Networking Lessons Learned from by shimeiyan

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									Networking: Lessons Learned from Hunter College’s
Gender Equity Project
     Networking challenges vary with

           Institution type, e.g., Research 1, Doctoral-granting, Liberal Arts,
            Comprehensive
           Larger institutional context, e.g., urban/rural,
            commuter/residential college, resource rich/resource poor
           Department characteristics, e.g., percentage of women,
            characteristics of chairs, quality of channels of communication
           Discipline-related characteristics, e.g., percentage of women,
            ways of working
           Personal and social characteristics of faculty member, e.g., sex,
            race, self-esteem, shyness, level of productivity, status in the
            field




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     About Hunter College

           Carnegie Comprehensive in transition, with increasing emphasis on
            research productivity
           High teaching loads and service obligations
           Urban, commuter, resource-poor
           Short tenure clock
           Few family friendly policies
           Hunter science departments have a larger percentage of women and
            underrepresented minorities among faculty than most other schools
           Hunter’s GEP targets disciplines from the Natural and Physical
            Sciences to the Social Sciences, from departments with one woman to
            departments with nearly 50 percent women




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Special challenges for Hunter women faculty

          Structural
           Few formal and informal faculty development opportunities
           Few family friendly polices
           Lack of a formal women’s organization/office on campus
            dedicated to women faculty or gender equity until GEP
           System of elected chairs untrained, undercompensated,
            undersupported. Chairs vary in the extent to which they see
            themselves as advocates for junior faculty
           In a commuter school in a large urban area, students and
            faculty isolated intellectually and socially and need communities




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Special challenges for Hunter women faculty

          Individual
           Some associates have never had, or have largely lost, strong
            identities as researchers and scholars
           Most associates are not on doctoral faculty and have no access
            to doctoral students
           For those who have not published much, not published in a
            given area, or have not published in a long time, there may be
            a need for improved research skills
           Need for increased appreciation for what kind of time,
            commitment, and activities are necessary for success in
            academic careers




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     About the GEP sponsorship program

          Time and resources for research
             $10,000 (in Year 1)
               release time
               research assistance
               Travel
          A sponsor
           $5,000 (in Year 1)
               serves as an intellectual
                sounding board
               provides feedback on papers
                and career plans              Tangible benefits for associates
          Workshops



THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Our 15 Associates:

          Very diverse in all ways:
           Two African American women, two Latina women, four Asian
            women
           Assistant to Full Professor
           From Sociology to Chemistry; from torture in the Middle East to
            lanthanide polyoxmetalates
           From those with few publications in refereed journals to more
            than 30 publications; from no grants to history of external
            funding




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Associates define their ideal sponsor variously,
     including as one who

           Is of my race
           Will be “gentle with me”
           Will “hold my feet to the fire”
           Has an affinity for a particular approach to scientific problems is
            in a specific research area
           Has a particular skill set
           Is physically close to Hunter College




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Networking through sponsors

          In the GEP, associates network through their sponsors
           Two sponsors have played large roles in two associates getting
            their first book contracts
           Two associates are now collaborating     Networking (inseparable
            with their sponsors on auspicious new    from mentoring/
            research projects                        sponsoring/ community)
                                                     is one of the most
           Two associates have formed significant
                                                     important and effective
            relationships and found intellectual
                                                     aspects of our program.
            community at the home institutions of
            their sponsors
           One associate was seriously contemplating leaving academia,
            but her identity and confidence as an academic are being
            restored, largely because of her sponsor



THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Networking through GEP Co-Directors

          VVV and VCR have different areas of
          expertise, and that has proven useful        “I found it extremely helpful
          to associates. Associates come to us         to be able to speak to VVV
          for help with:                               and VCR candidly about
                                                       the situations I have been
           Assistance in the tenure and               trying to deal with, and
            promotion processes
                                                       they have been
           Conflicts in their departments with        outstanding resources for
            chairs, technical assistants, and fellow   me.”
            faculty
           Corresponding with editors and             “From conversations with
            collaborators                              VCR and VVV, I feel I am
                                                       (slowly and somewhat
           Setting priorities in their career
                                                       painfully) learning a lot
           Conflicts between personal and             about being a professional
            professional life                          academic, a scientist in my
                                                       field.”


THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Networking through each other

          For some of the women, the GEP community is the closest
          and best professional community they have.
           Associates learn that they are not alone in their struggles to
            balance work and family, find time to write, or revise a rejected
            article, and exchange ideas
           Associates form alliances within and across departments
           Two associates who had never before collaborated are putting
            together a symposium on gender, race, and science
           Associates meet informally with each other and support each
            other personally and professionally




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Networking beyond the GEP

           Get known by important people         Get known by important people
            in your field                          in your institution
              Propose colloquia and panels         Go to events in the institution
               and invite prominent scientists       that will maximize your
                                                     visibility.
              Use professional conferences
               wisely                                 GEP associates were in
                                                       force at a recent holiday
                 One associate used the
                                                       party
                  occasion of a conference to
                  get her work known—and             Treat the chair, dean, and
                  herself cited—by a                  others as allies
                  prominent scientist
                                         Be on the lookout for the unexpected—for
                                         help from seemingly unlikely sources




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     All major Sponsorship Program successes are
     directly or indirectly related to networking:

           Importance of writing in a professional career — new personal
            identity
           Mentorship from GEP as well as from sponsor
           Understanding reward structure
           Intellectual and social communities for associates: learning
            from each other




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Significant challenges remain

          Ethnic Minority Women
          There is reason to think that there may be special challenges in
          networking among minority women.
           Race schemas work against minority women in academe
              Minorities may be held to higher standards than others and
               encounter resentment and hostility as tokens
           Being small statistical minorities also works against minority
            women in academic science
              In turn, statistical minority status also shapes the expectations
               and experiences of outgroup members
                 Anticipation of being stereotyped may lead outgroup members
                  to behave in ways that become self-fulfilling prophecies


THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Significant challenges remain

          Ethnic Minority Women
           The literature suggests that strong network ties are useful to
            people, but minority women are at periphery of social networks
            and they do not have powerful people advocating for them
              Men have stronger network ties at work, and men make much
               better use of weak ties than women do
              Cross race (and sex) relationships are difficult and often weak
           When minority scientists are successful and viewed as
            competent, they are often overwhelmed with requests and
            opportunities




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Significant challenges remain

          Ethnic Minority Women
           There are heightened pressures for within-group solidarity
            among underrepresented groups. This solidarity sometimes
            invites scrutiny and disapproval from those in the majority.
           There is evidence that Hispanic and Asian people in
            organizations are subject to negative stereotypes, but are less
            likely than African Americans to report exclusion from informal
            networks




THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT
     Significant challenges remain

          Work Family Issues
          These are the some of the hardest issues for academic women,
            including women who have children, who want children, and
            who are single mothers. In addition, there are problems
            intertwining a career with one’s partner.
           When to have children: life circumstances and preferences often
            determine this
           If one has children: key is to commit to priorities and stick to
            them
           Stopping the tenure clock: implicit clock still ticks in some minds
           Spousal hires: challenges for negotiation



THE GENDER EQUITY PROJECT

								
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