Gender Advancement and Parity in STEM (GAPS)

An illustration of three different types of STEM workers - one has a beaker, one has a map, and the other a microscope. Text says "Close the GAPS"

The Gender Advancement and Parity in STEM (GAPS) program supports our work to reduce gender bias in our field. Donations to this program support a mentorship program and paid internships to people from marginalized genders and provide empowering real-world work experiences for people from marginalized genders exploring careers in biology and science.

What does “marginalized genders” mean?

The precursor to the GAPS program was 100 Women for the Wild, but data has shown again and again that when we create programs labeled and advertised as “for women,” cisgender women are more likely to apply than other women. And the statistics show that while cisgender women need parity programs, they aren’t as in need of advancement and parity programs as other genders. Read more:

The GAPS Mentorship Program

The GAPS Mentorship Program connects emerging and more seasoned environmentalists and scientists from marginalized genders together to network, support, and build capacity. Read more:

The Gender Advancement and Parity in STEM (GAPS) program supports our work to reduce gender bias in our field through mentorship and internships for people from marginalized genders. The mentorship program connects emerging and more seasoned environmentalists and scientists from marginalized genders together to network, support, and build capacity.

A brain storming graph titled "Goals of the mentorship program." The goals are "Connection" "Increase Access" "Provide a Forum" and "Develop a Network"

The mentorship program seeks to:

  • Connect emerging and seasoned environmentalists and scientists from marginalized genders and help those connections flourish through networking and educational opportunities.
  • Using the connections of the mentorship participants, provide increased access to organizations and opportunities that may have otherwise been out of reach.
  • Provide a closed forum for mentorship participants to share resources, concerns, questions, advice, and support (through Slack). 
  • Develop a diverse network of environmentalists and scientists from marginalized genders in the Southern Rocky Mountain region.

To participate in the mentorship program as a mentor:

We are inviting seasoned environmentalists and scientists from marginalized genders to submit themselves as mentors for this program. Please complete the mentorship survey to:

  • Select how you’d like to interact with the program (options currently are: connecting one-on-one with a mentee, having your contact information shared with all mentees so you can support them as they need, participating at network events, or offering your expertise in workshops or trainings),
  • How you want to share your contact information,
  • What skills and expertise you have,
  • What skills you are interested in learning together through the program, and
  • Identity questions (some mentees may need to speak with someone on personal matters in the workforce that are tied to their identity or intersections. We are asking mentors, if they feel comfortable, to answer some identity-related questions for matching purposes).

To participate in the mentorship program as a mentee:

We are inviting emerging environmentalists and scientists from marginalized genders to submit their interest in being a mentee in this program. Please complete the mentee survey to:

  • Select how you’d like to interact with the program (options currently are: connecting one-on-one with a mentor, reaching out to mentors who have provided their contact information for this purpose as needed for help or advice, participating at network events, or attending workshops or trainings),
  • How you want to share your contact information,
  • What skills you are interested in learning together through the program, and
  • Your gender identity (optional).

Mentees will remain mentees for one year, at which time, they will be invited to join as mentors! If a mentee would like additional time in the program as a mentee, they are also welcome to do that.

What is the difference between a mentor and a mentee?

We think of mentees as folks emerging in the field and mentors as folks who are more seasoned and have been working in the field for five years or more. However, we understand that sometimes more seasoned folks may feel they would benefit more as a mentee or mentees feel they have enough experience to be a mentor. We leave it up to the individual to decide.

We do want to encourage folks who are more seasoned to sign up as mentors. We recognize that a lot of folks who are from marginalized groups may feel “imposter syndrome” in what they know. But we hope to learn and heal from that together! But please, sign up in away that is comfortable for you.

The GAPS Workforce Development Program

Pre-COVID, Rocky Mountain Wild offered at least one paid internship a year to people from historically marginalized genders. These interns would assist our biologists in one or more projects in the field, assist our support staff in advocacy projects, or create a new program of their choosing. Read more:

Support the GAPS Program

All aspects of the GAPS program are made possible by donors like you! Donate today to close the GAPS tomorrow!

Stay Connected

We keep in contact to share opportunities in our Facebook group. It’s not required that you be a financial supporter to join this group, just that you care about ender the gender bias in our field!

100 Women for the Wild Pika Field Day
Pika Field Day, 7/29/2017. Photos by: left and top right: Andrea Lauritzen; bottom right: Chris Talbot-Heindl