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Building a More Supportive Climate for Women in STEM: Discoveries Made, Lessons Learned

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Institutional Transformations

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.257.1 - 23.257.21



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Paper Authors


Jenna P. Carpenter Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Carpenter is Associate Dean for Administration and Strategic Initiatives and Wayne and Juanita Spinks Professor of Mathematics in the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University. She also directs the Office for Women in Science and Engineering. She is PI of Louisiana Tech’s NSF ADVANCE grant to improve the success of women faculty. She was co-PI on the NSF grant which developed the WEPAN Knowledge Center and webinar series. She is Chair of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program National Steering Committee. She served for six years on the Board of Directors for WEPAN. She served on the National Advisory Panel for the Society for Women Engineer’s Assessing Women in Engineering (AWE) Project; as Vice President for Professional Interest Councils on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE); and is Director-at-Large for the ASEE Women in Engineering Division. She regularly reviews for the ASEE Women in Engineering Division, the Frontiers in Education Conference, National Science Foundation programs (including the Graduate Fellows Program and ADVANCE), the Journal for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, and has reviewed for the NAE Center for the Advancement of Scholarship in Engineering Education (CASEE) Applying Research to Practice (ARP) series. She currently co-advises diversity and mentoring programs for the NSF-funded Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Application (LA-SiGMA) program; sits on the External Advisory Board for the NSF ADVANCE project at the University of West Florida; and is on the Leadership Team for the Louisiana Girls Collaborative Project.

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D. Patrick O'Neal Louisiana Tech University

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Building  a  More  Supportive  Climate  for  Women  in  STEM:    Discoveries  Made,  Lessons  Learned    Four years ago University X established a program aimed at building a more supportiveclimate for women faculty in STEM departments in an effort to improve their retentionand success. Officially managed out of the dean’s office under the umbrella of the Officefor Women in Science and Engineering, the program has utilized a multi-prongedapproach and adapted best practices from NSF ADVANCE projects. Specific initiativeshave included a distinguished external lecture series, engaging faculty and administratorsin reviews of social science research, lunchtime seminars focused on gender issues, afaculty mentoring program, and an allies program for male faculty. Some aspects of theprogram have been expanded to address issues of women undergraduate and graduatestudents through seminars for graduate students, training for freshman faculty, andworkshops for undergraduate students. Program assessment to-date suggests that womenfaculty have made some gains in work self-efficacy and job satisfaction. Theirperceptions of the quality of interactions with colleagues have also shown improvement.Survey data suggests that more than half of the women faculty report increasedprofessional self-confidence as a result of the program. Women faculty were less likelyto report feeling isolated on campus and more likely to report having a voice in howresources are distributed. Program initiatives have extended outside the college tocollaborations with faculty in human ecology, education faculty whose research focuseson gender and STEM, the faculty senate, as well as women faculty in entrepreneurshipand social science who face many of the same issues as women faculty in STEM. Thispaper will review the programs, including feedback from external assessment, and makerecommendations on aspects of the program that could be transportable to othercampuses.  

Carpenter, J. P., & O'Neal, D. P. (2013, June), Building a More Supportive Climate for Women in STEM: Discoveries Made, Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19271

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