Plenary Panel III:

Strategies and Policies to Recruit, Retain, and Advance Women Scientists

SPEAKER INTRODUCTIONS

Marye Anne Fox (Moderator)

Chancellor, North Carolina State University

Our third panel is a round-table discussion on the barriers to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women, with Professors Howard Georgi, Karen Uhlenbeck, and Mildred Dresselhaus.

Dr. Howard Georgi is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. He received his degree in physics from Yale in 1971, and joined the Harvard faculty in 1976, where he has served as department chair from 1991 to 1994.

Dr. Georgi has been an editor of Physics Letters B since 1982. His work in particle theory has involved all aspects of the standard model, particularly QCD and the grand unified theories. He and Sheldon Glassow first constructed the latter in 1973, although they are not responsible for the name. Much of Dr. Georgi's research has been in collaboration with graduate students, 39 of whom have received Ph.D.s under his direction.

Dr. Georgi is a fellow of the American



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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE Plenary Panel III: Strategies and Policies to Recruit, Retain, and Advance Women Scientists SPEAKER INTRODUCTIONS Marye Anne Fox (Moderator) Chancellor, North Carolina State University Our third panel is a round-table discussion on the barriers to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women, with Professors Howard Georgi, Karen Uhlenbeck, and Mildred Dresselhaus. Dr. Howard Georgi is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. He received his degree in physics from Yale in 1971, and joined the Harvard faculty in 1976, where he has served as department chair from 1991 to 1994. Dr. Georgi has been an editor of Physics Letters B since 1982. His work in particle theory has involved all aspects of the standard model, particularly QCD and the grand unified theories. He and Sheldon Glassow first constructed the latter in 1973, although they are not responsible for the name. Much of Dr. Georgi's research has been in collaboration with graduate students, 39 of whom have received Ph.D.s under his direction. Dr. Georgi is a fellow of the American

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society. In 1995, he received the Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society for his pioneering contributions to the unification of strong and electro-weak interactions and for his application of quantum chromodynamics to the properties and interactions of hedrons. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and has written over 200 research articles and three books. Professor Karen Uhlenbeck is Professor and Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regent's Chair in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. Since receiving her Ph.D. at Brandeis University in 1968, she has also taught at MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Illinois, and the University of Chicago. She has held visiting positions at IHES in France, the University of California at San Diego, the Max Planck Institute, Harvard University, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Northwestern University, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Dr. Uhlenbeck has been a Sloan Fellow and a MacArthur Award Fellow. Memberships include the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Uhlenbeck has written extensively in the fields of gauge field theory and geometric calculus of variations. Her current research interests are in integral systems and geometric evolution equations. Her present activities include involvement with the IAS Park City Mathematics Institute, a mentoring program for women in mathematics. As her former colleague, I can tell you she is a force at the University of Texas for including women in the College of Natural Sciences. Our third panelist is Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus. Dr. Dresselhaus is Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her undergraduate education at Hunter College in New York City and her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Following her doctoral studies, Dr. Dresselhaus spent 2 years at Cornell as an NSF postdoc and then 7 years as a staff member at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Solid State Physics Division. She joined the MIT faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1967, and the Department of Physics in 1983. She was named Institute Professor in 1985. Dr. Dresselhaus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, the IEEE, the Materials Research Society, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as numerous advisory committees and councils. She has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science and 15 honorary doctorate degrees. Dr. Dresselhaus is the coauthor of three books on carbon science. Her research interests are in experimental solid state physics, particularly in carbon-related materials and their intercalation compounds, and in low dimensional thermoelectrics. Her most recent interests have been in fullerenes and fullerenerelated carbon nanotubes. This panel will focus on strategies and policies to recruit, retain, and advance women scientists.

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE A TENTATIVE THEORY OF UNCONSCIOUS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN SCIENCE Howard Georgi, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics Harvard University I will talk today about the issue of “unconscious discrimination” against women in science. I am delighted that the MIT Faculty Newsletter has brought attention to this problem. Today, I want to suggest a tentative theory of unconscious discrimination. In the light of this theory, I will discuss some possible strategies for improving things. Let me admit, at the outset, that while I have struggled with some of the issues I will discuss today for many years, I am not an expert. This is a personal attempt to understand the troubling fact of gender discrimination that I see in science. “Discrimination” is an interesting word. There are two kinds of meanings: positives that describe the mental process of differentiation, discernment or judgment; and negatives that describe the misuse of differentiation to treat unfairly those who are different. My simplistic theory is that in unconscious discrimination against women in science, the latter follows from the former. I will argue that unconscious

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE discrimination arises because the application of our tools for discrimination between different scientists selects for many things, including qualities, that are at best very indirectly related to being a good scientist, and that clash with cultural pressures. In particular, our selection procedures tend to select not only for talents that are directly relevant to success in science, but also for assertiveness and single-mindedness. This causes problems for women (and others as well). There are probably other gender-linked traits that we also select for, but I will focus on these two because I think that they are particularly obvious and damaging. I will try to explain this theory by asking and answering a number of questions. Do we really select for assertiveness and single-mindedness? This question hardly needs an answer. There are many obvious examples of situations in which this selection is almost explicit. One of my favorite examples is the Physics GRE exam. I can expand on this if necessary. It is not impossible to succeed as a scientist without being assertive and single-minded, but the system encourages and rewards people with these traits in a number of ways. How does selection for assertiveness and single-mindedness differentially affect women? Why should this matter more for women than for men? I realize that I am treading on dangerous ground here. Obviously, for these traits, as for any other similar traits, there is a broad distribution in both men and women, and the distributions overlap. Nevertheless, the distributions of assertiveness and single-mindedness are strongly skewed toward men. I think that most people would agree that there are very strong cultural biases that make it more difficult for women than for men to be assertive and single-minded. Isn't this a problem in academia in general? Why is it worse in science? I think that the answer is that in science, we actually do have quantitative tools. There are quantitative ways of distinguishing good science from bad science, and for training good scientists. These tools really exist and they work! We produce people who do great science. This system has been honed over many years to the point that we now tend to take it for granted. It is this very success that makes it possible to accept the system uncritically, and that makes unconscious discrimination easy. I hasten to add, however, that just because we have a system that produces good scientists does not mean that the system is not eliminating many others who could be equally good. Are assertiveness and single-mindedness really necessary (or even desirable) for a scientist? This question is harder. I am not sure that any controlled experiments have been done. My personal view is that what we want in a scientist is not assertiveness, but intellectual curiosity and thoughtfulness, and not single-mindedness, but dedication and perseverance. For the moment, I hope that you will accept this as a working hypothesis.

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE If assertiveness and single-mindedness are not really what we want, why did the system develop to select for these, rather than what we are really interested in? This is a question for historians and sociologists of science. But my suspicion is that the answer here has two parts. The system could develop because when it developed, there was overt discrimination against women, and so there was no selective pressure to develop a system that worked for women as well as men. It actually did develop, I think, and persists, because assertiveness and single-mindedness are easier to measure quantitatively than the qualities that we are really interested in, intellectual curiosity, dedication, and so on, which have more human dimensions. Assertiveness and single-mindedness are stand-ins that worked pretty well for a large group of men in previous generations. Even though they are no longer very appropriate, our system still selects for them. And because it “works” (at least if you ignore gender discrimination and such things), we haven't tried very hard to do better! How does the selection for assertiveness and single-mindedness give rise to unconscious discrimination against women? Here there are many answers. From the top down, when department chairs and search committees look for the best scientists, they tend to exclude those who are not demonstrably assertive and single-minded. This tends to eliminate women. In fact, the situation is worse, because the cultural bias against assertiveness in women puts even those women who are selected by the system at a disadvantage. They may be perceived as good scientists, but disagreeable people. From the bottom up, the mismatch between the cultural stereotypes of women and scientists make it harder for girls to develop as scientists. They are constantly pushed toward other vocations. I hope that this is changing, but if so, the process has been very slow. This contributes to the familiar pipeline problem that we have already heard about today. There are not as many women as men in the pool, at any level, and the disparity increases as we go up the academic ladder. Those of us who are committed to increasing the participation of women in science find these pipeline issues incredibly frustrating. The small number of women in the pipeline makes it much more difficult to counteract the effects of unconscious discrimination in hiring. We have to convince search committees to work hard twice, both to overcome their preconception that good scientists must be assertive and single-minded, and also to identify women from a smaller pool. What can be done about this? The good news is that the system is not evil, just misguided. But the bad news is that unconscious discrimination arises as a result of deep-seated habits that will be very hard to change. We have heard about some of the ideas for changing this from the bottom up. I hope that we can do it by changing our system of educating and evaluating scientists, rather than simply encouraging girls and women to break out of the cultural stereotypes against assertiveness and single-

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE mindedness. But meanwhile, we should try to support women's sports programs, and other things that help break down these stereotypes. From the top down, there are a few strategies that may help in hiring. The idea, in each case, is to try to open up the search procedure and make it easier to break out of the same old system. Do not make a single ordered list of candidates. Make several lists using different criteria. This may help remind the search committee that many talents are important to success in science, and that different candidates will rate differently in each one. Try to think carefully about all the different ways that candidates can contribute. Do not define the area of the search too narrowly. Very narrow searches tend to exclude women just because of pipeline issues. And the more narrow the search, the easier it is to fall into the trap of making a single-ordered list without thinking carefully about the criteria. Open up the search procedure. Don't let it be handled exclusively by a small committee of “experts.” If you send a search letter, ask your informants to list the best women and minorities in the field, even if they do not rate them as highly as the top men. This will at least get people thinking about the issue, and may turn up candidates that otherwise would be overlooked. And most important, keep trying even when none of the strategies work. This is a job for optimists!

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE THE MENTORING PROGRAM FOR WOMEN IN MATHEMATICS Karen Uhlenbeck, Professor of Mathematics University of Texas at Austin The statistics for women in mathematics are particularly disturbing, since a majority of high school teachers of mathematics are women, and mathematics departments throughout the country are increasingly dependent on adjunct faculty, many of whom are women, to cover undergraduate teaching. The number of women in tenured or tenure-track positions in leading mathematics departments are few, and we are worried that this number might be decreasing. At some schools, half the undergraduate mathematics majors are female although this statistic is variable. There are a number of national programs that target undergraduate women mathematics majors, but I am aware of only two or three that include either graduate or postdoctoral level mathematicians.

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE Description The Mentoring Program for Women in Mathematics is a 10-day program, held every year in either May or June at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. It is connected with the Institute for Advanced Study/Park City Mathematics Institute, which runs a vertically integrated summer program for high school and college teachers, undergraduate and graduate mathematics students, and research mathematicians. The topic of the Women's Program is the topic of the summer school, which rotates from year to year among key areas of research mathematics. Undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level women students who are accepted into the summer program receive an automatic invitation to the Mentoring Program. We also invite and accept applications for our program alone, but Park City students receive first priority. The number of official participants has ranged from 15 to an expected number of 40 this year. All activities are open to the public; hence the total audience for courses and seminars is much larger and includes members of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton graduate students, and many women visitors from local universities. The program revolves around four activities. Two 10-day courses, one at an undergraduate level and one at an advanced graduate level, are offered. These are taught by well-known women research mathematicians in the specialty of the research area, who volunteer their time. A research-level seminar serves as a forum for advanced graduate students and research mathematicians, and a Women-in-Science seminar offers participants an opportunity to discuss readings, ask personal questions, listen to invited panelists, and learn more about both the breadth and limitations of the mathematics community. Problem sessions and working groups on special areas more than take up any extra time. The emphasis is scientific, but intellectual and personal discussions are encouraged. Women mathematicians at the different levels are expected to interact with each other and with the local Princeton mathematics community. History The Park City Mathematics Institute (IAS/ PCMI) came about when a group of research mathematicians, who believed that the research community should be involved in educational issues, responded to a prospectus for vertical integration, specifically in geometry, put out by the National Science Foundation (1991). Originally a group of five mathematics departments was involved, but, with great relief, the founders turned the Park City Program over to the Institute for Advanced Study, which under the direction of Phillip Griffiths has provided financial, staff, and intellectual support since the fourth year (1994). This next summer will be the ninth year of the summer school. I was a founding member and organized, together with my colleague Dan Freed, the first research seminar and graduate school. I have been monitoring the participation of women closely. The large number of women high school teachers has been an embarrassing contrast to the few women researchers available. However, in our second year (1992), we ended up with an all-male group of upper-level undergraduates, and it became clear that our

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE recruiting needed to improve. This was following by an equally embarrassing lack of women in the field of algebraic geometry in the third year (1993). The first women's program, organized by Herb Clemens, Lenore Blum, and Antonella Grassi, was held at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkeley in 1993 with a more informal structure than the one we have now. The program was moved to the Institute for Advanced Study the following year with a more formal program and together with my coworker, Professor Chuu-Lian Terng of Northeastern University, we have been organizing it ever since. We are assisted by a group of women mathematicians from the New York-Philadelphia area. We meet with them for a discussion and lunch a couple of times a year. Some of the panels are organized by this group, and most individuals in this local program committee attend part of the program. Two permanent members of the Institute for Advanced Study, Luis Caffarelli (now at the University of Texas at Austin) and Robert MacPherson, have served as principal investigators on our grants and have lent their support to this project. Funding The primary funding has come from the National Science Foundation, with generous contributions from the Institute for Advanced Study and minor support from the endowment of the Regents Chair Number Three of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in Texas. We have lost our NSF funding for future years, but hope to keep the program going with the support of the Institute for Advanced Study and its Director, Phillip Griffiths. The formal budget for the first few years, which did not include staff support from IAS, was $30,000. However, the program has grown, and we are budgeting $53,000 for May 1999. Goals The original goal was to increase the numbers, preparation, and visibility of women mathematicians who apply to and attend the IAS/PCMI summer institute, and without a doubt we have succeeded. A second goal is to introduce young women to the informal network of the research mathematics community and the active sub-network among women. We try to keep participants in touch with each other through e-mail, Web pages, a reunion at the winter Joint Mathematics Meetings, and visits to the program in later years. We provide a little extra mathematics preparation and encouragement, but we also provide an opportunity for women students to hear lectures by women and to work with other women in a center of research activity. The needs of our groups of women mathematicians are quite diverse. Some need only to see that successful women mathematicians exist; some wish to make close contact with women in their peer group; some want to help younger women students; and a few want close ties with an older mentor. The Women's Program meets most of these needs with a formal scientific program and lots of opportunities to meet people and carry on discussions. The interaction between our women participants and the primarily male atmosphere at the Institute for Advanced Study has

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE successfully influenced both sides. Many of the young women have felt more at home in Princeton because of the program, but more important, Institute members have had an opportunity to interact with talented, ambitious, and outgoing women mathematicians. It is important to introduce women to, and have them feel at home in, established scientific centers. Perhaps even more important is to actively demonstrate to both older and younger mathematicians who are in residence at IAS that there is a cadre of excellent women mathematicians, some of whom are learning the subject and some of whom are doing excellent research. Lectures and seminars are attended by Princeton graduate students and members at IAS. Changes in both atmosphere and preconceptions on both sides are noticeable. Finally, we try to offer particularly for undergraduate students a number of ways to explore the connections between abstract mathematics and the rest of science. Standard undergraduate mathematics programs give very little of the scope of mathematics, or of the possibilities in the field. The undergraduate course in May will be on number theory and cryptography, and we try to have women visitors from both academia and industry. Success The program is a success, in that the number of women who go to the summer school has increased and our participants tend to rate the program highly. Even when the participants come with no recognized need for “a women's program,” they are delighted to be able to air their uncertainties, see women lecturers in action, and work closely with women friends. For some, it is a first experience in the elite intellectual world of Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, and Kurt Gödel. Others simply use their entree into IAS to further their careers. However, in looking for long-term effects of the sort the scientific community values, I see our students moving up from undergraduate to graduate, picking out and using whatever mentors they found in the system, and coming back at a later stage, as graduate students or as junior mentors. And one should not discount the effect on the senior women mathematicians, invited to lecture. Senior women really enjoy the otherwise unobtainable experience of having an enthusiastic group of young women in the audience. We also are influenced to think of IAS as a less formidable and more comfortable place to take a sabbatical. I know this holds for me, and I have been told the same by other senior lecturers. The Institute community accepts and seems to welcome the eager and enthusiastic group of women each year. One has the hope that doors are being unlocked from both sides. However, the bottom line will be to see whether through these efforts more women become mathematics professors or leaders of industrial research groups. Moreover, we hope to see more women mathematicians as members of IAS. These are long-term goals, which we might begin to assess in five or ten years. Conclusion Recently, while on a visit to Indiana University's Women in Science Program, I was asked by a male professor, “What should we do

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE to encourage middle school girls?” I answered without hesitation, “Young girls are not stupid; make life easier for them when they get to be thirty.” Women never ask this question, as we are as a whole very sensitive to the fact that young women need to do more math so they will end up with better jobs. But deep down there is disappointment that so little concern is expressed over the women (and men, for that matter) who are lost to the academic and research community in and after graduate school. It is rough for women, and we suspect the young girls know this. It is not clear that the scientists who are surviving into leadership are necessarily suited to develop a healthy climate for science in the next millennium. Recall that Andr é Weil, the famous mathematician who was so influential in mathematics during this century, discusses in his autobiography his interest in Indian poetry and culture that lead him to take a postdoctoral position in India.1 This does not fit at all into today's narrow expectations for young mathematicians. It seems obvious that we should be encouraging intellectual breadth, cooperation, and outreach along with the traditional male values of single-mindedness, competition, and confrontation. What is happening now is not necessarily for the best. People in power, like Phillip Griffiths as head of the Institute for Advanced Study, do have the ability to foster change. For every one Phillip Griffiths, there are probably ten of me, willing to do the bits of work, but unable or not powerful or brave enough to mount a serious challenge to the attitudes of the science community. Our program works because the Institute for Advanced Study, its Director Phillip Griffiths, the staff assigned to us, and permanent members Luis Caffarelli and Robert MacPherson, and an enthusiastic group of area women mathematicians have supported it, have helped it through political processes, and made it relatively easy to keep functioning at the highest scientific level. This is one arena in which the support of at least five members of the National Academy of Sciences has helped open locked doors for the next generation. More information about the IAS/Park Mathematics Institute summer school and the Women's Mentoring Program can be found at the Institute for Advanced Study's website: http://www2.admin.ias.edu/ma/park.htm Schedule • 9:30 Undergraduate Lecture • 10:45 Graduate Lecture • 12:00 Lunch • 1:15 Problem Sessions • 2:30 Research Seminar and Project Groups • 3:30 Tea • 4:00 Open Slot • 5:00 Women and Science Seminar • 6:30 Dinner Committee Members Ingrid Daubechies, Princeton U Irene Gamba, Courant Institute, now U Texas Fan Chung Graham, U of Penn and UCSD Antonella Grassi, U of Penn Sarah Greenberg, Graduate Student, U Penn 1   Varadarajan, V.S. The Apprenticeship of a Mathematician—Autobiography of André Weil (book review). Notices of the AMS 46(4): 448-456.

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE Nancy Hingston, Trenton State C Rhonda Hughes, Bryn Mawr C Jane Cronin Scanlon, Rutgers U Diane Souvaine, Rutgers U, now Tufts Lisa Traynor, Bryn Mawr C Mentoring Program For Women in Mathematics The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Ten Day Scientific Program in Mathematics for: Undergraduate Students Graduate Students Postdoctoral-Level Mentors Senior-Level Lecturers and Organizers Panelists and Visitors Women in Science Seminar Selected Topics Biographical Readings on Women Mathematicians College Teaching as a Career (Panel discussion) Working in Industry (Panel discussion) Women of Color in Mathematics Interviews with Visiting Senior Mathematicians Women Scientists and Feminism Best and Worst Classroom Experiences How Does Culture Influence Mathematicians? Organizers Chuu-Lian Terng, Northeastern U Karen Uhlenbeck, U Texas Principal Investigators Luis Caffarelli, IAS, now U Texas Robert MacPherson, IAS

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE STRATEGIES AND POLICIES TO RECRUIT, RETAIN, AND ADVANCE WOMEN SCIENTISTS Mildred Dresselhaus, Institute Professor Massachusetts Institute of Technology I was asked to speak to the MIT experience on strategies to recruit, retain, and advance women scientists, because this is a topic I know something about, and because MIT represents one end of the spectrum regarding this issue. Since MIT is about 90 percent science and engineering, women students coming to MIT already have a commitment to science and engineering. During my tenure at MIT, the percentage of women undergraduates increased from 4 percent in 1967 to 40 percent today. Women graduate students have increased from 2 to 3 percent to 25 percent, and the women faculty from about 1 percent to 10 percent, the increase being an order of magnitude in each category. Present figures clearly indicate a strong interest among women to have significant careers in science and engineering. Analysis of these data over the years have shown that when the number of women exceeds 15 percent (at which point there is, on average, more than one in a recitation section), the academic perfor-

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WHO WILL DO THE SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE?: A SYMPOSIUM ON CAREERS OF WOMEN IN SCIENCE mance of women students becomes equal to that of men. Over the years, the self-confidence and professional aspirations of the women have grown steadily, reaching a level today well beyond my own projections of the late 1960s. Several factors contributed to these achievements, including a strong commitment of the MIT presidents, strong support from top MIT administrators (e.g., deans), and the leadership and hard work of women (and also men) faculty, who worked with the students, mentored them, and developed a quantitative methodology that has served us well over the years. This methodology involves identification of an area where women have not had equal opportunity (such as athletics, housing, and so forth), work with the administration to make the relevant data available, and make recommendations for solving the problem. Variants of this methodology have been used for over 30 years to improve the status of women students. The focus on teamwork and cooperation, among the MIT women's community and with the MIT administration, has helped us accomplish a lot, with minimal trauma. Despite the many accomplishments, we still have a long way to go. Increasing the number of women in science was necessary, but as we learned from the recent report on women faculty in the MIT School of Science, this is not enough. Issues concerning the quality of professional life of women faculty are not necessarily addressed without diligence and occasional intervention. Included in quality-of-professional life issues are salary, laboratory space, teaching assignments, service on key departmental committees, inclusion in groupfunded projects, access to secretarial and technical support, and so forth. The process of collecting data to assess the quality of life of the women faculty brought women in the School of Science together and helped us understand our personal and collective situations better. The assembled data provided the MIT administration with a clearer picture on how to improve faculty career development procedures. To address specific inequities uncovered by the report process, appropriate adjustments were made, largely through the leadership of the Dean of Science. These adjustments led to increased (documented) productivity of the women faculty, so that the small investments made by the Dean led to significant benefits to the individuals and to MIT as a whole. Similar initiatives are now under way in other schools at MIT, and the expectations are that a similar quantitative fact-finding approach involving women and men faculty and others will reveal inequities that will be amicably resolved for the mutual benefit to the faculty members and MIT as a whole. Because of the wide press and media coverage of the MIT report, the strong endorsement by President and Mrs. Clinton for the process, and for the broad replication of the MIT approach in workplaces around the country, there is now an opportunity to make a real difference in the status of women in science and technology in academia, industry, and government laboratories. Encouragement by professional societies, private foundations, and funding agencies can help to make the replication process at other institutions a reality.