Refers to persons from racial and ethnic groups whose enrollment in STEM education or participation in STEM professions is much smaller than that group's representation in the general population. African Americans, Hispanics/ Latinos, and Native Americans and Pacific Islanders currently fit this definition.
Often used interchangeably with “underrepresented,” particularly as it relates to the sciences and engineering. Specifically, it is used to promote access and opportunity to persons of diverse backgrounds— racial, ethnic, gender, religious, age, sexual orientation, disabled, and other populations with limited access—to decent and affordable housing, gainful employment, and other services. In the STEM area, “underserved” has typically referred to women and persons with disabilities.