Essay Prompt: Diversity and STEM

Points: 100
Length: 3-4 pages (This means 3 full pages minimum!)
We have read about the lack of diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and
math (STEM). The U.S. government and educational institutions are just two major groups that
are concerned about this. Non-profits have been formed and other initiatives to educate, recruit,
hire and retain more women and people of color in STEM. Tech companies in Silicon Valley and
elsewhere are recently feeling the pressure to release data on their employee demographics and
find unique ways to address this issue. We also read articles that discuss how one’s childhood
and educational experiences, such as the toys we play with or the counselors we have, might also
be factors that shape people’s aspirations and career opportunities as adults.
For this essay, you are going to PICK A TECH COMPANY and UTILIZE ARTICLES from
this unit by Doyle, Valoy and/or Gibbs to answer the question below:
What should the company do about the lack of diversity in STEM
OR does the root of the problem lie elsewhere?
Company suggestions: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Slack, and LinkedIn.
Then, you are going to WRITE the CEO of the company a hypothetical letter in which you:
• Explain who you are and what you know about the overall topic of the lack of diversity in
STEM so they know the reason you are writing and that you are informed. Mentioning
your gender, race or other aspects of your background early on might be helpful context.
Include a specific experience you have had related to your childhood, education or the
workplace that connects to these articles.
• Summarize at least one of the articles from the unit to “set the stage” for the rest of your
letter. It should be the one you will focus on to help you answer the question above.
• Propose what you think the company should do (or not do) about the lack of diversity in
STEM (this is your thesis!). Do you have any creative ideas for them? Thoughts about
the real root of the problem? Use quotes and paraphrases from the article(s) in this unit to
support your stance. You are encouraged (but not required) to do a little bit of research
on the company and see what kind of statistics they have released on diversity. Most of
these companies have a webpage devoted to their diversity efforts.
• Conclude by re-stating your main points. Include a call to action or other type of close
(see page 155-156 in the course reader). Include a formal closing line, with your name
and signature.
Other Requirements:
• Audience: Consider your audience by addressing the company respectfully and
professionally, while also demonstrating that you are informed.
• Evidence: You must include a summary and at least two quotes from an article in this
• Structure: Use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the
next. Pay careful attention to transitions between ideas and paragraphs. Also, start with a
salutation and end with a close.
• Presentation: Edit your paper thoroughly so that sentences are readable. Use proper
MLA format, even though this is a letter. Include a Works Cited page too.
• Underline your thesis on the final hard copy you turn in and submit your paper to
Canvas by the time class starts on the due date.

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