Category: Gender

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Programs to Diversify Role Models in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine)

An engineer friend once told my wife that my daughter, who was considering majors in college, was not the right type to be an engineer. Too often, we develop preconceived ideas of what a scientist, engineer, or artist is expected to look like. We use such stereotypes to simplify the complex world around us. This practice becomes harmful when it projects narrow preconceived expectations on others. Teachers and professors who consciously or unconsciously expect different competencies from different genders or races not only constrain their own ability to think creatively and originally in the classroom but they do real harm to the ambitions of students.

Today’s Weekly Roundup focuses on two articles from Science that describe programs that work to widen our expectations and images of what a professional in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine) looks like. And for my engineering friend and the record, my daughter earned a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan and is in the last year of her PhD in computer science at MIT.  

The first article, “Women innovators become STEM ambassadors for girls,” describes an AAAS program called IF/THEN. It focuses on ambassadors who are selected to become high-profile role models for middle-school girls. One goal is to break down narrow exclusionary ideas of what a scientist or engineer looks like and does. When we show that engineers can be dancers and artists and that scientists can be poets and athletes, we allow young people to see greater opportunity for themselves in STEMM.

The second article describes the contributions of Shirley Malcom who has led the Sea (STEMM Equity Achievement) Change Program, which is supported by AAAS and helps academic institutions identify how they can better serve diverse students and faculty. Sea Change grew out of the 2005 Athena SWAN Charter which was developed to promote greater participation of women in science in the United Kingdom. Malcom adapted and broadened this program to include other underrepresented groups.

Today’s feature was shared with us by David Flaspohler. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


A&A Session for Chairs/Unit Leaders

During Academic Forum on Wednesday, it was mentioned that the ombudsperson talks to ~2 faculty per week.  This rate is consistent with results from Michigan Tech’s Work, Live, Learn Survey which found that 31.6% of women disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that they felt supported and mentored during the tenure-track years or the 22.4% who don’t feel valued by their department chair/school dean.  I know each of you care about your faculty so these findings are disturbing.  


Crafting positive climates so that everyone is valued and feels part of a supportive team relies upon broad engagement of all faculty in a unit and the chair can help influence this.  That is why ADVANCE has adapted the Advocates & Allies program to offer a learning environment led by peers.  As a Department Chair, have you been concerned about your unit’s community and cohesiveness over the last year?  Have you wondered about interactions between your faculty in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion? or related to the University Senate’s Proposal 41-21?  


Research has revealed that retention of faculty is closely coupled with how included individuals feel and that attracting new faculty is closely coupled with how well systems ensure equity is embraced within a unit.  Our diversity counts illustrate that Michigan Tech is one of the least diverse campuses in the nation (second resource here).  All of this can be intimidating, but the NSF ADVANCE effort on campus would like to help with a one-hour educational session from the Advocates & Allies (A&A) program.   A&A sessions provide the data and research, starting from the beginning, that enables individuals to gain perspectives and help them become allies for the success and inclusion of non-majority individuals. 


THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. Through a department chairs only session, we’d like you to preview this program and consider inviting us to present to your department.  This session will be presented by our Advocates Team in coordination with the ADVANCE Academy for Responsive Leadership.  Please RSVP  and join us on Wednesday, March 31st from 4 to 5.

THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. When: Mar 31, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this meeting:https://michigantech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdumqqj8jEtKTYYe0ArOPrzgqPUpuUOuE  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Equal Pay Day 2021 Marks Progress, Challenges

by Faith Morrison, Tech Today, March 23, 2021

Women earn less than men do, on average. This difference, the gender wage gap, is approximately 18 % across all workers. The gap is even larger for women of color.

The problem is present even just one year from graduation. Just one year from college graduation, women make seven percent less than men, even after accounting for college major, occupation, economic sector, hours worked, marital status, GPA, type of undergraduate institution, institutional selectivity, age, geographic region and months unemployed since graduation (“The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, AAUW, 2018).

Tomorrow (March 24) is Equal Pay Day (averaged for all women), a day that symbolizes the extra days women must work to catch up to what the average man earned the previous year. In 2020 Equal Pay Day was March 31, and in 2019 it was April 2, indicating that incremental progress is occurring.

Red is worn on this day as a symbol of how far women and minorities are “in the red.” Join the Copper Country League of Women Voters and other supporters for a “Red Out” to recognize Equal Pay Day.

Due to COVID-19 considerations, our usual cookies and literature event will not take place this year. We can all safely wear red, however.

Find out what you can do to help close the gap.


March 5, 2021 Weekly Roundup: Focus on culture to overcome imposter syndrome

Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from Harvard Business Review on ways an organization can support individuals to reduce imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome, coined in 1978, describes the feeling of doubting one’s abilities, second guessing one’s accomplishments, and having mild-anxiety about work success. Imposter syndrome places the blame for feeling this way on the individual rather than considering how the organization’s historical and cultural context sends signals to women, particularly women of color, about their professional contributions. Rather than seeking to correct the individual, the answer lies in creating organizations that position racial, ethnic, and gender diversity as the norm. Addressing systemic bias and toxic cultures can reduce experiences that lead to imposter syndrome and maximize the net productivity of all members of the community.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


February 18 2021 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on all aspects of academia. An article from Science reports that recent studies indicate that the pandemic’s impact has hit academic mothers particularly hard. It has exacerbated existing disparities and created further challenges for women, including significant loss of time dedicated to research. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features this article which encourages the use and consideration of COVID-19 impact statements in current and post-pandemic tenure and promotion reviews.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup- September 18, 2020

While the representation of women and minorities in higher education administrator roles is climbing, these individuals still face significant discrepancies in pay. Representation in primary roles is lower than in supporting administrative roles. “Women are paid less than men in nearly all administrative positions, as are people of color,” which is linked to how much value the person is perceived as contributing.  This week’s ADVANCE weekly roundup article sheds light on these pay and seniority gaps in higher education administration.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Contact us to learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources. (advance-mtu@mtu.edu, website: www.mtu.edu/advance).


August 14, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Repeatedly tapping minority ethnic and gender groups for additional service responsibilities can disproportionately burden these academicians. As these burdens accumulate and begin to impact their scholarly activities, they experience what is known as “cultural taxation.” This week’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from Nature in which five researchers from minority ethnic groups were interviewed to provide perspectives and advice on navigating cultural taxation

Today’s article was shared by the ADVANCE Partnership-Joining Forces: A Midwestern Partnership for STEM Faculty Success. The ADVANCE Partnership is a group of four institutions: Iowa State University, Michigan Tech, North Dakota State University, and Western Michigan University dedicated to creating a collaborative and supportive work environment where women scientists, mathematicians, and engineers can thrive, particularly those in the intersectionalities of women of color and women with caregiving responsibilities. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


July 31, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Over the course of the last several months, we have seen numerous articles that emphasize the disproportionate burdens and obstacles facing women in academia as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Few articles however have offered ideas on how to mitigate these burdens. This week’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup features an article from Nature in which several journal editors, funders, and academic leaders offer their advice on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on women scientists.

Today’s article was shared by Andrew Storer, dean of the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and project lead on the ADVANCE initiative’s Advocates and Allies program.

If you have an article you think we should feature in the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog.

To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at or visit our website.


July 17, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Yet another issue disproportionately impacting women and minorities is the harassment of them when in a position of power, leadership, or other visible role. In an academic setting, this is referred to as Academic Contrapower Harassment (ACPH). While ACPH does impact all faculty, a 2016 study of 289 professors from across the country found that women faculty reported significantly more scrutiny and negative outcomes from ACPH than men faculty. Today’s ADVANCE Weekly Roundup article features this study from The Journal of Women in Higher Education and encourages you to consider the implications and be consciously aware of contrapower harassment behaviors towards women and minority leaders. We invite you to work proactively to eliminate this on our campus.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322483/

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  This article and previous archived articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


July 10, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

In business, diverse perspectives are known to drive innovation and profitability. Diverse perspectives drive innovation in all aspects of academia as well. A recent study emphasizes these innovations in the research arena and also highlights the fact that novel contributions by gender and ethnic minorities in academia are not as readily adopted by their peers. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup summarizes this study and highlights key areas where inequities exist.Counter academic inequities by reading and citing articles such as these.

https://insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/16/underrepresented-scholars-outperform-majority-peers-terms-novel-research

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  This article and previous archived articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.