Tech Benefit: Childcare while traveling on University Business

Dependent care expenses above and beyond regular dependent care costs that directly result from travel on university business are reimbursed. Qualifying individuals eligible for reimbursement under this policy are the same as those allowable for Flexible Spending Accounts.

For more on this and for instructions on how to apply, see:
www.mtu.edu/fso/financial/travel/dependent-care/

Looking for daycare?

If you are looking for daycare in the Copper country, you can search for local daycare providers on the website  www.greatstarttoquality.org. Note that you will find infant spots are more limited since daycare providers are regulated in the number of children that they can care for under 18 months old.

You may find it works best if you put in your home or work address for the search, and then it will look for all daycare within a certain distance of that address.

Finding daycare can be a stressful process.  Reach out to your colleagues for advice and referrals and keep WISE informed about difficulties you encounter or tips you would like to pass on.

Tips and Best Practices from the Michigan Tech Diversity Literacy Online Workshop

Thank you to Michigan Tech’s Patricia Sotirin and Sonia Goltz for permssion to post this list from the 2014 Diversity Literacy Online Workshop

Diversity Literacy Workshop:  Best Practices

Unintentional Bias

  1. Recognize the influence of stress and time pressures on decision‐making processes. If possible, schedule selection and advancement processes with an eye to minimizing semester and professional demands on committee members and provide a generous window of time for committees to deliberate.
  2. Establish decision criteria related to position requirements and professional qualifications before reviewing candidate applications.
  3. Encourage selection and advancement committees to seek additional information in order to clarify ambiguous priorities, criteria, and information. At the same time, be careful to apply the same criteria and requirements for all candidates.
  4. Identify and focus on specific position criteria rather than discussing a broader and more general sense of “fit” with the department.

Selection Bias

  1. Avoid evaluations based on inferences that may mask subtle biases. In particular, do not make offer decisions based on what the committee assumes or suspects about the candidate’s motives, preferences, or likely actions.
  2. Clarify whether gendered assumptions about roles or positions are evident and strive to compare candidates on the basis of actual accomplishments and qualifications. This is particularly important in assessing leadership and professional potential.
  3. Use a structured interview schedule for each candidate interview. If additional questions are asked of a particular candidate, these should be noted so that the committee can decide how or whether the additional information is useful and comparable to information available for other candidates.
  4. Word position announcements using gender neutral language and identify both mainstream and population‐specific venues for placing the announcement in order to ensure a pool with at least 25% minority and female candidates.
  5. Question vague, evaluative comments made by committee members to find out what specific issues or concerns underlie such comments. Vague feelings and suspicions, anecdotal information, and interpretations based on perceptions should be explored so that these comments can either be substantiated or reconsidered.

Advancement Bias

  1. Set up specific standards for advancement progress and assess all faculty periodically for advancement potential based on non‐subjective criteria (number of courses taught, cumulative teaching scores, number of publications, grant levels, etc.).
  2. Be vigilant about identifying and minimizing unconscious bias in advancement decision‐making processes. Provide P&T committees with time and information and encourage members to avoid distractions and focus on predetermined advancement‐relevant criteria.
  3. Assess the subtle accumulation of disadvantages across all faculty periodically. Pay attention to systematic differences among groups of faculty such as salary, space, research resources, teaching assignments, awards, and committee assignments.

Scholarly Articles & Books Courtesy the ADVANCE Initiative

Michigan Tech’s ADVANCE Initiative maintains a list of scholarly articles and books related  to gender discrimination and other forms of bias.  You can access their materials at the ADVANCE website.  An example of the materials available are:

From the NY Times: Women at work subject to more, and harsher, criticism

From the New York Times, September 27, 2014:

A NEW study by the linguist and tech entrepreneur Kieran Snyder, done for Fortune.com, found two differences between workplace performance reviews given to men and women. Across 248 reviews from 28 companies, managers, whether male or female, gave female employees more negative feedback than they gave male employees. Second, 76 percent of the negative feedback given to women included some kind of personality criticism, such as comments that the woman was “abrasive,” “judgmental” or “strident.” Only 2 percent of men’s critical reviews included negative personality comments.

For the whole article, see the New York Times website.

Volunteers Needed for Get WISE Event

The Center for Pre-College Outreach is looking for about 25 female volunteers to help out at “Get WISE,” an event seeking to raise women’s interest in science and engineering.  Although not sponsored by the Michigan Tech Women in Science and Engineering group (the source of this blog), it is a worthy event that we endorse! The event will be held on Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers or anyone looking for more information can email dwalsh@mtu.edu.

Nancy Auer’s Sturgeon Book Among Michigan’s Most Notable for 2014

The Library of Michigan has chosen WISE member Professor Nancy Auer’s book “The Great Lake Sturgeon,” coedited with Dave Dempsey, as one of the 2014 Michigan Notable Books.

Twenty books made the list, ranging from Jim Harrison’s “The River Swimmer” to a pie cookbook to a collection of Upper Peninsula poems and stories.

See the whole article in Tech Today on 8 January 2014.  Way to go Nancy!

WISE has First Gathering of 2013-14 School Year

We are having our first Michigan Tech WISE faculty and researcher meeting for the 2013-2014 year. This will be a casual, get-to-know-each-other and catch-up-with-each-other meeting. Please mark this Thursday (9/19) 5:00pm-7:00pm on your calendars.

Please let  Nilufer (nilufer@mtu.edu) know by Wednesday (9/18), if you can come. I need only a ballpark count for planning purposes, feel free to come even if you haven’t signed up.

The details are:

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013

Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Place: Continental Fire Company – upstairs lounge
Downtown Houghton
Address: 408 E Montezuma Ave, Houghton MI 49931
Corner of Huron and Montezuma Streets
Across from Carnegie Museum on Huron Street

Style: WISE will provide refreshments (cheese, fruits). Pizza can be ordered for those who’d like. Please get your own drinks.

WISE stands for Women in Science and Engineering. It is an informal networking and professional development group for faculty and researchers in engineering and science fields at Michigan Tech. We hold monthly luncheon meetings and discuss issues that will help with performing our professional tasks (teaching, research, service) while balancing work and life.

Our co-director team members are Nilufer Onder, associate professor of computer science; Adrienne Minerick, associate professor of chemical engineering; and Nina Mahmoudian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. We are very excited to start the new academic year and see you.