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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering 6 Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering While the number and proportion of women earning science and engineering degrees has increased dramatically, the need for additional focused steps to increase the representation of women in science and engineering faculties is obvious and persistent. Universities and colleges play central roles both in the education of scientists and engineers and in the conduct of research and development. Progress toward equality on their campuses is crucial if we are to optimize the productivity of the nation’s science and engineering enterprise. ROOT CAUSES OF DISPARITIES Making full use of the nation’s scientific and technical talent, regardless of the sex, social, and ethnic characteristics of the persons who possess it, will require both understanding of the causes of inequality and effective remedies. Biological explanations for the dearth of women professors in science and engineering have not been confirmed by the preponderance of research (Chapter 2). Studies of brain structure and function, of hormonal modulation of performance, of human cognitive development, and of human evolution provide no significant evidence for biological differences between men and women in performing science and mathematics that can account for the lower representation of women in these fields. The dramatic increase in the number of women science and engineering PhDs over the last 30 years clearly refutes long-standing myths that women innately or inher-
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering ently lack the qualities needed for success; obviously, no changes in innate abilities could occur in so short a time.1 Surveys of the definite postgraduate plans of science and engineering doctoral recipients show that similar proportions of women and men plan for a career in academe. As shown in Chapter 3, despite similar career aspirations, women have not been able to translate their success at earning science and engineering PhDs into academic careers equal to those attained by men. Academe is purportedly a meritocracy that rewards objectively determined accomplishment. However, many studies document that both bias and structural barriers built into academic institutions and the occupation of professor limit many women’s ability to be hired and promoted in university faculties. In fact, the academy has perpetuated patterns of bias that devalue women and minorities and their abilities, aspirations, accomplishments, and roles. As described in Chapter 4, small but consistent differences in evaluation, often caused by gender bias, can have a sustained and substantial impact on career outcomes. I have always believed that contemporary gender discrimination within universities is part reality and part perception, but I now understand that reality is by far the greater part of the balance. —Chuck Vest, President, MIT2 A substantial body of research demonstrates that women are underrepresented at higher levels of business and academe because of the influence of gender schemas and the accumulation of disadvantage that such schemas generate.3 Gender schemas systematically influence both women and men’s perceptions and evaluations of competence and performance, and they cause women to be consistently underrated and men consistently overrated. Academic scientists and engineers show bias against women applying for grants, employment, and tenure. To achieve the same competence rating as a man, a woman must have a significantly superior 1 J Handelsman, N Cantor, M Carnes, D Denton, E Fine, B Grosz, V Hinshaw, C Marrett, S Rosser, D Shalala, and J Sheridan (2005). More women in science. Science 309:1190-1199, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5738/1190. 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999). A study on the status of women faculty in science at MIT. MIT Faculty Newsletter 11(4), http://web.mit.edu/fnl/women/women.html. 3 V Valian (1998). Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering FOCUS ON RESEARCH BOX 6-1 Benefits of Presumed Competence Acquisition of human capital parallels the accumulation of advantage or disadvantage. Exposure to discrimination influences earnings and leads to inequalities in income across the career, particularly among the highly educated.a Those familiar with compound interest know that even a difference in return of 1% per year leads to a 25% lower total return over a 30-year period. A computer simulation of promotion practices shows a similar effect.b The model assumes a pyramidal organizational hierarchy and a tournament model of success, in which evaluation of early career success is necessary for promotion. A hypothetical corporation with eight levels is staffed at the bottom level by equal numbers of men and women, and 15% of the staff is promoted from one level to the next, but there is an evaluation bias in favor of men. With a 5% bias, only 29% of those promoted to the very top level of the organization were women, whereas 58% of the bottom-level positions were filled by women. Even more dramatic is the finding that when sex differences explained only 1% of the variance, an estimate that might be dismissed as trivial, only 35% of the highest-level positions were filled by women. Clearly, even small disadvantages can create significant disparities over time. aD Tomaskoviv-Devey, M Thomas, and K Johnson (2005). Race and the accumulation of human capital across the career: A theoretical model of fixed-effects application. American Journal of Sociology 111:58-89. bRF Martell, DM Lane, and C Emrich (1996). Male-female differences: A computer simulation. American Psychologist 51:157-158. record.4 Although most individual differences in treatment are typically quite subtle and seemingly small, these small but consistent advantages or disadvantages accumulate into significant discrepancies in salary, promotion, and prestige (Box 6-1). In addition to bias, systematic structural constraints built into academic institutions have impeded the careers of women scientists.5 As docu- 4 C Wennerås and A Wold (1997). Nepotism and sexism in peer-review. Nature 387:341-343; R Steinpreis, KS Anders, and D Ritzke (1999). The impact of gender on the review of the curriculum vitae of job applicants and tenure candidates: A national empirical study. Sex Roles 41(7-8):509-528; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999). A study on the status of women faculty in science at MIT. MIT Faculty Newsletter 11(4), http://web.mit.edu/fnl/women/women.html. 5 For example, see J Jacobs and S Winslow (2004). The academic life course: Time pressures and gender inequality. Community, Work and Family 7(2):143-161; B Baginole (1993). How to keep a good woman down: An investigation of the role of institutional factors in the process of discrimination against women academics. British Journal of Sociology of Education 14(3):261-274.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering mented in Chapter 5, organizational rules and structures may appear neutral on the surface but can function in a way that leads to differential treatment of or differential outcomes for men and women. One example is the effect on productivity of unequal access to institutional resources.6 Another is the assumption that faculty members have substantial spousal support. The evidence demonstrates that anyone lacking the work and family support provided by someone fulfilling the traditional role of wife is at a serious disadvantage in academe. Most faculty members no longer belong to households that fit that mold. In 2003, 64.4% of women and 83.5% of men tenured or tenure-track faculty were married; 42.2% of women and 50% of men faculty had at least one child in the household.7 About 90% of the spouses of science and engineering women faculty are employed full-time; almost half the spouses of male faculty also work fulltime (see Figures 5-2 and 5-3).8 Furthermore, even within today’s two-career households, women still shoulder a disproportionate share of responsibility for children and other dependents, which places a burden on women faculty members that their male colleagues ordinarily do not bear. WHY CHANGE IS NECESSARY This nation can no longer afford the underperformance of our academic institutions in attracting the best and brightest minds to the science and engineering enterprise. Nor can it afford to underappreciate or devalue the contributions of that workforce through gender inequities and discrimination. There are four compelling reasons for taking action to eliminate gender disparities and bias in science and engineering careers in academe and elsewhere. Global competitiveness. America’s technological advances, its standard of living, and ultimately its prosperity and security depend on global pre-eminence in science and engineering. Other countries are making strong 6 RK Merton (1968). The Matthew effect in science. Science 158:56-63; P Allison and JS Long (1990). Departmental effects on scientific productivity. American Sociological Review 55:469-478; B Keith, JS Layne, N Babchuk, and K Johnson (2002). The context of scientific achievement: Sex status, organizational environments, and the timing of publication on scholarship outcomes. Social Forces 80(4):1253-1282; Y Xie and KA Shauman (1998). Sex differences in research productivity: New evidence about an old puzzle. American Sociological Review 63:847-870. 7 National Science Foundation (2003). Survey of Doctorate Recipients. Data provided by Joan Burrelli, Division of Science Resource Statistics. 8 The National Science Foundation has compiled a table on marital status and spousal employment for men and women scientists and engineers in 2001, see http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/employ.htm, Table H-31.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering gains emulating the successes of the United States by investing heavily in science and technology.9 To remain competitive in a fast-changing global economy, the United States needs to make optimal use of its scientific and engineering talent. Law. Our nation has strong anti-discrimination laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 196410 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Title IX, passed in 1972,11 prohibits discrimination or exclusion on the basis of sex from any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act of 1980 made “equal opportunity [for men and women] in education, training and employment in scientific and technical fields” the official policy of the United States. Economics. States, the federal government, and the private sector invest heavily in training scientists and engineers. The average annual support provided for a full-time doctoral student is about $50,000, not including research and training expenses.12 The average doctoral student takes about 7 years to complete the PhD,13 bringing the investment to $350,000 per PhD. That is a substantial cost. It makes no sense economically to have highly educated, expensive PhDs leave science and engineering because they perceive a lack of opportunity to excel. Ethics. Men and women should have an equal opportunity to serve society, work in rewarding jobs, and earn a living. Until women can feel as much at home in math, science, and engineering as men, our nation will be considerably less than the sum of its parts. If we do not draw on the entire talent pool that is capable of making a contribution to science, the enterprise will inevitably be underperforming its potential. —The Presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Princeton University14 9 See NAS/NAE/IOM (2007). Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 10 Pub. L. 88-352. For a full description, see http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html. 11 Title 20 U.S.C. Sections 1681-1688. See http://www.dol.gov/oasam/regs/statutes/titleix.htm. 12 In 2001, the average annual stipend support was $37,234, and tuition and fees were $8,070. Overheads on federal grants help to support health benefits. The numbers do not include the amount invested in research or teaching. Data from National Center for Education Statistics (2002). Digest of Education Statistics, 2002 (NCES 2003060). Washington, DC: US Department of Education Statistics. 13 National Science Board (2006). Science and Engineering Indicators, 2006 (NSB 06-01). Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, Figure 2-27 and Appendix Table 2-34. 14 J Hennessey, S Hockfield, and S Tilghman (2005). Women and science: The real issue. The Boston Globe, Feb. 12, http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/02/12/women_and_science_the_real_issue/.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering WHAT MUST BE DONE: A BLUEPRINT FOR ACTION Career impediments for women deprive the nation of an important source of talented and accomplished scientists and engineers. Transforming institutional structures and processes to eliminate gender bias requires a major national effort, incorporating strong leadership and continuous attention, evaluation, and accountability. It will require persistent diligence and abiding patience.15 The committee’s recommendations are rooted in strategies shown to be successful. They are large-scale and interdependent, and require the combined efforts of university leaders and faculties, professional societies and higher education organizations, funding agencies, federal agencies, and Congress. Attaining gender equity is a deep cultural problem, one that most scientists would like to see overcome, but one that is likely to persist unless active steps are taken to change the culture in which we live. —Richard Zare, Chair, Chemistry Department, Stanford University16 Change Institutional Processes to Combat Bias Faculty members and administrators at all levels need to correct or eliminate the policies and practices that lead to or permit gender bias. How should faculty interact with students? How should young women faculty deal with unwelcome social or sexual advances? How should faculty members work with staff? How should institutions and individuals interview and hire? What are effective, unbiased strategies for evaluating performance? A recent Harvard Task Force developed a comprehensive list of policy actions for improving the retention and advancement of women in science and engineering, across the educational and career path (Box 6-2). Many women faculty cite workplace climate as an important factor in career satisfaction and decisions about whether to pursue a career in academe.17 All too often, newly minted scientists begin their faculty positions 15 JH Franklin (2005). Mirror to America. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. 16 R Zare (2006). Sex, lies, and Title IX. Chemical and Engineering News 84(2):46-49, http://pubs.acs.org/cen/education/84/8420education.html. 17 For example, see LLB Barnes, MO Agago, and WT Coombs (1998). Effects of job-related stress on faculty intention to leave academia. Research in Higher Education 39(4):457-469; P Bronstein and L Farnsworth (1998). Gender differences in faculty experiences of interpersonal climate and processes for advancement. Research in Higher Education 39(5):557-585;
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering DEFINING THE ISSUES BOX 6-2 The Harvard University Task Force on Women in Science and Engineeringa “A diverse faculty is a strong faculty because it emerges from the broadest possible consideration of available talent.” On February 3, 2005, Harvard University announced the formation of two Task Forces—the Task Force on Women Faculty (WF-TF) and the Task Force on Women in Science and Engineering (WISE-TF)—to “develop concrete proposals to reduce barriers to the advancement of women faculty at Harvard.” WISE-TF was charged to analyze and make recommendations concerning effective ways to build and sustain the pipeline of women pursuing academic careers in science, from undergraduate studies to graduate and postdoctoral work to advancement through faculty ranks. The task force made recommendations across several broad topics: sustaining commitment, mentoring and advising, enabling academic careers in the context of family obligations, and faculty development and diversity. Sustaining commitment For undergraduates, create study centers in the science concentration courses and enhance summer science research programs. Improve the environment in science departments. Create, enhance, and sustain departmental activities that promote the success of all doctoral students and appoint a graduate school advisory council member to oversee these activities. Create an office for postdoctoral affairs. with little or no training in effective strategies for running a laboratory, lacking even basic training and skills in writing and managing a budget, hiring and evaluating personnel, and conflict management. The dearth of training contributes in turn to some of the observed climate problems in the academic science workplace.18 In recent years, training strategies and pro- LS Hagedorn (2000). Conceptualizing faculty job satisfaction: Components, theories, and outcomes. New Directions for Institutional Research 105:5-20; MF Fox and P Stephan (2001). Careers of young scientists: Preferences, prospects and realities by gender and field. Social Studies of Science 31(1):109-122; CA Trower and RP Chait (2002). Faculty diversity. Harvard Magazine, http://www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/030218.html; L August and J Waltman (2004). Culture, climate, and contribution: Career satisfaction among female faculty. Research in Higher Education 45(2):177-192. 18 ER Rice and AE Austin (1988). Faculty morale: What exemplary colleges do right. Change 20(3):51-58; WM Plater (1995). Future work: Faculty time in the 21st century. Change 27(3):22-33; VJ Rosser (2004). Faculty members’ intentions to leave: A national study on their worklife and satisfaction. Research in Higher Education 45(3):285-309.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Mentoring and advising Require pedagogical training with a gender bias component for doctoral students. Improve freshman advising. Track the progress of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and provide mentoring and professional development. Limit the length of appointment and set a base salary for postdoctoral fellows. Provide mentors for junior faculty in the science departments. Enabling academic science careers in the context of family obligations Explore options to provide paid maternity leave and increase child-care scholarships for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Expand the dependent care fund for short-term professional travel. Establish research-enabling grants for primary caregivers in the sciences. Faculty development and diversity Design programs on diversity. Revise and expand search processes to increase the recruitment of women and underrepresented minority faculty in the sciences. Establish programs to provide funding and relief for key transition points in academic careers. aExecutive Summary from Task Force Report on Women in Science and Engineering (2005). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, http://www.faculty.harvard.edu/01/pdf/WISE_Final_ Report.pdf. grams have emerged to fill the void. Box 6-3 details an existing program that has proven effective at increasing the retention of women and men junior faculty. Tenured faculty with management responsibilities—including department chairs, deans, and search committee chairs—would benefit from periodic workshops in which they examine ground rules and work to correct gender bias. Efforts should focus on providing mandatory workshops for deans, department heads, search committee chairs, grant reviewers, and other faculty with personnel evaluation and management responsibilities. The workshops should include an integrated component on diversity and the strategies needed to overcome bias and gender schemas. For example, the WISELI program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison convenes department heads for workshops on department climate (Box 6-4). Such forums provide an opportunity for general discussion of how to manage
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering EXPERIMENTS AND STRATEGIES BOX 6-3 Improving the Retention of Junior Faculty Case Study: Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine Task Force The Task Force on Women’s Academic Careers in Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine is a model for academic departments to reduce gender bias and foster career development for women faculty.a This case study begins in 1989 with a report from the Provost’s Committee on the Status of Women that showed lower salaries for women faculty compared with men and substantially slower rates of promotion. In 1990, the chair of the Department of Medicine appointed a Task Force on Women’s Academic Careers in Medicine to evaluate and characterize career pathways for men and women medical faculty. They found women faculty were less likely than men to be nominated for promotion, to have mentors who actively fostered their careers, to have comparable salaries, and to participate in decision making. Women faculty were more likely than male faculty to have mentors who used the women faculty’s work for the mentor’s own benefit, to feel isolated, and to experience conflict between work and personal responsibilities. The Task Force set out to evaluate the basis of the obstacles to career advancement, hypothesizing that they were due to a combination of institutional policy, structure, and culture. The Task Force collected baseline data using individual interviews and a survey administered to all full-time faculty. Based on these data, they implemented interventions and evaluated the impact of these interventions by tracking such factors as faculty turnover, tenure rate, and proportion of men and women faculty at various ranks along the tenure-track, and by re-administering the same survey 3 and 5 years later. They found a substantial improvement in the proportion of junior women retained and promoted—without any change in evaluation criteria—as well as improvement for both men and women in timeliness of promotions, manifestations of gender bias, access to information needed for faculty development, isolation, and salary equity. What did they do? The Task Force outlined six intervention areas and associated tasks to eliminate the gender-based obstacles to women’s careers. Leadership The department chair and task-force members committed to a long-term 15-year intervention. The Task Force on Women’s Academic Careers in Medicine was formalized and provided an operating budget that included funds for members to attend faculty development conferences. A faculty/organization development specialist was hired to evaluate department structure and decision-making processes, and to assist individual faculty members. Education Lectures, workshops and focus groups educated all members of the faculty on gender discrimination and bias. Female faculty members participated in a monthly department-level professional development colloquium. Decrease Isolation Weekend and after-hours meetings were rescheduled to weekday working hours. Two or more women were included in every departmental search committee.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Faculty Development Each faculty member’s curriculum vita was reviewed annually by the promotions committee. Based on the professional development colloquia, the Task Force produced a document defining the essential characteristics of mentorship; this was used to educate fellows and faculty members. Academic Rewards Faculty salaries were reviewed by department chair; those below scale are increased. Department chair and division heads identified faculty ready for promotion in annual review process. The faculty/organization development specialist worked with the department chair and division directors to evaluate processes and to recommend changes that would make processes more explicit and equitable. The length of time at each pay scale rank is increased to ensure promotion possibility for faculty needing time to meet personal demands. Monitoring and Evaluation Task force presented an annual written evaluation to the department and divisions. A follow-up survey 3 years later indicated that this multifaceted strategy significantly decreased gender bias and improved the retention and promotion of men and women junior faculty. Isolation decreased. There was a 77% increase in the proportion of women faculty reporting that their division director had informed them of promotion criteria, and a 110% increase in the proportion who had mentors. The women in the department also reported significant improvement in the quality of mentoring. Monitoring of promotion rates from 1990-1995 showed that the number of women and men on the tenure track had increased, and the proportion of women faculty at the associate ranks increased from 4/45 (9%) in 1990 to 26/64 (41%) in 1995, a proportion similar to that of men (57/167 in 1990 and 70/223 in 1995). Key lessons: (1) implement a long-term strategy that has multiple facets; (2) while interventions can start with a marginalized group, to minimize backlash it is critical that programs be generalized to all faculty;b (3) leadership is critical in maintaining focus and expectations; and (4) the quality and effectiveness of the program must be evaluated to determine what works and what does not. aLP Fried, CA Francomano, SM MacDonald, EM Wagner, EJ Stokes, KM Carbone, WB Bias, MM Newman, and JD Stobo (1996). Career development for women in academic medicine: Multiple interventions in a department of medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association 276(11):898-905. bSee also S Mark, H Link, PS Morahan, L Pololi, V Reznik, and S Tropez-Sims (2001). Innovative mentoring programs to promote gender equity in academic medicine. Academic Medicine 76:39-42. This article reviews the four National Centers of Leadership in Academic Medicine. It found that a key indicator for failure was whether women were marginalized in gender-isolated programs. In these cases, the institution does not buy in and give full support and there is backlash from male colleagues. Mark et al. show that the Centers of Leadership succeeded because they created a gender neutral environment with gender-specific elements.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering EXPERIMENTS AND STRATEGIES BOX 6-4 Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute: Climate Workshops for Department Chairs Climate (Kli−’mi˘t), n. The atmosphere or ambience of an organization as perceived by its members. An organization’s climate is reflected in its structures, policies, and practices; the demographics of its membership; the attitudes and values of its members and leaders; and the quality of personal interactions. Committee on Women, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Working Group on Climate (2002). Many women cite workplace climate—hostility from colleagues, exclusion from the department community and its decision-making process, and slights and ridicule—as pervasive in university settings. Men are often unaware of the impact that climate has on women and describe a better climate for women than women report experiencing. Those troubling trends in campus climates have been documented in faculty surveys at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Michigan. Harsh climates have made it difficult for universities to recruit and retain women faculty members. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI)a has developed a series of workshops, the WISELI Climate Workshops for Department Chairs, that engage small groups of department chairs in discussions of climate in their own departments and give participants a chance to learn from each others’ experiences and ideas. The WISELI Climate Workshops for Department Chairs also provide information about various resources and people on campus that can assist department chairs in their efforts. The goals of these workshops are To increase awareness of climate and its influence on the research and teaching missions of a department. bias, and a vehicle for department leaders to exchange strategies and best practices. A recent national meeting of chemistry department chairs in collaboration with the major federal funders of academic chemistry research—the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health—is an example of an effective cross-institutional strategy (Box 6-5).
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering TRACKING AND EVALUATION BOX 6-8 Scorecard for Evaluating How Well Research Universities Serve Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering This scorecard should be used as a tool for continuous assessment of institutional efforts to remove the barriers to participation in science and engineering by women. It can be used to identify and publicize institutions that recruit and nurture talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, to create a culture that welcomes and supports all scientists and engineers and helps them realize their potential, and to work to overcome barriers to talented scientists and engineers at all levels. aThis term applies to those faculty leading colleges or schools, and does not include academic advisors in residential colleges.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Continuous Evaluation: Scorecard Monitoring and evaluating progress toward gender equity in access to science and engineering education and academic careers require making appropriate measurements and comparisons. The committee has developed a proposed scorecard for measuring many of the factors relevant to equity, including climate, or “intangible” environment (see Box 6-8). The committee recommends that universities monitor their programs through annual self-audits that collect data on the education and employment of scientists and engineers disaggregated by sex and race or ethnicity. The recommended audits should be part of a larger effort to establish metrics for gender equity in academic science and engineering. Coordinating organizations should act to create uniform standards among their members and provide a central clearinghouse for publication of the results. Federal Standards and Compliance Issues Relevant civil rights statutes include Title IX (see Box 6-9), Title VI for students, and Title VII and Executive Order 11246 for faculty and employees. Together those laws bar discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and disability.27 The federal agencies should work with higher education institutions to establish clear guidelines and measures for compliance with all civil rights statutes. Civil rights statutes cover every aspect of student education and faculty employment. For students, these statutes cover recruitment, admission to undergraduate programs (at a minimum at public institutions), admission to graduate programs, housing arrangements, scholarships and fellowships, internships and work-study opportunities, assignment to classes, assignment of advisers, selection for teaching assistantships, and “intangible” environment. For faculty and employees the statutes bar discrimination based on sex, race, and national origin in all aspects of employment in educational institutions and programs, including recruitment; hiring; selection of graduate fellowships or teaching assistantships if these create an employer-employee 27 There are distinct enforcement agencies for each statute. Title VI and Title VII are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigates and resolves discrimination complaints and can bring lawsuits on behalf of claimants. Individual commissioners may also file charges to initiate investigations of discrimination even absent a specific complaint. Executive Order 11246 is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the Department of Labor, which has the authority to resolve complaints and undertake compliance reviews of federal contractors. Overall, the Department of Justice acts in a coordinating role to enforce the statutes.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering DEFINING THE ISSUES BOX 6-9 Title IX Title IX bans sex discrimination in education and covers (a) students, faculty, and employees at institutions of higher education that receive federal funds and (b) students and employees of educational programs that are offered by other institutions that receive federal funds. When it was passed, however, the law did not specify how institutions would be measured to be in compliance. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education was charged with establishing these details. After years of review and extensive public feedback, the OCR issued standards in 1979. The Three-Prong Title IX Compliance Test To show compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, institutions must meet at least one of the following tests: provide participation opportunities substantially proportional to the ratio of males to females in the student body; show a history and continuing practice of upgrading girls’ and women’s programs; meet the interests and abilities of women on campus. That policy provides flexibility in meeting compliance, but many universities and most courts have focused on the proportionality standard in Title IX compliance and litigation.a Every federal agency that gives funds to institutions of higher education or to other institutions that run educational programs—including all cabinet agencies (such as the Department of Education and the Department of Defense), and such agencies as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—is obliged to enforce Title IX. Each federal agency has issued regulations delineating its enforcement responsibilities under the law, and each has the authority to investigate and resolve discrimination complaints and to initiate compliance reviews of recipients of federal aid. The Department of Justice is charged with coordination of agency efforts under Title IX and is obliged to ensure overall enforcement of the statute. aCohen v. Brown University;Horner v. Kentucky High School Athletic Association;Kelley v. Board of Trustees; Neal v. Board of Trustees of the California State Universities; and Roberts v. Colorado State Board of Agriculture.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering relationship; promotion; tenure; termination; allocation of resources, such as laboratory space, research assistants, and research funding; receipt of awards and opportunities for public recognition; terms and conditions of employment, including leave, benefits, teaching load, availability of sabbaticals, appointments as department chairs, selection for research projects, committee assignments, and office location; and “intangible” environment. Sanctions The current stated sanction for noncompliance with federal statutes is retraction of federal funds or cancellation of federal contracts. What the NCAA has done with regard to Title IX compliance is create an intermediate sanction to precede such action: withdrawal from competition of a member organization found to be in noncompliance. There are no analogous science and engineering “teams,” however, an option that could be considered by the NCAA-like organization is withdrawal of an institution’s ability to compete for federal funds for a given period. The pressure of civil rights enforcement tends to be indirect: institutions change behavior not because of the threat of sanctions, but rather because the law cultivates a normative environment that legitimates and motivates compliance.28 Possible Unintended Consequences Some have argued that Title IX as applied to athletics has led to the elimination of men’s sports teams in favor of women’s teams. However, it appears that institutions are more likely to add female teams and female athletes than to cut male teams and reduce the number of male athletes in response to a finding of noncompliance.29 A more common strategy used by institutions that are out of compliance with the proportionality standard is to provide preference to men in college admissions, and thereby establish a lower proportion of female students.30 That has the obvious effect of 28 WT Bielby (2000). Minimizing workplace gender and racial bias. Contemporary Sociology 29:120-129; B Reskin (2000). The proximate causes of employment discrimination. Contemporary Sociology 29(2):319-328; S Strum (2001). Second generation employment discrimination: A structural approach. Columbia Law Review 101(3):458-568; E Hirsh (2006.) Enforcing Equal Opportunity: The Impact of Discrimination Charges on Sex and Race Segregation in the Workplace (Working Paper). Department of Sociology, University of Washington. 29 DJ Anderson and JJ Cheslock (2004). Institutional strategies to achieve gender equity in intercollegiate athletics: Does Title IX harm male athletes? American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 94(2):307-311. 30 J Monks (2005). Title IX Compliance and Preference for Men in College Admission (Working Paper 80). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/cheri/wp/cheri_wp80.pdf.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering exacerbating imbalances between men and women and should be carefully considered in the crafting of standards for evaluation and compliance in science and engineering. CALL TO ACTION “Institutions of higher education have an obligation, both for themselves and for the nation, to develop and utilize fully all the creative talent available.” —Nine-University Statement on Gender Equity, 200531 America’s competitiveness in today’s global economy depends on fully developing and using all the nation’s scientific and engineering talent. However, substantial barriers still exist to the full participation of women, not only in science and engineering, but also in other academic fields throughout higher education. That women are capable of contributing to the nation’s scientific and engineering enterprise but are impeded in doing so because of gender and racial or ethnic bias and outmoded “rules” governing academic success is a call to action. Creating environments that promote the professional success of all people, regardless of their sex, race, or ethnicity, must be a top priority for all institutions and individuals concerned with maintaining and advancing the nation’s scientific and engineering enterprise. Transforming academic institutions so that they will foster the career advancement of women scientists and engineers at all levels of their faculties is a complex task of identifying and eliminating institutional barriers. Individual institutional efforts have had dramatic effects but sustained change across higher education is unlikely unless there is a transformation of the process by which students and faculty are educated, trained, recruited, evaluated, tenured, and retained. Our analysis shows that policy changes are sustainable only if they create a “new normal,” a new way of doing things. Increasing the number of women and underrepresented minority-group faculty substantially will require leadership from faculty, individual departments, and schools; rigorous oversight from provosts and presidents; and sustained normative pressure from external sources. The first step is to understand that women are 31 Nine-University Statement on Gender Equity (2006), http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/12/06_geneq.shtml.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering DEFINING THE ISSUES BOX 6-10 Elephants in the Rooma I’m going to offer you a set of recommendations that will cost you nothing but courage. They can also be used more broadly well beyond the hallowed halls, and thus impact the “cross-institutional interlock,” or as I would say as an electrical engineer, “the system.” First of all, we should have zero tolerance for bullying behavior. It should not be acceptable in the workplace or anywhere else. If you are an academic leader, you should confront faculty and others who are abusive to students, staff, and other faculty, particularly senior faculty. Tenure is not a license to kill. How many of you have seen on an academic campus, senior people with tenure over and over abuse people who are lower than them in the power structure, and nobody ever does anything? Why does that happen? Why do we let that happen? It’s unacceptable. If you have issues with dealing with conflict and you are an academic leader, take a class. Get help. Seek support. It’s not so difficult. We are conflict avoiders in the academy. People don’t want to confront each other, but we have to. It’s our job. It’s in the position description. We can learn from conflict. We do learn from conflict. Confront people’s biases. Support your local senior feminist colleagues, male and female. It’s lonely at the top. Support them in their endeavors for social justice. We must confront and act on these “elephants in the room”b as much as we must also change recruitment processes, become more family-friendly, ensure presence of role models, create new models for evaluation and promotion, and revamp the academic salary structure for staff and faculty. aClosing comments by Denice Denton, National Academies’ Convocation on Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success, December 9, 2005, Washington, DC. b“Elephants in the room” is an English idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored, for various reasons. It is based on the ironic fact that an elephant in a small room would be impossible to ignore. It sometimes is used to refer to a question or problem that very obviously stands to reason, but which is ignored for the convenience of one or more involved parties. The idiom also implies a value judgment that the issue should be discussed openly. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_in_the_room.
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Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering as capable as men of contributing to the science and engineering enterprise. Second, the science and engineering community needs to come to terms with the biases and structures that impede women in realizing their potential. Finally, the community needs to work together, across departments, through professional societies, and with funders and federal agencies to bring about gender equity. The current situation is untenable and unacceptable. We must unite to ensure that all of our nation’s people are welcomed and encouraged to excel in science and engineering at our colleges and universities. Our nation’s future depends on it.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: