The committee has prepared a detailed scorecard for the purposes of measuring progress toward improving the representation of women in university programs and faculties (Box 6-7). Measurables include

  • Changes in the representation of women and minorities in the student body, new faculty interviews, hire offers, faculty rank positions, and in administrative positions.

  • Changes in hiring, promotion, tenure, retention, and turnover. Exit interviews can be an important means of evaluating reasons for turnover and designing retention programs (Box 3-5).

  • Differences in salary or resource allocation.

BEYOND BIAS

The underrepresentation of women and minorities in science and engineering faculties stems from a number of issues that are firmly rooted in our society’s traditions and culture. To accelerate the rate at which women and minority-group members take their places as leaders in science and engineering, it is essential that all members of the scientific and engineering community—men and women alike—reflect on their own values, beliefs, and behavior to ensure that they do not further stereotypes, prejudices, policies, practices, or climates that discourage or exclude women and minorities from academe (Box 4-8).

A powerful way to reduce evaluation bias has been to bring to the attention of those performing evaluations—including provosts, department chairs, and search committees—the research in the field (Box 4-9).

CONCLUSION

Our analysis shows that women possess the qualities needed to succeed in academic careers and can do so when given an equal opportunity to achieve. Furthermore, reducing the homogeneity of faculty enhances problem solving, teaching, and research. The need to eliminate bias against women scientists and engineers—whether explicit, covert, or unexamined— is therefore more than a moral or legal obligation of universities. It is a requirement for assuring a scientific workforce of the highest quality. Only the best possible scientific workforce will permit the nation to compete in an increasingly global world of science and engineering.



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