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"Madam C.E.O., Get Me A Coffee." Sheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant on Women Doing ‘Office Housework.’ February 6, 2015. New York Times.
Article on study of women helping more, but benefiting less in the workplace and proposed solutions by both women and men.
"Forty Years of Title IX: Leadership Matters for Women in Academe." Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh. June 18, 2012. Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary.
A look at the struggle for women faculty and administrators navigating the current system of academic leadership advancement originally tailored for a 19th century male faculty; i.e. tenure and promotion.
"A Racy Silicon Valley Lawsuit, and More Subtle Questions About Sex Discrimination." Claire Miller. March 6, 2015. New York Times
Article discusses the subtle slights and double standards facing women in the workplace and highlighting the complexities of self-promotion, i.e., women who credit themselves for achievements are considered more capable, yet also thought to be less socially attractive and hirable.
"Sexism in Silicon Valley and Beyond: Tech Wake-Up Call." Zoe Kleinman. March 30, 2015. BBC News.
Article looks at the grossly disproportionate lack of female employees in the tech fields in the US and UK, specifically, Google, Apple, Facebook & Twitter. The article looks at high incidents of discrimination practices around gender and the maternal clock in tech companies. Comparisons are made to Ellen Pao of Reddit’s unsuccessful lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins.
"Facebook is Being Sued for Gender and Race Discriminations. Here’s Why." Julia Lurie. March 19, 2015. Mother Jones.
Article on former Facebook employee, Chia Hong, on the race and gender discrimination she “allegedly” experienced, i.e., harassment for taking an allowed personal day off volunteer at her child’s school & blatant discrimination around her looks.
"A New Documentary Shows What Happens When There Aren’t Enough Women in Tech." Matt McCue. April 24, 2015. Fortune.
Robin Hauser Reynolds uncovers the reasons why the tech industry needs more female programmers. As of the middle of 2014, women held less than 18% of tech positions at Pandora, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Reynolds zeros in on the business reasons, citing products that are meant to be unisex flopping because they were made by men with men’s specifications. The first voice recognition software did not recognize female voices, for instance. She also focuses on sexism in the workplace, interviewing female tech professionals about their experiences. Reynolds goal is to convince companies of the vital importance of creating a more gender-balanced workforce.
"Can Blind Interviews Finally Solve Tech’s Diversity Hiring Problem?" Jane Porter. February 23, 2015. Fast Company, Strong Female Lead.
All the lip service about cultural change within companies might have an inverse effect. Researchers from MIT and Indiana University call this the "paradox of meritocracy." They found that managers in organizations emphasizing meritocracy as part of their company culture actually showed greater bias against women in their performance evaluations and rewards. One way to combat this bias is to engage in blind interviews. Research by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford revealed that orchestras increased their number of women musicians from 5% to 25% since the 1970s because of one simple change. Judges began auditioning musicians behind screens so that they could not see them. Simply knowing a candidate was a man had automatically upped that man's chances of being selected. GapJumpers gathered data from nearly 1,200 auditions across 13 companies—attempting to see how the numbers stacked up when the early stages of hiring (which tested abilities) were done blindly. They found that male applicants raised concerns about having to prove themselves in a blind test more often than women. Once the blind challenge was completed, the gender breakdown of those candidates hired was 58% women, 42% men. This process doesn’t attempt to change how humans are wired, but rather reduces the possibility of that judgment is based on perception and not evidence of ability.
"You Call It Professionalism; I Call It Oppression in a Three Piece Suit." Carmen Rios. February 15,2015. Every Day Feminism.
Article discusses how dress codes and professional dress requirements are actually oppressive and are racist, sexist, classist, and xenophobic at their core. The author explains how professional dress reinforces the gender binary, may be in conflict with different religious forms of dress, and how women face a particular conundrum; they cannot appear “too masculine” or “too feminine,” or they often lose credibility in their job. This article also speaks to the cost of dressing professionally and this issue contributes to classism.
"Rutgers-Camden Law Dean Asks Students to Stop Talking About Women Professors’ Attire in Teaching Evaluations." Colleen Flaherty. January 29, 2015. Inside Higher Ed.
Many female professors have stated that students evaluate them in sexist ways, often having to do with their appearance and attire. Data suggest this is true. Few administrators have spoken out about this student bias in evaluations and tend to see it as an inevitable part of the process. Rutgers-Camden Vice Dean sent an email to students reminding them that their comments live on in the professor’s personnel file and in history. He asks them to reconsider sexist comments.
"Why Working Six Days a Week is a Terrible Idea." Jenna Goudreau. November 18, 2013. Business Insider.
Decades of research show that working longer than 40 hours a week can lead to serious negative effects on health, family life, and productivity. Working long hours can increase your risk of depression, heart attack, and heart disease. Beyond these obvious health effects, working too much can actually impair cognitive function. Even people who love their jobs are at risk for these problems. Family life and intimate relationships also suffer greatly.
"Home Economics: The Link Between Work-Life Balance and Income Equality." Stephen Marche. The Atlantic. July/August 2013.
This article critiques both Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book and article, respectively, urging women to work more like men and “lean in.” Their solutions really deal with men sharing more of the housework and childcare duties with their wives and women being more assertive and demanding in the workplace to advance into the upper rungs of companies. The author critiques these solutions and asserts that both women and men can’t have it all (in terms of family and career) in a society that doesn’t support the family unit (through daycare, family leave, etc.). He also explores how important life decisions are often more a result of financial needs than gender roles.
"Lean Out: The Dangers For Women Who Negotiate." Maria Konnikova. The New Yorker. June 10, 2014.
Despite Sheryl Sandberg’s advice for women to “lean in” and negotiate harder in the way that most men negotiate and make demands in the workplace, this article highlights several studies and one woman’s experience with leaning in. W, as the woman refers to herself in her blog post on this topic, made an attempt to negotiate her package after landing a tenure-track faculty position at a university only to be told that the employment offer was rescinded. Several studies show that because of implicit gender bias, when women negotiate, it often has the opposite results of what Sandberg asserts will happen. It often backfires.
"Consequences of Flexibility Stigma Among Academic Scientists and Engineers." Erin A. Cech and Mary Blair-Loy. Work and Occupations. 2014.
Flexibility stigma, which is the devaluation of workers who seek or are presumed to need flexible work arrangements, contributes to a mismatch between workplace demands and the needs of professionals. The authors of this article survey “ideal workers” in STEM units at a top research university to determine the consequences of flexibility stigma on everyone in the work environment.
"In the Ivory Tower, Men Only." Mary Ann Mason. Slate. June 2013.
The most important finding of a recent study is that family formation negatively affects women’s, but not men’s, academic careers. For men, having children is a career advantage; for women, it is a career killer. And women who do advance through the faculty ranks do so at a high price. They are far less likely to be married with children. We see more women in visible positions like presidents of Ivy League colleges, but we also see many more women who are married with children working in the growing base of part-time and adjunct faculty, the “second tier,” which is now the fastest growing sector of academia.
"Sexism in Science: Peer Editor Tells Female Researchers Their Study Needs a Male Author." Rachel Feltman. April 30, 2015. Washington Post.
Two female researchers received one review on their rejected study suggesting they should bring men into the team in order “fix” their problems.
"Updated: Sexist peer review elicits furious Twitter response, PLOS apology." Rachel Burnstein. April 29, 2015. Lee Street.
A peer reviewer’s suggestion that two female researchers find “one or two male biologists” to co-author and help them strengthen a manuscript they had written and submitted to a journal has unleashed an avalanche of disbelief and disgust on Twitter—and prompted an apology from the publisher of the journal, which media reports have identified as PLOS ONE.
"Students See Male Professors as Brilliant Geniuses, Female Professors as Bossy and Annoying." Aviva Shen. February 7, 2015. Think Progress.
Using data from RateMyProfessors.com, Northeastern University professor, Benjamin Schmidt, found that men are more likely to be described as a star, knowledgeable, awesome or the best professor. Women are more likely to be described as bossy, disorganized, helpful, annoying or as playing favorites. Nice or rude are also more often used to describe women than men.
Female Academics with Partners Less Likely to Collaborate Internationally
By: Beryl Lieff Benderly
Science Careers, October 22, 2015
A partner with a full-time job is a major impediment for many female academics’ ability to engage in international collaborations, report Katrina Uhly of the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations in Paris; Laura Visser, a Ph.D. candidate at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands; and Kathrin Zippel of Northeastern University in Boston, in Gendered patterns in international research collaborations in academia. The study examined survey results from 13,000 academics in 10 countries. Though children also affected women’s ability to work internationally, the effect of their partners’ work situation was often even greater.
Science Careers: Now offering advice for privileged men from 30 years ago
Tenure, She Wrote Blog, July 13, 2015
This blog is about Science publishing an essay under the heading “Working Life.” The essay is a first-person account of one path to success in a research career. Problematically, the path that Science chose to feature is one that it is inaccessible to most people today – as I’ll discuss below. When Science showcases such paths, they demonstrate that they are either out of touch with or don’t care about the reality of the majority of young scientists who are not white, het-, cis-, able-bodied and slavishly devoted to their work. I’m sure that some people will argue that this first-person essay is not Science saying that this is the way to succeed in a career, it’s simply one author’s advice. But Science gave it the page space and ink, rather than choosing to print a more inclusive (and probably more useful) career section.