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Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Physics and Astronomy

Although women make up almost 50 percent of physics students in high school, they comprise only 10 percent of full professors in the United States. In astronomy, women make up only 15 percent of full professors. The goal of the Heising-Simons Foundation’s Women in Physics and Astronomy grantmaking is to increase the number of women in these fields, both in colleges and in academic and research careers in the United States.

Below are some innovative and scalable initiatives that the Foundation supports in order to promote a more inclusive and diverse physics and astronomy braintrust in the United States. By sharing this work publicly, the Foundation hopes to inspire more such efforts from the funders’ community, and within academic institutions. You can also download and share a PDF version of these resources.

Photo credits

MIT: John Phelan, CC BY 3.0; Gaposchkin: Smithsonian Institution, Gaposchkin_(1900-1979)_(3).jpg; Caltech:, CC BY 3.0; UC Santa Cruz: Dynaflow, CC BY 3.0; Burbidge: Annie Gracy, CC BY-SA 4.0; University of Colorado: MECU, CC BY 3.0.