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--> III. Corporate Initiatives to Recruit and Retain Women Scientists and Engineers Some companies have made great strides in developing programs—to a large extent, gender-independent—to recruit and retain their technological work forces. At the conference sponsored by the Committee on Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE), several efforts by six U.S. companies were presented as models of what is being done in this area as well as others targeting women scientists and engineers. It was pointed out throughout the conference that programs established initially to diversify the corporate work force generally have had positive effects on the recruitment and retention of both women and men in those companies. Another point reiterated during the presentations about effective programs was that the commitment of top management is essential for the successful implementation and longevity of the programs. A Look at Six Companies Xerox Corporation, ALCOA, Aerospace Corporation, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Scios Nova illustrate what are, by current standards, programs that are effective in recruiting and ensuring the professional progress of women scientists and engineers in industry. Conference participants considered other companies, as well, to be model companies in their efforts to recruit and retain women in their technical work force. One such model of a small company, Barrios Technology, will be discussed as a further illustrative example. Xerox Corporation61 Xerox Corporate Research and Technology (CR&T) is working deliberately toward making Xerox Corporation "the employer of choice for women and minorities by the year 2000," according to Marcia Bush, 61 Drawn from presentations at the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 17–18, 1993, by Marcia Bush, manager, Speech and Signal Processing Area, and Leslie Jill Miller, manager, Systems Sciences Laboratory, Xerox Corporation.
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--> manager of Speech and Signal Processing at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Xerox hopes to achieve a balanced work force that reflects the diversity and availability of technical personnel in the marketplace. It is focusing on increasing diversity within corporate research, principally for women, both at the individual-contributor level and in management. How did such a goal come about? The motivation was primarily a business one. Demographic trends indicate that growth in the work force between now and the year 2000 will be primarily among women and minorities. In order to help position CR&T to attract the best scientists and engineers, a Women's Council was formed in 1991 to advise senior management on issues related to recruiting and retaining women. The Council was originally composed of nine representatives from Xerox's Corporate Research Centers; currently it consists of 13 representatives from the expanded CR&T organization. Two-day meetings of the Council have been held every three months, with executive minutes distributed to senior managers within CR&T. The Council meets with women at the individual centers to obtain their input and also to provide them with feedback on Council activities. Recommendations by the Council are communicated by directed memos and directed presentations at meetings of senior CR&T staff. Presentations are also made at the Center level. At its first meeting, the Council developed a mission statement: To advise CR&T management on how to achieve its vision of being the employer of choice for technical and technical support women. The CR&T Women's Council recognizes the value of diversity and envisions a work force within CR&T which exemplifies the diversity of our society. We are committed to substantially increased representation of both majority and minority women within CR&T and within CR&T management.62 At the same time, Council members identified five problem areas to be addressed by CR&T: increased numbers of women in corporate research (only 10 percent of the Ph.D.s in positions leading to senior management at Xerox are women), career development, salary equity, working 62 Leslie Jill Miller, speaking at the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 17, 1993.
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--> environment, and benefits. Subsequently, the Council determined that salary equity was not a problem. It then prepared recommendations for improving the hiring and promotion of women scientists and engineers that include the following: establish an outward focus with greater emphasis on fellowship programs—that is, financial aid to female graduate students and, potentially, internships with the company—and the recruitment of women, create internal hiring opportunities that would promote cross-organizational flow (i.e., movement from one area of the company to another, often associated with lateral transfers), clarify the criteria to be met by a person seeking a promotion, and publicize internal job opportunities throughout the company. Because the Council is concerned with establishing linkages with universities, it is revising the Xerox fellowship programs to make them more effective and to establish more contact between graduate students supported by Xerox and researchers at the research laboratories. Increasing the flow within the organization and into the business units of Xerox is important for creating hiring opportunities when the labs are not increasing in size. The Council has also recommended examination of cross-laboratory promotion statistics to identify any discrepancies between men and women or across the labs in different geographical locations. In addition to hiring and promotion recommendations to Xerox CR&T management, the Women's Council has developed a set of career and development recommendations for individual employees and managers. Women scientists and engineers are encouraged to set objectives, meet performance requirements, know their organization, and seek development opportunities. At the same time, recommendations to technical managers center on three broad actions: communicate, proactively support career planning, and set up and actively support career development opportunities. These recommendations are summarized in Appendix B.63 63 Meritocracy is a worthwhile goal of all employers. However, it should be noted that in some companies career advancement does not always result from one's achievements.
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--> The Council has also been involved in another important entity at Xerox, the Women Managers Roundtable, which is charged with "making issues visible to corporate management." At the annual meeting of the Roundtable, representatives from major Xerox organizations meet with Xerox's chief executive officer (CEO) and corporate human resources staff to discuss the concerns of women at Xerox. The 1992 meeting focused on three main issues: management behavior and culture, representation of women in the company's work force, and career development. Representatives pointed out both negative and positive achievements of the preceding year. For instance, Xerox had undergone a major reorganization and has made many new appointments, several of which had gone to women. However, while everyone agreed that the very top management at Xerox is committed to women's issues, this commitment has not yet filtered down through other levels of management. Roundtable representatives felt it was incumbent upon the CEO to start changing the culture, to continue to be a mentor, and to actively communicate his attitudes to lower levels of the organization. Initially, all members of the Council were at the management level or its equivalent in the scientific track and paid for travel and hotel expenses out of their group budgets. Recently, there has been a move toward more centralized funding (e.g., from research laboratory budgets), in order to facilitate the Council's goal of including women at lower grade levels in its membership and to stress the importance of the Council's work to those larger entities. Meals and other on-site meeting expenses continue to be covered at the CR&T organizational level. ALCOA64 ALCOA Technical Center (ATC), the central research facility of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), is a leader in the materials science industry and also a leader in developing programs for attracting and retaining talented women and minorities in its work force. Since 1990, ATC has developed several effective policies and programs to help employees balance work and family responsibilities, according to Ophelia 64 Drawn from the presentation by Ophelia R. Scott, staff administrator, Human Resources and Industrial Relations Department, ALCOA Technical Center, during the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 18, 1993.
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--> Scott, staff administrator for the Department of Human Resources and Industrial Relations. In the late 1980s, staffing levels at ALCOA Technical Center were on the rise, and the center was interested in hiring to enhance the diversity of its work force. However, it became apparent to ATC management that traditional recruitment methods were not producing advanced degree minority and female scientists and engineers interested in long-term research. Therefore, ATC representatives traveled to historically black colleges and universities and other universities with a substantial minority enrollment to learn how to recruit and how to develop effective university relations on these campuses. ALCOA Technical Center then developed and implemented the Pilot School Program to increase ATC's presence on selected college campuses, to identify talented undergraduate female and minority S&E students, and to create technical linkages with the pilot schools. Selection of the pilot schools was based on the quality of technical programs, size of the minority population, and number of female and minority students who obtained advanced degrees. In one instance, proximity to ALCOA Technical Center also was a factor. The Pilot School Program is not a human resources program. Each university in the program is assigned an ATC coordinator—a scientist or engineer who ensures division involvement and establishes technology linkages vital to the Center's long-term relationship with that university. This involvement might include participation in career fairs; on-campus recruiting; formal or informal visits with students, faculty, and administrators; on-campus seminars, both technical and nontechnical; and the identification and funding of technical research of interest to ATC, with involvement of women and minority students. ALCOA Technical Center benefits from the Pilot School Program by the identification of students for its Summer Professional Employment Program, candidates for existing job openings, students to be tracked for future employment, and also candidates for fellowships. Since 1991, when the program became fully operational, 15 summer interns have been placed through the pilot school initiative, four of whom were female. Two permanent positions also have been filled through these efforts, one by a woman. Through the awarding of fellowships and scholarships, corporations can develop relationships with high-potential female and minority candidates. At ALCOA, scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students at those universities in ALCOA Technical Center's Pilot School Program. Scholarship recipients are offered summer internships as part of
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--> ATC's ongoing efforts to identify and develop a pool of candidates for future staffing needs. The scholarship program has several benefits, including the development of name recognition for ALCOA; the development of linkages with specific academic departments; and the initiation of relationships with particular students. In ALCOA's Minority Fellowship Program, which is fairly recent in origin, a significant long-term relationship can be developed between the company and a future employee. The award process was developed and finalized in late 1992. In early 1993 there were four ALCOA Technical Center fellows; two were women. They are nominated by, and must have a financial commitment from, a research division. Candidates are selected for fellowships based on participation and performance in the summer intern program, interest in research, scholastic records, references, and compatibility with the ALCOA Technical Center. A fellowship review committee selects the candidates, and approval for a successful candidate is granted by ALCOA's executive vice-president of research and development and ATC's Operations Management Lead Team. Division commitment to the candidate is vital to the fellowship process and to the linkage between the fellow and ATC. Typically, a fellow chooses, with the assistance of the sponsoring research division, a thesis topic that furthers the ATC's own research interests. The division also assists the fellow in selecting a university for graduate study and provides discussion on potential career opportunities within ALCOA Technical Center. ALCOA's financial commitment to the fellow includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, a monthly stipend, and summer employment. Upon completion of the Ph.D., fellowship awardees enter into employment with ALCOA. The ALCOA Technical Center's program on work-family issues will be detailed later in this chapter. Aerospace Corporation65 At Aerospace Corporation in 1962, there were 12 women (.01 percent) employees in technical positions; today women comprise 12.5 percent (or 313 out of 2,507) of the technical work force. At 65 Drawn from the presentation at the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 18, 1993, by Shirley McCarty, general manager of human resources at Aerospace Corporation.
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--> Aerospace, recruitment of women is aided by the involvement of many women in mentoring—a positive signal that attracts women to the company. The fact that senior women mentor men also signals that the company values women's work equally with men's. Aerospace policies and practices are attractive to women, and many dedicated people are working toward creating a positive climate that contributes to the successful recruitment of women. "Overall," according to Shirley McCarty, "the human resources policies at Aerospace are gender blind and ethnically blind." Women's committees or networks within a company can be vitally important influences on the recruitment and retention of women. The Women's Committee at Aerospace has been not only a leader for change, but also a strong support system that has helped women gain confidence. An active organization since 1973 with membership throughout the company—including secretarial staff, technical staff, and management—the committee has met annually with the president and has been involved in numerous issues, including: the development of a maternity leave policy; equalization of employee benefits for secretarial and technical staff; establishing awards for women; and researching and making recommendations to the president and executive staff on female candidates for the Board of Directors, thereby creating female role models for women in the company. Further details on the work-family aspects of the Aerospace program are given later in the chapter. AT&T Bell Laboratories66 Naomi Behrman noted that managers at AT&T Bell Laboratories "value both women and men employees who are well grounded in their technical expertise and who have an understanding of the business world." She stated that AT&T Bell Laboratories is committed to encouraging this 66 Drawn from the presentation by Naomi Behrman, coordinator of employee counseling services, AT&T Bell Laboratories Health Services Group, at the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 17, 1993.
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--> broader base of knowledge and improving the working climate for its female employees. AT&T Bell Laboratories has developed, collaboratively with human resources and technical staff, a University Relations Summer Program similar to the one at ALCOA. It provides work experience in an R&D environment for "outstanding B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. minority students" in 12 fields of science and engineering: chemistry, computer science/engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, operations research, chemical engineering, physics, mathematics, information science, communication science, statistics, and materials science. The Summer Research Program is similar but focuses on the identification and nurturing of research ability in women and minorities, thus increasing their representation in science and engineering (S&E) careers. AT&T Bell Laboratories also offers both scholarships and fellowships to talented students in science and engineering. The Engineering Scholarship Program "is designed to increase the talent pool by providing financial assistance to outstanding underrepresented minorities and women high school seniors who have been admitted to full-time studies" in computer science/engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or systems engineering. The Cooperative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP) encourages the development of scientific and research ability in underrepresented minorities by establishing successful mentor and student relationships, promoting student participation in an active industrial research environment, and providing financial support. AT&T Bell Laboratories' Graduate Research Program for Women has goals similar to those of CRFP. Begun in 1975, the program awards both fellowships and grants (Table III-1). Fellowships provide an annual stipend for tuition and fees, textbooks and living allowance, summer employment, reimbursement for travel to scientific conferences, and an AT&T Bell Laboratories' scientist as a mentor. Grants provide a smaller amount annually, to be used by the recipient in any way that benefits her professional development. Grant recipients can also be eligible for summer employment and are also assigned an AT&T Bell Laboratories' scientist as a mentor. Another recent effort at AT&T is sponsorship (with the National Science Foundation and other U.S. companies) of the Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network. The program began at three institutions—Stevens Institute of Technology, Purdue University, and the University of Washington in Seattle—"because of their positive records of
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--> TABLE III-1: Summary Data, AT&T Bell Laboratories' Graduate Research Program for Women, 1975–1992 Type of Award Fellowships Grants Combination: Fellows/Grants Graduates 23 33 Discipline Physics 21 Chemistry 11 Computer Science 6 Mathematics 5 Materials science 4 Electrical engineering 3 Operations research 3 Other 3 Employment sector Industry 9 13 Hired by AT&T Bell Laboratories 4 4 Academe 7 8 Postdoc 5 9 Unknown 2 3 Withdrawals 10 10 Still in program 18 41 TOTAL participants 51 84 SOURCE: Naomi Behrman, presentation at the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 17, 1993.
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--> working with women."67 Women in Engineering programs at those three institutions include efforts to increase the numbers of women studying engineering, establishing mentoring and summer internships involving the private sector, and finding positions for women engineering graduates. Particularly noteworthy is that WEPAN continues to work with women even after they are in their first corporate positions. Available to all employees at AT&T Bell Laboratories, the Employee Counseling Service is a highly effective program that has been offered since 1977. It provides private and confidential one-on-one counseling sessions, consults with management about special organizational and individual issues, and affects the environment of whole organizations by presenting special seminars and workshops on subjects such as balancing work and family, single working parents, and dual-career couples. Details of AT&T Bell Laboratories' work-family programs are given later in the chapter. Specific topics arising out of the work problems of managers and employees are also addressed for specific organizations. Problems can become overwhelming when there is a combination of pressures—for example, a job change, a relocation, and a family unit affected by all of these changes. Individuals can usually handle the stress of any one of these situations in isolation, but when pressured on several fronts at once, they find that professional support is beneficial. Organizations may become involved with the Counseling Service when, for instance, an employee is working with two different groups needing to share information. When that employee is female, it may be necessary to focus on those interactions rather than the technical issues. With increasing frequency, the Counseling Service is addressing male and female interactions and also divergent cultural interpretations of situations. For instance, an Asian male supervisor, who traveled frequently, had a female technical staff member maintaining the research when he was out of town. When he returned to the work environment, he reassumed the responsibilities of the project, leaving far less for the technical person to do. Each felt that the other was not recognizing his or her contribution to the research, and the result was that the female became angry, withdrew, and spoke less and less to her supervisor. They had reached a collaborative impasse. When they arrived at the Counseling Service, the woman 67 Ibid.
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--> described some of her behavior and talked about the work project. The man explained that in his culture when someone ignores a person or withdraws from him/her, it is extremely rude. He could tolerate almost anything but that. By addressing these different interpretations of the situation in a counseling setting, it was possible to break the impasse and get these two people working together again. Private and confidential sessions offered by the counseling service relate to the specific situation of an individual and can be used in many ways. One example is a young employee who sought support in adapting from the academic environment to the corporate, where expectations are not defined by courses and reinforcement does not come through grades. Directions to young employees to interact, read, and learn about their center and then set up a laboratory can be overwhelming, causing even very talented individuals to freeze. Another example is a woman manager, very competent and respected for her technical skills, who was working part-time with a flexible schedule. She first approached the Counseling Service because of the behavior of one of her technical subordinates, whose lack of interpersonal skills was affecting his career. In the process of developing a plan for this individual, she began to talk about herself, wondering when she should put herself back on the fast track, if this was even possible, and the effect it would have on her family. The opportunity for her to be both part-time and in management was rare. It resulted from the particular composition of her area and of the upper management at AT&T Bell Laboratories. A specific and unique feature of the Counseling Service at AT&T Bell Laboratories is linkage with a strong and clinically oriented medical department. Each service, counseling and medical, is autonomous and private and confidential. The major advantage of this Health Services Group is the ability to give professional support when a medical problem is a component of a stressful situation. As a result of its varied involvement with employees, the Counseling Service at AT&T Bell Laboratories has been invited to make presentations to technical women's network organizations, working parents clubs, and groups addressing sexual harassment issues. These informal groupings, which vary from work site to work site, provide avenues for shared information and also for active planning. One of the business units at the AT&T Bell Laboratories planned a full-day program for every unit member with invited speakers and management as participants. Programs such as these have a freshness and energy that help provide employees with encouragement, support, and recognition.
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--> time.96 Catalyst maintains a data base of corporate women's groups and has promoted the formation of such groups but finds little support for such activities in many corporations. Often management fails to see the benefits of such groups, and women themselves are somewhat hesitant to join women's networks because they fear a negative impact on their careers due to management perceptions or because they feel these groups could become time sinks. It is often necessary to balance shorter-term personal goals and longer-term group goals. In the former connection it may be noted that some women reported that their managers did not approve of their attendance at the CWSE-sponsored conference; others said they could not speak candidly because it would result in trouble from their management. Women's advocacy groups or networks can sometimes be a difficult issue for the woman manager because she must carefully balance her roles as woman employee and company manager. Professional Networks. Networking can link entry-level scientists and engineers with more experienced individuals who share their experiences and offer advice, specifically in the area of career advancement.97 Professional networking encourages the sharing of information and helps women to feel that they are supported in their pursuit of careers that have not traditionally been open to them. For example, Systers is a network begun in October 1987 "to aid communication among women interested in 'systems,' thus the name 'systers,'" according to the electronic network's originator, Anita Borg.98 96 Carolyn Leighton, founding executive director, International Network of Women in Technology (WITI), and president, Criterion Research, speaking at the CWSE conference, Irvine, CA, January 17, 1993. 97 Harriet Kagiwada, in Marsha Lakes Matyas and Linda S. Dix (eds.), Science and Engineering Programs: On Target for Women?, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1992. 98 Personal electronic communication to Linda Skidmore, January 25, 1993. More information about Systers can be obtained from Dr. Borg via Bitnet: email@example.com or by mail: Network Systems Laboratory, Digital Equipment Corporation, 250 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301.
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--> Networking within professional societies also helps women to expand their knowledge and skills beyond their specific areas, to develop leadership skills, and to have a broader impact by participating in professional meetings, including their company.99 Generally, if women are not active in the organization of professional meetings, they tend to be underrepresented as presenters and even as attendees. The American Chemical Society (ACS), for example, encourages participation by women at all levels of its organization and attempts to have them actively involved in ACS meetings and conferences, beginning at the local level. In fact, the Women Chemists Committee of ACS publishes a monthly newsletter that informs chemists about work-force trends, "hot topics" in the field, sources of research funding, and meeting updates. Work-force statistics compiled by ACS show that women chemists have made some progress in the field of chemistry over the past decade and a half. The number of degrees in chemistry going to women has increased in all degree levels, the fraction of women who are chemists has increased, and women's salaries relative to men's have increased a little.100 The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has many mechanisms for assisting its members, both women and men. For instance, AIP regularly publishes data about education and employment in physics.101 Such information can guide the career direction of both students and degreed physicists. 99 Harriet Kagiwada, op. cit. 100 American Chemical Society, Domestic Status, Discrimination, and Career Opportunities of Men and Women Chemists: A Report of the American Chemical Society's 1991 Survey of Domestic Status, Employment, and Attitudes of Men and Women ACS Members, Washington, DC: ACS, October 1992. 101 See, for instance, Susanne D. Ellis and Patrick J. Mulvey, Employment Survey 1991 (AIP Pub. No. R-282.15), New York: American Institute of Physics, October 1992.
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--> A sampling of other professional organizations involved with promoting minority women as scientists and engineers and their work includes the following: The American Physiological Society's Mentoring Program is designed to quickly integrate women into the physiology research community by matching female graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty members, and first entrants to industry positions with female and male mentors in their subfield. The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers supports many initiatives, particularly the design and implementation of educational programs for minority students. The American Society for Mechanical Engineering established a joint Board on Minorities and Women about three years ago with the objective of attracting, retaining, and promoting minorities and women within the society. The National Technical Association promotes professional networking among African American scientists and engineers through periodicals and conferences. The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering increases access to engineering careers for African American, Hispanic, and Native American men and women through research and public policy analysis, publications, educational program development, and scholarship support. There are also a Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and an American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Those who have already embarked on a career path also find professional societies useful for help in moving in a particular direction in their career or for getting lateral-type experience.102 Conferences that bring professionals—men and women, minorities or white—together are also an important way to empower them. In fact, such opportunities for networking have been shown to be so important that the Association of American Colleges has stated that they should be 102 Harriet Kagiwada, former president of Sigma Delta Epsilon, speaking at the CWSE conference on interventions, Irvine, California, November 4, 1991.
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--> an established part of annual meetings and other events where junior and senior people are likely to be brought together.103 Compensation and Bonuses Salaries and bonuses can have a strong influence on the retention of women as well as men. However, as noted earlier, women scientists and engineers in industry, as in all employment sectors, tend to have lower salaries than their male counterparts. A number of companies are beginning to recognize that disparities of this nature may exist. A few companies, often spurred by women's advocacy groups, have initiated studies to gather critical data and to address inequalities, if found. An illustrative example is provided by Xerox: the Xerox Women's Council (referred to earlier) chose salary equity as one of the possible problem areas to be addressed. On request, the Council received from the company salary data for professionals in Xerox laboratories including grade, age, and years in grade. Names, of course, were not supplied. Upon examination of the data, with answers provided to questions about a few of the cases, the Council concluded that there was reasonable salary equity. Addressing Work-Family Issues Some companies whose employees attended the CWSE conference, as well as other U.S. corporations, have instituted programs to facilitate balance between work and family responsibilities. For instance, several companies in the San Francisco area are "training managers to be more family-friendly."104 In addition, some U.S. companies have established Work and Family Committees to aid in the retention of talented employees. Some examples follow. 103 Roberta M. Hall and Bernice R. Sandler, Academic Mentoring for Women Students and Faculty: A New Look at an Old Way to Get Ahead, Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges, Project on the Status and Education of Women, 1983. 104 Sue Shellenbarger, Work & family, The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 1993.
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--> At the ALCOA Technical Center, a Work-Family Issues Committee was charged with developing recommendations to address these issues and to implement, with management approval, policies and programs to assist employees in balancing work and family. ALCOA now has in place a comprehensive program, including the following:105 flexible work hours, where employees can adjust their arrival and departure times as well as lunch times—which can be from 30 minutes to two hours in length; staggered work schedules, with the authorization of a supervisor, so long as the employee works 40 hours per week; excused absence, at the discretion of a supervisor, to handle personal emergencies or unpredictable situations; unpaid personal leave for family-related matters or other circumstances requiring time away from work, up to a maximum of 6 weeks per year; part-time employment, for employees with at least one year of continuous service and demonstrated good performance, for a period not to exceed three years; vacation carryover of up to one-fourth of unused vacation per year; on-site seminars for employees with dependent-care responsibilities (e.g., surviving toddlerhood, balancing work and family, support and care for elderly parents); and the child-care referral program, funded by ALCOA Technical Center and operated by the Child Care Network, a United Way agency. This program helps employees locate caregivers near their home or workplace, educates employees on the selection of quality child care, provides workshops on child care and parenting issues, provides resource data on currently operating child care facilities in the area, and locates summer care for school-age children.106 105 A similar program is in place at Corning. See Esther M. Conwell, op. cit. 106 Ophelia R. Scott, op. cit.
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--> Aerospace Corporation has undertaken several initiatives to help its employees achieve a balance between family and work responsibilities.107 For instance, provision for maternity leave was developed by the Women's Committee long before California state law required it. This leave has been taken by many women, and there is also the option to extend it by three months. Although a family leave policy is not yet in place, one is being developed. Aerospace also instituted a lactation program several years ago that has been positively received and very helpful in giving mothers the ability to continue nursing their babies. A child-care referral program operates at Aerospace, but there is no child-care facility. The increased number of outside facilities offering this service, however, make this less of an issue than it was five years ago. Finally, part-time employment and flexible scheduling both occur at Aerospace, but the flex-time is not as flexible as at many companies: an hour is allowed on either end of the day for flexible scheduling, which seems inadequate for many women who must pick up or deliver children to child-care centers. AT&T Bell Laboratories has a number of flexible programs for its employees, including child care resources, family leave, flexible excused workdays, management personal days, leave for the care of newborn or newly adopted child, leave for family care, School Smart (which helps employees with educational issues for school-aged children), a family care development fund, adoption resource and referral, and child care and elder care reimbursement programs. They also have a lactation program similar to that of Aerospace. Scios Nova also has developed a number of policies and benefits to encourage and support families. The maternity policy compensates employees for 90 days at full salary, provided the doctor prescribes a leave of absence beyond the standard 6 weeks. An additional month or two can be taken off without pay, and during that time all benefits are paid by the company. Due to the size of the company, Scios Nova does not provide an on-site child care center; nor does it have a policy on child care. However, it does provide employees the opportunity to set aside pretax dollars through flexible spending accounts to help defray some of the costs of child care, and it also directs employees to several organizations in the San Francisco Bay area that assist parents in finding suitable day care. 107 Shirley McCarty, op. cit.
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--> It has been reported that as many as 10 percent of U.S. "companies are using new strategies to address employees' child-care problems."108 On-site child-care centers have been built by a few large U.S. companies, while others, such as Schering-Plough, provide child-care subsidies to their employees. Addressing Attrition The turnover rate of females and minorities with high potential in many companies is high relative to that of white men. Some of those women get better employment offers elsewhere, which is good, especially if they "ditch a less promising company," reported one physicist employed in industry. However, according to James F. Kearns, executive vice-president in DuPont's Fibers Division, "Some of them [females] apparently are not confident that they will have opportunities in line with their talents."109 Companies that are committed to a diverse work force and the retention of women and minorities are beginning to study this issue, for it is important to learn whether the higher turnover rate of women scientists and engineers is a sign of a problem or a solution. As Kearns noted, If we don't do a better job of communicating how we're working on this, some may leave because they think the company just doesn't care. What are companies doing to halt such perceptions and low retention of women? An example is given by ALCOA Technical Center. The Center formed a retention team to quantify retention of minority and female scientists and engineers, perform cause-and-effect analyses, determine root and/or contributing causes, and compare the findings with similar measures and issues for the majority population at ALCOA Technical Center, so the causes could be classified on some shared unique scale. Following data analysis that showed strong evidence of higher 108 Sue Shellenbarger, Work & family, The Wall Street Journal, May 19, 1993. 109 DuPont, op. cit.
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--> attrition among females and minorities, the retention team engaged an independent consultant to interview current and former employees to identify issues causing or contributing to terminations. Upper management has received the consultant's findings, and the retention team is currently preparing recommendations to address the issues contributing to termination. Evaluation of Programs With the broad range of programs offered to enhance recruitment and retention, some corporations are seeking ways to evaluate their programs in an effort to maximize their return. For example, ALCOA Technical Company has formed teams of employees to evaluate and, as needed, improve the programs. The numbers of females and minorities hired and participants in the Summer Professional Employment Program are monitored. After the flexible work schedule and family leave policies have been operational for several years, their effectiveness will be measured by such factors as productivity of workers, rates of absenteeism, returns from maternity leave, and number of employees opting for part-time employment. Meanwhile, ALCOA Technical Center continues to educate supervisors and managers on the flexible options and also on the activities of the Work-Family Issues Committee. As managers gain more knowledge of the policies and their application, it is hoped that they will encourage and support employees in their use of the flexible options. As more employees seek ways to manage work and family, the Work-Family Issues Committee expects to explore permanent part-time employment, job sharing, and excused-absence days for caring for sick family members. Additionally, as ALCOA streamlines its work force, permanent part-time employment and job sharing may be options to aid work-force reductions.110 Another example is provided by Corning Inc. Finding a lower retention rate for women and lower job satisfaction among women than men, in 1987 Corning set up what it called a Corrective Action Team. On the recommendation of this team, a number of actions were carried out similar to those listed above for the ALCOA Technical Center, as well as mentoring and counseling programs and a new career planning system. In 110 Ophelia R. Scott, op. cit.
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--> tracking the results of these actions, the company found that by 1991 the attrition rate of women at Corning had decreased by more than a factor of 3, coming close to the attrition rate for men.111 It is noteworthy that the attrition rate for men had also dropped in this period. The feedback and continuing activities built into the ALCOA program and the ability to track the results of actions built into the Xerox program are important illustrations of the necessity and utility of program evaluation. The available statistics bolstered by the examples presented in this chapter, clearly indicate the need for two things. One, mentioned earlier, is accurate data on the status of women in science and engineering employed in industry on both an individual-company and industry-wide basis; this is critical to policy formulation. Second, the examples of corporate initiatives brought forth at the conference suggest the need for a compilation of as many "successful" programs as possible and a culling of the most important attributes of these programs to inform strategies and policies that address the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering in industry, as well as women's career development issues in industry. 111 For further details, see Esther M. Conwell, op. cit.
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--> Metta Tanikawa takes measurements on an experimental weather station on a rooftop at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. (Photo: The Aerospace Corporation)
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Representative terms from entire chapter: