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109 7 Conclusion During their site visits to the four universities, the committee foundcommon themes and experiences across institutions, as well asapproaches tailored to local situations. Both the public and pri- vate universities explored in this study shared an interest in fixing the pipeline that loses women as they move through the ranks of academia, in recruiting and retaining women, in expanding programs of interest for women in science and engineering (S&E), and in emphasizing data collec- tion and research on gender equity issues. Echoed throughout the visits was the view that, for most of the initia- tives to succeed, the top members of an administration had to strongly and publicly support efforts to promote women in science and engineer- ing. The institutions visited were widely publicizing their promotion of inclusiveness and support for women. For example, at one university a commitment to womenâs advancement was incorporated into the institutionâs strategic plan. The commitment to a diverse campus, both at the student and faculty level, was incorporated into the mission of the institutions. Indeed, all four universities seemed to be actively promoting an inclusive campus climate, and they had taken actions to support stated positions swiftly and publicized them. Even a simple change can be effec- tive. One university found that moving the women in engineering pro- gram office next to that of the dean facilitated collaboration between of- fice staffs and assured the program would not be lost among the myriad tasks facing the dean. Another theme and an important component of the universitiesâ poli-
110 TO RECRUIT AND ADVANCE WOMEN STUDENTS AND FACULTY ciesâand in some ways a policy in itselfâwere the reports and studies undertaken by the universities to document and identify challenges and the effects of institutional policies. One university, for example, under- took two salary equity studies. With the assistance of federal grants, this university also established a center to gather data, monitor results, and disseminate information on the best practices for advancing women. Partly underlying the centerâs mission was the view that it was necessary and beneficial to the institution to attract more women and underrepre- sented minorities to careers in science, mathematics, and engineering. Another university published an internal report on best practices for diversity. Some of the good practices identified were mentoring, a cen- tralized fund for minority recruiting, the inclusion of diversity in the strategic plans of departments, an incentive grants program for diversity efforts, and diversity advisory councils. âThe report was well received,â said a dean, âbecause it was not perceived as hammering people. It said we were doing well, what can we do better?â A third university conducted a self-assessment within an individual school, which led to a study of its undergraduate students. In response to the study, the school made a series of changes, primarily in recruiting strategy, admissions criteria, and curriculum. Within four years the per- centage of women in the entering class had increased fivefold in that particular school within the university. According to Brown et al. (2001b:27), overall presidents and focus groups agree: â¢ Diversity and a supportive climate must be presidential priorities; presidents must be willing to hold key administrators accountable for the workplace climate. â¢ Climate is critical to the successful recruitment and retention of faculty of color. â¢ Efforts may be formal or informal; a combination of both types works best. â¢ A diverse climate must exist for all members of the campus com- munity: students, faculty, and staff. â¢ Dialogue and communication are important; people must feel free to speak about their concerns, and they must know they will be listened to and addressed. â¢ Sustainability requires the institutionalization of measures that improve the campus climate. â¢ Policies must be supported by practice.
CONCLUSION 111 SUMMARY OF CHALLENGES This section describes briefly the challenges to recruiting and retain- ing women undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students and to recruiting and advancing faculty. Recruiting Women Undergraduates â¢ Female students are less likely to take higher levels of mathematics prior to enrolling in college and are more likely to concentrate on the biological sciences or chemistry. â¢ Female students have a less positive view toward successful study of science and mathematics. Recruiting Women Graduate Students â¢ Departmental cultures are more of an obstacle for women than for men. â¢ Universities often lack female-friendly policies. â¢ Students have negative perceptions of academic careers. Recruiting Women Postdoctorates â¢ Postdocs receive insufficient advising and mentoring during the graduate program. â¢ Postdocs had negative experiences during their graduate careers. â¢ Postdocs have individual preferences about career goals and views on the relevance of higher education. â¢ There may be bias against female postdoctoral candidates. Retaining Women Students Female undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs face a variety of potential obstacles including â¢ harassment, â¢ marginalization and isolation, â¢ attitudes about career choice, â¢ lack of role models, and â¢ curricula perceived as less interesting or less relevant.
112 TO RECRUIT AND ADVANCE WOMEN STUDENTS AND FACULTY Recruiting Women Faculty â¢ Academe is one of several career choices for both men and women. Women, however, may find major research universities less attractive and be less inclined to seek employment in this sector for the following reasons: â Perceptions of working conditions are more negative for women than for men. â A lack of diversity in the department and among majors may deter some women from applying. â¢ Women have less probability of being hired than male candidates for the following reasons: â Search committees do not cast a wide net. â Search committees submit women to a tougher evaluation than men. Advancing Women Faculty â¢ Women faculty have lower rates of tenure and promotion. â¢ Women faculty must wait longer to receive a promotion. â¢ Women faculty have lower rates of retention. â¢ Women faculty have lower job satisfaction. Finally, there are fewer women top administrators than might be expected by simply viewing the proportion of senior women, because (1) the pipeline may still be small; (2) universities are increasingly searching in areas dominated by male candidates; (3) women are less interested in top administration positions that are viewed as less attractive for women; and (4) discrimination hinders women SUMMARY OF STRATEGIES This section describes briefly the strategies useful to educational insti- tutions for recruiting and retaining women undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students and recruiting and advancing faculty. Recruiting Women Students â¢ Signal the importance of women. â¢ Enhance science, engineering, and mathematics education at the K-12 level and at the undergraduate level. â¢ Reach out to students at the K-12 level. â¢ Develop better methods for identifying prospective students. â¢ Create alternative assessment methods for admissions.
CONCLUSION 113 â¢ Organize on-campus orientations. â¢ Develop bridging programs. â¢ Extend financial aid. Retaining Women Students â¢ Signal the importance of women. â¢ Improve preparation by enhancing science, engineering, and math- ematics education at the K-12 level or through bridging programs and at the undergraduate level. â¢ Improve advising. â¢ Establish mentoring programs. â¢ Change pedagogical approach. â¢ Increase engagement with students. â¢ Increase professional socialization. Recruiting Women Faculty â¢ Signal the importance of female faculty by means of positive de- clarative statements, establishing a committee on women, exercising over- sight over the hiring process, and devoting resources to hiring women. â¢ Modify and expand faculty recruiting programs by creating spe- cial faculty lines, diversifying search committees, encouraging interven- tion by deans, and assessing past hiring efforts. â¢ Improve institutional policies and practices such as the ten- ure clock, child care, leave, spousal hiring, and training to combat harassment. â¢ Improve the probability of selection of their graduates as candidates by means of career advising, networking, and enhancing qualifications. Retaining and Advancing Women Faculty â¢ Signal the importance of women. â¢ Create and reinforce female-friendly policies. â¢ Strengthen mentoring. â¢ Increase engagement with faculty. Advancing Women into Leadership Positions â¢ Conduct an institutional audit. â¢ Mentor âpresidents-in-training.â â¢ Develop executive leadership training opportunities.
114 TO RECRUIT AND ADVANCE WOMEN STUDENTS AND FACULTY â¢ Engage in networking activities. â¢ Improve the search process. WHO CAN DO WHAT Faculty Valian (1998) identifies several basic strategies that women can utilize to equalize the accumulation of advantage, including working where women are well represented; being impersonal, friendly, and respectful; building power; seeking information; becoming an expert; negotiating, bargaining, and seeking advancement; and overcoming internal barriers to effectiveness. Specific strategies identified in this guide for universities seeking to recruit and retain female students and faculty include â¢ Network with faculty at community colleges and other four-year institutions to broaden the search for prospective recruits. â¢ Advise and mentor prospective and current female undergradu- ate, graduate, and postdoctoral students. â¢ Conduct outreach to K-12 institutions to help prepare women for college and to combat negative attitudes about the place of women in science and engineering. â¢ Advise and encourage female students in science and engineering groups. â¢ Invite female students to participate in research opportunities. â¢ Participate in bridge programs, campus visits, lectures, and seminars. â¢ Encourage female students to give presentations at conferences. â¢ Make curricula more practically relevant and ask whether all students are equally aided by different instructional techniques and technologies. â¢ Offer career advice and mentoring to doctoral and postdoctoral students. â¢ Help doctoral and postdoctoral students to compile an application package. â¢ Treat female faculty respectfully as equal colleagues. â¢ Be wary of unintentional thinking based on gender schemas. â¢ Encourage female faculty to aspire to leadership positions and to take advantage of opportunities, both on and off campus, to gain leader- ship experience. â¢ Encourage female faculty to network with other female faculty interested in leadership positions and with male and female academic officers.
CONCLUSION 115 Department Chairs â¢ Create an image of the department as female friendly and feature that image in promotional materials and the departmentâs web site. â¢ Communicate with faculty about the importance of diversity in all areas, including recruiting. â¢ Support and reinforce a faculty memberâs commitment to advising and encouraging female students through service awards and recognition during tenure and promotion reviews. â¢ Monitor the allocation of resources to students and survey stu- dentsâ opinions. â¢ Broaden admission criteria and cast a wider net in recruiting gradu- ate students. â¢ Meet with faculty to assess the relationships of curricular content and instruction methods with student learning outcomes for male and female students. â¢ Make departmental policies and practices transparent. â¢ Encourage faculty to work with doctoral and postdoctoral students for career placement and support their efforts. â¢ Diversify search committees. â¢ Evaluate and broaden efforts to publicize position openings. â¢ Identify ways to limit service requirements for junior faculty. â¢ Where possible, modify existing departmental policies and prac- ticesâfor example, selecting times for standing meetingsâso that no type of faculty member is disproportionately affected. â¢ Make departmental policies and practices transparent. â¢ Assess the distribution of institutional resources such as lab space and research assistants for fairness. â¢ Put women on important departmental committees and recom- mend female faculty for important school-wide or university-wide committees. â¢ Developing mentoring programs for all faculty. â¢ Identify ways to limit service requirements for junior faculty. â¢ Encourage female faculty to gain experience and skills in adminis- tration. â¢ Mentor female faculty on matters of administration. â¢ Encourage female department chairs to create and use support networks. Deans and Provosts â¢ Communicate with department chairs about the importance of di- versity in all areas, including recruiting.
116 TO RECRUIT AND ADVANCE WOMEN STUDENTS AND FACULTY â¢ Sponsor competitions, contests, career days, bridge programs, campus orientations, and other efforts to bring prospective students to campus. â¢ Monitor departmentsâ progress in increasing the percentage of fe- male students and faculty. â¢ Devote resources to female undergraduate studentsâsupport mentoring, advising, tutoring services, and if feasible, separate housing. â¢ Craft female-friendly policies on campus. â¢ Communicate with department chairs about the importance of di- versity in recruiting. â¢ Review policies on tenure clock, child care, leave, and spousal hir- ing. Make policies more transparent. â¢ Conduct an assessment of departmentsâ progress in increasing the percentage of female students, of recent hiring efforts and outcomes, of trends in the diversity of departments, and of trends in the diversity of administrative appointments. â¢ Get involved in departmental searches. â¢ Reinforce human resources programs on sexual and racial discrimi- nation. â¢ Evaluate recent departmental job offers for fairness in allocation of resources and salary. â¢ Consider the feasibility of special hiring slots for female faculty. â¢ Offer incentives to departments that are more inclusive. â¢ Conduct an assessment of diversity within departments. â¢ Encourage female faculty to consider leadership positions. â¢ Develop on-campus leadership programs for faculty. â¢ Mentor prospective academic officers. â¢ Encourage female deans and provosts to create and use support networks. Presidents â¢ Publicly state the institutionâs commitment to diversity and inclu- siveness whenever possible. â¢ Create an institutional structure, such as a standing committee, to address diversity issues among the student body, faculty, staff, and ad- ministrators. That committee could be charged with monitoring diversity across the institution and with making recommendations to increase diversity. â¢ Demonstrate the institutionâs commitment by meeting with stu- dents and devoting resources to programs that assist female students. â¢ Demonstrate the institutionâs commitment by meeting with fac- ulty, encouraging the use of resources to enhancing hiring strategies, and
CONCLUSION 117 examining the institutionâs policies and practices regarding faculty issues. â¢ Demonstrate the institutionâs commitment by meeting with faculty and devoting resources to programs that assist female students and faculty. â¢ Mentor prospective candidates for executive positions. Mentoring can be done at the same institution or across institutions. â¢ Conduct a self-assessment of the institution. â¢ Encourage prospective candidates to enroll in leadership training programs. â¢ Develop a leadership program on campus. â¢ Diversify search committees for departmental chair or dean positions.