. "4 Professional Activities, Institutional Resources, Climate, and Outcomes." Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2010.
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty
engineering faculty are more likely to report that they feel marginalized and isolated at their institution, have less job satisfaction, have unequal lab space, unequal salary, unequal recognition through awards and prizes, unequal access to university resources, and unequal invitations to take on important administrative responsibilities, especially those that deal with the future of the department or the research unit. The fact that this study has been replicated at other institutions says that this is not an MIT specific problem. This is a generalized problem about the way women faculty at research-intensive universities experience their career environment. (Tilghman, 2004:9)1
This chapter examines variables that could contribute to a faculty member’s ability to excel at teaching and research. It asks about factors related to equitable treatment of male and female faculty at research-intensive institutions in the six disciplines surveyed, whether there are gender differences in salary, publications, or the inclination to remain at that university, and whether differential treatment accounts for any gender differences in salary, publications, or the inclination to move on. The variables of primary interest to us fall into three categories: professional life, institutional resources, and climate. Under professional life, we include how much of each of the following a faculty member does: the amount of research; the amount of teaching, advising, supervising, and mentoring; and the amount of service to the university or broader community. Under institutional resources sometimes provided to support a faculty member’s teaching and research, we include start-up funds, summer salary, travel funds, reduced teaching loads, laboratory space and equipment, and staff (postdocs, research assistants, clerical support). Under climate, we include variables that can contribute to a faculty member’s sense of engagement or marginalization within the department and the institution, such as whether the faculty member is mentored by more experienced colleagues, whether the faculty member is asked to contribute to important decisions in the department and the university, and whether a faculty member regularly engages in conversation about research and teaching with his or her colleagues.
Three initial comments are necessary prior to proceeding with the assessment. First, there are dozens of factors that together comprise a faculty member’s job, from the number of students she teaches, to whether she has the newest equipment in her lab, to whether she thinks her peers are collegial. One major benefit that studies of hiring, tenure, and promotion have is that there is a dichotomous end point that helps to focus attention. The study of professional activities, institutional resources, climate, and outcomes lacks this. Therefore, anchoring the analysis is somewhat more challenging. Second, the following analysis is descriptive. Essentially, what is reported here about professional life, institutional resources, and climate is the average response of male and female faculty to a
Shirley Tilghman, 2004, “Ensuring the Future Participation of Women in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering,” in National Research Council, The Markey Scholars Conference: Proceedings, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, pp. 7-12.