Zakya H. Kafafi Director, Division of Materials Research (DMR) National Science Foundation [email protected] 2010 WISE Career Development Conference, A&M University, College Station, TX. Women in Science and Engineering Research & Education: Looking Back, Racing Forward. Outline of My Talk.
Shirley Ann Jackson
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Women in Science and Engineering Research & Education: Looking Back, Racing Forward
Harvey Mudd College
Drew Gilpin Faust
1994 – 2004
BA Psychology, Univ of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Psychology, Columbia Univ
* Many of the 20th century’s big breakthroughs—Social Security, the Green Revolution, the discovery of
DNA, and family planning—can be traced to early funding from the Rockefeller Foundation
The % women faculty in the School of Science has not increased for at least a decade!!
As of 1994, there were 22 women and 252 male faculty
A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT
Committee Chaired by Nancy Hopkins
% Women Faculty in the School of Science at MIT
Status and equitable treatment of women faculty in the School of Science
Statistics on Female Undergraduates at MIT increased for at least a decade!!
The Percent of Female Undergraduates at MIT stayed below 5%
over the first 60 years of the last century and increased by almost
an order of magnitude from 1966-2006
Difference in treatment among tenured faculty!!
Ruth Jean Simmons increased for at least a decade!!
Drew Gilpin Faust
Shirley Marie Tilghman
University of Pennsylvania
Shirley Marie Tilghman increased for at least a decade!!
Univ of Pennsylvania
Drew Gilpin Faust
Mary Sue Coleman
Univ of Michigan
Type of Institution 1986 2006
Doctorate-granting institutions 4% 14%
Master's institutions 10% 22%
Baccalaureate institutions 16% 23%
Associate's institutions 8% 29%
Special Focus institutions 7% 17%
American Council of Education, 2007, American College President Study, Washington, D.C. Note: institutional types based on the Carnegie Classification 2005
Do women presidents fall under the same characteristics of a typical men president?
Let’s take a look at the careers of some women university presidents
Did they follow similar career paths to
those of men university presidents?
– Theoretical Computer Scientist
July 2006 – Present
"I've been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I found it hard to
choose between a career in art and a career in math/science. I eventually opted
for math/science, because I thought it would be easier to do art on the side than
math/science on the side."
"I took a number of fine arts courses while in university but was quite discouraged by
the attitude of the faculty toward students majoring in science (they felt science students
shouldn’t be allowed in courses for those majoring in fine arts). As I became a professional
mathematician and then a computer scientist, it became clear that also being an artist would
diminish my credibility (already in question because of being female), so I kept my painting
secret. When I turned 40, I decided to come out of the closet and I hung several of my paintings
in my office as well as in my home."
"Today, I show paintings whenever I try to recruit students to engineering. I want them to know
that many leading engineers and scientists are artists, musicians, dancers, or writers.
Engineering and science are creative disciplines. It shouldn’t be surprising that the creative
energy, passion, and talent cross into other areas. I can’t imagine living without painting. It’s a
form of expression of ideas and emotion that I cannot express through any other medium.”
First Woman President of Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute, at the age of 52 (July 1999 – Present)
Husband: Dr. Morris A. Washington – Physics Professor at RPI
They have one son, AlanSHIRLEY ANN JACKSON
in the United States
July 1999 – Present
– Historian of Medicine and Science at Harvard University
July 2007 – Present
In October 2007, upon her appointment as Harvard’s new president, Drew,
was given a brown manila envelope that had been entrusted to the
University Archives in 1951 by James B. Conant, Harvard’s 23 president,
and to be opened in the 21st century. It was addressed to “My dear Sir”…
“One of the things that I think characterize my
generation – that characterizes me, anyway, and others
of my generation – is that I’ve always been surprised by
how my life turned out,”… I’ve always done more than
I ever thought I would. Becoming a professor – I never
thought I would have imagined that. Writing books – I
never would have imagined that. Getting a Ph.D. – I’m
not sure I would have even have imagined that. I’ve
lived my life a step at a time. Things sort of happened.”
Amazingly, they did not “plan or dream to become university presidents”
They seized the opportunity, when it occurred
They chose this path to make a difference and to show that they can do the job
At the same time, their spouses did not sacrifice their careers, and did not become high-profile volunteers, who served as informal leaders
Their Career Paths
What struck me is the similarities among such a diverse group
of women, in terms of their education, career paths,
leadership styles, and philosophies.
Women have earned approximately half
of S&E bachelor’s degrees since 2000
Women earned increasing numbers of doctoral degrees
throughout the period in both S&E and non-S&E fields
SOURCE: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, special tabulations of U.S. Department of Education,
National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completions Survey, 1989–2007.
DMR Sponsored Workshops residents, by gender: 1989–2007
To Develop a Diversified Materials Research & Education Workforce
MSE Gender Equity Workshop residents, by gender: 1989–2007 *
May 18-20, 2008
University of Maryland Conference Center, Adelphi, MD
Goal: Understand key issues of gender equity in MSE departments
and develop strategies to foster an inclusive workplace environment
* Held at the annual meeting of University Materials Council
* Sponsors: NSF (DMR & ENG), DOE-BES,UMC, and UIUC MSE department
SHIRLEY ANN JACKSON
Diane O’Connell, Strong Force: The Story of Physicist Shirley Ann Jackson, 2006
DREW GILPIN FAUST
Same other material benefits
Received good support from their departments in their scientific endeavors
Felt included in departmental activities and intellectual networking
Junior women faculty, who have children, felt that demands of family are a potential obstacle to success in their careers
Committee did not collect data
No apparent difference in treatment among untenured faculty!!