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Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion often lack a theoretical basis, which can unintentionally exacerbate issues. In this paper, we describe the development and evaluation results of a theoretically grounded workshop aimed at reducing microaggressions and promoting ally engagement among graduate students in science and engineering. In Study 1, using a Delphi method, eight science and engineering faculty members with backgrounds in diversity efforts provided feedback on workshop development. In Study 2, 107 graduate and advanced undergraduate students engaged in the 90-minute interactive workshop. Results indicate that attendees found the workshop valuable, developed new skills for ally engagement, and planned to engage as an ally moving forward (all averages of closed-ended assessments were 4.21 out of 5.00 or higher). Themes that were identified from qualitative responses mapped onto learning objectives, including raised awareness about microaggressions, sufficient practice, and confidence to improve one’s academic climate. Although microaggressions are common in science and engineering spaces, the present findings illustrated that, for many attendees, the information was new, including research on microaggressions and evidence-based ally strategies. This study offers a theoretically grounded intervention that facilitates intentional behavioral changes, which can help students change norms to support the advancement of women and people of color.


This article was originally published in Cogent Social Sciences, volume 8, issue 1, in 2022.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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