June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Women in Engineering
14.642.1 - 14.642.12
Funding Agencies Look for Indicators of a Positive Environment for Faculty Members Jane Zimmer Daniels, Henry Luce Foundation Kathleen Christensen, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Jessie DeAro, National Science Foundation David Ruth, Elsevier Foundation
The Clare Boothe Luce Program of the Henry Luce Foundation; The Workplace, Work Force and Working Families Program of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the New Scholars Program of the Elsevier Foundation; and the ADVANCE Program of the National Science Foundation make grants to improve the work environment for female and male faculty members in engineering and the sciences. The review criteria developed for these programs and components of successful grants suggest indicators of a positive environment for female and male faculty members. Similar to the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”, females’ decisions not to pursue careers in academia, or their premature departures from academic environments, suggest that negative conditions in the work environment may be one factor for the ever-declining proportions of women at each rank of academia.
Research on factors that may account for the lower proportion of women in the various ranks of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculties includes the effects of implicit and explicit bias; differential effects on women of conflicts between work and family demands; unequal access to resources such as space, salary, and supporting facilities; and underrepresentation of women in academic leadership and decision-making positions. 1 The cumulative effect of such diverse factors has been to create formidable barriers to the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers. Overcoming and eliminating these barriers and challenges, as well as addressing emerging challenges such as the increasing emphasis on a globally engaged STEM academic workforce and the increasing interdisciplinarity of STEM research and education, is critical to support the full participation of women in academic STEM careers.
The full participation of women in academic STEM careers is important given the pivotal roles that faculty members and administrative leaders have as intellectual, professional, personal, and organizational role models who shape the experiences and expectations of many prospective scientists and engineers. Persistent underrepresentation of women faculty, especially in leadership positions, may affect all students' critically important relationships with mentors, participation as members of research and education teams, and self-identification as potential researchers.
Daniels, J., & Christensen, K., & DeAro, J., & Ruth, D. (2009, June), Funding Agencies Look For Indicators Of A Positive Environment For Faculty Members Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5573
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