Tag: Workplace

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: When All Faculty Do DEIS Work

A common problem on college campuses is that the people who most often choose to participate in workshops, trainings, committees, mentorships and other programs aimed at improving diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging (DEIS) are those same people that are already committed to such efforts. So, participants can feel they’re in an echo chamber, while those who know the least about campus inequalities, how they play out, how they themselves might be contributing to problems, or how to improve inclusion are the least likely to participate. Recognizing that DEIS impacts all of us and is everyone’s responsibility, some universities are beginning to require that all faculty contribute to DEIS in some capacity.

As described in this article, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana recently announced they will require all faculty members to submit statements on diversity contributions in promotion and tenure decisions. The goals are to provide a clear place for recognizing DEIS work in the promotion and tenure process and to incentivize faculty across campus to contribute to campus diversity efforts in some way. The various ways faculty might contribute are flexible: through teaching, research, or service, in order to make academia more welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of all students, faculty, and staff. How might Michigan Tech recognize and incentivize faculty efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging?

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: Make feedback matter – steps to achieve high performance and retention

How and why do supervisors provide feedback? How does feedback influence retention? These questions are posed in this week’s Roundup article. While it focuses on the corporate world, the discussion also applies to the academic environment. Feedback is intended to help faculty, staff, and students improve performance, but the article notes that, “Telling people they are missing the mark is not the same as helping them hit the mark.” Just conveying negative feedback reduces engagement, so supervisors of faculty, staff, and students can build a culture of high performance by shifting from critic to ally.

The article recommends four steps. The first is to communicate by listening and empathizing with the challenge, expressing confidence in the person’s ability to prevail, and then asking to partner with them on brainstorming strategies. Steps 2 through 4 frame outcomes through actions. Partnering as an ally centers the faculty, staff, or student employee in the plan while supervisor management aligns resources and collaboratively develops strategies to help the employee grow. Using these strategies increases communication, morale, and helps position all individuals to succeed at their highest level of performance.

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. 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: 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: Association of Women in Science responds to the resignation of the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy: Ignoring or disregarding complaints harms climate.

The Association of Women in Science (AWIS) recently issued this statement in response to a high level director’s resignation from a key government STEM office. Their statement calls out an ongoing pattern (both at the national and local level) of institutional negligence in which organizational leaders have regularly failed to proactively respond to practices of discrimination, harassment, and bullying in a timely manner. They instead dismiss the importance or impact of discriminatory events leading to a public perception that nothing is being addressed, a perception that demoralizes institutional climate. Vetting candidates for leadership should include careful assessment of these issues. If issues arise after hire, proactive responses are important; organizations must enforce a zero tolerance policy for bullying and harassment. The AWIS statement repeats a common example in which BIPOC faculty are frequently mistaken for a staff occupational identity and we note that this example itself perpetuates inequity, both for those faculty and for those whose occupation is implicitly disparaged. Routing out the systemic patterns of discrimination that have become commomplace is difficult and requires vigilance and a demonstrated commitment to zero tolerance. 

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE 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: What to do in the moment when being bullied

We have all experienced bullying at work and upon reflection we often think we could have handled the moment better. Each time we think “How could I have responded better?”, “What should I have said?”, “Why is this still bothering me?”  But how? In Liz Kislik’s blog, she shares exercises she uses with her clients to navigate the moments of bullying by a colleague. The first exercise is to ask yourself “Are you safe?” Recognizing that you are safe reduces the grip the bully has on you. The second exercise is to mentally imagine the bully as small and vulnerable standing in the palm of your hand. Since the source of the bullying behavior is insecurity and lack of control, this exercise redirects behavior to focus on the bully and not on the response.  This positions you to act in a manner that is measured and strategic instead of purely reactionary. Measured responses also allow supervisors to better recognize the source of the bullying behavior and hopefully work to correct problematic patterns of poor behavior.  

Today’s feature was shared with us by A3B. 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.


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.


Seminar: Preparation for Leading in DEI Work for Your Team

Dr. Candy McCorkle currently serves as the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. Prior to joining the senior administration of WMU she served as the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Alma College, Alma, MI.  In her more than 20 years in higher education she has served as faculty member, program director and assistant dean. Dr. McCorkle has served regional public universities, private liberal arts colleges, community colleges and taught abroad. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Wright State University, Dayton, OH, her M.S. in Clinical Psychology from  Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.  Dr. McCorkle has always demonstrated her commitment to moving organizations toward inclusivity.

Following the summer of 2020 many colleges and universities have begun to focus on the diversity, equity and inclusion.  Although this is an admirable focus it is shortsighted because most faculty, staff, administrators and students are not trained in how to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into their work.  It is the purpose of this presentation to introduce participants to some of the competencies necessary for effectively engaging in diversity, equity and inclusion work.

The five basic skills will be explored and demonstrated how to use them to build the foundations of effectively engaging in diversity, equity and inclusion work. Individuals are more apt to engage in work when they feel they have the skills necessary to begin the work. It is the objective that upon the conclusion of this presentation individuals will be able to identify, describe and implement the five basic skills to begin leading their team in diversity, equity and inclusion work.

This seminar is virtual, and will be held Friday, Dec. 3 from 1-2pm Eastern Time. The zoom link is https://bit.ly/3cmrNpO. A Diversity and Inclusion Guidebook is also available for download/reading at https://bit.ly/3cpCMPp. Dr. McCorkle has also agreed to do a very limited number of one-on-one sessions after the seminar, which are by sign up only here.

As always, please feel free to contact the ADVANCE office at advance-mtu@mtu.edu if you have any questions or concerns!