The STEM fields have long had a diversity problem, and despite some efforts to change that, a recentAmerican Enterprise Institute survey of the science, tech, engineering, and math fields found that employees are still around 70 percent white and 65 percent male. Meanwhile, that same study found that about half of all female, Black and Latino respondents say they face more obstacles in STEM than in other fields.

It's a problem Gilda Barabino knows well, as the first Black student to get a doctorate of chemical engineering from Rice University — only the fifth woman in the nation to obtain that degree — and the first Black woman in the country to hold a tenure-track position in chemical engineering. As of July, she's the new president of Olin College of Engineering in Needham.

She joined Jim Braude to discuss.