5. Provided findings that inform the implementation of similar programs.
6. Demonstrated modification of program operations over time that result from data-based feedback.
Less than 10 percent of the nominated programs in the BEST population met all of these criteria. He emphasized that if an intervention program is successful, it will eventually move from the margins to the mainstream of the organization’s mission.
To demonstrate variations across cultures, Chubin presented case studies of two successful programs, one from the developing world, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW)5, and the other from the developed world, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)’s ADVANCE Program.6 He briefly described the OWSDW Postgraduate Training Fellowship Program, which was established in 1998 and has funded women scientists under the age of 40 to help secure postgraduate training in the global south (southern hemisphere). Although the impact is uneven geographically (with a larger impact in the African region), Chubin suggested that the program has successfully launched careers of women scientists, generating south-to-south exchanges, and stemming, to some extent, the problem of “brain drain” to the north.
The second case study was NSF’s ADVANCE program, which is considered the most promising gender-conscious science and engineering faculty-focused program in the United States. Chubin discussed the exemplary ADVANCE programs at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, which through a series of initiatives increased the number of hired tenure-track women faculty and staged a series of interventions by the faculty and division heads to improve the “climate.” Overall, the ADVANCE program focuses on institutional transformation, which Chubin suggests should lead to larger structural changes.
He concluded by emphasizing the importance of the program “life cycle” and what can be done beyond understanding it. Institutional changes should be applied to similar programs at other sites, where practices and program structures can also be spread and scaled. However, Chubin acknowledged that additional research is necessary to account for the critical role of varying perspectives and the need to fit efforts into specific contextual situations.
Cheryl B. Leggon
Georgia Institute of Technology, and
Connie L. McNeely
George Mason University
Leggon and McNeely presented an examination of promising policies for advancing women in science. Leggon began by conceptualizing “policy” in three ways. First, think of policy as a plan of action, where “policy does not exist in a vacuum, but rather within a context of political, economic, social and cultural forces. Policy is not static. It’s dynamic and should be
6 ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers. For more information, please see: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5383. Accessed on August 22, 2012.