Harriett C. Leach
Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race (WISER) Recognizes the Biden Administration’s Executive Order
on Racial Equity
MECHANICSVILLE, VA (January 25, 2021): The Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race (WISER), a leader in the field of data disaggregation as it relates to equitable access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, and other services, recognizes President Biden’s administration’s vital first step in addressing data disaggregation as a key gap in the policy research arena central to implementing solutions for a more inclusive society.
Founded five years ago by educator and researcher Dr. Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, WISER advocates for the use of data disaggregation by race, ethnicity and gender to create policy and equitable solutions to deeply entrenched issues that exist in a nation where equality and justice for all is not fully realized.
“While all federally funded research should report data by race, it also needs to include gender, class, and other characteristics,” said Rhonda V. Sharpe, president of WISER. “It’s simply not enough to look at the numbers based on age or race or gender; we must look at the interactions of all of those factors at once.”
While breast cancer research has advanced treatment methods and survival rates for women in general, disaggregated data has helped the healthcare industry tailor its messaging to Black women, who are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer-related illness than white women. Hyper-targeted messaging has increased the likelihood of Black women seeking treatment and decreased the death rate by over 25%. Additionally, disaggregated data by race and ethnicity has identified that Black women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, which has a lower survival rate.
Data collection and reporting that fails to analyze the range of experiences within specific gender and racial groups misses the opportunity to provide nuanced information necessary to create solutions tailored to the breadth and depth of a community’s experience and create a more inclusive society.
In relation to the current pandemic, Dr. Sharpe says, “Disaggregated data allows us to understand who exactly Covid-19 has killed, who was denied or benefited from relief packages. “More importantly, it can identify who has been completely forgotten.”
Founded on International Woman’s Day 2016 by Dr. Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race (WISER) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)3 research institute. WISER’s mission is to expand women-focused policy research to include the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous American and Multiracial women.
WISER believes a microanalysis approach, the disaggregation of data by race, ethnicity and gender will draw different conclusions for each group as opposed to the broad umbrella of “women of color”. Using the term “women of color” assumes that Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous American and Multiracial women are a homogenous group and produces ineffective policies that do not address the needs of the most vulnerable.
WISER advocates for a society where policy research is inclusive of the needs of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous American and Multiracial women. We believe the well-being of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous American and Multiracial women is vital for economic progress.