Tag: Perception

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: Public Statements are Not Actions

This is Black History month; next month is Women’s History month. We celebrate by highlighting the first black woman to earn her Ph.D. in physics in the U.S., Willie Hobbs Moore, who was also an electrical engineer and received her degree in physics from the University of Michigan in 1972. Dr. Moore is known for a number of achievements including bringing Japanese manufacturing practices to Ford in the 1980s, working in the field of molecular spectroscopy, and supporting STEM education for minority students. 

Dr. Moore was able to break through a glass ceiling but, unfortunately, fifty years later this glass ceiling remains for many minorities. This IEEE article suggests institutions need to move beyond public statements expressing solidarity with the Black community to examining the different types of anti-Black violence that  is tolerated within their own campuses, such as beginning with engineering education and practice. This examination should include what the authors call the “engineering ecosystem” and the “three realms of experience” that Black students must navigate within this ecosystem (mainstream culture, Black culture; the status of the oppressed minority). 

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: 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: Physicians’ perceptions can create health care disparities

Did you know that more than sixty-one million Americans have disabilities? Although legislative actions and conversations about the impact of living with disabilities are increasingly common in workplaces and social places, a study by Iezzoni et al. (2021) identified physicians’ perceptions of people with disabilities contributes to health care disparities.  In a small national study, 82% of physicians perceive a worse quality of life for individuals with disabilities.  Only 40.7% were “very confident about their ability to provide the same quality of care to patients with disability.”  The educational foundations for equitable inclusion begin in our classrooms. This research reveals the importance of including diverse cultural competencies within STEM education. 

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. 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: Putting yourself in another person’s position: understanding colleagues with disabilities

Although navigating life through a pandemic has been difficult, ever wonder what navigating life with disabilities is like? Want to support colleagues with different abilities, but felt uncomfortable asking how?  This article contains five questions answered by those with physical, cognitive, or mental disabilities as they navigate daily life.  The article highlights the pressures disabled individuals experience as they navigate mobility challenges in the world around them, respond to ableism, and share the impact of the disability on their daily existence. The article speaks to a person’s internal debate in seeking assistance and accommodations when needed. Lastly, stereotypes of “hard work” and “toughness” are addressed, which may be incorrectly related to “overcoming” the disability with the tradeoffs from stamina used for visible acknowledgement versus useful achievements.

Additional resource on ways to dismantle barriers for disabled faculty on campus.

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.


January 8, 2021 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Much as our lived experiences are influenced by the intersections of our identities, so too are our perceptions of diversity and inclusion. Recent research from the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at Harvard University indicates that white faculty members often have a vastly different perception of diversity and inclusion than their non-white counterparts. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup highlights a recent analysis from COACHE on this difference as well as the idea of faculty “fit” and how we can improve our narratives to progress toward equity on our campus.

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.