Partnership for Rural Women in Math Careers (INCLUDES)

Broadening Participation of Rural Young Women in Careers Involving Advanced Mathematics
science consulting“…I want that to be true for other girls as well, so that they can have the opportunity to participate in science and math regardless of where they live or what their backgrounds might be. So that they can have a positive experience and have the world of career choices and education choices be open to them in their futures.” ~RPP Participant

A Concerning Problem:

Young women from rural areas are not pursuing careers involving advanced mathematics, even though they are skilled and capable mathematicians, scientists, and engineers . 
  • Women constitute 47% of the overall workforce, but only 28% of the combined sciences & engineering workforce. 1
  • “Although rural students have been shown to perform on par with non-rural students on measures of math and scientific ability, rural students are typically limited in terms of access to advanced coursework.” 2

A Promising Future:

Systematically identifying and addressing barriers preventing young women from rural areas from viewing themselves as competent and skilled mathematicians can lead to a more diverse representation of perspectives, backgrounds, and approaches in careers involving advanced mathematics.  

What we’re doing:

We are convening a Research-to-Practice Partnership that is collaboratively identifying and beginning to address the barriers to participation for rural girls pursuing advanced mathematics.   The partnership includes:
  • young women in grades kindergarten through post-secondary from rural areas, 
  • parents, 
  • formal and informal educators, 
  • STEM professionals who use advanced mathematics, 
  • policy-makers, 
  • and STEM education researchers.

Throughout 2021, our group of partners will:

  1. Identify specific barriers that keep young women from participating in increasingly challenging mathematics activities and/or courses;
  2. Co-design research questions to investigate the identified problems of practice identified; 
  3. Identify common goals and metrics to advance toward those goals;
  4. Collaboratively develop an evidence-based reform initiative and strategic plan to address the challenge.  

If you are interested in finding out more about the project or participating in the conversation, please contact us.

Project Partners

Project Funder


This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, grant #2040921.  Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation

Project Staff

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