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To Have And To Hold: Recruitment And Retention Of Women In Science And Engineering Laurie E. McNeil Dept. of Physics and Astronomy Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Percent of bachelor’s degrees earned by women, 1975-1997, various fields

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To have and to hold recruitment and retention of women in science and engineering l.jpg

To Have And To Hold: Recruitment And Retention Of Women In Science And Engineering

Laurie E. McNeil

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The problem l.jpg

Percent of bachelor’s degrees earned by women, 1975-1997, various fields

Percent of Ph.D.s earned by women, 1980-1998, various fields

The problem

  • Women are underrepresented at (almost) all levels in (almost) all SMET fields


The problem3 l.jpg
The problem various fields

  • Women are underrepresented at (almost) all levels in (almost) all SMET fields

  • Women (and racial/ethnic minorities) make up an increasing fraction of the pool of future scientists


The problem4 l.jpg
The problem various fields

  • Women are underrepresented at (almost) all levels in (almost) all SMET fields

  • Women (and racial/ethnic minorities) make up an increasing fraction of the pool of future scientists

Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi.

Guiseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard

(If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.)


Slide5 l.jpg

…or is it? various fields

Solvay conference

1927

AIP

Governing Board 2003

75 years of change

Thanks to Ruth Howes for this comparison!


So how do we change l.jpg
So how do we change? various fields

The leakiest parts of the pipeline occur before college.

This does not relieve colleges and universities of responsibility!

  • Undergraduate students

  • Graduate students

  • Faculty


Undergraduate students l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Stereotypes appear at young ages

  • Families often provide no role models

  • What is research? What do engineers do?

  • In-school and on-campus programs

  • Coordinated program can be more efficient

  • Get students involved

  • Connect with real world (including industrial contacts)

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs


Undergraduate students8 l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs

  • Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Good teaching matters!

    • Cultivate rather than weed

    • Interactive engagement and collaboration

    • Relevant examples and applications

  • Multiple entry portals

    • Are prerequisites really relevant?

    • Flexible programs


Undergraduate students9 l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs

  • Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Doing science and engineering

  • Early involvement in research/design

  • Early contact with faculty as people

  • Career information

  • Community of scholars


Undergraduate students10 l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs

  • Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Doing science and engineering

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Encourage good students in introductory classes

  • Bring students in contact with role models (especially alumnae)

  • Establish personal relationships


Undergraduate students11 l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs

  • Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Doing science and engineering

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Community

  • Bring female students together (across departments, if necessary)

  • Big/little sister programs

  • WISE dorm or floor

  • Seminars, pizzas, speakers

  • Connect with national organizations


Undergraduate students12 l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs

  • Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Doing science and engineering

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Community

  • Climate and celebration

  • Establish a climate of cooperative learning

  • Be proactive about study groups, etc.

  • Do not tolerate disrespect of women

  • Celebrate and showcase women


Undergraduate students13 l.jpg
Undergraduate students various fields

  • Recruiting: K-12 programs

  • Pedagogy and curriculum

  • Doing science and engineering

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Community

  • Climate and celebration

Talking About Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences

E. Seymour and N.M. Hewitt (Westview Press, Boulder CO 1997)


Graduate students l.jpg

Women’s colleges that grant physics bachelor’s degrees various fields

Agnes Scott Notre Dame (MD)

Barnard Randolph-Macon

Bryn Mawr. Saint Catherine

Chatham Scripps

Georgian Court Smith

Hollins Spelman

Mary Baldwin Sweet Briar

Mount Holyoke Wellesley

Departments with > 40% women among physics bachelor’s graduates

Baylor Univ. Grambling State Univ.

Belmont Univ. Hiram College

Catholic Univ. Jackson State Univ

Univ. of Denver Lincoln Univ. (PA)

Dickinson College U. Mich.- Dearborn

Dillard Univ. U. Minn. - Morris

Drew Univ. Southern Univ.

Fisk Univ. Tougaloo College

Gordon College Xavier Univ. (LA)

Graduate students

  • Recruiting

  • Be proactive: go where women are

  • Highlight climate and community during visits


Graduate students15 l.jpg
Graduate students various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Critical mass and community

  • Increase the numbers

  • Bring women together (multiple departments)

  • Seminars, pizzas, speakers

  • Connect with national organizations


Graduate students16 l.jpg
Graduate students various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Critical mass and community

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Make sure all students get proactive mentoring

  • Bring students into contact with senior women (from outside, if necessary)

All of your faculty share this responsibility!


Graduate students17 l.jpg
Graduate students various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Critical mass and community

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Work/life issues

  • Two-body problem (students have it too!)

  • Parental leave and child care

  • Health insurance

  • Personal safety


Graduate students18 l.jpg
Graduate students various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Critical mass and community

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Work/life issues

  • Climate and respect

  • Establish a climate of cooperative learning

  • Do not tolerate disrespect of women (from faculty or peers)

  • Treat all students as junior colleagues

  • Have the same expectations for male and female students

  • Graduate school is not a rite of passage


Graduate students19 l.jpg
Graduate students various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Critical mass and community

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Work/life issues

  • Climate and respect

  • Sexual harassment

  • Believe it exists (possibly even in your department)

  • Know your institution’s procedures

  • Understand the storage capacity of the “bush telegraph”

  • Make sure that action taken is visible to the students


Graduate students20 l.jpg
Graduate students various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Critical mass and community

  • Mentoring and role models

  • Work/life issues

  • Climate and respect

  • Sexual harassment

Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive.

Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac


Faculty l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Broaden search to assure ≥ 1 woman in the pool

  • Search committee, not envelope-opening committee (and pick the right people)

  • Don’t assume faculty know how to do this!

  • Ask specifically about female potential candidates when contacting sources

  • Transparent evaluation

  • Targeted hires and targets of opportunity


Faculty22 l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Diversity as a value, not an extra

  • Accountability for departments (and Chairs)

  • Results, not just effort

  • Insist on transparency in evaluations

“[A] female applicant had to be 2.5 times more productive

than the average male applicant to receive the same competence scores.”

--Christine Wenneras and Agnes Wold, “Nepotism and sexism in peer-review,”

Nature387, 341-343 (1997)


Faculty23 l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Two-body problem

  • Scientists often marry scientists

  • Opportunity, not liability

  • Don’t assume what people want

  • Establish procedures before interviews take place

  • Coordinate with neighboring institutions


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Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Two-body problem

  • Mentoring and integration

  • Make sure young faculty get good mentoring

  • Keep teaching and service loads light

  • Involve in key decision-making processes

  • Provide leadership opportunities


Faculty25 l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Two-body problem

  • Mentoring and integration

  • Work/life issues

  • Know policies on maternity, child care, etc.

  • Stopping tenure clock—is it functional?

  • Flexible scheduling


Faculty26 l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Two-body problem

  • Mentoring and integration

  • Work/life issues

  • Community

  • Bring women into contact with other women

  • Make sure women’s groups have access to administration


Faculty27 l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Two-body problem

  • Mentoring and integration

  • Work/life issues

  • Community

  • Equity

  • Assure salary equity at hiring and in raises

  • Assess frequently


Faculty28 l.jpg
Faculty various fields

  • Recruiting

  • Leadership and accountability

  • Two-body problem

  • Mentoring and integration

  • Work/life issues

  • Community

  • Equity

Every man who is high up loves to think that he has done it all himself; and his wife smiles, and lets it go at that.

J.M. Barrie, What Every Woman Knows


Slide29 l.jpg

A good source for ideas, based on things that have succeeded at research universities:

To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in U.S. Science and Engineering

Committee on Women in Science and Engineering

Policy and Global Affairs Division

National Research Council of the National Academies

To be issued by National Academies Press, late February

See also A National Analysis of Diversity in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities by Donna J. Nelson to compare your statistics with those of other top-ranked departments in your field. http://cheminfo.chem.ou.edu/~djn/diversity/briefings/Diversity%20Report%20Final.pdf


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