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Advance Mentoring Programs For Women Faculty In Sem At The University Of Washington

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Women in Engineering Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.134.1 - 10.134.8



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Paper Authors

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Denice Denton

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Sheila Edwards Lange

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Eve Riskin

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Kate Quinn

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Joyce Yen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

ADVANCE Mentoring Programs for Women Faculty in SEM at the University of Washington

Joyce W. Yen1, Kate Quinn1, Sheila Edwards Lange2, Eve A. Riskin1, and Denice D. Denton1 1 University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change / 2 University of Washington Center for Workforce Development

Abstract: The mentoring literature has shown that faculty can benefit from multiple mentors and networking opportunities. As a result, the University of Washington's ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change has designed a series of group mentoring programs for women faculty in science, engineering, and mathematics. This paper discusses these mentoring programs and provides guidelines for replication at other institutions.


A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education posed the question “Where are all the Women”?1 Indeed, although female U.S. citizens are now earning more Ph.D.’s than male U.S. citizens across all disciplines,2 faculty continue to be largely male dominated.3 An even more unbalanced picture exists in science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM). In 2003, women earned 43% of the SEM Ph.D.’s awarded to U.S. citizens.2 However, at the top 50 SEM departments, as determined by research dollars, only 8.4% of the faculty in 2002 were women.4 Furthermore, the representation of women among SEM Ph.D. recipients is not equally reflected among assistant professors.4

Clearly women in SEM are operating in male-dominated fields. As such, they often encounter subtle (sometimes overt) biases which can impact their ability to achieve their full potential, to have access to information and build social capital, and to be viewed as leaders. Indeed, similar to Valian’s5 discussion of gender schemas and the ‘accumulation of disadvantage’, Sonnert’s study Project Access6 and Mary Frank Fox’s7 research on productivity have confirmed subtle barriers that, compounded over time, result in major disparities in the career advancement of women and men in academia nationally. Their research indicates that:

• Among younger women in the physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering, the average academic status was almost one full rank below a comparable cohort of men. • Women experience subtle but noticeable marginalization in the social system of science (e.g., left out of decisions and social gatherings).

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Denton, D., & Edwards Lange, S., & Riskin, E., & Quinn, K., & Yen, J. (2005, June), Advance Mentoring Programs For Women Faculty In Sem At The University Of Washington Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14278

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