balance Supplement:

NSF Chemistry Early Career Investigator Workshop:

NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program:

NSF-funded Future Faculty Workshop:

Pew Scholars in Biomedical Science:

Women’s Initiative Committee (WIC) workshops and networking events:

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Kloxin, A.M. Addressing the leaky pipeline through mentoring and support: a personal perspective. Nat Rev Mater 4, 287–289 (2019).

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