Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Women Faculty: Hiring & Retention

Today's guest blogger is Annika Peter. Annika studies dark matter and gravitational dynamics and is currently finishing up a postdoctoral position at UC Irvine. She is moving to a faculty position in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy at The Ohio State University.


About a decade ago, some top-tier universities starting realizing that they were not hiring or retaining very many women faculty in their science and engineering departments. MIT is particularly famous (or infamous) for having had so few women on its faculty as recently as the late 1990’s. This realization is an indication that the AIP’s finding of a lower proportion of women at PhD granting institutions than colleges and universities as a whole is in part because they simply were not hiring and retaining women at rate one would have expected based on PhD completion rates. Since then, these universities have undergone self-studies to identify concrete steps they can take to improve the retention of women faculty, and have implemented a number of changes. Here are links to a few of those universities’ reports and findings:

-MIT: 1999 report; 2011 progress report
-Princeton: 2003 report
-The NSF funded ADVANCE (Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers) programs at a suite of universities.
-Information on UC Irvine’s ADVANCE Program can be found here.