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Report on the Status of Women at Rice

Module by: Susan Cates. E-mail the author

Summary: This is a presentation that was part of the April, 2007 Rice University NSF Advance Career Success Workshop for Faculty Women in Engineering and Natural Science. This presentation focused on reporting the status of women faculty at Rice University.

Workshop Authors: Kathy Collins and Mikki Hebl, Rice University.

Slide 1: The Status of Women at Rice

  1. History of STEM Women at Rice
  2. Current Snapshot of STEM Women
  3. STEM Comparisons with Other Schools
  4. The 2001 Climate Survey: A Summary
  5. Important Questions to Consider
  6. Ongoing Research and Initiatives
  7. Conclusions

Slide 2: History of Women at Rice

  • Alice Crowell Dean was a teaching fellow in Math (and acting librarian) after graduating from the first class of Rice in 1916.
  • It was not until 1950, that the first woman --Katherine Fischer Drew-- joined the faculty full time (History) and in 1962 was the first to achieve tenure. She graduated from Rice in 1944.
Figure 1: "Places the Lombard laws in their historical context, showing the importance of barbarian codes, the development of the Lombard policy and society in the early Middle Ages, and the use of laws as sources for these topics. . . . The translation is excellent." --- Katherine Fischer Drew, Translator (1973)
The Lombard Laws
The Lombard Laws (Lombard_Laws.jpg)

Slide 3: History of Women Faculty in Sciences and Engineering at Rice University

Women did not join the faculty full time in Science and Engineering until 1965.

  • 1965: Krystyna Ansevin, assistant professor in Biology
  • 1971: Mary Wheeler (Rice Phd), instructor in CAAM
  • 1972: Panayota Kazakos, assistant professor in Electrical Engineering
  • 1972: Kathleen Matthews, assistant professor in Biochemistry
  • 1974: Meera Blattner, assistant professor in CAAM
  • 1977: Yildiz Bayatizoglu, assistant professor in MEMS
  • 1978: Pat Reiff, assistant professor in Space Science
  • 1978: Susan Berget, assistant professor in Biochemistry

Slide 4: 15 women hired in STEM (25% of all hires) in the last 5 years (2001-06)

Natural Sciences

  • Recruited 39 positions
  • Offers to women: 12
  • Offers to men: 29
  • Filled 26 positions
    • 6 were women (23% of total hires)
    • 50% acceptance rate (women)
    • 69% acceptance rate (men)

Engineering

  • Recruited 46 positions
  • Offers to women: 17
  • Offers to men: 42
  • Filled 33 positions
    • 9 were women (27% of total hires)
    • 53% acceptance rate (women)
    • 57% acceptance rate (men)

Slide 5: History on departures in STEM

Seven women and 58 men resigned since 1992 in STEM

  • Natural Sciences
    • Two women resigned
    • 18 men resigned
  • Engineering
    • Five women resigned
    • 40 men resigned

Slide 6: A Current Snapshot

Figure 2:
A Current Snapshot
A Current Snapshot (current_snapshot.jpg)

Slide 7: How does Rice STEM compare with other ADVANCE schools?

Table 1
Advance Institutions 2005 Faculty 2005 Women 2005 % Women
Rice      
Engineering 101 13 13%
Sciences 118 18 15%
Case Western      
Engineering 115 13 11%
Sciences 126 34 27%
Columbia      
Engineering 145 12 8%
Sciences 178 26 15%
Georgia Tech      
Engineering 684 96 14%
Sciences 353 67 19%

Slide 8: Rice STEM faculty by rank

Table 2: (In 2005-06, women were 16.5% of STEM faculty)
Rank Men Women % Women
Full Professors      
Science 60 8 11.7%
Engineering 55 8 12.7%
Associate Professors      
Science 16 1 5.8%
Engineering 14 1 6.6%
Assistant Professors      
Science 24 9 27.2%
Engineering 19 4 17.4%
Total 188 31 14.2%

Slide 9: The 2001 Climate Survey at Rice University: A Summary

Table 3: Number of Responses by Rank and Gender
Rank Men Women Total
Assistant Professor 30 25 55
Associate Professor 24 21 45
Full Professor 89 15 104
Total 143 61 204

The full roster of 466 faculty members – current as of spring 2003 – was surveyed. Approximately 204 faculty members responded, for a response rate of 46%.

Men and women responded to the survey almost in proportion to their representation on the faculty:

  • ~ 24% of faculty were women
  • ~ 29% of respondents were women

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 10: The 2001 Climate Survey at Rice University: Conclusions

  • On many of the “objective” measures (i.e., salary, start-up), no gender differences emerge.
  • There are significant differences between how male and female faculty members perceive Rice, the quality of Rice as a workplace, and their level of satisfaction with Rice.
  • In almost every category, female faculty members are less satisfied with their Rice work experience, and have higher levels of active dissatisfaction.
  • The differences are not enormous, but they are clearly systematic and significant.

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 11: Overall Faculty Satisfaction with Rice by Gender

Figure 3:
 (satisfaction.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 12: Actual Teaching Load by Gender

Figure 4:
 (teaching.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 13: New Courses by Gender Over the Past 5 Years

Figure 5:
 (courses.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 14: Satisfaction with Distribution of Committee Responsibilities

Figure 6:
 (responsibilities.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 15: Positive Climate Dimensions by Gender

Figure 7:
 (dimensions.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 16: Negative Climate Dimensions by Gender

Figure 8:
 (negative.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 17: Perceived Tokenism by Rank and Gender

Figure 9:
 (tokenism.jpg)

note:

Directly from Climate Report

Slide 18: Important Questions to Consider

  1. How do we get more women into the STEM recruitment pool?
    • How do we increase our acceptance rates?
    • How will we know when we have done a “good job”?
  2. Why do the climate differences exist?
    • Is this a general phenomenon or is it something particular about Rice University?
    • What can we do to reduce these differences and increase the positive climate that women experience? Will we see changes in our next survey (scheduled for next year)?

Slide 19: Ongoing Research and Initiatives

  • Mini-Grant Competition
    • Margaret Beier, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Predictors of Majoring in Science and Engineering
    • Dan Beal, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Explaining Gender Differences in High Stake Tests
  • Ongoing Projects Receiving modest ADVANCE funds ($400)
    • Juan Madera, Randi Martin, and Mikki Hebl, Psychology, Gender Differences in Letters of Recommendation
  • Upcoming Projects that are Currently Being Designed
    • Hebl lab: Explaining Departures from Rice University: A Gender Analysis
    • Hebl lab: Why People Accept or Reject STEM Offers

Slide 20: Conclusions

  1. STEM women are increasing.
  2. Stark differences on the Climate Survey were not apparent - objective measures often failed to show differences although subjective measures often showed women reporting lower qualititative experiences.
  3. How STEM is doing differs depending on the comparison group that we use as well as the specific department.
  4. ADVANCE may already be showing some impact.
  5. There are some significant objective disparities.
    • Salary disparities have diminished substantially in recent years, but there remains work to be done and vigilance to be maintained.
    • We have a lot of work to do to bring the raw numerical gender balance of our faculty to a satisfactory level. While our situation is not atypical, nor is it acceptable.
      • We confront even larger and more problematic imbalances in other dimensions – ethnicity and race – which were not the specific target of this study.
    • We have cultural and work-environment issues on the campus that need to be confronted
      • The fact that they are subliminal makes it harder.

Slide 21: A Random Sample of STEM Women

Figure 10:
 (stem_women.jpg)

References

  1. Collins, K. and Hebl, M. (2007, April). Report on the Status of Women at Rice: An NSF Advance Faculty Success Workshop. [http://cohesion.rice.edu/centersandinst/advance/events.cfm].
  2. Katherine Fischer Drew. (1973). The Lombard Laws (Sources of Medieval History). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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