Tag: Gender

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Women do a majority of office ‘housework’; Women of Color do a majority of DEI in Tech and Engineering

This article compares workload distributions among faculty in Tech and Engineering. It documents that women do more of the work to keep things running smoothly, often referred to as office “housework.” Such work rarely earns formal credit or recognition. In technology fields, women of color report that they are asked to lead HR or DEI efforts they were not originally hired to conduct, yet this work isn’t compensated or recognized as promotion-worthy. This has been termed the “minority tax.”

Further, in the report from the Center for WorkLife Law & Society of Women Engineers, women of color more strongly than White women report being shut out of creative work without access to desirable assignments. In Engineering, the authors found that 26% of White men but 55% of women of color report doing more of the undervalued work than their colleagues of comparable seniority and experience. In addition, 61% of White men, but less than half of women of color, report they were more likely than their peers to be assigned to high-profile tasks or teams.

Navigating the minority tax makes workplace climates challenging because speaking up about the workload distribution often induces racial and gender stereotypes around ‘being difficult.’ Increasing awareness of these tendencies can empower colleagues to consciously work to create more equitable workloads ranging from DEI efforts to office tasks. Please feel free to seek guidance and just in time strategies from the ADVANCE Advocates Team.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PIs. 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. 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: Beyond Productivity Metrics: Call for a Paradigm Shift in STEMM

In this essay, a group of scientists advocates for paradigmatic change in the academic scientific enterprise. Specifically, they point to biases in STEMM measures of success, normative standards that support a subset of scholars and narrow the career pathways for others, and call out those in positions of power for engaging in advocacy performances rather than substantive change. They offer several ways to“pivot the paradigm”. First, address the gendered, raced, and classist biases in the “publish or perish” model that relies on impact scores to assess value. Second, expand measures of scientific value to encourage non-publishing pathways (i.e., applied sciences, public dissemination, podcasts) that acknowledge the critical need for researchers with expertise to engage in broader communities (i.e., policy, training). Third, implement multidimensional and networked mentorship to support a ”publish and flourish” model of STEMM excellence. Fourth, engage in creative, innovative ways to dismantle discriminatory systems to instead promote equity, diversity, and inclusion with effective accountability mechanisms. Finally, invest the resources to promote belonging, safety, and well-being at the research group, departmental, institutional, and funding levels. We applaud this far-reaching call for transformative change to realize justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the academy.

Today’s feature was shared with us by Amy Marcarelli. 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. . 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: Chicken or the Egg: Is pay in a field low because women enter it or because women tend to prefer lower paying jobs?

We recently acknowledged March 15th as equal pay day, the date when women’s pay for the prior year finally equals what men earned. In other words, women must work 2-½ months longer to make the same amount and Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous women have to work even longer. Why? A popular explanation is that women are attracted to lower paying fields. This is a logical fallacy. Research in 2016 found that “when women moved into occupations in large numbers, those jobs began paying less even after controlling for education, work experience, skills, race, and geography.” These include STEM fields, such as biology.

Conversely, as fields attract more men, pay increases and the field gains prestige (e.g. computer programming) as noted in this and another extensive analysis. In academia, as women increased from 14% to 42% of faculty, the average salaries of new assistant professors fell by 8% in that field according to England et al 2007. Additional research has tracked attitudes, showing that as the number of women increases in a field, that field becomes labeled as “soft” (Summary, Light 2022) and “men become markedly less interested in pursuing a career in that field of study” (England 2007). This research culminates in “substantial evidence that employers placed a lower value on work done by women.” At Tech, we can counter this pervasive societal gender bias by directly examining how we value (with communication, recognition, and compensation) the work of our talented women faculty.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI team. 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. 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: High school chemistry textbooks fail to advance positive role of women in field

Many young people are introduced to professions like Chemistry in high school and textbooks play a major role in informing students about the discipline and the people who work within it. An article in Chemistry World shines a light on what happens when textbooks are biased in their representation. A study of four widely used Chemistry texts in the UK and Ireland found that of 105 historic figures named in the books, only 4 were women, all Nobel Prize winners. Men mentioned in the books include non-scientists such as Julius Caesar, Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, and artist David Hockney. Two of the four textbooks did not mention a single woman. Of 131 images, only 16 were of women alone. Only one of those was a known woman, Dorothy Hodgkin – one of the Nobel winners, compared with 52 identifiable men. The textbooks included many images of women doing domestic work such as shopping or laundry.

This study reinforces a pattern observed in a study of US college Chemistry textbooks which found that male names appeared every 4 pages while female names appeared every 250 pages. As college educators, we can redress this in part by being particularly mindful of avoiding books with these kinds of inequities when we choose college textbooks for our classes. As Dr. Claire Murphy, lead researcher on the UK study stated, “The biases we have observed are not unique to a single publisher, textbook or curriculum. They are also not unique to chemistry.”

Today’s feature was shared with us by David Flaspohler, chair of the Advocates Team. 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. 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.


When Bad Behavior Becomes Sexual Harassment

by Institutional Equity

Sexual harassment is no joke. This topic is no longer off-limits, and allegations are being taken more seriously than ever before. But when does behavior cross from bad to unprofessional to sexual harassment? Is sexual harassment only egregious acts of physical touching or fondling? Does the behavior have to occur more than once before it becomes sexual harassment?

So often, recipients of sexual harassment talk themselves into believing it’s not a big deal with thoughts like this:

  • “Don’t be so sensitive. It’s just a joke.”
  • “That is a really nice skirt. Can’t you take a compliment?”
  • “Is it really that bad if they’re looking at you? Who doesn’t like attention?”
  • “Why do they have to hug me? I guess that’s just what they do.”
  • “The comments are not directed toward me, so I should mind my own business.”

Jokes, comments and actions can be harmful. Don’t justify someone else’s actions. What matters is the impact of their actions. When someone else’s behavior affects you to the point that it interferes with your employment and programs associated with employment, that is the point at which the behavior needs to be addressed.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including verbal, physical, written and visual forms. Employees are encouraged to seek assistance as early as possible to prevent the harassment from continuing and possibly becoming more serious. Whether you are reporting harassment directed at yourself, another employee or a student, the key is to report the incident(s) so any harm can be remedied, the appropriate University personnel can respond and University procedures are followed.

Don’t suffer in silence. There are multiple resources, so choose the one that best meets your needs:


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Acknowledging structural barriers – a visualization shift from leaky pipeline to a hostile obstacle course in academia

Equal practices are often mistaken as synonymous with equitable practices.  However, the path to get from point A to point B can be different for different people because the surrounding system of people (faculty, staff, students, society) does not respond to all individuals similarly. For example, those who have regularly been extended the benefit of perceived competence before presenting research results may have a hard time relating to those who must first prove their competence before the audience listens to the research results. These multiple layers of different treatment and different barriers are described in this article by Berhe et. al. in Nature Geoscience, as a hostile obstacle course that women and researchers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds have to overcome in STEMM fields.  Acknowledging that the pathways are different and adjusting resources to be responsive to those differences are key ways to position each individual to be successful.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. 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. 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: Gender Inequities in Academic Medicine and the Life Sciences

You may have read the article in the New York Times that came out recently about women physicians earning 2 million less over their lifetimes than men physicians.This study and a variety of research topics on gender inequities within medicine and the academic life sciences are discussed in a recent Freakonomics MD podcast led by Dr. Bapu Jena of Harvard University. For example, the tendency of men researchers to “upsell” their research contributions within their academic papers with superlatives like novel, unique, and unprecedented is one factor thought to contribute to differences in citation rates, which are key drivers of pay differences between men and women. The podcast addresses other issues that have significant repercussions for equity in career advancement in STEM fields. It is well worth a listen.

Today’s feature was shared with us by Robert Hutchinson. 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. 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.


Project Implicit: A Virtual Session on Implicit Bias

Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. These attitudes and stereotypes can negatively impact our understanding, actions, and decision-making.

We will be hosting a virtual session on implicit bias presented by Sylvia Perry, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University from Project Implicit. The objectives of the Education Session are to raise awareness of our biases; to explore how researchers measure and understand identity-based biases; and to provide actionable steps that we can take to prevent and mitigate the impact of biases. We invite you to join us for this important discussion about how hidden biases we carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes and stereotypes may be influencing our decisions and leading to unintended consequences.

Register Now! We will provide a free copy of the book, “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People”, by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald for a limited number of Tech faculty and staff registering for the Project Implicit event on a first come, first served basis. Complimentary copies of the book will be available to pick up in the Tech Bookstore in the MUB. You will receive an email with further instructions regarding pick-up when the books arrive. If you have questions, contact the ADVANCE Office at: (906) 487-2519 or advance-mtu@mtu.edu


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: The importance of leaders developing support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This week’s article from the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education explores the importance of academic leadership in developing support for diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) among faculty. Academic leaders with more visibly favorable attitudes towards diversity positively influence faculty in their awareness and support for DEIS. This research suggests that this may be especially important for faculty who don’t often question the status quo of policies and practices that retain historic systemic bias. This article provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how we, along with our academic leaders, express favorable attitudes towards DEIS efforts and help our institution to make progress in this valued area. Although this study focused on academic leadership, it highlights opportunities we may have for influencing attitudes about DEIS in our professional and personal leadership roles.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. 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. 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: Allyship for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Sense of Belonging

A critical component of promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) is deep and meaningful collaboration that enacts allyship. This is a cooperative model whereby people from diverse backgrounds, especially those with power and privilege, join together in solidarity to overcome systems that disadvantage some groups, including unlearning assumptions about what constitutes “help” – particularly the kind that reinforces unwanted power structures.

One research article that explores this point is “Male allyship in institutional STEMM gender equity initiatives.” The article centers on men’s self-understanding as “champions for change,” the barriers and risks of this paradigm, and evolving perceptions among participants in the program. The concept of men as “champions” in gender-equity programs is not uncommon, and one such program is “Male Champions of Change.”

Initially, study participants tended to perceive “champions” as an empowering term that encouraged men’s involvement in social justice work. However, by the second year, participants began to perceive  “the gendered positioning of male championship is at odds with gender equity and structural change.” Rather, DEIS is about all of us and we all gain when we remove barriers to equity, including terms and concepts like “champions.” 

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE Advocates team. 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. 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.