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What’s Data Got to Do with It? How to Measure Change in Academic Work Environments . Karen Stamm, Lisa Harlow, Marimer Santiago-Rivas, Barbara Silver, & Helen Mederer University of Rhode Island Presented at the 34 th Annual Meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology

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what s data got to do with it how to measure change in academic work environments

What’s Data Got to Do with It? How to Measure Change in Academic Work Environments

Karen Stamm, Lisa Harlow, Marimer Santiago-Rivas, Barbara Silver, & Helen Mederer

University of Rhode Island

Presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the

Association for Women in Psychology

March 14, 2009, Newport, RI

diversity in the sciences
Diversity in the Sciences
  • Diversity is important in the pursuit of scientific knowledge (National Science Foundation, 2005)
  • However, a gender gap in the sciences exists
  • Women represent only 20% of the faculty in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math
climate change
Climate Change
  • Good news – positive change is occurring
  • Gender gap is narrowing (Feist, 2006)
  • Still, STEM women face many challenges
    • Stereotype threat (Steele, 1997)
    • “Leaky pipeline”
    • Accumulation of disadvantage (Valian, 1998)
    • Chilly climate
nsf advance program
NSF ADVANCE Program
  • ADVANCE is an initiative by the National Science Foundation to promote the careers of women faculty in STEM fields
  • The University of Rhode Island received a 5-year ADVANCE Institutional Transformation award
  • At URI, the ADVANCE Program has focused on:
    • Recruitment
    • Faculty Development
    • Work-Life
    • Climate Change
    • Measurement and Evaluation
academic work environment survey
Academic Work Environment Survey
  • All tenure-track faculty at the University of Rhode Island were asked to participate
  • The survey was distributed twice: 2004 and 2007
  • (M)ANOVAswere conducted with main constructs as dependent variables and gender as the independent variable
academic work environment survey6
Main constructs

Climate

Career attitudes

Interpersonal/work issues

Spouse/partner issues

Work and gender

Mentoring

Teaching

Service

Research Productivity

Recognition

Resource satisfaction

Academic Work Environment Survey
2004 climate survey
2004 Climate Survey
  • Distributed during the 2004-2005 academic year
  • Approximately 277 faculty (118 women, 144 men, and 9 unknown gender) completed the survey
  • About 40% of all tenure-track faculty completed the survey
2004 climate survey results
Women reported:

More interpersonal work challenges

More workplace discrimination

Delaying or not having children

Greater willingness to leave URI to accommodate partner’s career

Endorsed a belief in combining career and family

Men reported:

Greater career satisfaction,

More positive work environment

Greater workplace equity

Greater departmental influence

More work-life balance

Endorsed traditional views of gender-work roles

2004 Climate Survey Results
  • No Gender Differences on:
    • Research Productivity
    • Teaching
    • Service
    • Resource Satisfaction
    • Recognition
2007 climate survey
2007 Climate Survey
  • Revised version of 2004 climate survey
  • Distributed during the 2007-2008 academic year
  • Approximately 241 faculty (129 women, 110 men, and 2 unknown gender) completed the survey
  • About 38% of tenure-track faculty completed the survey
2007 climate survey results
Women reported:

Higher ratings of mentoring importance

More workplace discrimination

More work-life conflict

Delaying having children

Placing greater emphasis on a partner’s career

Endorsed a belief in combining work and family

Men reported:

Greater gender equity

Greater positive work environment

Endorsed traditional views of gender-work roles

2007 Climate Survey Results
  • No gender differences on:
    • Career Satisfaction
    • Research Productivity
    • Teaching
    • Service
    • Resource Satisfaction
    • Recognition
usefulness of climate data
Usefulness of Climate Data
  • Importance of collecting social science data
  • Dissemination of findings
    • Executive summary
    • College meetings
    • Reports on website
  • Benchmarking
    • Recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in STEM
    • Use climate data in conjunction with benchmark indicators
    • Collection of benchmark indicators to track the ADVANCE Program
  • Other analysis plans: longitudinal cross-sectional data
    • Unique participants (took survey in 2004 or 2007)
    • Repeat participants (took survey in both 2004 and 2007)
limits of climate data
Limits of Climate Data
  • Length of survey
  • Timeframe for measuring climate change
    • How long does climate change take? Is 5 years enough time?
  • Longitudinal data
    • Had planned 3 surveys
    • Only did 2 surveys
    • Used the time to revise the survey
strategies for promoting women in stem
Strategies for Promoting Women in STEM
  • 3-level model of climate change
    • Individual
    • Interactional
    • Institutional
    • Effective climate change must target all 3 levels
    • Measure variables at different levels
references
References
  • Feist, G. J. (2006). How development and personality influence scientific thought, interest, and achievement. Review of General Psychology. Special Issue: The Psychology of Science. 10(2), 163-182.
  • National Science Foundation. (2005). More women receive Ph.D.s, but female senior faculty are still rare. Retrieved March 31, 2007, from http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=104363
  • Steele, C. M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52(6), 613-629.
  • Valian, V. (1998). Why so slow? The advancement of women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.